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Your Complete Guide to Music Making Programs on Mac Computers

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Are you a diehard Mac user? Do you want to improve your music skills from your computer? Then you should know about the best music-making programs for Mac.

You don’t need to use a Windows computer just to record or edit music. Whether you want something free or are willing to pay, you have multiple options.

Read on to learn more about each of these popular programs and if they’re right for you.


GarageBand is one of the best music-making programs for the Mac. It comes free on your Mac, so you don’t need to spend any extra money to download it.

The software features multiple virtual instruments, but you can also record your voice or a physical instrument. If you have a musical instrument digital interface (MIDI) keyboard, you can use that, too.

You can also create multiple tracks in GarageBand, so you can record a full band. But you can also record one line for a solo project. Then, you can export the recording and share it with others.

Logic Pro X

Another great option for making and recording music is Logic Pro X. It’s another program that comes straight from Apple, so it can work well on your Mac. However, you will need to pay about $200 to download it if you haven’t already.

Once you download it, you can access all of the virtual instruments the program offers. It also features synthesizers, loops, and other tools you can use to create awesome songs.

Each song can hold up to 1,000 tracks, so you can record yourself solo or a massive band. You can also add special effects or live loops. If you want more features than GarageBand, Logic Pro X is an easy upgrade due to its similar design and interface.


Fortunately, you can use computer music programs that don’t come from Apple. Audacity is a free option, and yes, it’s a great choice when it comes to Macintosh music software.

The program is open-source, so different developers can work on it and make improvements. That way, you don’t have to wait for a company like Apple to add more features or capabilities.

You can use the program to record and edit tracks, and you can use the noise elimination feature to get rid of background sounds. It’s a great free option if you want to explore more than GarageBand or if you’ve used it on Windows before.

Ableton Live

Ableton Live works similarly to other music-making programs, but it does offer unique features. For one, you can create short clips of music. You can then play over those clips to experiment and make great music.

Ableton Live also has a library of samples that you can also use when recording music or mixing songs. While you can use your computer keyboard, having a MIDI device can help you have more control over your inputs.

Once you finish a song, you can export it to a variety of audio file formats. Then, you can listen back or share your song with people online or in real life.

Avid Pro Tools

Another excellent recording software to use when using a Mac is Avid Pro Tools. It features a clean workflow to use when working with audio. You can play up to 128 tracks at once, and you can record up to 32 tracks at a time.

The software comes with many virtual instruments you can use to make music, but you can also connect a MIDI device. Then, you can improvise music and record yourself as you play.

Avid Pro Tools offers multiple versions, so you can get it for free, or you can pay. However, you will need to keep paying if you want access to updates after the first year.

PreSonus Studio One 4

You can also use PreSonus Studio One 4 for recording music and editing it. The program comes in three versions, so you can test it out for free, but you won’t get to take advantage of all of its features.

Still, you can record as many audio or MIDI tracks as you want. You can then use samples, loops, and effects to add more to your recording. If you upgrade, you can access a Chord Detector, and you can use third-party plugins.

Either way, PreSonus Studio One 4 is an excellent program to consider. It looks similar to GarageBand and Logic Pro X, but it can be nice if you want to collaborate with musicians who don’t use Macs.


Sometimes, it can help to make music using music notation instead of just audio. MuseScore is a free, open-source music notation software that you can use to compose music.

You can add as many instrumental tracks as you like, and your songs can be as long as you want. The program has a small library of common instrument sounds, so you can listen back to your music after you write it.

You can also import PDFs of existing sheet music, so you can edit them without having to create them from scratch. When you finish a project, you can export it as sheet music or as an audio file.


Finale is another option if you like music-making programs that use music notation. You can create music using sheet music, and you can use it for anything from a jazz lead sheet to a major symphony.

As you work on your music, you can edit the notes, so you can make sure you’re happy with the music. Finale also has a library of sounds to use when listening to your music. The Human Playback feature can even make it seem less robotic.

Once you’re ready to finish your project, you can export it to a PDF or create an audio file. Then, you can share your music however you like and with whoever you like.

Which Music-Making Programs Will You Use?

Macs are compatible with multiple music-making programs, so you can choose one or more that suit your needs. Whether you want to record audio, use MIDI instruments, or write sheet music, you can do so using a Mac.

Consider what features or capabilities you want and how you like to make music. Then, you can decide which computer music programs are right for you.

Did you enjoy this article? Check out our section here for music making software.


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