ImageLine Fruity Loops Studio (Windows and OSX)
FL Studio is one of the most used DAW software, kindly suggested for both amateurs and professional music makers. Lots are the reasons: the immediate and friendly user interface, its loads and loads of Audio Effects and Synthesizers, and the easy structure of your audio project. Your audio track is inside a Playlist, which is made by repeatable Patterns, and each Pattern contains several channels, which welcome a beat, a melody or speech. Compose each of your channels, by enabling or disabling time steps, or switch to the Piano Roll to make completely personalized notes. Moreover, take advantage of the huge number of samples, automations and other features, such as a professional Mixer, a Limiter and a Compressor to improve the overall audio sound. FL Studio is definitely a great choice whether if you have never used a DAW or you are a professional musician, and is also the only one that gives unlimited updates forever.
Ableton Live (Windows and OSX)
Ableton Live is one of the most used DAW software on the market, as much as FL Studio. Despite its harder user interface, Ableton Live gives an outstanding level of control of your sound at every aspect. Use the Session view to make your compositions, including instrumentals, melodies and speech, realizing the fundamental tracks you are going to use â€“ then switch to the Arrangement view to create your overall Audio Track. Use the loads of samples available, or just compose your melody by using the Piano Roll or via the Instruments section in no time. Loads of Audio and MIDI Effects are available, including automations to change properties in time and Limiter and Compression to improve your audio quality.
Steinberg Cubase (Windows and OSX)
Cubase is a complete DAW software very good for both amateurs and professional music makers. Its immediate user interface allows to straight start realizing your Audio Track in no time, whatever is your starting level. Pick a ready-template depending on your target, or just start from a new empty project. Your Audio Track is realized through several Tracks (or Channels), each welcoming audio samples or MIDI compositions, which can be edited as video clips â€“by moving, stretching and working on them directly. You can edit each channel as you like, by applying several outstanding audio effects and adjustments, including audio compression, advanced filtering, and even direct drawings on the audio waveform. Cubase is the excellent result between an advanced and complete DAW and a very easy workspace to use. It is highly suggested to people that want to start composing professional tracks.
Apple GarageBand (OSX)
Apple GarageBand is a complete DAW software included in Mac OSX, which makes it great for beginners and amateurs, since it is free and it also includes several online music lessons. When you start, you can either pick a ready template, or just start with a new empty project. Its direct workspace is made of several tracks, each welcoming audio samples or MIDI over the timeline. Despite being completely free, GarageBand is indeed a complete DAW, able to realize your own compositions with a Piano Roll, to apply audio filters with the Equalizer, and adjust the sound output by editing the Synthesizers properties or applying any compression. GarageBand is the best free alternative in case you want to create your own Audio Tracks also in a professional way.
Presonus Studio One (Windows and OSX)
Studio One is a cheaper alternative to Cubase and FL Studio, without losing professional audio features. Its very friendly interface shows your overall audio project in several Tracks (or Channels), with clips containing drums, melodies and MIDI compositions completely customizable. All these clips can be edited directly on the timeline, making audio editing faster and easier. Moreover, Studio One provides loads and loads of instrumentals, synthesizers for your MIDI clips, Audio Effects, and it allows to import entire Projects on your timeline. If you are not sure, you can try the Prime version, which is completely free of charge.
MAGIX Sound Forge Pro (Windows and OSX)
If you are not looking for a too complex DAW software, but a professional product to edit your own tracks and audio samples very quickly when needed, Sound Forge can be the best (and cheapest) choice for you. Its extremely intuitive interface is perfect for amateurs and everyone that needs to edit sound in one touch, rather than composing and rendering a professional track. Import your sample file, cut and split its audio waveform, change its playback rate, adjust its volume and apply fade transitions. From the Plug-In Chooser, browse and apply the proper Audio Effect from the long list, and draw your own envelope line to make the effect change in time as you like. One of the best products from MAGIX company dedicated to Audio Editing. Consider that Sound Forge is not able to manage MIDI files.
MAGIX ACID Music Studio (Windows)
In respect to Sound Forge, Music Studio is a DAW software more focused on true audio composition and production, able to manage both rendered audio samples and MIDI files on a multiple-track workspace. Its user-interface remains very simple, dividing your overall audio project in several independent Tracks, able to welcome even pictures and videos (although you canâ€™t edit these at all). Music Studio is also able to mix up several audio files, in order to realize a music composition, or even render a video with your newest soundtrack. As seen in Sound Forge, you can edit each single clip directly, by changing its volume, transition fades, audio effects and fully customizable envelopes â€“ but here you can also open a Piano Roll and start composing your MIDI Track!Also, the timeline divided in beats and bars can be a great help at keeping the correct rhythm on your project. All of this at an unbeatable price on the market.