10 Best Recording Software with Ultimate Guide (2018)

If you think that computers are gradually invading our lives, then you’re wrong. Computers are aggressively invading our lives. And the music industry is not spared. The demand for the best music recording software is increasing stratospherically among music producers, so it’s a really large market.

The fact that it’s a large market is good and bad news, somewhat. While it means that you can get a lot of affordable products, it also means that actually finding the best audio recording software for your peculiar needs can be a nightmare.

However, if you know what you’re doing, there’s always a way around these things. One way we would recommend is to settle down on this review and read to the end. We have mixed up this reviews in such a way that it appeals to both the music producer that’s just starting out and the already hardcore guys.

Best Recording Software Review

So, kick back and enjoy the benefits of our hard work. Whether it’s the best DAW for beginners or simply the best digital audio workstation for the money, we’ve got them all here. Keep it locked!

Product

Picture

Rating

Price

Ableton Live 9 Suite DAW Software

FL Studio 12 Producer Edition Recording Software

Pro Tools 10 Audio Recording Software

Propellerhead Reason 7 DAW Music Software

ACID Pro 7 Digital Workstation

Steinberg Cubase 7 DAW

PreSonus Studio One 3

Cakewalk Sonar Platinum

Studio One 3 Professional

Apple Logic Pro 9 Studio

1. Ableton Live 9 Suite DAW Software 

The Ableton Live 9 is easily one of the best home recording software we’ve come across, and you’d come across too. As the name subtly hints, this software comes with everything you need to create as well as perform great music.

We are taken by the fact that this software is especially designed to be suited for live performances. Apparently, the manufacturers didn’t just add the name “live” for nothing. The Ableton Live 9 brings a nexus between a studio and a live performance very easily and effectively, allowing you to do so much more in real time.

The software does very well in sequencing, time stretching, and arranging. So, ultimately, it does equip you with almost all you need to turn ideas into wow hits!

Another feature about this particular DAW that had us head over heels is its multi-track audio recording. This is just another way, Ableton offers you so much in one product.

Aside all the above, this software still comes packed with loads of sounds and effects. This gives you a very wide and rich playing field to explore. Plus, the software can even work with almost any instrument or controller you might have.

Who wouldn’t want to have this?

Why We Like It:  

The first two things that struck us about the Ableton Live 9 are these: the fact that it’s live and its multi-track audio recording feature. In addition to these, we also love the fact that this software helps with real-time stretching, has the capability to do advanced warping, and comes with sound libraries. In fact, the original sounds on this dude are close to 50 GB in size.

2. FL Studio 12 Producer Edition Recording Software 

And now, here’s the FL Studio 12 Producer Edition. This DAW is simply a delight to own. It boasts so many features that would simply thrill you. FL sure made this one specially for the seasoned producer out there. Let’s get into what it does.

You will surely love the user interface of this software. If you’ve ever used a DAW from Image Line before, you’ll find that the FL Studio 12 comes with a better and much improved interface. This makes it much easier for you to make music without stress. It also makes it that much easier to access all the lovely features packed full for you on this software.

From music composition to editing, arranging, to mixing, there’s no length the FL Studio 12 won’t go with you. In fact, most producers swear by it, referring to it as your surest connect between your brain and the speakers in music production.

This edition can even record external, as well as internal audio. Super impressed!

We love the capacity of this software also. It, very easily, allows you to take as many recording sessions as your PC can handle.

For the guitarists, you can be sure that this is the one of the best guitar recording software you’d find. And it doesn’t just record guitar, it’s so versatile that it can even take a complete orchestra, and a single vocalist is welcome too.

The playlist is very flexible too, you can arrange it anyway you want. This is truly commendable, and we like it.

And yet there’s still much more this software can do. Beat slicing, time stretching, pitch shifting, to mention a few are some of the things you’d be able to do with this DAW. Also, thanks to the improved interface, you’re always just a few clicks away from rearranging your audio the way you like.

Why We Like It:

It’s amazing that Image Line grants you lifetime updates with the purchase of Studio 12. Are you kidding? Who wouldn’t want that?! Again, its user interface has an easy learning curve which makes the software very easy to understand. Plus, it simultaneously captures all your inputs too.

3. Pro Tools 10 Audio Recording Software 

Life, and music recording, is so much easier with the Pro Tools 10 from Avid. We give a big kudos to Avid for giving us good music recording software that’s much faster, easier, and ultimately better than most currently available. Thank you, Avid.

This software is simply fantastic and makes the job of music production a very enjoyable experience. Whether it’s composing song​​​​s from the scratch, or recording them, or editing them, or mixing your songs, you can trust the Pro Tools 10 to come through for you every single time.

In this software, you will have access to a diverse range of all kinds of instruments. Some of those instruments include pianos, drums, synths, and many other kinds of sample instruments available for your exploration.

The Pro Tools 10 is one product that isn’t lacking on loops at all. So, if it’s loops you want, stay with this product. It comes with about 8GB of them in total.

The plugins and effects you would find in this software are among the most modern. So, it gives you the liberty to mold your song into something you’d like, with the confidence that you’re turning out something great.

The editing tools are simply fantastic. They make the job of crafting, improving and perfecting your musical ideas very easy, and with amazing results too.

We love the flexibility that this software offers. You can either choose to work from your PC or you could choose the audio interface specially dedicated for that.

Altogether, this software is a great product, and we are truly impressed with it.

Why We Like It:

The initial attraction to this software for us was its flexibility. There was no way we could overlook the fact that a DAW could actually give you the option of working with an interface or without one. Again, this product allows the user create up to 96 audio tracks which is very commendable. The virtual instruments are also another aspect that further confirms that the Pro Tools 10 is a great product.

4. Propellerhead Reason 7 DAW Music Software

This amazing music software from Propellerhead is the Reason 7. We so love this software for so many reasons. And we are psyched to share with you. Come along…

Anyone who knows the Reason series should definitely have a certain threshold of excellence from them that they have come to expect. Propellerhead sure produces some of the best DAW software that the world has seen thanks to its obsession for ultra world-class technology.

The Reason 7 stays with you throughout the entire process of music creation to production. If you need to write your own songs, or create a new beat, or simply remix something that has already been done, then reach out for this software.

The inbuilt sequencer gives the user the liberty to create songs just the way h/she likes it. And there are always lots of tools to help. From the synths, to the samplers, to the loop players, and to the very realistic drum machines, you’d lack nothing. If you still want, you can even throw in your MIDI, some vocals, guitars; even if it’s your entire band, why not?

The console is really sleek, intuitive, and easy to use. Now, you can finish your songs in record time.

Why We Like It:​

We love the fact that the Reason 7 comes with a great number of effects and instruments. As a producer, you know how invaluable these are. Working on songs get a whole new flavor once these are abundant. The console very closely mimics what you have in a studio too, so don’t look too far for the best studio recording software.

5. ACID Pro 7 Digital Workstation

We’re very excited to be showcasing the ACID Pro 7 at our number five spot. It’s one of the best DAW for windows, so, windows users, let your ears perk up. You will surely like this.

First off, this is a product from Sony. And who isn’t familiar with the household brand synonymous for superior sound quality? If Sony’s track record proves trustworthy, and you know it does, then you can only expect the best from this music recording software that they have developed.

Just like the Ableton Live 9, this software from Sony also comes with a multi-track recording feature. It also does multi-track mixing as well. But that’s not all…

The software also does really well in legendary loop manipulatio, and makes comprehensive MIDI sequencing look like effortless, the way it easily does a great job out of it.

If we were to recommend what, to us, is the best DAW for beginners, we would definitely not fail to list the ACID Pro 7 in the number. This is because it comes with enough interactive materials to get the beginner started in the world of DAWs. In a short time, you should be able to navigate your way around the software like a pro.

And even as an expert, the tutorials offered along with this software are really helpful. Who knows? You might just pick one or two tips to help with your next big hit.

Other truly remarkable features of this software include its mixing console, the input busses, tempo curves, MIDI track freeze, and its amazing format support (supports almost anything). And that’s not even all, the Pro 7 comes with about 3000 loops. Plus, you also get access to MIDI files, a large collection of them, usable on almost any computer, when you get this product.

Like we mentioned, this software is very windows friendly. It would work with any Windows operating system at all, beginning from Windows Vista. Best believe it! All this software requires is that you have, at least, 500mb of space on your hard disk. Also, you need a 2GB ram too, and that’s all.

Why We Like It:

It’s obvious why we like this software. It demands so little and yet gives so much. These days, it’s not easy to find a DAW software that’s easily compatible with almost any PC and yet does not come with a truckload of requirements. And we appreciate that.

6. Steinberg Cubase 7 DAW

Steinberg is a fantastic brand and its different products prove that. Its line of Cubase software is one we, and thousands of others, are totally crazy about. And why not? They come with tools that are both advanced and intuitive. And, ultimately, these tools make it easy for almost anyone to produce great-sounding audio of high quality every single time. you still wonder why everyone loves Cubase?

Now to the Cubase 7 itself…

If there’s anything you can’t do on the Cubase, you might not be able to do such on most other software. This product is rife with features just waiting for you to claim and use as you will.

Before we head into some of them, let’s stop over at the interface briefly. The user interface is greatly improved. And this improvement has given the software a whole new look, which we like, if we might add.

But it isn’t just about the looks. The interface has also gone up a notch on its user-friendliness. Thanks to this, the producer is invited to explore and navigate the software, picking up in neW tricks with every turn.

We appreciate the fact that this software comes with a high-tech vari audio, chord track with assistance, and loads and loads of instruments.

There are still many more features the Cubase offers but you’d just have to purchase the product to find out. You won’t regret it.

Why We Like It:

The new interface got us big time. We absolutely love how the interface makes the software easy to understand and easy to use. There are few things that are as frustrating to use as a DAW that isn’t user-friendly.

7. PreSonus Studio One 3

Here’s another excellent DAW option for budding music producers. It’s really affordable but still packs lots of amazing , yet easy-to-use features. Let’s show you…

The interface is really intuitive which makes using this software very easy. With the way the interface is designed, you won’t find it too difficult getting into and staying in your flow. Another thing about the interface is that most of the activities you’d carry out (even the most complex ones) will just require a simple drag-and-drop. So, now you can get around recording and mixing your songs in a fun, and quick manner.

The PreSonus Studio One comes with loads of additional virtual instruments, and with that comes more options for an even more unique sound. Finding and deciding on the right backing tracks can never be easier than on the Studio One. Plus other things like step sequencing are also easy to do here.

The mixing features in this software are some of the best you’d probably come across while using DAW software. They are very intuitive and give high quality mixing very quickly and effortlessly.

A final word on the interface, it features a lot from multi-touch support to context-sensitive documentation. A lot of enhancements have definitely been included in this software, so much so that it easily qualifies as one of the best DAW we have seen.

If you’re looking for a solid software that does well on almost every count, from capturing sounds, to recording, to mixing, then make sure you don’t miss the PreSonus Studio One.

Why We Like It:

This software offers lots of updates allowing you to search and find effects, presets and other stuff a lot more easily. Its editing tools are pretty advanced too like the multitrack comping, step recording and groove extraction. We also think its drag-and-drop option is pretty cool too.

8. Cakewalk Sonar Platinum

At our number 8 spot, we review yet another amazing, high-tech music software. The kind that just makes you just want to plunge right in and start making music.

So, here’s one beautiful thing about this DAW; there’s the opportunity to sign up for membership. If you do this, you get unlimited access to support and updates for life. These updates and support can include new features, tutorials or improvements. The cakewalk command center makes this very easy.

Now, you can channel all your energy into making great music just like you like it.

No matter your level of expertise, this software comes with new and advanced features that are really easy to use.

The best parts of this software include the ProChannel Module, acoustic guitar presets, mix recall, vocal sync, addictive drums, audio snap, and lots more.

With all these features at your fingertips, creating music will come with a whole new level of flexibility and sound quality will always be pristine.

Why We Like It:

There were quite a number of things that got us hooked to the Cakewalk software. Some of them include its single window interface which comes with drag-and-drop support, loads of virtual instruments, VocalSync (an amazing vocal alignment tool), and its addictive drumming sounds.

9. Studio One 3 Professional

The Studio One 3 Professional is a DAW software for everyone who loves to get creative while producing music. You’d lack nothing at all in creating great music with this software, from start to finish.

It features one of the best songwriting tools we have seen in any DAW. This tool helps you effectively channel your ideas from your head down. Its drag-and-drop feature also makes interacting with the user interface very pleasant. And the user interface itself is pretty sharp.

It records audio at an impressive sound quality of 64 bit, ensuring that you create your most unique and appealing sound yet.

This software is common among many professional musicians. And the fact that it is one of the best DAW for mac sure opens doors for it in many studios.

With a high resolution display, this software really shines. Its documentation and help (inbuilt) also help you to quickly find solutions to your problems as they arise.

Why We Like It:

It features multi-touch support. Plus, its drag-and-drop option really make the product a charming option. Also, it comes with an XT sampler and Mai Tai polyphonic. With all these features and more, there’s more than enough reason to love the Studio One 3.

10. Apple Logic Pro 9 Studio

Finally, we wrap up our reviews today with the sophisticated number from Apple. Of course, it is the best DAW for mac. What else could be better?

The Logic Pro 9 features loads of virtual instruments, effects, and audio loops that makes music recording fun. In the Logic 9, Apple has made a point to make lots of improvements, adding a whole new set of features as well. The Apple Logic Pro 9 affords musicians a complete package with all they need to record and produce music.

To manipulate and edit your audio tempo and/or timing, this software comes with a feature known as Flex Time.

This software also does well with live performances as well. With the playback and loopback features that come with this DAW, you will easily captivate your audience and own the stage.

The Logic Pro 9 comes with over 80 plugins (studio-grade), more than a thousand instruments, and 20,000 Apple loops (just amazing). Producing music couldn’t be more fun than this; and the ease of it too!

If you’re looking for one of the best digital audio workstations, the Logic Pro 9 easily fits the bill.

All you need do is have this software installed on your Mac, and you can now literally take your studio along with you everywhere you go.

Why We Like It:

It’s usable for every kind of producer, beginner or pro. And then it comes with 20,000 different Apple loops. That’s more loops than anyone dares to dream of. We love that!

What Is the Best Recording Software?

Best Recording Software

The best recording software are those that come with the best stock plugins. Period. At the very basic level, all DAWs sound exactly the same, even the best DAWs.  The only thing that differentiates them is the quality of plugins included in the software.

In case you’re asking, plugins are vital tools necessary for processing an audio file. Some examples include EQ, compression and reverb. These plugins just listed are actually referred to as stock plugins.

Depending on your skills and experience, you might not even need more than stock plugins to mix a song to professional standards. Thankfully, if you can get yourself a good music recording software at the least, it would most likely come with diverse kinds of plugins that you can use.

However, keep in mind that even the best DAW software hardly comes with every single plugin you’ll need.

What Are the Best Free Music Recording Software?

Best Free Music Recording Software

As you may well know, tons of free daw software exist. The question now is whether or not you should consider them. Hmmm…

Even though they are free, and everyone will only be too happy to pocket their money, please learn to say a big no and just walk away.

If you do insist though, then we could recommend Audacity. It’s about the best recording software for pc that’s free and, at least, manageable. But we give you 2weeks max, and you’ll be back here looking for something better.

Complex Is not Always Better

Sometimes, we might be led to erroneously think that a complex DAW is better than a simple one because it comes with more features. But even if you’re in the market for the best DAW for hip hop, you should understand that a complex software is not the answer…

A complex DAW software only increases the chances of sudden crash… sometimes right in the middle of a session.

So, do the smart thing and go for a simpler setup. Like we said, even the best audio ​recording software hardly has it all.

Other People’s Opinion about Recording Software

If we lean towards the opinion of more experienced and sophisticated producers, the Logic Pro 9 is a common choice. Using this software is sweet because it comes with virtually everything you need and most of its tools are really advanced.

Our Top Pick of Best Recording Software

Ableton Live 9

But, for our top pick, we would rather go with the Ableton Live 9. Though the Logic Pro 9 is really amazing at what it does, the simple fact that it only works with a Mac is a huge problem for us.

Not everyone can afford a Mac, and especially for a growing musician all the amazing features are unavailable to him if he doesn’t own a Mac.

The Ableton Live 9 is, however, different. It pairs with almost any kind of computer. It comes with a live feature, so it is also great for live performances, and its user interface is bam.

The Ableton Live 9 impresses us much more, overall, than any other DAW software on our review and we are excited to present it as our winner today.

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2.5 based on 4 votes

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