What are the best music recording and production programs? There’s a lot to choose from, so we’ve chosen the best and what makes them great in our list of the best music production programs in 2022.
Getting the right music production software is vital for your music. Whether you’re recording a live band through a mixer or creating an electronic piece entirely from scratch, a good DAW is essential for making your music. We could create an endless list with all the great music software out there, but we’ve tried to limit our list to the top 10 right now.
If your favorite isn’t on the list, let us know what it is in the comments below and tell us why you love it. Now – in no particular order – here are our best DAWs for 2022.
Check out our list of the best free DAWs for beginners here.
FL Studio is by far the favorite among the producers we work with. An incredibly intuitive design means even the most amateur music maker can jump in and start putting together beats.
FL Studio presents you with a simple sample and plug-in sequencing tool that makes it easy to create loops and drum sequences that you can drag and drop into your timeline. An easy-to-use piano roll also means that creating melodies and note-by-note chords is fast and immediately audible.
FL Studio is the perfect DAW for beginners, but it’s also popular with professional producers and musicians for its fast yet surprisingly deep and powerful interface.
Ableton Live is one of the most widely used DAWs. It has two workflows that appeal to different approaches to music creation and can be combined to great effect.
Arrangement and Session Views offer two ways to create: either layer loops and sounds with live editing of each element and easily switch between sounds and loops, or use a traditional timeline to record and produce tracks. Using Session View, you can record your loop live directly into Arrangement View for editing, mixing, and mastering.
Session View makes Ableton a favorite for live DJing and jamming beats, while its huge range of plugins, sounds and mixing options make it a top choice for recording and production full tracks.
Cubase is a favorite for many, from top studio professionals creating the top hits or soundtracks in Hollywood blockbusters, to chamber musicians and students just getting started in music recording.
Cubase’s accessible user interface makes it easy to get started, and Cubase was created with streamlining workflows in mind. Simple color-coding techniques and timeline layouts make work easier, while the power under the hood and endless editing functions hidden in the menus give producers a huge range of powerful tools to mix and master.
Cubase 11 brought even more improvements like advanced audio export, a brand new sampler tool, advanced key editing and much more.
GarageBand is unique free music software that’s surprisingly versatile and capable of great creations. It comes from Apple and as such you can only get it if you are using Apple devices but those who are on Mac, iOS or iPadOS you will get a big surprise with this app.
GarageBand makes it incredibly easy to implement your ideas in a fun and effortless way. Accessible to all, it is full of virtual instruments that are fun to play and the interface makes recording and layering simple.
Depending on the device you’re using GarageBand on, you can play Touch Instruments on mobile devices, scroll the timeline and cut samples with your Mac’s Touch Bar, and more. It’s also surprisingly effective for general music recording and is a favorite for musicians on the go who can easily grab their projects onto their mobile devices and get to work.
GarageBand’s older brother, it’s Apple’s full-fledged, studio-ready DAW. This program has a very familiar interface to those who have used GarageBand, but it comes with many other features that make it a far superior professional music creation engine.
Logic Pro is a favorite studio of engineers around the world, but it’s also packed with features that make it ideal for producers and home musicians. Live Loops provide a real-time canvas to improvise and create using samples and loops while their step sequencer makes building beats fluid.
Of course, Apple’s integration extends to Logic Pro, allowing users to control their sessions using iPad and iPhone.
Cockos’ REAPER is a surprising DAW that many people seem to ignore, but on the other side of the track, many people love this software. REAPER wins on price with an incredibly well-built interface that makes it easy to visually organize your tracks.
Despite its low price, REAPER has everything you’d expect from a professional DAW with full MIDI and audio recording support, plenty of effects and plugins, and plenty of tools to mix and master your music. It’s also designed to work incredibly fast and can handle many treatments at once without slowing down.
MOTU Digital Performer is a fully-fledged DAW that’s very nice to look at and recently received a huge update with DP11 which introduced some of its best features.
Their new Clips window is their answer to Ableton’s Session View. It gives you a display full of clips and samples that you can stack and edit to trigger live layering on the fly. While their new Clips tool has become an instant fan favorite for MOTU DP users, underneath there’s everything you’d expect from a full-featured DAW.
One of the most unique features of Digital Performer is its tempo and beat control using its own beat detection technology. You can totally manipulate your audio once the program detects the timing in your beats and samples.
Studio One creators PreSonus say it was designed to put unbridled power in anyone’s hands with ease of use as a priority. Using virtual instruments, effects, unique arrange tools and a score view based on their award-winning Notion app; Studio One offers a lot of potential to create and perform.
It uses three different “pages” to provide you with the tools you need for the different stages of your music creation. The Song page gives you everything you need to record, compose, edit and mix your tracks. Then bring your creations into the project page for the mastering stage. Finally, if you want to bring your work to a live performance, their new Show page lets you control live instruments in a set-list on the fly.
Studio One packs a lot of power but aims to put all of its possibilities in your hands simply so that it doesn’t overwhelm you and simply guides you through the creative process.
Pro Tools is recognized in the industry as one of the best programs to work with and its impressive offering comes at an incredible price. The program is capable of performing all stages of recording, production and mastering in high quality with plenty of features to make the process easier and provide the tools you need for whatever you want to do.
Avid’s software flourishes in its unique platform features such as Avid Cloud; which allows creators to collaborate on projects from anywhere with an internet connection, regardless of distance. Pro Tools is also popular for its impressive post-production capabilities that make it a favorite for filmmakers and TV producers; so imagine what it can do for your music.
The latest version of Pro Tools has introduced exciting new features such as Audio-to-MIDI functions, new sounds with Melodyne 5 essentials, and more.
Propellorhead’s Reason might seem intimidating to the uninitiated because it’s packed with tools and ways to use them. It’s visually unmatched and for true music geeks there’s nothing quite like it, with amazing virtual rack modules, awesome plugin models, and more to feast on like working with modules. physical.
Full of synthesizers, samples, sequencers, mixers and more; The reason is a pleasure to explore. Reason comes with over 70 instruments and effects to start with, and then there are loads of add-ons you can explore and purchase to add to your collection in their store.