You know what separates your music ideas from actually manifesting and coming to life?
A solid music making software. Or better known in the industry as music production software (Digital Audio Workstation).
This is THE first step before diving into the music production world. Best part, you can get working demos of most of these softwares for free.
What In The World Is A Music Production Software?
A music production software is simply a music software that allows you create professional music.
If music is your passion than mastery of a professional music production software aka music production software will help you bring those ideas to life.
Plus the more you practice, the sooner you’ll graduate from a beginner to a pro.
Trust me, the learning curve is a year tops if you learn from the pros (People who actually know what they are talking about). Then it’s just about practicing and getting better in areas where you are weak.
The problem is most people try to figure out a music production software themselves and when they can’t find an answer to something, they get frustrated and quit. This is why a lot of people who want to become music producers fail.
Let me tell you something and it’s the absolute truth . . .
As fun and satisfying music production is, if you don’t have the proper knowledge, you will get frustrated and eventually quit.
Especially if you are more “creative” than “technical”.
Let me explain the difference real quick . . .
If you just want to make beats ASAP than you are more “creative”. If you are interested in how a certain sound is created, you are “technical”. I can’t speak for the latter but as someone who falls in the “creative” category, I hated the ‘technical’ side of music. Decay, compression, saturation, etc.
In fact, I quit music production for years and was happy just making ‘beats’ on a FL Studio app on my iPhone.
However, I felt my ‘calling’ was to learn music production properly at the very least. So I decided that instead of trying to figure stuff out on my own, I’m going to learn it from someone who knows their stuff.
I literally tried a few courses, even got random dudes on craigslist who produced and offered to pay them if they can teach me the basics and long story short, it worked.
Half decent teachers led to better teachers and soon I was being trained by people who’s music repeatedly gets featured on major labels. They helped me set up my home studio and everything.
This is when things finally started to fall into place.
Now I LOVE the technical side of music-making because I finally understand what each technical concept means. More importantly, I know how these concepts will shape the sound that I want to create. It all clicks and it all sticks.
Bottom line, I understand music making. I LOVE IT. The creative side and the technical side.
As a beginner, your job right now should be to download these different music production software (Don’t worry, almost all of them come with their own demo) and figure out which one is the one you like. Just make sure you have a desktop or a laptop to make music on. If you are DJing, you probably do have a laptop. Just use that one for now if you can.
My rule of thumb is use the same music production software that your favorite producer uses as it will motivate you to learn it faster.
This simple concept might not apply to you but definitely helped me out.
This way, you’ll have all the necessary pieces required to create professional music. So all and all, try to play with a music production software first and see if music production is really something you want to get into.
Now let’s see which music production software is right for you.
Choosing The Best music production software Software
Selecting the right music production software is a lot like deciding on what kind of wine you want to have with your dinner. No decision you make will be wrong (Contrary to what some wine connoisseurs might say), but it does help to know which wine goes best with certain foods.
In this case, it all depends on what kind of music you want to make and how your ‘workflow’ is. Workflow just means how do you like to setup things when you are producing music. It can only be determined after trying out different music production software.
I started with FL Studio, then jumped to Reason, played around with Pro Tools and then finally settled with Logic Pro.
Don’t worry, it’s a natural part of finding the best music making software for you.
Can You Afford It
music production software range from a few hundred bucks to more. A music production software is an investment meant to last you as long as a car (Maybe longer with the updates). I’ve been using my music production software for just about three years and will continue to use it (Logic Pro X). Yes when it comes to getting a music production software, you do need to spend some coin. Don’t worry, they are not that expensive.
Also keep in mind that all music production software (Almost all of them) have a demo that you can download. So feel free to use your ‘Try before you buy’ ninja skill here.
What’s Your Style
The music production software today are very similar so if you can accomplish one thing on a certain music production software, you can do the same on another. The best way is to try them all out and then stick with one that you like the most. Also, the type of music you want to make matters too.
Begin with a software that makes it FUN for you to produce music. I like Logic Pro X because I’m a visual person. Plus I’m a fan of Apple (I produce on a MacMini and a MacBook Air) so it was easy for me to learn it.
music production software Mastery Is Essential
Once you tried all the major music production software. Don’t waste your time jumping from one music production software to another.
Stick with the one you like and master it.
The better understanding you have of your music production software, the better you’ll get. With increased confidence in your own abilities, the quality of your music will rise greatly. Plus the speed at which you will start banging out tracks will astonish you.
Now that you have decided to take music seriously, think of yourself as a superhero and your music production software as your weapon.
Master your music production software. One thing I will say is if you like a music production software, stick with it and own it.
Your music will only be good as your knowledge about your music production software. Master your music production software, master your music. It’s simple as that.
Hold off the temptation to switch music making software so that you can really improve.
After all, music production is not just an investment in money, but also time.
So don’t worry. Relax and creating music will come organically. Practice everyday. Create a habit. There are going to great times and lots of crappy times (While making music and in life) but practice, experiment and have fun!
I think the fun part is just part of the process.
Also remember, you’re not on your own . . .
No matter which music production software you choose, you can get support from forums, message boards, and free online tutorials on Youtube. There is tons of info out there. Plus the resources I recommend are absolutely stellar.
The ONLY 4 music production software that matter
Here are my picks for the top 4 music production software . . .
Ableton Live by Ableton
#1 music production software in the world (Especially for EDM Producers), Ableton Live was first introduced in 1999 and its popularity has grown since then.
My two cents: Almost EVERY EDM Producer uses Ableton. It’s the MOST used music production software by electronic dance music producers.
Producers that use Ableton:
- Nicky Romero (I’ve seen him use Logic Pro X as well).
- Calvin Harris
- and the list goes on . . .
Logic Pro X by Apple
2nd most used music production software in the world. Logic Pro is an excellent choice of software for Mac users, but unfortunately it is not compatible with PC.
One feature that stands out is the very advanced interface, which involves consolidating (meaning you can stack tracks,) and layering instruments. It also has a mixer that is intuitive and that you can control via plug-in, and a “score editor.”
I am a Logic Pro user and if you are a mac user, there is no better music production software.
Producers that use Logic Pro X:
- Tha Bizzness (Produced Kendric Lamar’s tracks).
- Pharrell Williams
- Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike
- and the list goes on.
My two cents: 2nd most popular music production software in the world. Used my TONS of EDM producers and others. If you are a Mac person, this is the music production software for you.
FL Studio by Image Line (Also known as Fruity Loops)
Fruity Loops (FL Studio) is a standard music production software by Image-Line’s list of products. It’s known for being one of the best music production software’s for totally new (It was my first music production software) and experts alike. I thought FL Studio was just amateur hour but I’m absolutely baffled and how far along it has come. FL Studio is used by one of the biggest producers of trap music today.
If you don’t mind the childish layout (Which makes it super easy to make beats), you will love it. Best music production software to get started on for sure. That said, I’ve heard of cases where it kind of doesn’t align ‘kicks’ properly for some weird reason but it could be just a glitch.
Too many professional trap producers use this so I’m sure there is a work around for that error or perhaps it’s fixed.
Producers that use FL Studio:
- Partynextdoor (Dude got his name from an FL Studio Plugin – No joke).
- Metro Boomin (Case closed).
- Soulja Boy
- Lex Luger (Enough said).
- Ummet Ozcan
- and the list goes on.
My two cents: Almost all rap bangers are produced by this one. A popular choice for EDM producers too.
Presonus Studio One music production software
One of the latest and possibly one of the most powerful music production software available today.
There is also a free version of Studio One that is known to be something of a blessing for musicians with low funds. I personally haven’t tried this one and don’t plan to (I’m just working on mastering Logic Pro).
It must be a killer music production software because a lot of producers who use Ableton are switching to this one.
Producers that use Studio One:
- Headhunters (Switched from Ableton).
- Owl City
- Knife Party
- and once again, the list goes on . . .
At the end of the day . . .
All music production software are great and can do what you want them to. Pick the one that suits your style and stick to it until you master it.
Stick to it and master your music production software.
I want to re-touch on this point as it’s really that important.
Learn the shortcuts. Take an additional class if necessary and if you can master your music production software, you’ll be ahead of most of the beat makers that are out there and ready to produce your own music.
All the professionals will tell you ‘master you music production software’ and you will master your music. If you don’t, forget about making professional music.
So for now, download demos of these music production software and start playing around with them. This will help you figure out which one is right for you.
A lot of artists use multiple music production software. They only do this because they are traveling half the time and work with what they get. If you can master one music production software, your pretty much know them all.