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Joined: 02/03/2020 - 01:51
Garageband vs Audacity vs FL Studio

Hey guys, For a long time I have been looking for a music composing app. I am a beginner in composing and would like to try out a few songs. I have a Macbook Air at my place. Which is the best app for MAC if I want to compose music?

Joined: 03/08/2019 - 09:49
Well FL Studio is pretty good

Well FL Studio is pretty good,of course 

...but since you're here,why not try Caustic? :D

animeforthewholelife's picture
Joined: 09/08/2016 - 08:57
Audacity is the best thing to

Audacity is the best thing to learn actually.
But I wouldn't compare it with DAW's like FL studio or GarageBand.

I urge to do more research and find the best that fits your needs. Good luck.

Joined: 12/15/2017 - 03:31
just try something that's

just try something that's free..
- Caustic on MacOS
- Or start with an 'Intro' version of an app that you get when you buy a midi-controller: Ableton Live Intro, Bitwig 8 track etc. + some free VST's

AnandaRizky's picture
Joined: 08/26/2014 - 00:40
i'm using Caustic on my 2008

i'm using Caustic on my 2008 Macbook and it is outstanding experience. i hooked up my midi keyboard too, it's really fun to play live chords/melodies and chopping up things. the only downside would be you have to click everything in order to control stuff... you can't command + z for undo. you simply emulate touch behavior with the mouse and it's a little bit slow down your workflow!


anickt's picture
Joined: 08/16/2014 - 20:32
GarageBand is a good free way

GarageBand is a good free way to start. Plenty of instructional videos on YouTube. 


Joined: 01/30/2020 - 17:35
If you’re gonna make music

If you’re gonna make music professionally then I think Garageband would be better on Mac, as it has better optimization of MacOS. I think it has a much better interface, although there is a learning curve to it. 

However, I am using FL Studio, as I have a windows desktop, which doesn’t have a Garageband app. If there were I would be surely using it. Do you know how it can run on windows? 

Joined: 02/03/2020 - 01:51
Thanks @LoWESTiC, I will do

Thanks @LoWESTiC, I will do it.

I think You can use garageband app on windows pc also. Download the VM ware app and then install garageband app virtually in it. Here is the complete article on that. it might help you. Cheers!


Steve Poppers

Joined: 02/03/2020 - 01:51
Thanks @anickt

Thanks @anickt

Steve Poppers

adjessica's picture
Joined: 03/19/2020 - 06:33
If you just started, then

If you just started, then garageband is the best app

Jessica Jones

Sawiton M. Teevee
Sawiton M. Teevee's picture
Joined: 02/05/2016 - 13:30
Multi platform Zenbeats from

Multi platform Zenbeats from Roland. Easy to learn, great support, audio tracks, awesome built in sounds. 

derrtiblu's picture
Joined: 03/08/2014 - 23:00
Get ready because the gettin'

Get ready because the gettin' started won't stop. Many of the software's take much longer two learn how two use they your ideas flow.

Simplicity is no fool. For the person with a budget of taken such career seriously or for fun is caustic. Why??? It's how u make caustic work for u. It's portable. It's in your pocket.

Win u need two spend more time out how your sound should sound..... U r looking beyond the idea u made this mobile.
Sooooo mastering maybe mastering more than 1 take of the track u polish.

Sooooooo have fun playing around with many opportunities.

Icky Pop
Joined: 07/13/2015 - 21:39
Why not Caustic?

Hey man, I know this comment is a few months old (before the shit hit the fan with COVID 19 in the Us). Let's see the pros and cons of the three software you mentioned.

Fl studio -

Pros - For the trial version alone it's LOADED with music tracks and a sampling rack to place vsts or samples on there as well as an audio editor (which is Edison) packed into its demo alone. and it comes with stock vsts and drum samples that come with the software.  

Cons - It's Pretty pricy (even for making just the music version runs for $99), In the trial version some vsts go silent for 5 minutes (since they are demos), and some CPU problems still occur when overloading third party taxing plugins and sometimes crash. On MAC i may be wrong at this point but it's still on alpha I believe.

Audacity - Audacity is a pretty loaded tool with effects and even to generate a click track for audio recording it's a very open-source and it's been used since it's inception in the late nineties up to now. its been used for podcasts or music recording. Just like FL studio it has unlimited tracks to record on. It's also multi-platform such as Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Cons - whenever you try recording even a normal track the latency is HORRIBLE on it (if you like to waste hours upon hours of wrestling with the audio's latency) good luck trying to keep it on tempo as well. Loading effects such as EQs and compressors don't play in real-time. You likely have to guess the amount you like to mix. The biggest pet peeve I got with audacity...NO VST SUPPORT, as well as no midi support to run vsts on there. You mostly have to know how to play an instrument and sing in order to use Audacity. Its mainly to cut samples to drop into other software (such as Caustic, or FL studio). 

Garageband - 

Pros - It comes free when you buy an iPhone or a newer Mac computer. Some artists (such as Lil Peep, Fall Out Boy (In their early days to record their demos), Steve Lacy, Rihanna, Usher, and also T-pain used Garageband either currently or formerly. It has the same interface as Logic Pro X and it has lots of stock sounds and synths you can sink your teeth into

Cons (and also a f-cking pet peeve I still have with Apple) - It's not multi-platform (which means if a windows or a Linux user wants to collab with you for a project they cannot) it only runs on Apple. Synths and their samples in their library sounded very stock. And it's a beginner software as well. I heard some demos online of some Garageband tracks sounded rough (Maybe it was youtube's audio encoder at the time (since it was 2013).

Icky Pop

derrtiblu's picture
Joined: 03/08/2014 - 23:00
The hard part of what "icky

The hard part of what "icky pop" says about everything being harder to transfer and it almost make u have test what u send to others to share others before u ready to share with others.

I hope dat made since because often times.

Their is a 3rd party software / app dat will allow file transfers of mp3 or ogg files.

But if u don't stay up with know shit will change and it does.

U will be harder press to find out how to make such transfer.

Soooooo another good point is to learn many ways to use the said software.

If u can only find 1 or 2 ways to do something in 1 software/app. u r not thinking smart because their should be many more ways to apply yourself with the software/app.

F....kin'. impossible!!! I know right. Not meant two piss u off. But it will.

I kept going back and forth between software/ app.
Because what if at certain time.

A update has happen and the other has not had an update.

But they can swappable in how they can be interchangeable in use.

Not the best go between.
But a work around of wav.

Or something another mite save your project if u investigate such miniscule details early.

Joined: 10/30/2020 - 01:39
you are facing errors like “A

you are facing errors like “A Device Attached to The System is Not Functioning“.

Joined: 11/24/2016 - 18:02
I got an alternative

I got an alternative suggestion - use Reaper. I've tried all the common/popular DAWs and it really is the most complete, intuitive, and user-friendly package. The power and design of it are really nailed on and it is SO easy to get MIDI mapped up. It is free to trial, when the trial is done you either tolerate a short nag screen on boot, or be a good egg and pay the frankly paltry amount that they charge for what is an unbelievable bit of software programming. Truly.

Speaking of MIDI - anything you do in any one of these programs can be imported into another if you hit a wall, or don't end up liking it. MIDI files are universal, you can export audio stems to be imported into other DAWS, and failing that - anything you record will always be stored in its original quality (usually WAV) in the program's working directories, which you can normally config yourself.

You would actually be very well placed if you become familiar with VST software (digital effects and instruments), the general idea of MIDI, and get a good idea of how to format audio appropriately (sample rates, file formats etc.) - being familiar with these general concepts will mean you can try your hand at a number of these different softwares until you find what is right for you.

Here's my tuppence worth on the others:

Ableton - expensive, advanced, compatible, more focussed on sequencing & MIDI hardware integration. I associate it more with sampling, dance music, beat making etc. as these types of work play to its strengths.

Cubase - you might come across this (or Pro Tools) as a strong contender in the field, but basically, Reaper has ironed out every crease that Cubase had, and I switched from Cub-->Reap after about 15 years of use, even with the huge imposing transition. More focussed on tracking instruments & making multitracked recordings, and it's not unacceptable as a MIDI tool but I always found it quite unintuitive to use in that way.

Garage Band - Might be a good gateway, a good appetizer to become familiar with glossaries, workflows in DAWs etc., and as a basic compositional tool. It is not powerful and nobody in their right mind would be making records in Garageband, given the alternatives available... but it's just great fun and no reason you shouldn't be able to be productive in it.

Audacity - Audacity is a bit socialist in its spirit hah. Very stripped back interface, very configurable, but I don't find it very aesthetic, intuitive, and not particularly amazing as a mixing tool. I tend to use this more for "field" recordings, and then import the audio into my main rig at home. It's a great piece of basic software to have on your computer anyway IMO.

FruityLoops - More suited to pattern programming, and sequencing (i.e.electronic music), but largely works in the same ways as the other. I know a few people who prefer FL interface and general geography, but essentially, it does the same things as the others with slightly different emphases.

Also get Caustic going in parallel. It's a bit of a sandbox compared to the others, but honestly I use it more than anything else when I just want to have a bit of fun with music. Being in that fun mode/mindset is a great space to come up with ideas in generally, which you then have ownership of anyway. Right?

on07's picture
Joined: 02/19/2021 - 16:57
I think FL Studio is the best

I think FL Studio is the best DAW since some of the PCMSynth and BeatBox sounds are made from FL Studio.

绿 黄 黑 红 蓝 粉 绿蓝.

80NS's picture
Joined: 03/12/2022 - 01:21
FL Studio

FL Studio


Joined: 02/03/2020 - 01:51
Thanks guys! Garageband is

Thanks guys! Garageband is quite enough for me to make music. Now i am trying to expand my DA workstation and thinking to purchase a widescreen monitor for music production. I've shortlisted the LG 34WN80C-B monitor because it has IPS display with sRGB colors (in future - for video editing). My budget for monitor is around 500 bucks.

what do you guys think? do you have any other suggestions. It would be appriciated. Thanks.

Steve Poppers