The world of music production has changed radically in the past few years. Gone are the days where an orchestra was necessary to create music. All you need now is a single synth or a keyboard and a PC that is loaded with a Digital Audio Workstation to go with it. No longer are studios and expensive equipment needed and you can do with just a powerful laptop or PC.
What is a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)?
A DAW is a piece of sound engineering software that is used to either mix or produce music. It has all the tools necessary like synths, and plug-ins. Using this you can record your various instruments, MIDI controllers and vocals, lay down the tracks, rearrange, splice, cut, paste, add effects, and ultimately finalize the song you’ve got cooking for the world to hear.
Abelton is one of the oldest DAW’s in the business and also one of the most popular ones as well. Introduces in 1999, it has been a pioneer in seamless MIDI sequencing software and hardware. It also has a variety of other features like standard multi-track recording (an unlimited number of audio/MIDI tracks for songs) and cut/paste/splice features and is troubled by very few glitches.
If you are just looking top start out on mixing and music production then FL Studio is definitely one of the top options there is in the market. It is easy to understand and use and it comes with standard protocol with pitch shifting, correction, time-stretch, cut, paste and the works and its interface is especially well-suited for the beginner.
While you might think that the position of Cubase on the list is debatable, you will be surprised at the amount of people who use this software. This software has their signature key within it which lets you manually edit your MIDI track in case you need move a note over here and there and gives you unlimited audio and MIDI tracks, reverb effects, incorporated VST’s and the whole gag.
Reaper at one point of time in history was the most popular DAW in the market, hands down. But it has lost a lot of popularity since then due to the rise of Abelton and Cubase and is now, while still among the top, is somewhat stranded. It still has everything Reaper was known for before but have failed to incorporate more features that are now standard in other DAW’s.