Music recording software slowly replaced very expensive recording gear and invaded the recording scene...finally, it took over.
Technically, everybody can compete with the Big Studios today. Success becomes more and more matter of know-how. Get a fast computer with a little extra hardware, pick the software, become an expert using it and almost nothing can stop you.
But no matter how powerful music recording software could be, it remains the task of finding the right programs for your purpose. There are tons of applications out there, that are able to record and play back.
The question is, what do you need and how much do you have to pay (if anything at all...) to get what you need?
First, I try to give you a rough overview so you can see which music recording software exist and what you can do with it.
The big 5 - Full blown recording packages
Here are the top notch programs, used in recording studios around the world.
These recording packages are quite complex
In the end you might be faster as with a program that is too simple and doesn't provide all the functions you need.
The Loop specialists
If you are mainly interested in making music from building blocks and loops, this is what you need:
Free pitch and tempo
The very specialist in handling pitch and tempo of audio signals is a fairly new program called Melodyne. You can easily change the melody of a singer or instruments without producing strange sound artifacts.
Some producers already use this software as their main program.
2-track (Stereo) recording
If you just need to record a stereo signal (like classical live recording or sounds for a sound library you're maybe better off with a sound editing software.
Free- and Shareware
Just want to record your beautiful voice?
Or you want to record your band rehearsal just to find out who's playing so awfully wrong?
Maybe you don't need a full blast music recording software but want to explore the possibilities of multitrack recording first. Or you may want to record something rather simple and just mix it without bells and whistles.