And to further ease the transition, a familiar interface to Logic. Although limited to tracks per song, GarageBand is an immensely powerful and easy to use DAW that seems to be getting better with age. The folks at Tracktion seem to have hit on a rather canny business model by releasing older versions of their DAW for free, with nothing taken out. The convention seems to be to make the version two iterations before the current one available to download without charge.
You might not get all the latest features, but you'll receive an update each time the company updates its flagship DAW, which it does almost yearly. Despite being two years old, Tracktion T6 is still a feature-packed and relevant DAW designed with simplicity in mind. Every section is scalable, so you can adjust to suit your workflow and the bottom panel changes to to display whichever parameters you've selected elsewhere on the screen.
It has a different feel to the more established DAW workflow and certainly looks unique, but at its core Tracktion 6 does everything expected of it, including MIDI-out functionality which GarageBand lacks. Tracktion T6 features an unlimited number of audio and MIDI tracks, all depending on your hardware capabilities of course, and is able to host multiple plugin formats including VST and Audio Units.
AmpliTube Custom Shop from IK Multimedia might be a cut-down version of AmpliTube 4, but it's still a fully functional guitar rig modelling application. This free version comes with 24 models including a digital chromatic tuner, nine stompboxes, four amps, five cabs, three mics and two rack effects. AmpliTube's tones are authentic and there's an impressive level of customization available including choice of microphone and mic placement , but perhaps the biggest boon is the Custom Shop feature.
Okay, so at this point you're going to have to start shelling out some cash if you want to expand your collection of amp models, stompboxes and cab sims.
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However, the 'try before you buy' scheme is a welcome one. Klevgrand may not be a household name, but the Stockholm-based production company has certainly carved a name for itself with a slew of fine-sounding instruments featuring some rather esoteric interfaces. SyndtSphere is no exception, and is one of the more accessible software synthesizers out there. To finish off our description for the beloved Ableton, this thing is the absolute best music software for performing live with.
Beginner and up. Windows only. Free Trial Full Version. This is one of the best DAWs for those looking to start out and get their feet wet in the music making world. FL Studio by Image-Line has been out and about for quite some time, being one of the most popular software to date. There are plenty of YouTube videos out there dating back to giving tutorials for pretty much any feature you need explained.
You can use MIDI keyboards, record into it with a microphone , do your standard editing and mixing — it just gives you what you essentially need in music software with a simple interface. There are some advanced features as well, so once you become familiar with it you can delve further into these to attain a solid learning curve for the future, too.
Another perk is it works great with PC or Mac. Medium to expert. Mac only. Full Version No free trial available! This is an amazing digital audio workstation, particularly for those with a Mac not compatible with PC. This thing is just jam-packed with features, synths, plug-ins, and not to mention a great interface for easy learning. Just remember this only works with Mac. Also comes with 70 effects and plug-ins: We also know some pro musicians who use Pro Tools only for mixing and mastering and having an additional DAW to make their music from scratch.
Just know it takes hours, days, weeks or even months of learning it.
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Slightly above beginner to semi-pro. Mac and Windows. Free Version Full Package. Reason has a very solid mixing console, better than a lot out there besides Pro Tools or Logic. These are nice for adding effects and presets to your riffs and it works well with both PC and Mac. Nothing too huge like Pro Tools in a sense of mastering or more advanced effects features, but for half a grand retail, Reason is really giving other DAWs a run for their money. Beginners only.
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Full Version free. However, I have some friends who tour nation-wide that still use Garageband just because of its simplicity and ease of use for recording. It offers some pretty solid presets for vocal and guitar recording as well, although nothing too out of the ordinary. It does have a few good amps and effects for the guitar or mic.
It maps out the chords and explains what they are to help you get a better understanding of music theory. The way they monetize off of the software is basically purchases for more plug-ins, effects, and others; however, you can get away with what it comes with. Semi-pro to expert. Windows or Mac. Some of the most powerful plug-ins within a DAW. If you buy it from Amazon you already get the eLicenser. Semi-pro and up. Full Version. Reaper by Cockos has lost a bit of popularity with the emergence of Ableton and Logic Pro, but it still holds strength as far as a dedicated DAW goes, and is actually more useful for those mixing or mastering needing flexibility.
You download the software and get it for 60 days and then have to pay to download a license to keep it going. We feel this is a great strategy for both the brand and user since it allows us to try it out for an adequate amount of time without having to drop some dough. Reaper is pretty unique when it comes to comparing to other DAWs out there.
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This is basically an open-source, nitty-gritty software. It supports most audio interfaces, plug-ins and effects. When downloading Reaper, you really have nothing to lose since you get to try it for 60 days before buying. Who knows? It may be the DAW for you, or perhaps some software to add to your toolbox when it comes to finalizing tracks after you complete the recording process many popular producers do this.
Beginner to semi-pro.
Here we have a very stable music software by a brand we love, PreSonus. The bit sound engine gives you studio-quality recordings. It basically has all of the essentials and we see it competing against a lot of the other more known DAWs out there.
Best Way to Get Into Music Production on the Mac? | MacRumors Forums
Otherwise, go with something more popular. Last but not least, this thing will always be our baby. I got so accustomed to it I continued to use Acid Pro 4. There were pros and cons for sticking with the software for so long, one pro mainly being that I knew it like the back of my hand. The downside was that it was a bit buggy when it came to MIDI incorporation and other more-advanced features that are available with DAWs nowadays.
Their latest version is actually very stable and we recommend this for beginners until even semi-pro like we were for the past decade.