In today's digital world, what is the best recording software for your situation? Since the revolution of the home studio, where everybody can use their bedroom as the base of their music production, audio recording software has been on the rise.
In the beginning, there weren't any computers, just huge mixing desks and a lot of really expensive tape machines. Now, with programs like Logic and Pro-tools for instance, the options of recording and being heard are limitless.
If you are serious about recording and mixing music you should
consider all the options and the best recording software available
before you spend your hard earned money on whatever program you think
you might need.
Below are some options to consider, ranging from high-end home studio packages like the Pro-Tools LE to freeware recording software such as Ardour and Audacity.
A note before I begin. Whatever audio forum you look at there will always be a fight about which is the best recording software. I haven't tried every DAW on the market so I can't give you a definite un-biased opinion on all of them.
But you can!
If you navigated Pro-Tools first, then everything else is awkward and annoying to navigate. If you started with Logic, then all the other software will be un-intuitive and difficult. Such is the nature of these programs that sometimes the first program you handle will be the program you stick to.
But the most important thing is to start. What does Clint Eastwood say about starting with three simple things? Home recording software doesn't have to be expensive, and here's why!
If you are worried about not being able to get the best tones from your guitar by using some of these software options below, check out my guitar recording software recommendations. There are quite a few resources available that you can buy to spice up your guitar tones without ever miking up an amplifier!
Pro Tools is widely regarded as the standard in the industry, and some would argue that it's the best recording software for any situation. Many, but not all commercial studios use Pro-Tools as their DAW, or digital audio workstation of choice. Big budget commercial studios that use Pro Tools use their HD systems, but home or project studios that can't afford such an expensive package often opt for their LE package.
For home studio owners the choice is often between their M Box series of interfaces or the bigger Digi 003 rack or controller interfaces. The third option for users not wanting to buy a Digidesign interface can opt for their Pro-Tools M-powered system that's designed to run on interfaces from M-Audio.
Logic Pro is my program of choice. In my opinion, it's the best recording software out there. I haven't been a Logic user for long, having been a Pro-Tools teacher at one time but I can say(and I might get criticized for this) that I like Logic way more than Pro-Tools. Sure, I needed a little time to learn how to navigate because it might not be as intuitive as Pro-Tools at first glance, but after watching a Logic Pro video course one evening I was ready to roll. I loved it so much I compiled an article about how great it is. Here are 5 Things I Love About Logic Pro!
Ableton Live seems to be taking over the DJ world. It has a highly intuitive interface and is modeled for live situations, incorporating so called audio clips that you can playback in time with other clips you have running at the same time. If you are a Dj, it's definitely the best recording software for you.
You can use it as a normal audio recording software and midi sequencing app if you wish but the advantage of Ableton Live is it's unique clip arrangement.
For a crash course on Live, see the video below that explains the basics of the program.
Dj's are not the only people that use Live. I've seen people record indie rock records using Live as well as singer/songwriters using the program as a standalone sampler/recorder in their live set, essentially enhancing their one-man setup.
Icelandic music master Mugison, before getting a rock band to support his live shows used a laptop and Live exclusively to enhance his one stage persona, sampling, recording and harmonizing his guitar/voice setup.
For the not-so-serious about professional audio recording software there are quite a few free options. The free recording software is maybe not of the best quality feature wise and doesn't have as many supporters and users, but there is always a market for free stuff.
Since open-source software is always in constant development, you can be sure that it's not always the most reliable and bug-free of the audio software options out there, but the flipside is that it has a community of developers constantly improving them.
If you want to run your Windows system, don't want to juggle with a program that is aimed at DJ's and don't like having to buy a dedicated hardware like the M Box, Nuendo or Cubase can be a perfect fit for your situation.
Reason was for a long time the best all-in-one MIDI software sequencer. Not a dedicated audio recording software, as you couldn't record audio. But you had everything you needed to make electronic music - all the synths, the drum-loops and effects you could ever want.
Then they took it one step further.
You see, you were only able to use Reason if you didn't want to record audio. You could only use MIDI notes, either drawn in or played on your dedicated keyboard controller. But no more, because they came out with Record. Record bridges the gap and allows you to record audio.
Whichever audio recording software you want, there are definitely options available out there for every one of you. It's up to you to pick and choose the best recording software for you.
If you are just starting out, you might want to consider the free music mixing software like Ardour or Audacity before you embark on something more expensive. But if you are serious about your music production, investing in a full fledged audio production power-house like Pro-Tools, Nuendo or Logic is definitely worth the money spent.
If you already have the best recording software installed on your computer and want to check out some recording tricks, head to the recording page
Do you have a favorite music mixing software you love using? Let us know!
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