The Right Home Recording Software - dummies

By Jeff Strong

When setting up a home recording system, you should always start by exploring the software you want to use. Whatever program you decide to use will work better on one type of computer compared to another. By choosing the software first, you can use the software manufacturer’s guidelines to help you set up your computer.

Most software is written for either a Mac or a PC and has been tested with a variety of hardware configurations. Unless you’re very computer savvy, start with a system that’s been tested to run smoothly with the program that interests you.

For the most part, audio-production software falls into the following two categories:

  • Audio-recording programs: These programs allow you to record numerous tracks (the number depends on the program) and let you edit, equalize, and mix those tracks as well as add effects.

  • MIDI-sequencing programs: These programs allow you to record MIDI performance data (without the sounds) and edit and mix the data.

Most audio-production programs offer both audio and MIDI recording and generally do a good job of both (and they’re getting better all the time), but some entry-level programs allow you to only record audio or do MIDI sequencing.

If your budget is limited and you want to record using both audio and MIDI, make sure that your chosen software allows you to do so. That said, choose the program based on its features and whether it fits with your working style.