The Beginner DJ Blog
Music Production Software: Top 5 Programs for Audio Producers
I love music and you must too since you’re reading this post.
Music brings the world together which is why you’ve probably have kicked around the idea of creating your own music from time to time.
This article explores the top five programs to do just that: make music …
Why DJ’s need to Make Music
Seeing that this is a DJ blog, you’re probably in the mindset of why music production should be something in your “skill portfolio”. Well, since you’re going to be playing music with your DJ skills, you might as well make the music you’re playing.
Having your own catalog of music puts you in a greater control over your mixes and also gives you the chance to gain a lot more traction in the DJ world because people will be playing your music which will instantly pull attention your way.
Finally, since you know what type of music works in the DJ world, you can create some really killer tracks for your audience and really pull some heads (and ears) when other DJ’s drop your tracks.
Top 5 Music Production Software
Here we are on the list; let’s take a look at the music programs that many DJ’s and music producers use to create those awesome songs we all love to hear.
When it was first released, it was named Fruity Loops which made it come across as a “toy” for music producers because it lacked many features that people were looking for. Likewise, a ton of people were making music using the built-in samples which made it very amateur.
However, Fruity Loops got a rebranding and major overhaul which turned it into FL Studio. FL Studio is now jam-packed with almost all the features you’d look for when making music. The interface is very simple, you can create your own synths, work on the mastering and more.
If you’re just getting started with music production than FL Studio is a pretty great place to learn the ropes; especially since it can cost you less than $100.
Learn more: Check out FL Studio
Reason, by Propellerhead, is one of the better high-end music production software tools available on the market. The music program comes packed with a massive amount of built in tools like synthesizers, drum machines, EQ’s, sampling and more. Out of the list, Reason is my favorite because it’s basically like a music studio in a box
What makes Reason 5 stand out is that you can add in “fills” that are more-or-less templates for the tools in the program so, for example, you could instantly have a grand piano with real samples or add a TB-303 fill that gives you that excellent acid house sound. The fills are really cheap so it’s like buying a new instrument for a few dollars but complete with the actual sounds and structure.
Reason 5 starts out at just under $300 which is a little expensive but is still a great price for essentially having a complete studio (with gear).
Learn more: Check out Reason 5
Cubase is the king of music production software; in my opinion. Cubase isn’t so much a music tool as it’s more of a complete system because it relies heavily on recording, editing and mixing music. Rather than just creating music, Cubase is used heavily for the actual structuring and completion of music tracks; however, it does have a ton of VST’s, virtual instruments, which you can use to make music right in the software.
Cubase, in some ways, will remind you of video editing software. Rather than having a UI that looks like a musical instrument, you have a UI of bars and segments that are your individual musical instruments. Cubase is, perhaps, the most professional tool on the list because it’s use in many studios around the world.
For about $400, Cubase is expensive compared to the others on the list but what you’re buying is everything all-included; it won’t matter what type of music you’re creating because Cubase will handle it.
Learn more: Check out Cubase 5
ProTools was the Mac equivalent of Cubase but is now available on the Windows platform. Like Cubase, ProTools is essentially a studio-in-a-box, complete with editing software, effects and controllers for mastering your tracks.
I haven’t personally used ProTools but I do know that it’s used by many music producers especially on the Mac. ProTools is a little expensive, running about $500, and you’re mostly working with your own music instruments so you may need to make additional investments into your music production. Either way, ProTools is a great start for music production especially since it’s one of the biggest pieces of software used in the industry.
Learn more: Check out ProTools
Finally, we have Ableton Live. Ableton Live is a bit different in terms of music production software; it’s mainly used for live performances and live mashups because it allows you to add and edit midi clips, on the fly, while you’re playing.
However, people have found out ways to make really great music with Ableton Live and not just on-the-fly in front of an audience which puts it on our list. The software is a little expensive, running at just under $500, but in terms of pricing, it’s perfect for those just getting started because it’s one of the easier pieces of music production software to learn. Once you’ve got the hang of Ableton, you can always shift onto other programs on the list or rock it, live, in front of people.
Learn more: Check out Ableton Live
About the Author - Muxx
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