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What To Look For in a Music Production Program in 2024

December 7, 2023 | Anton Berner

A guitarist mixing with distortion in Soundtrap

2023 is coming to a close and as we’re heading into the new year, people start looking for new hobbies and fields of interest. If you’ve ended up on this blog post, chances are you have decided to explore the world of music production. And for that, we salute you!  

So far you’ve done everything right. The first step toward producing music is to find a music production program, or software, that you feel comfortable with and that fits your production needs. 

A music production program, more commonly referred to as a Digital Audio Workstation, is your hub for music creation. This is where you turn ideas into songs. 

Soundtrap is a cloud-based music production program available online. This means you don’t have to download any software to your computer to make music. You can simply access Soundtraps online studio on your browser, from anywhere.

Solid music production software lets you record instruments and vocals, play MIDI instruments, edit and mix your music, and more, using your computer as the primary tool.

What’s needed in a music production program?

So what should you be looking for in a music production program? Well, it all depends on your preferences and needs. Some music producers want to primarily focus on digital beat making. Others want to record vocals and physical instruments. Some might want to use their DAW for mixing and mastering

Most music programs can perform all of these tasks pretty well. Some are better at recording, while some are better at MIDI editing, etc. It usually comes down to preference when sticking with a DAW. Do you like the interface, simplicity, workflow structure, effects, and so on? This is what matters the most when choosing your production software. 

With that said, there are some basic components that you will need out of your music program to make music of high quality.

Below, we have listed the bare essentials to look for when deciding on a DAW for your music creation. All of these features are of course available in Soundtrap.

1. User-friendly interface

A music production program should have an intuitive and user-friendly interface, allowing producers to navigate through its features seamlessly. A well-designed interface enhances the workflow and makes the production process more efficient.

Soundtrap is purposely designed with a simplified interface and intuitive tools. This way, our users can instantly create professional-sounding music, without prior experience or deep knowledge of music theory.

Soundtrap is purposely designed with a simplified interface and intuitive tools.

2. Versatile virtual instruments

A comprehensive set of virtual instruments is crucial for diverse music production. This includes realistic-sounding synthesizers, virtual live instruments, drum machines and drum kits, and other instrumental sounds that cater to various genres and styles.

In Soundrap, you have access to a fully stacked library of virtual instruments and presets that let you play and sequence any genre or style of music. Check out our MIDI Piano Roll to learn more about how you can play any instrument in the Soundtrap studio.

3. Robust audio editing tools

Precise audio editing tools are essential for manipulating and refining recorded or imported audio. This includes features for cutting, copying, pasting, time-stretching, pitch-shifting, and more, empowering producers to craft their desired sounds.

In addition to Soundtrap’s MIDI editor, we offer a wide range of editing tools, like time stretch, pitch change, octave change, reverse switch, split region, and more. Simply right-click on the audio you want to edit and explore the different options laid out for you. 

4. High-quality effects and processing

A variety of high-quality audio effects (EQ, reverb, delay, compression, etc.) and signal processing tools contribute to the overall sound design and polish of a production. The program you choose should offer a range of options to sculpt and enhance audio elements.

Soundtrap has an extensive effects library with everything you need to shape your sound into perfection. In addition to standard tools used on all instruments, like EQ, compression, delay, and reverb, Soundtrap also offers industry-leading vocal effects, like Vocal Tuner, De-Esser, Vocal Cleanup, and more.

Read more: Making Music with Loops & Samples: Beginner Guide

Image of the new distortion mixing effects in Soundtrap

The program you choose should offer a range of options to sculpt and enhance audio elements.

5. MIDI capabilities

Strong MIDI capabilities are crucial for music production, enabling producers to create, edit, and manipulate MIDI sequences. This includes support for virtual instruments, automation, and MIDI mapping for external controllers.

All you have to do in Soundtrap is to plug your MIDI controller into your computer, pull up Soundtrap’s instrument library to choose your sound, and then start playing. 

Your MIDI notes are recorded on our Piano Roll and can be edited and fine-tuned afterward. This allows you to sequence the perfect melodies to your songs and still have them sound human and realistic.

6. Premade loops and sounds

Sometimes you need some inspiration to get started or to pull in some external flavors to your composition. A solid Loops and Sample library is very useful in a music production program. Premade loops and sounds can be used as a starting point for a beat or song, or as a compliment to add some extra spark to a song. 

Soundtrap offers one of the most extensive loop libraries on the market. Our Soundtrap Originals include loops, samples, one-shots, and sound effects and are released bi-weekly. Visit the Loops tab in the Soundtrap studio and browse through sounds from genres like Drill, Trap, Rock, Pop, Phonk, Indie, and more. 

Read more: Making Music with Loops & Samples: Beginner Guide

7. Multi-device access

One of the huge benefits of modern music-making is the online DAW. Today, music production programs don’t have to be restrained to your computer. Having access to your music projects through an online DAW allows you to access your project from anywhere and on any device. 

Imagine you need to pull up your latest track to play for an A&R or a potential collaborator, but you haven’t yet exported the song. Having your music program available online lets you pull up all your works in progress on your phone.

The multi-device access that an online DAW offers also makes collaborations easier. Soundtrap collab feature lets you invite other users to work on the same project, in real time. No more exporting stems and loops and sending them back and forth. Now you can all collaborate on a song instantaneously. 

In 2024, having access to your music production program online is without a doubt a requirement.


Hopefully, our list of music program requirements has given you a better understanding of what to look for in your first DAW. 

Once you’re ready to get started, Soundtrap is ready to help you take the first steps into music production. Soundtrap is completely free with optional paid subscription plans. Check out our pricing page to find out which plan best fits your budget and needs. Good luck on your musical journey and don’t forget to let us know how it goes. We’d love to hear your creations!

About the author

Anton Berner is a music producer, audio engineer, and songwriter from Stockholm, Sweden. He's produced hip-hop & rap music since the early 2000s and his expertise is in vocal mixing and sample-based beat production. Anton is also the SEO & Content Manager @ Soundtrap and manages the blog and newsroom.

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