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To make beats and music this year, it is not necessary to visit professional recording studios. All that is needed for this is the presence of a computer, as well as basic knowledge to work in special software.
If you are an absolute beginner in this business, then choosing the right application will be difficult. This is where our rating comes to the rescue, which contains the best programs for creating music. We will go into detail about their advantages and disadvantages to make it easier to choose the option for your tasks.
Free software for creating music
Here is the software “for testing the pen” and assessing its capabilities. Functionally, it is not as rich as professional services, but for mastering the craft, these programs will fit.
Opens the Bandlab rating. This is not a full application, but a browser plugin that is well suited for basic tasks. There is full synchronization with a smartphone, which allows you to start making a melody on a mobile device, and then continue working on a computer, or vice versa.
Bandlab gives you the ability to sample different instruments, and even connect your own guitar to a sound card to make a real recording (both bass and regular are supported). Users note a pleasant interface and good functionality. There is a metronome, a sufficient number of presets and various effects, including a three-band equalizer and compressor. The main disadvantage is the inability to add your beat to the drum machine. However, do not judge strictly, after all, Bandlab is an online service where you can just get your hands on it.
Another good free music production app is SoundBridge. The main feature of the software is the ability to use your own plugins. This is a serious trump card, because usually such a function is found only in paid sequencers. It differs from its competitors in SoundBridge in that it has an unlimited number of audio tracks, which allows you to create cool and complex beats.
As for the minuses, the volume control of the track is inconveniently implemented here. To produce it, you need to add a line and already set the necessary points on it. That is, it will not be possible to quickly lower the volume of a particular section by simply clicking on the audio track. There is one more unpleasant moment – the program often crashes on weak PCs. However, among the free DAW service is one of the best.
Anyone who is passionate about making music on a computer should also try Caustic 3. The application runs well even on ancient PCs. This is partly due to the interface, which here is extremely simple and executed vertically. That is, only one element is displayed at a time, and to access the next one, you need to scroll to it using the side slider. A little uncomfortable, but you get used to it in an hour or two.
In terms of functionality, the application does not find fault. It is very extensive here, and you can master it both intuitively and with the help of guides, of which there are a lot on the Internet. However, most of them are in English. As for the instruments, the synthesizer is the main one here. In addition to the controversial design, the disadvantages include a slightly more sophisticated algorithm of actions. For example, what is done in the same REAPER in 1 click is done in 3-4 here.
The rating continues with another free beat maker program called Cakewalk Sonar. This is already a full-fledged audio combine with extensive functionality, a lot of pre-installed plugins and effects. Sonar allows you to create an unlimited number of tracks in a project, connect external devices (mixers, MIDI controllers), as well as save your own presets, which can then be used in a new project.
You can also flexibly customize the interface, change the size and location of the modules, increasing the one you are working with at the moment and completely removing the one that is not needed yet. It is noteworthy that all the functionality is available immediately and without restrictions, and you can download the application on a PC directly from the official website. No fussing with torrents, looking for hacked versions, and no danger of picking up viruses. The only thing you have to put up with is embedded advertising.
REAPER is by far the best beat app for free. First of all, because of the colossal functionality, having access to which many seasoned beatmakers are in no hurry to switch to paid software. The unique trump card of the program is the ReaMote function. It allows you to connect the power of another computer via a Wi-Fi network to speed up the rendering of massive projects.
At the same time, REAPER is relatively simple and convenient – the same fading effect at the end of the beat is done here by a simple swipe from the top corner of the track. For most competitors, this is implemented much more complicated, and the situation is similar with all tools. The application was created in such a way that the user had to make a minimum of clicks to get the desired result. As for the minuses, these include a small font that cannot be customized. If you’re going to spend a lot of time playing beats, by the end of the day you’re likely to have sore eyes.
Professional software for creating music
We figured out what to use for beginners, now a selection of applications for those who want to get serious about creating beats. Paid software will be slightly better in terms of functionality, convenience and other little things that play a role for professionals.
Experienced users like Studio One for its highly customizable interface. Almost all modules can be dragged, enlarged or reduced. The application is especially suitable for users who work on two monitors, as the workspace can be stretched between screens. A useful feature that is not available in free counterparts.
Distinguishes Studio One from competitors due to advanced work with delay. If you can’t get away from it when recording instruments through free applications, then the delay can be completely leveled. And finally, the application comes with 41 pre-installed plugins. They will be enough for any task, which will eliminate the need to search for the ones you need on the Internet.
Everyone who studies creating music on a computer has heard about Cubase 10. We won’t talk about the functionality for a long time – everything is here. The main feature of the application is the smart tool VariAudio 3, which allows you to correct, align and saturate the track with various effects in a couple of clicks, which takes much more time in other programs. Mastering Cubase 10 is worth it if you often collaborate with other beatmakers. The fact is that the project created here can be exported to the AAF format, which will allow your colleague to run it on absolutely any platform in the form that was originally intended.
FL Studio 20
The legendary Fruit Loop has been on the market for about 20 years. During this time, the developers have perfected its working environment in such a way that it is simply unrealistic to find such a friendly and convenient program with such a wide range of features. Moreover, despite the rich equipment of plug-ins, effects and other tools, FL is perfectly optimized, starts up quickly (6-7 seconds) and works stably on average hardware.
Of all the professional sequencers, FL Studio is the best for beginners. Unlike competitors, where each action can be performed strictly in one specific way, for most actions, several methods are offered here, you can choose the most convenient for yourself. In general, if you want to start mastering serious software right away, try FL Studio 20.
Logic Pro X
Logic Pro X is an Apple product that only works on Mac computers. The interface of the program is bright and colorful, so that beginners get lost in it (and taking into account the functionality, this is extremely easy to do), a convenient function of quick tips is provided. With it, when you hover over each tool or interface element, a window will be shown that tells about its purpose.
According to many beatmakers, plugins in Logic are among the most convenient and advanced, especially for the equalizer and compressor. Another argument is that the program is constantly updated, over the past year there have been 3 updates with the addition of new functions. Of the minuses, only the lack of support for VST plugins, unavailability on Windows and a controversial point for some – the lack of a version in Russian. If you do not know English, you will have to use a program with a dictionary, at least at first.
Ableton Live 10
Ableton Live 10 should hardly be considered as an application where to make beats, because this is just a drop in the ocean of its possibilities. This program is the most popular for working with music in principle, it is here that many rappers and artists make their hits. Ableton’s success lies in the fact that it is great for content creation, studio work, and live performances – each of the scenarios has its own display mode.
The interface here is not overloaded, as in other sequencers. Only the essentials are displayed in the work area, which allows you to work comfortably even on a 13-inch laptop screen. You can use an unlimited number of audio tracks, connect any MIDI controllers, set up process automation. In addition, Ableton has one of the richest libraries of original sounds. Some samples here are almost 50 gigabytes, let alone plug-ins, effects and virtual instruments. Definitely the best option for creating music on a Windows PC.