Whether you’re an amateur musician looking to record your first song, an accomplished DJ, or an actor creating a portfolio for a voice over agency, there are plenty of options to help you create a professional sounding product. Here are 5 recording programs to help you get started.
Audacity has been around since 1999, but don’t count it out because of its age. It’s perfect for beginners looking to record songs or podcasts. The interface is easy to use, and if you ever get stuck there’s a help button that lays out all the details. Audacity supports multiple tracks simultaneously, has a wonderful library of plugins, and rarely crashes, which is hard to come by in free software.
2. Apple Pro Logic
Pro Logic is a step up from its younger cousin, Garage Band, and it works perfectly with OS X. In fact, it’s one of the most popular DAWs on the market.Fortunately, it’s a snap to figure out. You can modify audio with Flex Time, customise pedals and amps with Pedalboard and Amp Designer, and create reverb effects with Space Designer. Pro Logic is perfect for Apple-only users, not to mention that it’s cheaper than some of the other sophisticated programs out there.
3. Acousitca Basic Edition
Acoustica Basic Edition is the free version of the Acoustica software. Like Audacity, you can copy, paste, and mix tracks with ease. There are restoration tools to help you get rid of unwanted background noise, clicks, or crackles. There’s also the possibility of monitoring the audio output in real time during playback with the help of real-time analysers. If you’re looking for more, consider investing in VST and DirectX plug-ins to extend the program.
4. Ableton Live
If you’re a DJ you might want to strongly consider Ableton Live. This is the software that revolutionised the way recordings were created and edited. Though slightly tricky to use, it has some great features, like MIDI track and audio support, precise audio slicing tools, and a warp engine to stretch tracks to fit a beat. If you need the kind of software that works well in live settings, this is the one for you. It’s definitely worth the expense.
5. Propellerhead Reason
This software is the crème de la crème of recording software. It comes with an extensive effects library, 2 built-in samplers, 3 synthesisers, an SSL-style mixer, a drum designer, and sequencing features. Best of all, Version 7.0 supports MIDI and has a new ‘Rack Extension’ feature that allows you to use plugins and third-party effects. Propellerhead Reason is undoubtedly expensive, but if you’re a professional looking to invest in high quality, easy to use, fully stocked recording software, this is the one to get.