Just like an artist cannot paint without a canvas, a musician cannot create masterpieces without good recording software.
Professional recording software equips you with the ability to encapsulate your vision.
Keep on reading to find out what software professional recording studios use.
Professional recording software or a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) is what allows you to unleash your creativity.
Some software is easy to use, while others are a little more difficult.
However, if you stick with one and take your time to learn the ropes, there’s nothing you cannot do.
Here is a list of a few top audio software programs commonly found in studios all around the world:
FL Studio is incredibly popular software that has been around for quite a while.
Whether you’re just starting your music career or are a seasoned professional, it may be the software you’re looking for.
Used widely across numerous professional, mediocre, and at home studios, FL studio is famous in the music industry.
The software features an easy-to-use graphical user interface, structured navigation, and easy to install plugins.
It has all the functions you need, from pitch shifting, cut, paste, and pitch correction to tracking and time-stretch.
A significant benefit for beginners is the ease of availability of resources. Initially, you can refer to YouTube videos and online tutorials to get the hang of the software.
Once you develop a hold over the user interface and the functions, FL studio becomes one of the most accessible recording software programs to use.
The latest version of the software also comes with 30 additional synth-software, which helps you create the sound you envision.
The program comes equipped with all the essential functions you may need as well as a few advanced features.
Once you become acquainted with the software, you can delve deeper into more complex features.
- Works well with PC and Mac
- Comparatively cheaper
Apple Logic Pro-X
Logic Pro-X is a particularly popular music software that has the power to turn your Mac into a professional recording studio anytime, anywhere.
It allows for a remote plugin, which means you can compose from across the studio room if you like.
It comes equipped with various plugins and allows for some complex music-making.
It comes with nine MIDI plugins and a virtual drummer, which enables you to chain multiple plugins together and transform sounds via scale velocity.
Some of its features include track consolidation, instrument layering, intuitive mixer, and score editing.
It also comes with a programmable arpeggiator that’s far better than anything else available in the market.
It offers a wide range of sounds and comes with a well-stocked sound library. The software features patches which prove beneficial when layering instruments and effects.
With Logic Pro, you can create masterpieces using recreations of vintage musical instruments and powerful modern synthesizers combined with multi-sampled devices.
The only drawback of the program is that it only works with Mac.
Otherwise, it is user-friendly and proves to be an affordable professional recording software that offers complex functionality.
- An affordable professional recording software
Avid Pro Tools
Avid Pro is the ultimate professional DAW. Ask any professional musician, and they will vouch for its credibility.
It is genuinely the mixing and mastering expert in the industry and is widely used by professionals.
It is not beginner-friendly, and you can only unleash its full potential once you become certified in the program.
It not only gives you the standard ability to compose, edit, master, record, etc. but also features numerous advanced functions.
It has a super-fast processor and a 64-bit memory for extended recording sessions.
With its latency input buffer and built-in metering, it ensures that you never experience lag, freezing, or annoying delays.
With features like the time-stretching and elastic pitch, you can correct harmonies and change the duration and tone of the tune with ease.
Avid Pro has any function you can think of – this includes compressors, EQ’s, channel stripping, etc.
With over 70 effects and plugins, it is the music industry all-rounder that all professionals love.
It’s compatible with both Mac and PC, and with an additional DAW, you can create music from scratch. However, it is quite challenging to learn, so it is not for beginners.
Ableton Live performs well not only in a studio but also during live performances.
It is a software music sequencer and a digital audio workstation, so it’s incredibly versatile. It allows its users to compose, arrange music, mix, master, and record.
Ableton Live is the first software that allows for automatic beat matching.
It also gives users better control over other effects like crossfading etc. With the software, you can arrange multiple tracks and various clips within a single window.
With the standard function of composing, cutting, pasting, slicing, arranging, etc. you also get seamless MIDI sequencing software and hardware.
Since Ableton has partnered with brands to create gear specifically for the program, it allows for more natural pairing and remembering of sounds, which makes production headache free.
Ableton allows for excellent MIDI editing. The program supports all virtual studio technology instruments and plugins. Even though it uses built-in instruments, sounds and effects work particularly well.
Even though Propellerhead Reason is not as well known in the music industry as a Logic Pro or Pro Tools, it has been around for quite a while and has a stable user base.
It features a very easy-to-use interface as you can virtually drag and drop anything straight into the sequencer.
With a relatively fast system, it has become a favorite amongst many musicians.
Reason works well with both PC and Mac and features a few great functions.
With its solid mixing console for guitar and bass, it allows you to add beautiful effects and presets to riffs what is most impressive.
However, it is the software’s ability to cut and splice automatically which makes the finishing process more manageable.
It supports all MIDI hardware and provides almost all the essential features.
It is neither a very complex system nor a very simple one. It falls within the semi-pro range and may not be as good as FL Studio.
However, it is a software program that’s commonly found in many recording studios.
Even though it is not a Pro-rated software, it is capable of giving most other digital audio workstations a run for their money.
Audacity or FL Studio?
Audacity is a free and open-sourced audio editor that anyone can download.
It allows you to not only edit but also record music. You can create ringtones, mix stereo tracks, transfer music to tapes and CDs as well.
Even though it is a top-rated program, it is nowhere near as competent as FL Studio.
Professionals prefer FL studio over Audacity as the latter is better equipped and has more extensive functionality than Audacity.
Besides the standard cutting, splicing, copy, and paste, you also have MIDI plugins and synth-software that allow you to create sounds.
With FL Studio, a composer has more creative liberty, which is why professionals prefer it over Audacity.
What is Some High-end Software for Audio Production?
Choosing the best recording software is more about personal preference than it is about the software itself.
All professionally used software programs provide essentially the same functions. However, not every producer or composer will prefer the same software.
Some high-end programs offer more complex features than other cheaper, easy to use ones.
The high-end software programs are geared towards professional use and are not meant for everyone. A few of them include:
- Ableton Live
- Steinberg Cubase Pro 9
- Mixcraft 9
Mixcraft 9 is a top of the line professional music production software.
It allows you to record, edit, trigger loops and has numerous additional features like a 7800 sample library, effects, plugins, pitch-correction, sidechaining, automation, MIDI sync, and so on.
With Mixcraft’s intuitive workstation, you can record and mix tracks at lightning speed.
It features an incredibly fast sound engine, time-stretching technology, and reality-defying pitch shifting.
Its universal support for third-party audio interfaces, hardware controllers, and plugins make it a top of the line software that takes versatility in production to a whole other level.
Cubase Pro 9
This software is what introduced the life-changing virtual studio technology that took the music production industry to the next level.
It is a fantastic software that provides a lot more functions that excel where Logic Pro and Pro Tools fail.
The software is a well-rounded software and has a hassle-free composting process.
Steinberg ensures the software is always up to date.
However, it still feels dated with its clunky user interface despite being a famous professional recording software.