Best Edm Music Production Software – With so many options to choose from these days, choosing your first DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) can be difficult. In this article, we will compare and find out which is the best electronic music production software for beginners. We will compare each DAW based on price, features, ease of use, workflow, and aesthetics.
Let me start by saying that everyone has their preferences and ultimately it’s up to you to decide what feels right. The best way to find a DAW that works for you is to download a demo version of each and see the attachments. Also, my favorite is Ableton Live 10. This is mainly due to the number of high-quality built-in plugins, packs and sounds and crazy animations. It is pricey, but totally worth it in my opinion. Be sure to continue reading for full reviews and comparisons of each DAW.
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Ableton Live is a full-featured DAW used by many big names such as Skrillex, Flume, Deadmau5 and Diplo. It is fully capable of recording, sequencing, writing and can be used for live performance (hence the name). Ableton Live 10 Suite has a huge library of 5,000+ (70GB+) sounds, which is great for beginners because you don’t have to dive into sample packs. It also comes with many great powerful built-in plugins; 18 instruments, 46 sounds and 16 MIDI effects. I would say I end up using onboard effects and synths probably 80% of the time.
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Ableton Live 10 comes in 3 versions; Intro, Standard and Suite. The difference is that Suite and Standard come with more instruments, sounds, packs, and effects, while Intro has fewer MIDI, audio, and send channels.
Workflows get crazy fast. Everything is neatly organized in one view, so you don’t download plugins or move things while trying to find a hidden window by accident. You will have unlimited audio and MIDI tracks, and each one is assigned a separate mixer track, so you don’t have to confuse the process. This is important because in FL you will have to assign everything you create or use in your project to a mixer channel and then assign a channel to avoid confusion. And while it may not seem like a lot of work if you have to do this on a 70+ channel project, it will eventually add up and can be confusing. So if you don’t consider yourself an organized person, Ableton will come to your rescue in times of chaos. YouTube also has tons of videos and other resources like templates, racks, custom effects, max4live rigs – more than enough to get you started and keep improving.
I use Ableton for an average of 5-8 hours a day and honestly I can’t think of anything I would change or fix. The price is a little high, but you get what you pay for. A lot of people complain about the piano, but I don’t have a problem with it. This is especially problematic for people from FL because their piano is more intuitive, looks better and has better movement. The only drawback that comes to mind is that major version upgrades cost money, while other DAWs offer free lifetime upgrades.
FL Studio is definitely, if not the most popular DAW out there. It’s full-featured, which means you can use it to record, compose, organize, mix and master. There are ways to do live with FL Studio, but I would recommend considering other DAWs if playing live is your main goal. FL Studio has been in development for over 20 years and was originally called Fruity Loops. Famous users of this DAW include Avicii, Martin Garrix, Madeon, Porter Robinson, Oliver Heldens and more.
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There are 4 versions of FL Studio; Fruity Edition, Producer Edition, Signature Bundle and FL Studio + All Plugins. I wouldn’t even think about Fruity Edition because you can’t use audio clips or record audio, also all your plugins are FL Studio only and it doesn’t come with a VST version, so if you decide to switch to another DAW, you won’t be able to load your FL Studio plugins into it. If you want the VST plug-in version, you’ll have to choose one of the more expensive FL Studio Bundles. The Developer, Signature, and All Plugins versions are complete and each includes a list of other plugins you really need. The plugs themselves are incredibly powerful, which is why the price has jumped.
The main thing users like is the piano roll, which is an important point because this is where you create most of your notes. This is how you transfer music ideas to your DAW. To be honest, I know quite a few producers who can’t bring themselves to leave the FL studio to play around on the piano. FL Studio offers a lifetime of free updates, which is a huge draw because you don’t need a big release every time. FL Studio also comes with many powerful plugins and synthesizers, such as Sytrus and Harmor (only included in the All Plugin package). Being a popular DAW means there are thousands of videos on YouTube and tons of other easy resources.
I can’t stand DAW settings, I started in FL Studio when I was a beginner and found the layout incredibly annoying. The playlist, template list, and plug-in windows all go before each other and I kept losing things. Obviously this gets better over time as you get used to the software, but I found it wasn’t an issue with other DAWs and was a huge pain with FL Studio. I don’t like the way to work with audio because you have to open a plugin called Edison to record and edit audio. With Ableton, you can record and edit audio clips without using a plug-in. Audio routing is also a big pain. If you want to control any audio or midi clip, you can pre-process it and assign it to the mix channel. In some DAWs, you will work directly with audio and MIDI channels, so using editing is as easy as setting channels, with no additional steps required. The price is also a bit high if you want the complete package with all the major accessories.
Logic Pro X is Apple’s answer to music production. This well-designed DAW has everything you need to record, mix, master and produce. It is the DAW of choice for artists such as Calvin Harris, Nicky Romero, Hardwell and Disclosure.
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Logic is only one version and at a reasonable price. Logic Pro X is available from the App Store for £199. Although the website does not clearly state that the upgrades are free, existing users were offered a free upgrade from Logic to Logic Pro X. So you can assume that the upgrades are free. For this price, you get 69 effects plugins, 23 instruments and 9 MIDI plugins. You also get a very large library of sounds (7000+) and patches for their instruments.
Logic Pro X looks amazing in my opinion. This is not surprising, as Apple always seems to value aesthetics. Just check out this reverb plugin on Chromaveb. I like to open and never close. I want to live in it. I want to be in it.
Logic Pro X comes with a bunch of cool, powerful plug-ins like Chromaverb (shown above) and Alchemy, an optional sampler/synth hybrid with multiple engines including granular, additive, spectral, format and virtual analog. This synth alone is worth £200 in my opinion. This brings me to the cost of money. Anyone looking to start making music doesn’t want to drop £500 on a DAW. Logic definitely takes the cake in this area.
Logic Pro X does not support VST, only AU. Most plugins come with both AU and VST, but if you have a favorite plugin without AU support, this might be the solution for you. It can’t run on Windows, which is a big drawback because I tend to switch between Mac and Windows often, so I don’t like to install multiple operating systems on my computer. I also found the learning curve from FL and Ableton to be very steep, my intuition was wrong and it can be very frustrating. However, if you are a beginner, this should not be a problem for you.
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Steinberg is a respected company known for popular VST synths like Retrologue and Padshop Pro, but most importantly, Cubase.
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