15 Top Music Production Software [Free/Paid] in 2021 for PC/Mac

Do you remember the last time when you have literally heard music that is flat and have liked it? I guess the answer will be a big NO. There will be nobody out there who likes to listens to flat music. For introducing the feel that one is looking for, the producers need a Digital Audio Workstations, commonly known as music production software. Along with the music production tools like keywords and audio interface equalizer, a person also needs software that helps all of these tools work together in sync and create music that everybody loves.

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Moreover, these digital audio workstations help you pen out your ideas into music very smoothly. Moreover, it simplifies making the music, but there are plenty of music production tools present in the market which makes it tough for the person to choose whether which software is good for their needs and which is the one they should pass on. That is why to help you guys out, we have made a list of 15 music production software that is going to ease your task of selecting software. But before selecting the software, a person should know in detail what actually is a music production studio, w.e.f. DAW?

What Is DAW?

There is a talent of music creation and creativity in some people, and the digital audio workstation is that way through which a person can bring out their talent. It is a program that helps out a person in designing music and its editing, blending, and mastering the audio. If you have the skill of using a particular instrument also then also you can record them and improve their voice with the help of this software. Some of the tasks that can be performed with the help of this tool are:-

  • The DAW software help out a person record the voice of a live instrument with their recording setup.
  • If the instrument is visual, then also a person can record them.
  • The tool helps out in forming a loop of the audio made.
  • Mixing of the audio can also be done very efficiently.
  • There are many effects that can be introduced in the audio.

These are the common features that one can find in almost all the tools. Above this also many features may vary from time to time and the price a tool charges from the music producer. So, let us get started with the list of tools, but before that, you must also check out the project management tools which can help you out in managing a project and making it profitable at BrighterGuide.

1. Ableton Live

Ableton Live tool is an inspiring DAW that keeps providing next-level workflow. Some of the features that are included with this industry-standard tool are:-

  • There is an option of multi-track recording in this tool with Ableton-style live loops.
  • MIDI sequencing is also made possible with this tool.
  • One can perform the task of advanced warping and real-time stretching.
  • Unlimited software instruments and their audio effects are available with this tool.
  • There is much hardware already integrated into this software.

Pros

  • Workflow for inspiring clip-based live performance and composition.
  • Quick navigation.
  • Automation is extremely effective.
  • The Suite version includes a plethora of sample material to work with.
  • The new Wavetable synth sounds fantastic.

Cons

  • There will be no track competitions.
  • There is no view of notation.
  • There is no pitch correction tool.

Price: The cost a person needs to pay for Ableton Live 11 Suite is $99, which will provide you with fast and smooth workflows which will enhance your user interface. 

2. Apple Logic Pro

If someone is looking for a great performance tool that they can use in their Mac device, they should use Apple Logic Pro. The minimum requirement of Mac for running this system is version10.13.6 with a 64-bit processor. The specifications of this tool are:-

  • There is some system of live loops which helps you in the creation of whole new individual tracks.
  • One can control music, making sessions with the Logic remote system.
  • There are many options for the transformation of sounds.
  • Drumbeats can be built very quickly with the tool.

Pros

  • The new Live Loops and Sampler plug-ins are excellent replacements for Ableton Live and Kontakt.
  • A stunning collection of bundled instruments and effects
  • Unlike many competitors, there is no copy protection.
  • Outstanding value

Cons

  • Larger meters and faders could be used in the mixer.
  • There is still no fast. Audio editing in the Clip-Gain style

Price: This is a Mac dedicated tool that costs around $200 to the music developers who have a Native 64-Bit Mac version.

3. Image Line FL Studio

The Image Line FL studio has helped out in starting the electronic music careers of many new electronic music producers. If someone is looking for EDM production, this tool is the best for them and provides a good value for money. Some of the features of this tool are:-

  • The updates that a person can get for this tool will be free for a lifetime.
  • There are different class-leading audio editors available in the tool.
  • One can access the option of thousands of music effects with this tool.
  • In this tool, also a person can go for the option of both audio and visual effects.
  • 24*7 support from the developers is provided to the buyer.

Pros

  • Excellent MIDI composition tools that use loops and patterns.
  • Visible automation clips are simple to manipulate.
  • Lifetime updates are provided at no cost.
  • Finally, a Mac version!

Cons

  • An audio recording that is convoluted and inflexible (in higher-priced versions).
  • Instrument tracks must be manually assigned to mixer channels.
  • The built-in sound library could use an update.
  • There is no notation editor.

Price: The price of the Image-Line FL Studio tool will range from $99 to $499, which have different features bundled along.

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4. PreSonus Studio One

The Studio one tool is now known for playing in the bigger leagues. Many professional movie makers and producers are using this tool. There are different versions of the tool in which there is a prime version available for free. After that, there is an artist version and a professional version also. The features of this tool are:-

  • PreSonus Studio One is an all-rounder tool that can perform all the tasks.
  • The fluid workflow with this tool is very productive.
  • You can edit the music very maturely with this tool which can provide stability in the tool.
  • There are different types of audio clips available in this tool.
  • Studio one artist can arrange live music shows with the help of this audio tool.
  • You can also use the feature of mixing console with this tool.
  • You can arrange the tracks in the way you like with Studio one.

Pros

  • Refreshingly simple to use, quick to learn, and not lacking in flexibility.
  • Efficient and dependable.
  • The mastering facilities are first-rate and should be used separately.
  • It is inspired by the Control Link MIDI controller feature.
  • Bundled plug-ins of high quality.

Cons

  • Not for everyone because there is no support for surround sound, notation, or video.
  • There are no dedicated audio quantization or ‘flex’ features… yet.
  • Presence sample-replay instrument needs improvement

Price: The cost of this PreSonus Studio One tool is around 100 pounds for the premium versions.

5. Steinberg Cubase

This is the old yet famous music editing tool, which most professionals are even using to date. This tool can be used with both the Windows and Mac OS having a huge development history. Some of the Steinberg Cubase features are:-

  • There are virtually unlimited audio tracks that are available with this tool.
  • Unlimited MIDI tracks are also available with this tool.
  • There are various instrument tracking systems available in the Cubase tool.
  • There are 3 mixer views available.
  • Volume envelopes are also available in the tool.
  • Drum and Logical editors are also available in this tool.

Pros

  • Making music for a video
  • Rapid rendering
  • Simple learning curve
  • For those just starting out in the industry, the price is reasonable.

Cons

  • Shortcuts are difficult to master.
  • It has the potential to be a resource hog.
  • Upgrades do not always include enough features to make them worthwhile.

Price: The cost of the Steinberg Cubase tool is around $100, but some free tools have little workflow similarities.

6. Reason Studio Reason

There are two versions of this tool available, named standard and suite, which both are amazing. There are around 20 GB of scratch disc space available in the tool. Some specifications of this tool are:-

  • If you look at the workflow, then it is rock-based and unique.
  • The mixer available in the tool is SSL-modeled based, which has great functionality.
  • This tool can also be used as a plug-in in many systems.
  • There are many VST performance instruments packed along with this tool.
  • When you press the tabs, then the racks start rotating, showing the backside of the music rack, which can help you establish relationships between the racks easily.
  • There are some new effects introduced in the tool.

Price: The cost of this industry-standard recording and post-production software is around $220 per year if you opt for a monthly plan and $199 for a yearly plan.

7. Cockos Reaper 6

Are you looking for a powerful DAW tool without spending much on the initials? If yes, the Cockos Reaper 6 is a specially handcrafted tool for you. Some of its unique features are:-

  • There are many audio routing capabilities, along with sophisticated MIDI solutions.
  • You can select a particular area of music that can help you in drawing and moving the music portion easily according to your needs.
  • Plug-in support like LV2 is easily available.
  • You can reduce the darkness of the locked media a little bit.

Price: The cost that a person has to pay for this tool is $60 only, much less than other tools.

8. Apple GarageBand

Those who are Mac users and are looking for a dedicated tool then they can opt for GarageBand. It is also said to be the best tool that a beginner can use and learn music production and editing properly. The tool is available for free and is included in Mac devices. Some features of this tool are:-

  • There is a library available in the tool having various instruments like guitars, piano, and other keyboard audio interfaces also.
  • The design is modern, which is made by keeping the newcomers in mind.
  • A music producer can jam with drummers no matter what their style is.
  • There is a shape sifting control along with powerful synths available.
  • Help you in a worldwide release of the song that you create with this tool. 

Price: With this music editing software, you should also take a look at the video editing software.

9. Bitwig Studio

If you are looking for a great option to be a creative producer, then you should opt for the option of Bitwig Studio. This tool is available for use in both the Windows and Mac OS with a general system requirement. Some of the features that are bundled along with this tool are:-

  • The modulation system available in this tool is very flexible due to its build-in modular environment provided in the tool.
  • The feature that is available in the tool is made according to the future requirement.
  • There is an option of JACK transport available for many platforms.
  • There is floating-point audio processing in this tool.
  • Unlimited hybrid tracks are available with this tool.
  • The Grid, a new type of device, is also included in this software package.

Price: If you are looking to buy this tool, you have to pay $399 for one year plan, and for upgrades to the version from previous versions pre the price will be $179.

10. Acoustica Mixcraft

If you are looking for a tool like GarageBand for Windows platform, Acoustica Mixcraft is one of its biggest competitors. This tool is straightforward to use, which you will not easily outgrow. Some of the benefits of this tool are:-

  • The content library that is available in this tool is very decent and updated.
  • Along with editing the audio, a person can also edit videos through this software.
  • A person can mix any video and audio and can also master the audios. There is curved automation in this tool that can help out a person create the best mix.
  • There are 45 different modules along with hundreds of presets that a music producer can use.
  • A grand pianissimo piano is also provided in this tool as a virtual tool which is the best in class.

Price: A person’s cost for this tool is $75, which only provides the recording studio, and $149 for Pro studio.

11. Cakewalk by BandLab

The biggest benefit that has pulled this DAW into the list is that this tool is providing a lot of features for free, for which many tools are charging a dime. This tool is compatible with Windows having a requirement of Windows7. Some features that are available in this tool are:-

  • A person can enhance the AudioSnap enhancements with this tool effectively.
  • Option of event filtering along with advanced multi-tack piano roll editing is also available.
  • There is customizable plug-in management that can help in various optimization and improvements.
  • The UI themes are also updated in this music production tool.
  • The Cakewalk tool is also supporting the ARA1 and ARA2 plug-in tools very well.

Price: This is the most credible option for a digital audio workstation that is available for free.

12. Avid Pro Tools

The Avid Pro Tools are known for their pro-level of audio mixing features. Some of the other features that are bundled along with this tool are:-

  • There is a maximum input of 192 available in this tool. 
  • A person can also involve around 1024 MIDI tracks with the help of pro tools.
  • 116 plug-ins are included with this tool in their ultimate version.
  • 5.4 GB of sound is included in this tool which can be used as stock voices.
  • It helps out in smooth collaborating and connecting with hardware.
  • The workspace also has a satellite link in its ultimate version.

Price: The user base version of this tool is free, but if you look at the pro tools, it will cost you around $29.99 per month.

13. Propellerhead Reason

The Propellerhead tool may not be very much known in the music production software community, but they are very stable if we compare them with other tools. Some of the features that are offered by this tool are:-

  • There is a swift drag and drop option available in the tool for a smooth experience.
  • There are many plug-in options available in the tool that can help out a producer in many ways.
  • The mixing console is most updated in the field.
  • There is a range of effects present in a tool that can automatically cut and slice the audio according to your requirement.
  • If you are working at your personal workstation, you should know that this software will support all your hardware tools to mix and blend the voice properly.

Price: The money a person has to pay for this tool after using the free trial of 30 days is $399. This package will include more than 29 effects and 17 virtual instruments with standalone. If a person is not satisfied with the tool, they can also sign in for a return.

14. Acid Pro

Acid pro is known for some features that are sophisticated and help in the precise editing of MIDI. There are many new features that are included in the latest rolled out update, which are mentioned below.

  • There is an option of inline editing that blends the music with drum grid audio interfaces and piano rolls.
  • Velocity of the music movement, pitch changes, and making multi-tracks is made very easy with this platform.
  • One can also freeze the track easily for better filtering and processing.

Price: This Acid pro tool is only available for Windows interface at a very competitive price of around $199.00 for its complete package. Before buying this version, one has a free trial option.

15. Roland Zenbeats 2

The Roland Zenbeats 2 tool is basically a recording tool, but you will come to know the detailing of this tool when you start using this tool. There are various beat and loop tools available in the software that will help you create a fantastic piece of music from a flat sound. Some advanced features of this tool are:-

  • One can expand the options of the native instrument available with them in the software.
  • There are some add-in support tools that can be introduced with the third-party tool.
  • One can use the other developers’ tool plug-ins, which helps make the editing task smooth.

Price: These are the features that are bundled along with this tool at the price of $3 to $20 on the basis of features that you select. Moreover, there is a Roland cloud platform that can be accessed with this platform also.

F.A.Qs

Are the music production software necessary?

If we look at the trends of music that are prevailing in the market right now, then according to that, a person needs the music production software for sure. This software is now serving the same importance for music creators as a canvas does for painters. Without this software making music that the audience likes is impossible.

Should I opt for free software or paid software?

If you are a new person in the field who is thinking of learning and applying, then for such people, it is advised that they should buy the Windows free version of the tool in the starting phase. After some time, when they learn to use the tools properly, they can think of buying the music production tool and working on them.

Which software should I choose, dedicated one or overall software?

This is a question that arises in many people that if they are using the Mac OS, they should choose software that is only available for Mac or go for the one software that both Windows and Mac OS support. For such people, the answer is that they should focus more on features instead of the tool’s nature.

What should I take in mind before buying software?

You should keep in mind the features that you require from your tool, the operating system that you are using, and most importantly, the price you are willing to pay. Without these three important aspects, a person will not be able to land the best software.

Conclusion

These are the top-class DAW software that is available in the music software marketplace today. Now it is the music developers’ task that they see through in detail the demand of their music production process and, according to that, choose the one tool that can help out in fulfilling all their requirements. So, start digging the options and find the tool that best suits you and your future in the recording market. 

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