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What Are the Different Types of Music Computer Software?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 16, 2024
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There are quite a few different types of music computer software available, typically designed to help musicians or those interested in music perform a variety of tasks. Some software is developed to allow musicians to record music directly from instruments or microphones into a computer system, where the audio can then be assembled and edited into a finished track. Other programs can be used simply to edit music and other audio information, but without any recording functions. There are also some music computer software programs designed to play music and other media, but without any sort of editing or alteration functionality.

Music computer software typically refers to different types of programs that can be used to create, edit, play, or otherwise function with music and audio computer files. Some of these programs are developed for use by professional or home musicians to record and create original music. Such programs can be installed onto a computer, to which input devices such as guitars, keyboards, and microphones can be connected, and then used to record audio information from those devices. This type of music computer software can record the audio input from those devices, and then can be used to alter and edit the recorded data to create a final music file.

Other music computer software is developed specifically for altering and editing audio data, without the recording functionality of some other programs. This type of software can be used to combine multiple audio tracks into a single track, to cut down and crop longer audio files to shorter tracks, and to layer multiple audio channels together. Such software can also typically be used to add different effects and alterations to sound files, including music, such as “autotuning” and adding reverb and echo effects. Much like music computer software used to record music, these programs can be quite expensive and are often used by professional musicians and sound designers.

Less expensive and somewhat more common music computer software includes programs designed for audio playback. These programs are typically developed as general media players that can be used to play different audio and video files. Such software may be provided with an operating system (OS) on a computer, though there are also numerous programs that have been designed to work as third-party software. Many of these music computer software programs are also designed to allow users to rip audio files and music from media devices, and burn audio and music onto a media disc.

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Discussion Comments

By anon1006773 — On May 19, 2022

I run a program, on my PC, written in C++ which has no user interaction.

It produces a score of about 2-3 mins in length which can be further edited or played. It provides melody, harmony and rhythm and each run is guaranteed to be unique and it uses no samples but uses conventional rules of western music for progressions and intervals.

It needs more development (it already has 260 modules) but for that I would need the help of a programmer who can compose music!

By Melonlity — On Feb 05, 2014

Some "purists" might frown on different types of music software, but it is incredible how easily one can assemble a sophisticated studio with some good software.

Take amp modelers, for example. Those allow, say, a guitarist to plug into a computer, bang out a few chords or leads and dial in the desired sound. There are modelers that emulate Marshall stacks, Fender Twin Reverb amps, Vox AC-30s (for the Beatles sound) and just about anything else you can imagine. A good amp modeler, then, will give a guitarist access to an almost endless array of amps and effects -- equipment that would cost a fortune if a guitarist set out to buy the "real" stuff.

For a home recorder wanting to make some demos that sound great, what on earth could be better than that?

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