What are the Different Types of Music Editing Software?

H. Bliss

Types of music editing software include professional music editing software, freeware music editing software, disc jockey (DJ) software, digital composition software, and notation software. Each kind of software allows a user to handle sound and music editing in a different way. These programs are used for sound recording, music creation, sound editing, and mastering. Some programs offer musical instrument digital interface (MIDI) capabilities that allow a digital keyboard to record editable programmed sequences into a software program.

Music editing software allows users to import, manipulate, and export music.
Music editing software allows users to import, manipulate, and export music.

Many beginning composers use DJ software or beat making software to compose simple background music for songs with vocals, including hip hop and rap vocals. These programs usually include a simple interface that allows a computer user to choose from a variety of pre-made sounds or song snippets called "loops" to construct an original composition out of the sounds supplied by the program. Common software programs used to make beats include FruityLoops®, Reason® and Garageband®.

Some programs allow musicians to record keyboard music into a software program.
Some programs allow musicians to record keyboard music into a software program.

Professional music editing software includes Pro Tools® and Cubase®. Each software package handles sound differently. Pro Tools® is an internationally recognized professional software suite. It is the software most frequently used by professional sound engineers in the United States. Cubase® is also a multitrack sound program used by professionals, but it is more commonly used in the United Kingdom. Both Pro Tools® and Cubase® help a sound engineer record, edit, mix and master audio for professional use.

Low-budget and aspiring recording artists can use free editing software to record and edit sound without the cost of a professional recording suite. Professional music editing programs often have more features and stability than free music editing software programs, which offer a basic set of functions that allow a user to record and edit sound. Common free music editing software programs include Audacity®, Kristal®, and Linux Multi Media Studio® (LMMS). A user downloading freeware music editing programs must take care to get a clean program that has no viruses, spyware, or malware.

Though they are more commonly called notation software or music composition software, a program that helps a composer edit notation is also known as music editing software. Notation is the print that appears on music and musical scores read by musicians and composers. Using this software, a composer can put notes on a staff and listen to the computer play back the melody. She can also use tools in the software to alter the feel, speed, and key of the notes in the piece. The most common software packages for notation editing include Finale and Sibelius.

Some music editing software allows artists to record and edit sound without a professional studio.
Some music editing software allows artists to record and edit sound without a professional studio.

You might also Like

Discussion Comments


@wavy58 – You might be amazed at how easy some music editing software is to use. My uncle recorded and mixed his own music on his home computer, and it sounded really professional. He had never done anything like this before, so I give a good bit of the credit to the software.

There are a large number of effects you can put on a person's voice or an instrument with just the click of a button. You can adjust the degree of the effects, so whether you want just a little reverb or a lot, you are in charge of how it will sound.

The tricks are endless. I think you should give your friend a shot. If his music editing software is anywhere near as good as my uncle's, then you are in luck.


Is it possible for a person with no experience mixing and recording music to produce a good quality sound with music editing software? My good friend promises me he can record my songs and do magic with them, but he has never done anything with music before, and I'm afraid he may make a mess of things.

He would do it for free just to get experience, and since I can't really afford to go into a professional studio, I might give it a shot. I just don't want to hurt his feelings if the music turns out to sound horrible. Are the effects good enough and the process simple enough for him to be able to create a good product without prior knowledge?


My manager had some simple music editing software at his house, and I used it to record my own CD. He worked the computer and did all the editing for me, but I had to record my own percussion loops.

The program did not come with prerecorded options for drums, and since I didn't have access to a real drummer, I had to use the drum sounds on my keyboard to make my own loops. I would come up with a beat and a sound that worked, and my manager would record one bar of it with the software.

He would duplicate it over and over to make it fill the entire song. I didn't have a whole lot of variation to the rhythm because of these constraints, but it served as an adequate background to my singing and the other instruments.


I didn't know that notation software existed before reading this article. That would be very helpful to me, because I compose piano music often.

I have been writing it all down on sheets with horizontal lines. I've been having to draw each note and symbol by hand, and it is very time consuming.

Having software for this would greatly reduce the time it takes for me to make a record of my music. It could also help me see if I am putting everything in its correct place, since it could play it back to me. I have to look into this!

Post your comments
Forgot password?