Who says you need a studio to produce your own music? With professional quality music production software available from $99, anyone with a computer can record and produce their own catchy singles, EPs, or albums.
In this guide, we’ll look at four of the most popular and powerful music production applications on the market: FL Studio, Ableton Live, Logic Pro, and Pro Tools. Read on to learn which application is the best choice for your home production studio.
Have you never produced music before? Before you start choosing software, learn the basics of music production by enrolling in our course, The Practical Way: Learn Electronic Music Production.
Previously known as Fruity Loops, FL Studio is a powerful yet user-friendly music production application. Thanks to its simple interface and gentle learning curve, it’s one of the best choices for getting started as an electronic music producer.
FL Studio is used by hundreds of well-known electronic music producers, such as Madeon, Deadmau5, and Avicii. It’s suitable for a wide variety of electronic music genres, ranging from trance and house to dubstep, electro, and more.
Available in several different editions, FL Studio is priced from just $99, making it a great first production suite for newbies. It’s also available as a free demo, with total functionality right out of the box for anyone interested in trying before they buy.
Despite being known for its gentle learning curve, FL Studio is powerful production software that can be used to create anything from simple beats to full dance music albums and live sets. This versatility makes it a fantastic application to start with.
Learn more about how to use FL Studio by enrolling in our course, The Basics of FL Studio and Dance Music Production. All you’ll need is a free copy of FL Studio, which you can upgrade with a license after you learn the basics of EDM production.
Ableton Live is a favorite of electronic music producers around the world. Designed for both music production and live performances, Ableton Live is powerful software that’s used by some of the biggest names in electronic dance music.
Famous Ableton Live users include Dutch trance producer Armin van Buuren, house legends Daft Punk, and the Grammy Award winning Dust Brothers. While it’s known for its power and flexibility, Ableton Live is surprisingly easy to use.
Live uses two ‘views’ to form its interface. The first is the arrangement view, while the second is the session view. Users create MIDI sets in the session view, which are recorded into tracks in the arrangement view.
Users can also use the arrangement view to record MIDI sequences manually, which is particularly useful for recording melodies and instrument solos. These two views are unique to Ableton Live, and are part of its appeal to many music producers.
While Ableton Live includes just two built-in instruments – Impulse and Simpler – users can add hundreds more in the form of add-ons. These add-ons include Latin drums, electric piano synthesizers, and a collection of orchestral instruments.
Like FL Studio, Ableton Live starts from just $99, making it an affordable choice for beginner music producers. The complete Ableton Live Suite, however, costs $99 to register, with optional add-ons presenting additional costs for producers.
Would you like to learn how to produce music in Ableton Live? Enroll in our course, Introduction to Electronic Music Production with Ableton, to learn the fundamentals of music production using Ableton Live.
Logic Pro is Apple’s in-house music production software. Built from the ground up for Mac users, it’s a powerful production application that can be used to record and produce everything from hardstyle dance music to folk songs.
Have you ever used GarageBand – Apple’s beginner music production app? If so, you will find Logic Pro refreshingly easy to use, since it’s powered by the same engine as GarageBand, albeit with hundreds of additional features and production options.
One of Logic Pro’s best features for producers is its built-in templates. Logic Pro X – Apple’s latest version of Logic Pro – features templates called Songwriter, Electronic, Hip Hop, Orchestral, Multi-Track, and Music for Picture.
Each template is perfectly configured for a different type of producer. Orchestral is designed for writing music using notation, while the Hip Hop template is designed for easy integration of samples and simple beats.
Logic Pro is a powerful production application used by a diverse range of musical artists. Famous Logic Pro users include Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, The Killers, and Franz Ferdinand.
Priced at $199, Logic Pro is more expensive than the basic versions of FL Studio and Ableton Live, but far cheaper than their full editions. This makes it a great choice for mid-level producers in need of a powerful yet affordable production application.
Would you like to learn how to produce music using Logic Pro? Enroll in our course, Mixing Electronic Music with Logic Pro, to learn how to produce your own tracks in Apple’s user-friendly yet powerful music production software.
Pro Tools is Avid Technology’s most powerful music production suite, regarded by many in the recording industry as the best application in the business. With a high price tag and a steep learning curve, Pro Tools is aimed squarely at professionals.
Designed for use in recording studios, Pro Tools offer a huge range of features and instruments that make it ideal for MIDI sequencing, recording and editing. Difficult to learn and even harder to master, Pro Tools isn’t a good choice for beginners.
However, the immense power of Pro Tools makes it the software of choice for most of the world’s recording studios. From film soundtracks to award-winning albums, most mainstream pop, rock, and electronic music is created in Pro Tools.
Would you like to learn how to use Pro Tools? Enroll in our Pro Tools 10 Tutorial to learn the basics of Pro Tools, from importing audio clips to creating MIDI tracks and adding effects to your musical creations.
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Producing your own music has never been easier. From FL Studio to Pro Tools, the huge range of music production applications available today makes it easy to pick a production suite and start creating your own tracks.
Learn more about music production, from selecting the right software to improving your personal creativity, in our blog post on dance music production.