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Best Audio Recording Software

Updated on May 28, 2013

What To Consider

When getting a new audio recording software, there's a few things you need to consider. One thing is ease of use. You can't efficiently create recordings if you don't know how to use the recording software. You can always pay someone to do your mix and mastering for you, but that's up to you. Another thing is capability. Some programs can do more than others. Some have more functions than others. Depending on what you're recording be sure the program you get has the functions you need. The third consideration is sound quality. Some programs can make your sound sound like crap while others may give you crisp clear audio. The final factor is price. The price on software can range from free to $500. You get what you pay for, but remember price isn't everything, some free programs are great as well. Just remember to be vigilante for the functions and capabilities you need in a program.


User Friendly Software

Before you can start making some professional sounding recordings you're going to need some high quality recording software. However a lot of good software can be overwhelming when you use it the first time. Ease of use is important in choosing a software. Programs with tutorials help a lot. There are a lot of intricate mix and mastering options to learn how to use. Don't worry good software will have good tutorials, some even have videos.


Functions And Capabilities

There are many different functions of a recording program. I won't go very in depth, but depending on what you're doing could really change what functions you want to look for. One thing that is important no matter what is the number of different formats you can save your audio. The more formats gives you more versatility whether your recording music or voice overs. You may want to put your audio on Cd's or upload them to certain sites, so make sure your program supports the format you need.



This is probably one of the best, if not the best, free audio recording program out there. Notice I said free. This program has very basic recording functions and effects. It has important effects like noise removal and silencing. For a free program this one is really great, and a good start if you don't want to pay $200.



This is free program probably matches audacity. You Apple uses get more options with this program. There's even a mobile app. This program is a little more music based as it has around 50 virtual instruments and music lessons. Also an interesting feature is Midi editing. Overall this program is great for being free, but the downside is it's exclusive to Mac users.

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This is the top rated audio recording program. Some would say it is the ultimate recording program. This software has top notch performance, quality, and support if you're having problems using it. This program has countless features including 3 different synthesizers. Also Reason has very good ease of use and isn't very to get used to. The downside of this program is it's a little on the expensive side. You can get the latest version of Reason for $449.99.


Sonar 7

This program by Cakewalk is definitely up there with Reason. Sonar pretty much supports every type of audio format. This program makes recording, editing, and mixing your recordings very easy. You can even compile all your sound files into one file. Sonar is probably just a step down from reason in performance. The advantage this program has over reason is it's price less than half of Reason's. You can find Sonar 7 for $139.


Ableton Live 9

Also one of the top rated programs out there is Ableton Live 9. This program has several unique features and a lot of nice perks for musicians. Ableton has a very extensive drum rack. Also this program has a lot of cool new features such as Groove and Warping engines. Depending on what you're looking for, Ableton is just as good of a choice as Reason. You'll find Ableton to be a bit more expensive than Reason. You can get Ableton Live 9 for $499.

Learning To Use Your Recording Software

Now that you have gotten a program that suits your needs you have to learn how to use it. Most programs do have built in tutorials, but even those can be hard to follow if this is your first time. Don't worry, just use your resources and don't be afraid to use video tutorials, they can help a lot. I guarantee that you'll get the hang of your new program. You'll be making professional sounding recordings in no time! Good Luck!

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    • Hezekiah profile image

      Hezekiah 2 years ago from Japan

      For me Ableton Live - all the way. I used to use FL Studio and Reason a lot though.

    • toptenluxury profile image

      Adrian Cloute 4 years ago from Cedartown, GA

      This is a great list! What about for Mac? What is the best? Voted up!

    • David Maxey profile image

      David Maxey 4 years ago

      By way of feature packed free recording software, I would add reaper to this list. There are also a few others as well that are worth looking into. Great article though.

    • Jhoang profile image

      Jhoang 4 years ago

      ud1093 - Thanks, the best free one for PC is audacity. If you're on a MAC you can either use audacity or garageband.

    • ud1093 profile image

      ud1093 4 years ago from ?

      nice list which is the best free among these

    • Jhoang profile image

      Jhoang 4 years ago

      KawikaChann-Thank you!

      Skperdon- No problem!

    • KawikaChann profile image

      KawikaChann 4 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      Nicely done. Upvoted/useful. Peace. Kawi.

    • skperdon profile image

      skperdon 4 years ago from Canada

      Interesting, thank you!