- Audacity: This free recording and editing DAW (digital audio workstation) is pretty incredible for the price. It is reliable and straightforward. Use with any of your own microphones and speakers for doing simple recording, and then polish it with built-in effects. It is very good at doing precision timing editing and has a slew of pretty fantastic options, including changing the speed, pitch (key), creating an echo, and applying a variety of filters like high pass, low pass, and reverb. It is cross-platform, which simply means it works on both Windows and Mac OS. Very highly recommended for anyone working with music/audio.
- GarageBand: This Mac only DAW (digital audio workstation) is known for its friendly interface (easy to learn!) and approachability for non-musicians as well as moderately robust features for professionals. Probably most importantly, it comes with several (hundreds) of pre-made loops for all instruments, so you can start composing your own music using loops within minutes. Works only on Mac and not Windows, but comes standard on Mac computers, and is also available for $4.99 in the App store for your iPad or iPhone.
- Logic Pro 9: Another Mac product, Logic is the mac DAW for more serious recording artists and engineers. It is $199.99.
- Ableton Live: Seriously cool.
Tips on how to record correctly: Coming soon!
Tips on editing: Coming soon!