What is the best music making program for cheap?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by s.hoz, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. s.hoz macrumors regular


    Jan 22, 2008
    So I plan on getting a iMac soon and I know it comes with garageband, but I was wondering if it was the BEST program for composing music? I plan on getting a keyboard and plugging it in to the iMac, along with my guitar and vocals so......I use Sibelius 5 on PC's at school and is there anything simalar to that that won't cost me 700 sum bucks?
  2. PkennethV macrumors 6502a

    Aug 16, 2006
    LogicStudio for $500 is about as professional as it gets.

    EDIT: after taking a look at Sibelius's site, I'm not sure if Logic is exactly the type of program your looking for...the interface certainly seems very different (never seen Sibelius before)
  3. zimv20 macrumors 601


    Jul 18, 2002
    doesn't sibelius offer student discounts or a version for students?

    and, no, none of the DAWs have anything approaching what sibelius can do for that style of composing. i tried the composer in Digital Performer and plunked down for sibelius the next day...
  4. pulsewidth947 macrumors 65816


    Jan 25, 2005
    Sibelius is more for scoring music. At least that is how we use it where I work.
  5. hakukani macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2008
    $250 plus a $50 rebat for sibelius 5 at academicsuperstore.com
    You must be a student or teacher to get the discount.

    (I am not affiliated with that site, btw)
  6. thechidz macrumors 68000


    Jul 25, 2007
    New York City
    yep academicsuperstore is the way to go.

    what exactly are you looking to do? create compositions using direct input with instruments? thus creating your score?

    never tried that, I know Joe Satriani does something like that (I would imagine with his style he would have to to get it down in standard notation).:cool::apple:
  7. Tarkovsky macrumors 6502


    Jan 4, 2007
    For free - ardour, probably got more features than a lot you'd pay for.
  8. zimv20 macrumors 601


    Jul 18, 2002
    it sounds like the OP is looking for the ability to score, like Sibelius offers. and there are really only 2 players in that space: Sibelius and Finale.
  9. anjinha macrumors 604


    Oct 21, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    There is also a program called Encore (www.gvox.com)
  10. Elektroakoustik macrumors member


    Jan 12, 2008
    Sibelius 5 and Finale 08 are notation programs. Their main purpose is to lay out music to be printed out for musicians. They have decent playback options and both include Garritan's Personal Orchestra (well, a version of it). They are extremely useful if you are writing music for large groups with many staves.

    As far as composing in these programs, its really a preference. I've owned Finale for many years (since they days with the crappy midi playback) and I cannot compose in it for the life of me. I work my music out somewhere else and then notate it into Finale. If this is the type of work you do, go for either Sibelius of Finale. Sibelius is more user friendly but I find Finale has a few more notational features than Sibelius. But I grew up on Finale so its hard for me to see any reason to switch.

    Now if you're looking for a style of composing where you record what you play into the computer (in a similar fashion to garageband), then I would suggest any of the Digital Audio Workstations for you. There's a billion of them out there but some of the highlights are Logic, Digital Performer, Pro Tools, Cubase, Nuendo, and Ableton Live. All of these programs are very similar and work well for composing via sequencing (playing/recording into the computer). Most of them also have notation sections, but none of them are even close to as in depth as Finale or Sibelius.

    My recommendation is work with garageband (since it comes with every new mac) for a week after you get your IMac and see if you like the way it works. Then decide if you should go in the sequencing direction, or the notational direction. Also, a piece of staff paper and a pencil never hurts!

    Good luck in your musical endeavors!
  11. Killyp macrumors 68040


    Jun 14, 2006

    It's notation software through and through. It's next to useless for composition when compared to other software out there such as Logic or Cubase, or even GarageBand.

    Logic is the best in my experience, and as far as notation goes, it's getting pretty close to Sibelius and Finale on most levels.

    Compose in Logic, notate in Sibelius or Finale. You'll get things done a million times quicker and the results will be better
  12. zimv20 macrumors 601


    Jul 18, 2002
    funny, that's exactly what i use it for. if i compose by writing notes on staves, how exactly is Logic better for me than Sibelius?
  13. JeanE macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2006
    Well I understand now.

    "Classic" Composers (Mozart, Zappa) use notationStyle to store music first
    Using a Keyboard to "write" notes needs an notation program first.

    When you have corrected the notations you give a printed copy to all the the musicians who interprete the written music and record the sound of their instruments via Microphones (or similar) on an recording-application.

    Stay at the notation apllications for a paperless "composing" on a Mac.
    Learn Garageband for recording afterwards with Live-instruments.

    I think the is no money wasted at this first step.

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