Have you just approached the world of music composition and would you like to get to know some software with which to give life to your songs? Then you’ve just landed on the right place (indeed, on the right “post”) at the right time.
Because? Well, because with today’s guide I intend to show you what, in my humble opinion, represent the best programs for making music currently in circulation. There are obviously many programs for making interesting music, both free and paid; for both Windows and macOS and Linux, but I’ll just point out some of the easiest to use. Obviously, then, the choice of which to use will be up to you alone.
Having said that, I therefore suggest that you do not waste any more precious time and immediately start reading the information you find below. I am more than sure that, in the end, you will be able to say you are very happy and satisfied with the results obtained. Happy reading and, of course, have fun!
Programs for making music: PC
So let’s start with the best programs for making music on a PC, and more precisely on the Windows operating system .
Audacity is undoubtedly the best free audio editor. It is open source, multi-language and multi-platform. This means that it is completely in Italian and can be used on all major operating systems, therefore not only on Windows, but also on macOS and Linux.
It has a very comfortable interface through which you can edit and record multiple audio tracks at the same time. It includes dozens of different effects and allows you to import and export files in the format that best suits your needs.
To install this software on your computer, connected to the official download page, and click on the wording corresponding to the version compatible with your operating system.
Then open the .exe file thus obtained and then, in sequence, click on the buttons Yes , OK , Next (four times), Installed , Next and Finish , to complete the setup. Then click on the OK button to start using Audacity.
In the main screen of the program you will find, at the top, the menus with the main tools for modifying the songs and the effects, and the buttons for starting or stopping playback as well as the settings for input and output, volume and recording channels. Instead, the commands for selecting a specific part of the piece are located in the lower part.
To start a new project, open the File menu located at the top left and click on the Open item to view the folders on your computer: locate a track to edit and select it by double-clicking it, or create a new file by selecting the File > New .
So start applying changes and effects: if you need more detailed advice or guidance, feel free to consult my guide on how to use Audacity, and my more specific tutorials on how to record with Audacity, how to mix vocals, how to put autotune on Audacity, or how to improve the recorded voice.
When you are satisfied with the result, save the song by clicking on the File menu again . Select the Export item and choose one of the proposed formats; or, if you want to continue the work at another time, save it as a project by clicking on the Save project item in the same menu.
FL Studio is a program through which it is possible to create musical compositions on the computer by simulating instruments and using a large variety of plugins to create musical and MIDI pieces as in a real recording studio.
Different versions are available, all for a fee, starting from 89.00 euros up to 489.00 euros ; however, you can try a free 30-day version .
To start creating your musical compositions, simply connect to the FL Studio website: click the Download button for your operating system.
On Windows, click on the .exe file you just downloaded and click on the Yes , Next , I agree buttons in sequence , decide whether to continue with the installation for all users of the device or just for the current user, then press the Next buttons , Install , and wait for the installation to finish.
After that, click the Next button once again to install the ASIO4ALL driver. So press on the item I accept the terms in the license agreement and then, in sequence, the keys Next , Install , Finish , Next and Finish .
Now everything is ready to start the music: open a track by selecting the File > Open… menu (or File > New to create a new one), make sure that SONG mode is set by clicking on the relative button located at the top left, and start editing the song using the different plugins and features you find in the Add… menu .
Once you have finished, save the song by clicking on the File menu and selecting the Export… item to choose the format that best suits your needs among those proposed.
I told you in more detail about the features of this software in my guide dedicated to how using FL Studio works; for more specific procedures, check out the tutorials I’ve written on how to record in FL Studio, how to fix in FL Studio, or how to make beats in FL Studio. Finally, some important tips on the best plugins for FL Studio cannot be missing.
Other programs for making music on PC
The options don’t end there: if you’re not completely sure of the programs I just told you about, try taking a look at these other equally valid solutions that I’m going to propose below.
- VirtualDJ Home – the free version of one of the best known software for making music and, in particular, for DJs, to create sets and playlists with audio and video mixing. The Pro and Business versions , with additional features, are available at the price of 22 euros/month and 114 euros/month respectively . Read more here.
- Accordion – a composition software that simulates different musical instruments through an essential and simple interface. I told you how to get and use it in this guide.
- LMMS – one of the most famous free alternatives to commercial music making software out there, allows you to produce melodies, beats and mixes with your PC through a very comfortable and practical interface to use. I told you about it in detail here.
- Adobe Audition – Adobe’s music workstation for music editing. It can be used free of charge for a trial period, after which it will be possible to continue using it by subscribing to a single subscription for €24.39/month or by purchasing it via an Adobe subscription. More info here.
Music making programs for Mac
Let’s now move on to the programs for making music on Mac : in addition to the “standard” solutions offered by Apple, there are also many other third-party programs, from the most basic to those for professionals.
GarageBand is a hugely popular audio production software made by Apple for its computers. The software has a decidedly user-friendly and well-maintained user interface through which to create musical works with various instruments, effects and tracks.
GarageBand is intended for professional use but can also be used without particular difficulties by those who find themselves dealing with such an instrument for the first time. It comes pre-installed on many Macs, but is also available for free download from the Mac App Store.
You can find GarageBand in your Mac’s Applications folder , or click the Launchpad icon located in the Dock bar , and then the GarageBand icon. Alternatively, you can download and install it immediately via the link I just provided.
Once the software has started, click on the Empty project item found in the New project section , and then on the Choose button located at the bottom right. On the next screen you can choose a type of track to create by clicking on the relevant section. Finally, click the Create button .
Now, press the File menu located at the top right and then the Open… item to open an existing track from your Mac (or iCloud > Open iCloud track in the same menu if you saved the file through this service), or choose File > New to create one.
In the upper part of the window you will find the buttons dedicated to starting and controlling playback, and the REC button for recording; in the left section, instead, there is the Library of sounds and instruments to select (you can also add new ones by clicking on the + button at the top left) and add to your track, as well as adjust the recording settings and manage controls and EQ .
Finally, to save the completed song, click on the Share menu and then on the Export song to disk… item , choose a format and quality, and press the Export button .
To learn more about GarageBand and its features, I recommend you consult my guide on how to use GarageBand.
Other programs for making music on Mac
Again, that’s not all: below I list some other solutions for macOS to consider.
First of all, I remind you that Audacity , FL Studio and all the other software I mentioned to you previously are also available for macOS: therefore, I refer you to the chapter dedicated to Windows in which I have dealt with these programs in detail; below you will find valid specific alternatives for macOS.
- LogicPro – a highly professional software for composing, editing and mixing that offers a very large library of sounds and effects (also integrable with resources and third-party plugins), to be accompanied by the Logic Remote companion app to control it from iPhones or iPads. It is available at a price of 199.99 euros , with a free 90-day trial. I told you about it in detail here.
- Studio One 5 Prime – a free program which, despite the limitations of the version, offers a free and complete kit of all basic functions, which can be used unlimitedly with the offered effects and plugins.
- Avid Pro Tools – a high-end professional software with high-level features and a large library of plugins and virtual instruments, purchasable for 279 euros/year , with a free trial period.
Programs for making music online
Some programs for composing, recording and editing music are immediately available online, and do not require any installation: they allow you to carry out the entire procedure via a browser .
Among these solutions, one of the best and simplest to use is Online Sequencer , a free web application that offers all the essential features of an audio editing software.
To use it, connect to the main page and immediately start creating your compositions: click on the Import MIDI button located at the top right to load a MIDI you already own, or use the commands just below to define the BPM and choose one instrument from the Instrument pop-up menu .
Then start clicking on the boxes corresponding to the notes to start composing, and listen to your progress by pressing the ▶ key . To save your track, however, click on the cloud symbol located at the top and choose the option that best suits your needs.
Alternatively, I suggest you also try Soundation or Audiotool , similar online services that I covered in detail in my tutorial on the best programs for recording music; Also, find even more solutions online here.
Programs for making music: Android and iPhone
Perhaps you prefer the convenience of working on your music directly on mobile devices to your computer. In that case, no problem: there are many apps for making music , and you’ll be spoiled for choice. The ones I’m about to tell you about are some of the best, real recording studios at your fingertips.
- CrossDJ (Android/iOS/iPadOS) – a DJ app that offers two virtual CDs for mixing songs using both tracks available in the library and importing your own audio files directly from your smartphone. It is also available in a Pro version for Android and iOS.
- Bandlab (Android/iOS/iPadOS) – a free app, with a simple and intuitive interface to record tracks with virtual instruments, loops and rhythms, as well as with your own voice and instruments. I told you about it in detail in this guide of mine.
- WalkBand (Android) – a free app that simulates virtual musical instruments (keyboard, guitar, drums and drums), using real sounds, with multi-track recording, audio optimization and MIDI keyboard support. More info here.
- FL Studio Mobile (Android/iOS/iPadOS) – the mobile version of the FL Studio software I told you about in the previous chapter, is equally functional and high-level, and offers the same large catalog of effects and sounds for use with synthesizers , keyboards and all other instruments. It can be downloaded for €14.99 from the Play Store and € 13.99 from the App Store.
- GarageBand (iOS / iPadOS) – the mobile version of GarageBand is an excellent solution to take advantage of all the best features of the software for macOS also on iPhone and iPad via touch controls. Find everything you need to know in this tutorial of mine.