Occasionally I’m asked about software for songwriters. It’s tricky to recommend one over the other, because by the time you’ve been using one piece of software for years, other programs become irrelevant to you. It’s best to do your research, read online forums, and gather as many opinions as you can before buying. But that being said, here’s a brief description of popular programs, most if not all of which are available for Mac or PC.
As sound recording is not as important to me these days as score writing, the software I use the most is Finale, which, along with its score-writing capabilities also has a somewhat limited sequencer. It’s important for me to get a score that looks professional. Finale does that for me.
For sequencing/multi-track audio recording, Cakewalk Sonar is considered to be top of the line in the home studio market, along with Cubase. ProTools is another recording software option that describes itself as “the world’s favorite audio platform”, so let the opinion-wars begin. 😉
And for a piece of software that pertains directly to the job of writing songs, there’s MasterWriter, the “ultimate collection of writing tools for the professional songwriter.” It includes a 100,000-entry rhyming dictionary, a database to keep your songs and lyrics organized, a stereo hard disk recorder, tempo-adjustable drum loops, and more. I’ve never used this, so I’d be interested in anyone who might give an opinion on this or any of the other software I’ve mentioned. Feel free to add to the list.
Songwriting tips! Write Better Chords, Melodies and
Hi – you should also check out SongFrame from Tanager AudioWorks it is specifically for songwriting and has more depth (in my opinion) than Masterwriter. Here is a link http://www.tanageraudioworks.com/Products/SongFrame It looks great, coming out late August so it should be pretty soon.
Hey Gary, nice new format. I’ve been using Sonar for quite some time and you do tend to stay with familiar suroundings for sure unless what you need it can’t deliver anymore. I think most home user’s needs are pretty simple and for the most part don’t get too deep into what most software has to offer.
There is another software that have used on occasion and that is Lyricist by VSS. It has some dictionary support but also allows you to print out chord charts both graphical as well as the Nashville System (Roman Numerals) for those that don’t read sheet music.