Recording Studio Software Review

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Why Use Recording Studio Software?

Having your own home studio where you can write and record at your leisure is priceless. You can bypass scheduling studio time and save on the cost of recording at a studio by owning recording studio software. For the aspiring musician, recording software can be incredibly useful to record your ideas as soon as inspiration strikes. For engineers, owning powerful recording software can be the first step to starting your own recording studio business. Whatever your reason may be, intuitive and powerful recording studio software is an essential and powerful tool to own.

There is a wide variety of recording studio software to choose from, and picking the right one for you can be difficult. By nature a lot of professional music software is very similar. Each one provides tools to record, edit and export music. The usability, intuitiveness and production capabilities are how you truly determine the best recording studio software. Three of the best recording applications available are Pro Tools, Logic Pro X and Cubase. All of these programs provide robust recording capabilities and intuitive, user-friendly interfaces to work fluidly. For more information on this topic, check out our articles on recording studio software.

Great recording software is the nucleus of your home studio. With the software that best fits your needs, you’ll be able to create and record, edit and share all in one place.

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Recording Studio Software: What to Look For

Not all recording studio software is created equal. You want to find multitrack recording software that best suits your needs. Each program has a different set of tools for recording and mixing, and each offers different plugin options to add texture to your mixes. We evaluate the best audio recording software using the following four criteria:

Ease of Use
Recording studio programs share many of the same capabilities and features. It is important to use software that is easy to record and edit with. A program with a clean interface provides an environment for uninterrupted progress.

Many of the applications we reviewed provide virtual instruments and effects. Some virtual instruments sound better than others and offer more diverse and modifiable sound options.

Recording
You want software that has a lot of recording capabilities. Look for a program that offers multiple or unlimited audio tracks as well as unlimited simultaneous recording capabilities.

Software that has the ability to export music straight to SoundCloud or iTunes will help you get your music straight from the program and out into the world.

Mixing
The best recording software has multi-band mixers so you can fine-tune the range of frequencies within your audio tracks to get the best tone possible. Tools such as pitch correction and time stretching come in handy to fix mistakes in your mixes without forcing you to re-record.

Having the options of multiple insert effects and send effects is important too. These effects are the extra spices in your audio recipe. The more you can add to a single track, the easier it will be to make them sound just the way you want.

Plugins
Plugins open up a whole new world of possibility for your recordings. A plugin is any effect, sound or noise that you can insert into your audio channels. With the right set of plugins, you can plug your guitar right into your interface and have plenty of amplifiers, pedals and sound modulations at your fingertips.

If you track a lot of MIDI recordings and produce music virtually without using live instruments, look for software that supports multiple plugins and has a large choice of virtual instruments. For the aspiring producer, multiple plugins and virtual instruments are a strong selling point in recording software.

Help & Support
Whether you're just dipping your toes into the recording software world or are pretty familiar with it, it is nice to have help and support from video tutorials, user forums and manuals. They can be valuable resources in getting over speed bumps you encounter when learning to use this software. You will also want to find software that is compatible with multiple recording interfaces.

The ability to write and record music in the comfort of your own home is an asset if you're an aspiring musician or audio engineer. Don't let the various options on the market scare you off. Trust our reviews to take the mystery out of finding the right recording software for you.

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Software » Multimedia » Recording Studio Software Review
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Rank #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10
10-9  Excellent
8-6    Good
5-4    Average
3-2    Poor
1-0    Bad
Pro Tools Apple Logic Pro X Cubase Reaper Reason Ableton Live Sonar X3 Samplitude Music Studio Studio One Image Line FL Studio
Pro Tools Apple Logic Pro X Cubase Reaper Reason Ableton Live Sonar X3 Samplitude Music Studio Studio One Image Line FL Studio
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Ratings
9.35
9.25
9.15
8.90
8.82
8.68
8.63
8.50
8.25
7.98
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
9.25
9.38
9.38
9.38
10.00
9.50
9.38
9.38
9.38
5.63
10.00
8.13
8.13
10.00
8.13
8.50
8.75
10.00
9.38
8.13
9.00
8.75
8.75
8.13
10.00
8.25
9.38
8.75
8.13
10.00
7.75
10.00
6.88
10.00
10.00
9.00
7.50
7.50
9.38
10.00
7.50
8.13
10.00
8.13
10.00
7.75
7.50
8.13
10.00
5.63
 
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Ease of Use
Interface Design 95% 90% 100% 100% 85% 80% 75% 80% 70% 75%
Plugin Functionality 90% 100% 100% 70% 95% 85% 80% 100% 80% 80%
Recording
Maximum Audio Tracks 128 255 64 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 128 Unlimited 199
Maximum Number of MIDI Tracks 512 255 128 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 128 Unlimited 199
Maximum Simultaneous Recorded 32 Unspecified 32 Unlimited Unlimited 256 Unlimited 128 Unlimited Unlimited
Loop Recording/Track Comping
Write Automation
MIDI Editor
Track Bounce
Export To SoundCloud
  
  
Score Editing
   
   
Mixing
Mixer Equalizer Multi-band Multi-band 4-band 4-band Multi-band Multi-band Multi-band 4-band Multi-band 3-band
Effect Inserts 10 15 8 Unlimited Unlimited 12 Unlimited 4 Unlimited 4
Effect Sends 10 8 8 Unlimited 8 6 Unlimited 4 Unlimited 4
Time Stretch
Unspecified
Mastering Suite
Unspecified
 
Effects & Plugins
Total Number of Plugins 60+ 67 50 300+ 25 37 51 40+ 28 40+
Virtual Instruments 6+ 18 8 6 9 4 19 12 4 30+
Supported Plugin Formats AAX Native 64 AU VST 2.4, VST 3 VST, VSTi, AU, JS, DX, DXi Propellerhead VST, AU VST 2, VST 3, DXi AU, VST2, VST3 AU, VST2, VST3 VSTi, DXi, VST, DX
Loop Library
 
Help & Support
Manual
User Forum
Phone
  
 
Email
 
 
Video Tutorials
 
Supported Operating Systems
Windows 8
 
Windows 7
 
Window Vista    
 
 
  
Windows XP    
 
   
Mac OS X