Digital audio workstations (the software musicians use to produce music) isn’t cheap. Many music creation software packages can range from upwards of $1000 and it has left many people questioning the value and the price of the software.
Why is Music Production Software so Expensive? Music production software is so expensive because of the time and money that goes into producing the software. There are marketing costs involved and a supply and demand effect that takes place. They are also all-in-one software packages that have many inbuilt features.
Music creation software gives you a software-based recording studio at your fingers tips. There are many reasons why digital audio workstations are so expensive, such as the developer costs and a supply and demand effect. In this article, we will dive into the reasons behind the expensive price tag on music production software.
The Main Reasons Why Music Creation Software is so Expensive
Don’t let the price tag kill your passion and dreams.
At first glance, you may feel like there’s no way you can afford DAW software but there are many options on the market and they vary greatly in price.
Don’t feel like you have to buy the most expensive if you are going to be able to create great music, there are loads of reasonable options and we’ll talk more about them later.
For now, let’s take a look at the factors that impact the price of DAW software:
- Developer cost– this kind of software has masses of experience behind it, it takes a lot of time and money to create and on top of this the developer needs to be able to make a profit.
- Creation of sell-able songs– musicians use DAW software to create songs that they hope to then go on and sell, this means the software is giving you an opportunity to make money and make a profit for yourself. An opportunity to create something you can go on and charge for is rarely going to be available for free.
- Supply & demand– let’s face it, there are way less people investing in DAWS compared to let’s say office software which is one of the reasons the price is so high. With a smaller market, there will be a smaller number of software copies sold which means the price will seem expensive in comparison.
- High standards– if you want industry-standard software you can expect to pay high prices. You are paying for quality, reliability, and features, although there are some very affordable hidden gems to keep an eye out for.
- All-in-one– DAW software provides you with pretty much everything you could need to create a track all in one place. Open up your laptop or turn on your computer and you can immediately start creating. It’s convenient, it’s powerful and it’s flexible.
Free Music Creation Software Alternatives
There are many free alternatives available including programs you’ve likely heard of such as Audacity, Tracktion 4 and PreSonus Studio One 3 Prime.
Free DAWS is an open door for many broke musicians, they provide effective and usable software without leaving you penniless and struggling.
Most of these alternatives are relatively simple to get the hang of as they tend to have a simpler display and fewer features than paid DAWS.
Depending on your needs a free DAW may provide everything you are looking for but most of the time it’s nothing more than a great stepping stone.
You can use these free options to learn the basics and get the hang of the software but due to the lack of features, there will come a time when you want more from your DAW. It is at this moment you will need to invest in another program.
However, the benefit of using a free DAW first (aside from the finances) is that you can now have a better idea of what you like, what you need and how much you’re willing to pay for your next DAW.
You Don’t Need an Expensive DAW to Make Great Music
The cost of buying DAW software varies massively and thankfully this means there are affordable options for musicians who are just starting out.
We are referring here to software that costs up to $120 to purchase.
These low budget alternatives are some of the most popular and widely used programs.
With a low price tag and the option for a free trial, Reaper is extremely popular and is renowned for its sophisticated capabilities.
Other inexpensive programs include Cubase 7 elements and FL Studio.
Low-cost DAWS are excellent options for beginner to intermediate music artists, you may never find a need to upgrade as many of the inexpensive options are jam-packed with tools and features.
They are a great starting point and if you want to build up there is always that option but at least you’re not breaking the bank to begin producing music.
Why is Logic Pro X cheaper than most paid digital audio workstations?
Logic Pro X is a DAW created by Apple, it is cheaper than many other DAW programs available but why is this?
At $200 it has a very competitive price tag for the quality of the software and requires very little extras in terms of plugins and instruments so it has all the tools, you need to start creating tracks from the moment you open the program.
The only downside to this software is that you need a mac to run it. If you don’t have a mac then unless you invest in one you would not be able to use this popular software.
Ultimately, it’s clever marketing. Logic Pro X costs a fraction of the price of other programs but requires a mac to run it. If you already own a mac then you have nothing to worry about and you should take a serious look at investing in this program.
If you don’t have a mac then you could consider buying a mac which would be the ultimate goal for Apple. A low-cost program that only runs on Mac simply attracts more people to buy Macs.
It’s a great program full of excellent features so if you already have a Mac make the most of it.