Music production software plays a key role in music recording and production. The software is a significant tool for any musician, music producer or music engineer. It helps to create unique music compositions. It can as well serve as a display area for editing and mastering of music.
Great music production software can turn your home into a music studio. The best music production software should provide you with all the musical tools required to produce a musical track. It ought to have a few virtual instruments, effects or plugins and loops that allow you to produce music. These features serve as tools to produce music from the start to the finish with just a MIDI controller.
As technology continues to advance, music production gets faster with the use of computers. Day by day, more and more advanced music production software are being introduced into the market.
For a newbie, therefore, choosing the right music production software gets confusing. The following tips explain all about music software required for a music production.
Types of music production software
- CD ripping software
- Choir and learn-to-sing software
- Chord Progression software
- DJ software
- Drum machines
- Guitar amp emulators
- Digital audio workstation (DAW) software
The Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
The Digital Audio Workstation is computer software that allows you to record, edit, mix and master digital audio files. It can be used to record different forms of instruments and controllers. It helps you to organize, cut, paste, add effects, and get your music ready for the market.
The DAW serves as a moral fiber to all music producers both professionals and novices alike.
Although some music studios still make use of analog setups like drum machines and synthesizers, the analog system is gradually phasing out, and many people are opting for the computer-based audio station.
It was structured like the classic analog consoles to maintain a bulk of similar workflow and design. The improved version now replaces the old form of analog console.
There are different types of DAW software with similar general features but what can be achieved with each of them differ significantly. Some of these features are free while there are also many highly sophisticated paid programs.
Common features of DAW music production Software
- Some of the common features of DAW program are:
- Audio waveform display
- Editing feature
- Processing and effects
- Video support
- Mixing feature
- Multitrack recording
Music production Software Plugins
The DAW is made up of a lot of other integrated programs known as plugins. These plugins are popped into different tracks to carry out specific functions. This method of inserting the plugins reduces the cost of processing the music and allows music producers the choice of selecting unlimited numbers of add-ons from 3rd-party companies.
Commonly used plugins
Not everyone can afford the complete real instruments to produce music, Virtual instrument plugins are thus used to mock up a number of instrument sounds at an affordable rate. They cannot replicate some sounds like that of guitars but are does excellently well with drums or piano sounds. Although they may not be as effective as a classy electronic drum kit or keyboard, you can edit notes correctly through its in-built features.
They cannot replicate some sounds like that of guitars but are does excellently well with drums or piano sounds. Although they may not be as effective as a classy electronic drum kit or keyboard, you can edit notes correctly through its in-built features.
Music editing software just as other music production software are also becoming super advanced by the day. With the current music editing technology, music engineers can now make a person who is not great singer into a music pop star. There are two basic types of music editing software. These are:
- Pitch editing software
- Time editing software
It has an incredible Auto-Tune feature which makes pitch editing very popular. The feature can correct the most out-of-tune song with an excellent sharp precision.
Although time editing feature is not entirely a plugin, t is usually one of in-built features of popular DAWs in the market. They can be used to fix timing issues. They allow you to cut off specific notes and paste them back on the beat.
They work efficiently on percussive sounds like drums but not so good on nonstop sounds, like an electric guitar. Time stretching performs better on such music as guitars. Beat matching is another plugin that allows you to align different tempos of songs and blends them together in various ways.
They allow you to cut off specific notes and paste them back on the beat. They work efficiently on percussive sounds like drums but not so good on nonstop sounds, like an electric guitar.
Time stretching performs better on such music as guitars. Beat matching is another plugin that allows you to align different tempos of songs and blends them together in various ways.
Fundamental Mixing Plugins
There are a lot of plugins used in any particular song but the three that are basically used in every music track are:
- Equalization (EQ)
These three plugins allow you to mold and shape the tone of any music instrument to make the sound blend excellent as a single piece.
EQ helps you to craft an exclusive space in the frequency spectrum of every music track. It ensures that two instruments don’t compete for the equivalent band of frequencies and that each can be heard distinctly without being buried inside the other.
The compression feature is used to level-out fluctuations in volume to allow all notes play more evenly and position better within the music mixture. It also produces a side effect that makes music appear louder than it is because it boosts average signal level after sometimes.
Previously the only natural ambiance that is added to a music track is that of the recording room. Today, with the use of acoustic treatment, the natural room sound can be removed from the recording through the digital reverb.
This plugin allows you to choose how your tracks can sound like whether from the church, underground cave and so on. It also helps to unify a mix just like EQ.
These are groups of less common plugins which are optional. You can choose to use them to get more creative: Examples are:
This is as well known as Echo plugins. These plugins help you to excellently fill up space in a bare mix.
Modulation plugins are collections of specified category of plugins which feature some form of back and forward oscillation after a while.
Previously the only excellent manner of adding stereo width to a music instrument was to record it in stereo. Faking through delay tactics and split EQ are not easy to master. However, nowadays some plugins like Izotope Ozone makes faking very easy.
How to get Plugin Bundles
There are many plugins available out there in the market. As a starter, you may begin with free plugins installed in your DAW.
When you have mastered those free ones and are ready to move a step further, you could acquire more plugins by either buying them individually or acquiring them as a bundle. Buying with bundles is far better. It will help you to save some money and limit your research time.
What determines your choice of music software program?
Your choice of music production software depends on:
- Type of music you want to produce
- The type of sound you would like to develop
- Your budget and how much you have to spend
- You level of experience
- What you hope to achieve in the long run
Best DAW Software
FL Studio 11
FL Studio 11 is among the most comprehensive online music making software. It has a broad range of features that helps you to compose, record, organize, edit and mix your music. It serves as an all inclusive Digital Audio Workstation.
Linux Multi Media Studio
This is also known as LMMS. It is one of the best free music making software. It doesn’t restrict users to on platform and works perfectly on Windows and Linux alike. The interface is a bit complicated but the features are well explained and this makes it user-friendly.
MAGIX Music Maker 2015 Premium
MAGIX Music Maker 2015 Premium is a great and remarkable music making software with a lot of features to makes digital music recording easy.
Hydrogen has a great user-friendly interface that is packed with a lot of excellent free features.
Reaper has a 60 days trial period to enable you determine if it is a good choice for you.