The Best Music Software and Apps With A Difference
Composing music is something many of us are interested in, but it’s unfortunately not easy for all of us unless we have a band or an orchestra to bring our creations to life, or unless we can play an instrument and our composition only requires one instrument to play. This is then why composing software is so useful as a way to create our own tracks and to hear what they sound like. And in fact the very best software will even allow us to hear what our compositions sound like and export the tracks as MP3s ready to use in games, on websites or as demos. Here are some of the best pieces of software for making your own music.
Sibelius has been around for a long time now and is one of the most well known and feature-rich pieces of music software. It has a number of famous proponents including film composer John Powell, and has anything that a composer could want allowing you to create multiple parts and hear them played by instruments and letting you create sheet music and guitar tabs as well as inputting music in a number of ways – including using digital keyboards and other instruments.
Finale meanwhile is another piece of premium composition software that enables you to create proper sheet music from your performances allowing you to quickly capture and edit your pieces. It even enables you to scan your existing sheet music in order to hear what it might sound like and make changes.
The problem with things like Sibelius is that they’re rather expensive. Music is something that anyone can enjoy, and you shouldn’t need to break the bank in order to be able to express yourself artistically in this way. MuseScore then is notable (no pun intended) because it’s completely free, and has a very clean and easy interface for creating music and like the others you can quickly enter your music with keyboard, MIDI keyboard or mouse.
Rosegarden is yet another free alternative to Sibelius and Finale, but while these options are perfect for students, hobbyists and bands – if you want to get really serious they are of course somewhat less feature rich than the premium options.
Musagi is something a bit different from the others. Once again it’s a free piece of software for creating music, but unlike the others this is designed specifically for creating ‘ChipTune’ soundtracks that sound like they came from the SNES. It’s a charming tool and you can use it to create some inspiration game music, but being in its beta stages it’s currently a little rough around the edges. Noticeably.
BeatMaker is an iPhone app for percussion fanatics that allows you to create a number of different drum machine beats in your pocket. It’s actually surprisingly feature rich and if you want to make music on the move this is one of the best ways to do so.
That said if you want to create melodies on the go, then iComposer is the best option for you currently. What’s so special about iComposer? Well basically it allows you to create a notated melody simply by humming into the phone meaning that even your Mum can become a composer. Maybe.