Are You Using the Right Music Application for YOU?

With a growing number of DAWs available, why are you sticking with your existing music production software? G. W. Childs digs deep and investigates what might be best for every musician's needs.  

Music software applications are getting more sophisticated every day. They can tell what pitch you sing in, what tempo you’re playing in, and can give you elaborate graphical examples of what you’ve played. But, unfortunately, there still really isn’t a DAW that takes care of every single need, for every single type of individual. 

What do I mean? Well, some music applications excel at audio production, where other music applications are geared more for songwriting. Some music applications are even geared toward notation!

Then you run into the ‘expertise’ and knowledge that store clerks have in determining what your needs are. And, unfortunately, many of us are still at the mercy of the stores, as the internet oftentimes offers too much information. 

Originally, I was going to write down three or four different applications to choose from. Instead, however, I’d like to jot down the main archetypes I’ve run into in terms of the types of audiophiles out there. See which archetype fits you, and then see what type of audio/music application would suit you best.


The Acoustic Musician/Songwriter

You fall into this category if you play an acoustic instrument, or electric guitar. You haven’t necessarily done a lot with computers, but you’re ready to take the plunge into computer-based music because you have loads of songs, and are tired of trying to rely on other people to help you. 


Advice: 

Even if you’re somewhat comfortable with computers, audio applications can be seriously daunting in terminology and actual usage. If you want to get a quick start and don’t really plan on getting that technical, go with GarageBand, from Apple. It will come preinstalled with all new Mac computers, and you won’t have to rely on any big setups. In fact, it will already be set up. 


Future Remix and/or Mashup Artist

You’re the kind of chap that enjoys many different forms of music, but doesn’t really have much under the belt, in terms of musical experience. That is, you don’t play an instrument, but you know a good beat when you hear one, and know you could produce some jams that would blow the world away, if you just had the right tools. 


Advice: 

Ableton Live Intro is an amazing tool for the budding remix/mashup artist. You can easily remix audio tracks, combine audio tracks, and create your own. When you decide to start delving into musical instruments, Ableton has many different virtual instruments of its own and it’s VST/AU compatible. This means that you can use third party virtual instruments!


Future Composer

Future composers are people, in my experience, that are versed in musical production, somewhere in the past, or have the time, and computer knowledge to take it to the next level without throwing the computer out of the window. Bottom line: advanced concepts don’t bother you, what you fear is buying something that you’ll grow out of in a week. 


Advice: 

There are a few DAWs that would work well for you, but in terms of the best Apple system integration, I would suggest Logic Pro. Logic is made by Apple, for Apples, and has an extensive amount of instruments, production tools, sounds, and more. It’s used by thousands of pros, don’t let the fact that it’s made by the same company that made your computer bother you. It’s the exception to the rule. Also, the odds of you ever growing out of Logic Pro are almost impossible. It’s one of the most advanced out there. 


Conclusion:

There are many more applications out there. But, after helping many different people find the right application for them, these are the applications that have come to the tip of my tongue, more than once! If an application that you’re looking isn’t listed here, it doesn’t mean that it’s not good, at all. I would suggest asking around online, friends and even attending audio clinics that are hosted by music stores until you get the answers you’re looking for towards buying that app that you have your eye on.


Sound Designer, Musician, Author... G.W. Childs has worn many hats. Beginning in the U.S. Army back in 1991, at the age of 18, G.W. began learning electronics, communications and then ultimately audio and video editing from the Department of Defense. Upon leaving the military G.W. went on to work for many exciting companies like Lu... Read More

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