As a musician / producer, I am sharing what I believe to be the best softwares, based on features, usability, and more. Whilst I have used a lot of different programmes, I have not used them all, but I have tried some bad ones that didn't make the list.
I have heard that FL studio (known as fruit loops) is meant to be amazing for producers but I am yet to try it, and also Pro-tools is an industry standard software that I also have not tried, not becuase it's bad but because the tools I use mean that I don't need any other.
1. Logic Pro
You have so much control over your sound, there are so many effects such as reverb, delays, space designer, amps, compressors, pedalboards, distortion, overdrive, phasers, limiters, noise gates, de-essers, EQ's, auto filters, directional mixers, stereo spread, BPM counter, level meter, tuner, multimeter, modulation, chorus, ensemble, flanger, tremolo, spreader, pitch correction, vocal transformers, exciters, gain, and so much more.
If these aren't enough for you, you can also purchase additional effects from third party companies. All those effects go hand in hand with the 100s of included virtual instruments, you can plug in a USB midi keyboard and record your own productions in no time.
Use the software to polish up your tracks, get creative with automation for mixing and mastering, with logic it just makes sense. If your not sure if it is for you and don't want to pay the hefty £199.99 that it costs, but still want to try it out I recommend getting Garage-band as it is free and with a similar layout as logic but with much fewer effects, instruments, feature capabilities.
2. Propellerhead Reason
software for windows is very different to logic, it focuses more on imitating real hardware with cables that can be adjusted in your project as if you actually had the vintage analogue gear. It is easy to use, with lots of features, instruments but less control/choice and whilst it is good for creating productions, it is not really an all in one software, mixing and mastering processes would suffer if it was completed on reason alone.
Don’t get me the wrong reason is powerful and is great, but still falls to second place for me. The software costs around £299 and you can get a 30-day free trial so that you can try it before you buy it.
3. Cool edit pro
Falling in third place, whilst the name doesn't do it justice, it is a FREE, and is a very useful software for windows, If you want to record your own instruments, and record vocals, mixing with simple effects such as reverb, echo, de esser's etc, it might be for you! It made third due to lack of functionality, but it makes perfect software for a beginner still learning the ropes!
This is my personal opinions and by no means am I trying to get you to purchase software, I do not make any money from these recommendations. Download it now