Are you looking for the best music software for Mac? We can help! The best music software can easily help you create music while taking care of recording, editing, mixing etc. However, choosing the right music software can be confusing at times. But worry not! You can turn your Mac into a powerful music studio with the best music software for Mac. Find your pick from the list we have mentioned in this article. Let’s begin.
Points to consider before picking the best music software for Mac
While choosing the best music software for Mac, you need to be clear on two points:
- Budget: Budget has to be your topmost priority when getting music software for Mac. While some music software is free to use, some can cost you a lot. Therefore, you must invest in them wisely, keeping the functionality in mind. However, before you go for the paid version, it is recommended to check the trial version first.
- Music editing experience: After the budget, your music editing experience is important to consider too. If you have just started out with creating music, then there is no point in having music software that is too complex to understand. The expert level software can take too much time to understand, and the process can be daunting too. Therefore, always consider your music editing experience before investing in the music software for Mac.
Best Music Software For Mac
Let us now understand which is the best music software for Mac that can give you an amazing Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) experience.
1. GarageBand 10.4
GarageBand is Apple’s free option for DAW. You can create upto 256 tracks with this best music software for Mac. Besides, there are plenty of software instruments and pre-made packs that you can make use of. GarageBand 10.4 also supports a lot of iOS and iPadOS apps that can further help you in creating music.
Ease of Use: GarageBand’s features are easily accessible, and you can even get in-depth features if you explore further. The software also offers a lot of music lessons for both guitar and piano. You also get an option for artist lessons. However, the software might not be the best fit for mixing and works a bit slower in that part.
Supported formats: CAF, WAV, AIFF, AAC, Lossless, MIDI and MP3
Supported third-party plugins: Audio units
Supported third-party hardware: MIDI controllers and core audio devices
Notation feature: Yes
2. Logic Pro 10.7- Best Music software for Mac
The next on our list for the best music software for Mac is Logic Pro 10.7. Unlike GarageBand, Logic Pro is Apple’s premium music creation tool that offers a huge variety of Pro features, including Live Loops and Step Sequencer. If you have enough space on your Mac, here’s the good news- you can create 1000 tracks per project using Logic Pro.
It does not matter which Mac you are using, Logic Pro works well on all of it. You get features like Flex Pitch for tweaking pitch, Smart Tempo and Sampler that can turn your MIDI keyboard into a fully-fledged sampler. Besides, there is a step sequencer and Piano Roll functionality to keep the music creation process fun for the users.
Ease of Use: Both GarageBand and Logic Pro have a similar layout. So, if you liked GarageBand’s free version, you will love the Logic Pro software too. However, you need to spend a bit of time with this music software for Mac to access all the hidden functionality.
The software also has Apple Silicon which means the software would run smoothly on Mac having an M1 chip, plus, you also get the feature of Spatial audio mixing. iPad and iPhone users can upload the Logic files directly to the iCloud and then access them from anywhere.
Supported formats: MP3, MP4, MIDI Output options, AAF, OMF, XML, Open TL, AIFF, CAF, WAV, SDII, ReWire
Supported third-party plugins: Needs 64-bit audio units
Supported third-party hardware: Core-audio devices, MIDI controllers, control surfaces
Notation feature: Yes
3. Reason 12
Built on version 11, Reason 12 is more advanced software that is ideal for large screens and offers a crisper look and features. You get a new Mimic sampler and a new combinator that lets you create more patches than before. If you choose the paid version, you get plenty of sound libraries and goodies. The subscription will cost you $19.99/month.
Ease of use: Reason 12 requires quite some practice for tweaking. So, in the beginning, you will get more wrongs than rights.
Supported Formats: AIFF, WAV, REX
Supported third-party plugins: Reason Rack Extensions, VST
Supported third-party hardware: Any MIDI controller
Notation Feature: No
4. Ableton Live 11
Ableton Live 11 is a DAW having features like recording multiple tracks in sequence along with a session mode. So, Ableton Live 11 offers you the features of two apps in one. The music software for Mac has some new features like MIDI Polyphonic Expression, Tempo Following, Comping, etc.
With Comping, you can merge multiple takes into one perfect. At the same time, MIDI Polyphonic expression helps you change and bend the pressure, thereby making each note unique. Then, you get Tempo Following which lets you adjust the tempo of the incoming audio.
Ease of use: Session mode can help you create some fantastic music, however, learning it perfectly may take some time.
Supported formats: AIFF, WAV, Ogg Vorbis, MP3, FLAC
Supported third-party plugins: Audio Units, ReWire, VST2, VST3
Supported third-party hardware: MIDI Controllers, Ableton control surface
Notation feature: No
Audacity is again a free music software for Mac. However, the software is not backed by Apple but has a community of volunteers to maintain it. Along with the general recording and editing functions, you can also record multiple channels at once, add cross fades, and can even overdub existing tracks. Besides, there is also a noise elimination feature that cancels any background noise while recording the music. You also get advanced features to change the pitch of the track, that too without impacting the tempo.
Ease of use: Audacity is a powerful music software for Mac, but you might find the navigation a bit complex. The software comes in both light and dark themes.
Supported formats: WAV, AIFF, AU, FLAC, OGG Vorbis, MP3, AAC, MP4, AC3
Supported third-party plugins: Audio Unit, VST, LADSPA, Nyquist
Supported third-party hardware: There is no official list, but it can support many USB devices and microphones.
Notation feature: No
Engineer by Degree, Writer by Profession. I have tried my hands on different genre of writing only to end up finding technology to be my forte.