Which Software?

 

THE TRADITIONAL BIG BOYS

 

   

Avid ProTools

A studio powerhouse, and an industry standard. Still more of a traditional recording studio program (recording real instruments) rather than a tweaky programmer’s delight (not so suited to electronic/dance music). Comes in pro version that requires expensive hardware, or a budget version that runs native. 

    

PC & Mac
www.avid.com 

   

Steinberg Cubase

A great all-rounder, with some fantastic hardware controller and interface options.  

    

PC & Mac
www.steinberg.net 

   

Apple Logic

The Macintosh owner’s natural preference: owned and designed by Apple engineers to run perfectly on Mac hardware. Very powerful, and a great upgrade from GarageBand.

    
   

Cakewalk Sonar

Another stunning all-rounder with a swag of VST instruments included. Although not as popular as the above three DAWs, Sonar users swear by it.

    

PC Only

www.cakewalk.com 

   

Magix Samplitude

Fantastic and powerful program, but potentially not as much forum support for newcomers.

    

 

THE LOOP/ELECTRONICA SPECIALISTS

 

   

Ableton Live

The dominant loop/mashup DAW on the market. Super easy to audition and bang audio loops together, and to then control/torture the results in real time.

    

PC & Mac
www.ableton.com

   

Apple GarageBand

Cheap and very cheerful. Great way to learn the basics of arranging and mixing a project. Basic set of loops are a bit limited, but certainly no toy. GarageBand is part of the Apple OS iLife pack.

    
   

Propellerhead Reason

A favourite of electronica/remix producers. Build virtual racks of your own making – perfect for something unique. Can be easily used in conjunction with other DAWs.

    
   

Sony Acid Live

The loops specialist that started it all. Still going strong with MIDI and audio support added.

    

 

THE NEW GUYS

 

   

Cockos Reaper

An Australian designed upstart. Very well regarded and very cheap. A favourite amongst the open-source studio counter-struggle, who want to support ‘the little guy’.

    

PC & Mac
www.reaper.fm 

   

PreSonus StudioOne

A full-featured DAW without the thousand extra buttons and controls that you’ll never use. Growing in popularity. Studio One Free can get you started. 

    

PC & Mac
www.presonus.com