To help us find the best music production software in the vastness of possibilities made available due to the Internet age, we first need to understand what makes a great electronic music production software and what elements and tools in the software should we be looking for as aspiring producers.
To elaborate, the process of creating electronic music involves using various layers of sound that are morphed together into a final coherent musical track. The foundation of which would be the drums section or beats laying the back bone of the timing and rhythm of our track, following up with elements such as a synthesized bass or bass guitar locking into time and grove with the drums/beats of our track, continuing with various atmospheric layers such as pads or strings, chord progressions which help with the sense of movement and delivering a sense of emotion and finally some melodies to make it memorable and lyrics or a recorded acoustic element such live acoustic guitars which could be optional but add a relatable essence to the overall production.
The best music creation software should allow for the creation of enough tracks to accommodate each of the above elements on individual tracks, enabling a greater degree of control over each comprising tracks’ volume, pan (i.e. position in the stereo sound stage) and ability to process them for a finished quality sound. Secondly, it should come quipped with enough audio effects to allow further processing of the raw sounds with the help of equalization, compression, reverbs and delays at its most basic. All these and more contribute to making all the elements of the track to now work better with each other and harmonize with one another, allowing each element having its own space in the final mix and timbre that works well with the style of production as intended.
Next, virtual instruments, sound sample libraries, samplers, and synthesizers (some of which are provided with the software) serve as great starting points to create and mold sounds from scratch, giving them your own unique sonic signature and personality owing to the genre and production style as intended.
Lastly, an aspect to look for is the ergonomics of the software that allow you to arrange the elements over time, usually done in a dedicated window called the arrangement window and a good mixer to balance all sounds in terms of their level or loudness done in another dedicated window/section referred to as the mixer, which also allows further processing possibilities to be added in the signal’s chain from its source to final output.
MIDI effects are available in some software as an add on – provided now so even producers without any formal training are able to write their own tracks in one musical key, compose chord progressions, and play the virtual instruments using a MIDI keyboard almost like a professionally-trained musician.
For anyone just starting out towards producing music can avail some great free music production software with all the above mentioned production tools included (one of which would be Ableton Live Lite v9.5) and can get a great head start in this creative and fun process. To understand these terms and production processes, many comprehensive electronic production courses are now being run at reputed sound engineering schools or music production schools like Seamedu covering each of the production aspects such as MIDI, sampling, synthesis, usage of audio and MIDI effects, arranging, mixing and even mastering in great detail and they also often include various production styles so each producer can apply their knowledge effectively to their chosen genre and style of production.
Merry Music Making to everyone!