Top 10 Composition Software Types

When it comes to finding and accessing composition software platforms which will enable you to compose your own music tracks and the like, it will pay dividends for you to consider using on the best ones available.

Below is our listing of the top 10 composition software types any and all of which we highly recommend you try.

10
Sibelius 7

Sibelius7

Now in its 7th generation, Sibelius has come a long way, having recently joining the Avid group, the latest generation of Sibelius is not going to disappoint. Although more geared towards the classical side of composition, you have a plethora of features, such as flexitime (you can attach a MIDI instrument, play and Sibelius will translate it to manuscript), Sibelius Sounds (a variety of studio quality, uncompressed sounds for over 100 instruments), and the ability to record exactly as you need your score without the need of mixing down, it is perfect for drafts and demos. You can also compose to video, so you’ll never have to rely on your mind’s eye again.

09
Native Instruments Kontakt 5

Native Instruments Kontakt 5

Although this isn’t an actual piece of composition software as such, it’s a really handy piece of kit that is great if you need a little more flexibility when mixing down. Offering everything in one easy to use package, you’ll have at your disposal over 1000 instruments and over 44 GB of samples to choose from. Kontakt will open most file formats, and allow you greater flexibility over how your finished piece sounds thanks to Deep Tweak ability, giving you the option of creating your own synth sounds. Recording and Exporting in industry standard .WAV format allows you to further perfect the sound of your masterpiece as you can then import it into any other editor to finalize.

08
Sibelius 6

Sibelius6

This is now one of the defunct versions of Sibelius, however, in some instances, it actually surpasses 7. If you aren’t that big a composer or you’re simply testing the water, Sibelius 6 is the one for you. Firstly it’s far cheaper and requires fewer resources, so great if your computer is a little tired. It utilizes Native Instruments Kontakt Bronze as standard (upgrades to Gold available) giving you a feel of what you could be producing in no time, and also comes with MIDI interface, meaning you can dust off the Roland and compose using Flexitime. You can also record within Sibelius 6, or should you prefer to use someone else’s resources, save as either a .sib or .mid file and let someone else’s computer do the hard work!

07
Steinberg Cubase 7

Steinberg Cubase7

It’s been a while since I’ve used Cubase, however after recently completing a score, I decided to give it a go. God has it changed! It took me about an hour to get used to all the new features, but it really was worth it. Cubase 7 works more as a sampler so mixing down in Cubase is ideal, however, you can also use it to create the more grungy kind of club/dance/hip hop type music. You have the power in Cubase to not only create record and mix down, but to completely master your works, whether that means auto tune, tweaking a certain section, adding a base beat, or completely overhauling a track. Just for the record, most of Cher’s Believe album was made possible through a hybrid of Sibelius and Cubase.

06
Native Instruments Alicia’s Keys

Native Instruments Alicia’s Keys

This is more an add-on for the Native Instruments Kontakt Suite, however, it is worthy of mention due to the simple fact that with more instruments comes more creative potential. You can incorporate the sound with nearly any composition software that has compatible drivers, and thanks to the ultra realistic samples, including mechanical release noises and even fingers hitting the keys, your next composition will be so realistic, you would think it was done live.

05
Finale Print Music

Finale Print Music

When working with Finale, you’ll find that it is quite basic, but can pack a punch if you know how to manipulate it properly. You can input through a microphone from any instrument, however, you need to be able to play it perfectly, and can only play one note at a time, making this a bit fiddly really. Also, Finale seems to have failed to realise that the most important instrument isn’t to be seen. The Piano!

04
playmusic

playmusic

I didn’t like this too much, I found it overly simple for what I normally would do, however, for the price, it would be quite ideal for someone either learning to compose, or someone that does a lot of ideas that need to be quickly jotted down for later use. You can import and export MIDI files, and the platform itself is actually quite light.

03
Music Time Deluxe

Music Time Deluxe

I dread to think what the standard version was like! Music Time Deluxe is a very simple to use notation platform, and allows some decent results if you have the idea in your head. It unfortunately only allows for a limited number of staves, so if you want symphonic results, you’ll not get them. It allows the import and export of midi files, but doesn’t allow you to record in WAV.

02
Notation Composer

Notation Composer

Here we have another lightweight, simple piece of software. It’s quite easy to use, however comes with a lack of other features. You can import music written elsewhere that is in MIDI format and after editing, chuck it back out in MIDI format. Depending on the MIDI device you are using will also depend on the sound set you get, so if you are using a standard sound card you may want to give this one a miss, however, if you don’t mind a simpler sound set, or you’re simply churning a couple of bits and pieces out for a later date, this could be quite ideal.

01
Photo Score Ultimate

Photo Score Ultimate

Have you ever wanted to arrange a track, but wanted to get the input of notes done for you? Photo Score Ultimate is a Sheet music scanner which will accurately scan, read and export into Sibelius for you to play with. It can read everything you throw at it, from hand written music to chords and guitar tabs. If it’s a vocal part however, it won’t sing it back to you!

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