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The best studio software in 2022

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You already have almost all the necessary equipment to equip your home studio. You have a computer, microphones, headphones, speakers and an audio interface. But what you don’t have is the studio software you need to do your job like a professional. You’re thinking of getting one. But you don’t know which one to choose. Find out in this article the best studio software on the market.

choix des meilleurs logiciels de studio
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What’s a studio software?

A studio software is a computer tool that facilitates music production. In the jargon, we speak about software of MAO or Music Assisted by Computer.

To designate software used to create audio or MIDI sequences, we use the word sequencer. In English, we speak of DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)

What is the purpose of studio software?

In the digital age, having studio software is a must. This tool allows professionals and amateurs alike to move forward more quickly and easily in their creative projects.

Studio software is used for many different applications. Here are some examples:

  • Converting music to sheet music
  • Recording music
  • Editing and playing audio files
  • Cutting of an audio track or a MIDI track (Musical Instrument Digital Interface)
  • Special effects application
  • Mixing songs
  • Audio mastering

In short, a DAW makes your job easy.

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meilleurs logiciels de studio à choisir
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By the way, you can also check our monitoring speaker test and review guide of the Tannoy Gold 5. This is a 2-way active monitor speaker that will fit in a wide variety of rooms. Find out in this guide the complete overview, the control features, its coaxial speaker, as well as the sound quality and technical specifications of this studio monitor.

What should I consider when choosing a studio software?

There are tons of better studio software on the market. By the way, not all music producers have the same level of experience or the same needs. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, to choose the best studio software. Nevertheless, there are some criteria to take into consideration in order not to make a mistake when choosing.

The functionalities

To get the most out of your DAW, don’t overlook the features offered by the designer. Remember to adapt your choice according to your music production needs. To help you make the best choice, here are some examples of options integrated in sequencer and mastering software:

  • Tracks with predefined chords
  • Adding special effects
  • Creation of partitions
  • Automation of several parameters
  • Arrangement of songs
  • Convert audio to MIDI or drag and drop reverse action
  • Unlimited number of audio tracks
  • Integrated reading and manipulation tools
  • Bit reduction plugin
  • Mastering by stem

It’s up to you to define the features that will allow you to achieve your goals. Then you just have to choose the tool among the best studio software that will best meet your requirements.

Your budget

Unlike paid DAWs, free DAWs don’t offer many options. So if you want to get professional results, it’s better to opt for a paid studio software.

Tip : To get a little familiar with a given software, consider choosing its limited version in terms of features. Even if it’s not free, at least you get a cheaper price. What’s more, you don’t necessarily need all the advanced features if you don’t have any experience in using such tools. However, as soon as you start to feel comfortable with the tool, do not hesitate to switch to the more complete pro version.

meilleurs logiciels de studio
Picture from Arsonor.com

Your experience level

Are you a beginner? An advanced user? Or a professional? Note that some software is easier to learn than others. You should therefore adapt your choice according to your level.

If this is your first step with studio software, it is not advisable to start with the sophisticated solutions. Instead, opt for easy-to-use DAW. In particular, choose an all-in-one software with a simple and ergonomic interface.

Your music style

Most sequencers are suitable for all musical styles. However, it is clear that there are some programs that are more efficient and more practical for a particular style of music. Among others, there are those that are more adapted to electronic music. This is notably the case of the Ableton 11 Standard software.

If you don’t yet know what kind of music you’re going to use the sequencer for, choose a general-purpose program like Reason Studios’ Reason 12 sequencer.

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The OS of your computer

Due to competition, most manufacturers make their software compatible with both Windows and Mac. What is more, make sure that the DAW is compatible with the version of your system.

Note that some software can only be used with a recent version of Windows or Mac. For example, Presonus Studio One 5 software is only compatible with Windows 10 or higher and Mac OS 10.13.

By the way, check out the other requirements when buying studio software. Among other things, take a look at the RAM and minimum hard drive capacity required.

meilleur logiciel MAO
Picture from Global.techradar.com

By the way, you can also discover our guide for the selection of the best studio headphones. This guide offers you the 12 best studio headphones to choose from, so that you can carry out the mixing and mastering of your sounds.

The best sequencer and virtual studio software

Now you know how to choose a good DAW. Here is a selection of the best sequencers of the moment:

Steinberg Cubase Pro 12

Cubase is without doubt one of the most popular sequencers. This masterpiece was created by Steinberg, the brand behind the VST (Virtual Studio Technology) format.

If you have never heard of Cubase, you should know that it is a very efficient tool for editing MIDI tracks.

Its other strong point lies in its many features that greatly facilitate composition and arrangement. These include:

  • Unlimited tracks (audio, MIDI, instruments)
  • Over 90 audio and MIDI VST effects processors
  • Audio engine with 64-bit floating point processing (up to 192 kHz)
  • 4 virtual instruments with no less than 3000 sounds

What about the new features proposed in the Cubase Pro 12? Here are the most notable news:

  • FX Modulator : a multi-effect with patterns
  • Audio data to MIDI chords
  • Verve : a piano with an engine to add textures
  • Remote integration of MIDI control
  • VariAudio with tone assistant
  • Improved editing process and logical editors
  • Raiser : a versatile limiter
  • Steinberg Licensing : a new license activation system that no longer requires the dongle

On the operating system side, Steinberg Cubase Pro 12 is compatible with Windows 10 and Mac OS 11 or later.

Steinberg Cubase Pro 12

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Reason Studios Reason 12

Reason 12 is the newest version of the Reason series from designer Reason Studios. It is a general-purpose sequencer that can be used for all musical styles.

Just like the previous version, this one is easy to use. This makes this DAW a practical software for novice producers or for those who want to start in home studio. You can easily learn to compose, record and mix with this tool.

Reason Studios Reason 12
Picture from Soundonsound.com

Again, you will not be limited in terms of audio tracks and instruments. You also have the possibility to convert audio tracks to MIDI.

And it’s not! The Reason 12 features several effects including the Masterbus compressor, reverbs, distortion and many more. In total, there are 29 audio effects. And that’s something producers love to do.

What are the new features of Reason 12? Here are the most important ones:

  • High resolution display
  • Mimic Creativ : a new sampler
  • Improved interfaces
  • Upgrade of the Combinator module
  • Improved search engine

Operating system compatible with the Reason Studios Reason 12: Windows 10 and Mac OS 10.13 or later.

Reason Studios Reason 12

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Imagine-Line FL Studio Producer Edition

Fruity Loops! This word probably rings a bell. Yes, it does! It was the software used by singer, producer and DJ Basshunter in his early days. So what does this have to do with FL Studio? Well, FruityLoops is the old name for FL Studio. Even today this Swedish artist uses this studio software to compose his music and play on stage.

As you can see, FL Studio Producer Edition is perfectly suited for professional use. It also has the advantage of being easy to learn with its intuitive interface. So, you won’t be disappointed to adopt it if you have no experience with a tool of this kind.

This FL Studio Producer Edition from Imagine-Line will certainly please electronic music lovers. It works on a pattern system.

This DAW also stands out because it can be used live. To take advantage of this, you just need to activate the “Performance” mode.

Il propose 10 outils pour lire et manipuler des échantillons. On peut en citer notamment Channel Sampler, Granulizer et Slicex.

As for the plugin formats, this software can support VST2, VST3 and FL. It can support several audio formats such as MP3, WAV, Wavpack, REX, OGG and AIFF.

FL Studio Producer Edition is compatible with Windows 8.1/10 and Mac OS 10.13.6 or higher.

Imagine Line FL Studio Producer Edition
Picture from Musictech.com
Image-Line FL Studio Producer Edition

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Ableton Live 11 Standard

It is impossible to make a list of the best studio software without mentioning a product from Ableton. It must be said that it is one of the most reliable designers on the market. Focus on Ableton Live 11 Standard, a software adapted to electro music.

Just like FL Studio, you can also play live with Ableton Live 11 Standard. To use it in this context, you simply switch to “Session” mode.

Here are the main advantages of Live 11 Standard:

  • No limit for audio and MIDI tracks
  • 36 audio effects including EQ Eight, Drum Buss, Glue Compressor, Echo, and Pedal
  • 13 MIDI effects including FLO, Shaper, MIDI Monitor, Enveloppe Follower, Note Echo and Expression Control
  • 10 GB of samples
  • Converting audio tracks to MIDI
  • Creation of a custom workflow

Ableton Live 11 Standard is compatible with Windows 10 and Mac OS 10.13 or later.

Ableton Live 11 Standard

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Presonus Studio One 5 Professional

Let’s end our list of the best studio sequencer software with the Studio One 5 Professional from Presonus. This American brand is also known for the sound quality of its microphones such as the Presonus M7 condenser microphone or the Presonus Revelator.

But back to the point. What about the Presonus Studio One 5 Professional sequencer?

If you’re looking for an all-in-one tool, Studio One 5 is a great value. Indeed, it is a complete studio software. It allows you not only to record and mix, but also to master your music.

Again, if you plan to use the sequencer for live performance, you’ll be well served. Studio One Professional offers an option to optimize your live performance.

Presonus Studio One 5 Professional
Picture from Presonus.com

This DAW also stands out for its versatility. Indeed, it can be adapted to a wide range of applications: electro, acoustic, metal, band recording, etc.

Studio One 5 Professional also offers a very attractive freemium package. It comes with an array of plugins installed by default. There are 37 effects plugins at your disposal. In addition, there are unlimited audio and MIDI tracks, several virtual instruments and samples included.

If you are a perfectionist music producer, you will certainly appreciate its drag-and-drop groove extraction feature.

And the cherry on the cake: this studio software integrates plugins to correct your piece.

Operating systems compatible with Studio one 5 Professional: Windows 10 and Mac OS 10.13 or higher.

Presonus Studio One 5 Professional

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Other interesting guide : Test and opinion of the Sennheiser E835 microphone. This guide gives you the complete overview, range, sound quality, technical features of this dynamic microphone, as well as our opinion on its overall quality and some test demos.

The best mastering software

The last step of the audio post-production process, mastering is done in order to make the sound elements harmonious as a whole after a mix. Mastering also allows sound engineers to optimize the sound quality on all listening media. And of course, to carry out this ultimate step, you will need a powerful tool.

Here is a selection of the best mastering software:

Steinberg Wavelab Pro 11

Wavelab Pro 11 is a professional audio mastering and editing software. It is a complete solution for music producers, podcasters and youtubers who want to master in a quick and easy way.

Like the Steinberg Cubase, this Wavelab Pro 11 has an ergonomic interface that is perfect for beginners.

Steinberg Wavelab Pro 11
Picture from Steinberg.net

Other benefits in this 11th version of Steinberg’s Wavelab:

  • Unlimited audio picking up
  • Support for multi-channel interlaced files (can open WAV files up to 22.2)
  • Additional somation stage to process some tracks together before sending them to the master
  • Possibility to do mastering by stem (grouping of tracks by section)
  • Ability to divide a track into 8 audio subchannels each hosting audio clips
  • Automatic per-clip wrappers to automate VST 3 plugin settings
  • SuperVision: a 9-module analyzer
  • Reverb extraction

Operating system compatible with the Wavelab Pro 11: Windows 10 and Mac OS 1O.15 or later.

Steinberg Wavelab Pro 11

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Synchro Arts Revoice Pro

Revoice Pro is one of the best studio software. The software is edited by Synchro Arts. This tool will be of great help to you during a mastering. It gives you the possibility to correct live tracks thanks to the Retakes option. From the soundtrack, you can modify the dialogues and change their tone. Not to mention that this software also allows you to edit several tracks at the same time.

Thanks to the Revoice Pro Link extension, you can connect the tool with several DAWs. Note, however, that it is not compatible with Cubase, Vegas and Reason.

Operating systems compatible with Revoice Pro: Windows 10 and Mac OS 10.10 or later.

Synchro Arts Revoice Pro

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iZotope Ozone 9 Advanced

Ozone is one of the best studio software designed for beginners and professional mastering. Note that the manufacturer iZotope offers two versions of Ozone, namely Standard and Advanced. The latter is more expensive, but definitely more complete in terms of features. Advanced is the recommended version if you want to get professional quality results. Let’s take a closer look at Ozone 9 Advanced.

iZotope Ozone 9 Advanced
Picture from Studiodaily.com

This 9th version of the Ozone series features 16 modules and supports multiple plugin formats including VST 2, VST 3, AU, NKS and AAX Native.

It is a tool that can be easily mastered by novice users thanks to its Master assistant. It accompanies you in the analysis of your mix.

By the way, Ozone 9 Advanced provides you with a number of tools for efficient mastering. These include an equalizer, a compressor, an exciter, a maximizer, and many more.

Operating systems compatible with Ozone 9 Advanced: from Windows 7 and Mac OS 10.11.6.

iZotope Ozone 9 Advanced

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Conclusion

With this list of the best studio software, I hope there is at least one that has piqued your curiosity. Whatever it is, take the time to choose your DAW carefully. Don’t forget to consider the criteria listed in this article when making your choice. Don’t forget to download the demo versions in order to test the software’s ergonomics as well as its basic functions. This way, it will be easier for you to choose the right tool among the different best studio software.

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