Useful Music Production Software

Vienna Ensemble Pro

A fast workflow is everything when it comes to producing high-quality music quickly.

While it’s unlikely you’ll be working to many deadlines when producing stock music, it doesn’t hurt to streamline your workflow where possible.

I’ve put together a short list of useful software I utilise every day and would be much less productive without.

AG Watermark Generator

AG Watermark Generator

We’ll be covering ways to protect your work in later tutorials, but one of the most common ways to make sure your music isn’t used or downloaded illegally is to add a watermark.

A watermark is a snippet of audio that repeats every ten seconds or so.

AG Watermark makes this process very easy, allowing you to add watermarks to a single track, or several tracks at the same time.

The software also includes presets for popular libraries – such as AudioJungle – that require you to watermark music to their specifications before upload.

AG Watermark Generator

Codec Toolbox Manager

Toolbox Manager

You’ll spend plenty of time exporting your music in various formats and encoding to multiple levels of quality. This little gem makes that process much more manageable. It can be used as either a DAW plugin or as an external application.

It can batch encode, add metadata and artwork to your tracks too.

Codec Toolbox Manager

Keyboard Maestro (Mac only)

Keyboard Maestro

I only recently discovered the power of this little gem.

Keyboard Maestro allows you to assign an action or a set of actions to a keystroke or set of conditions on your Mac.

I use it with Logic X to trigger custom macros. For example, I have one macro which will bounce a file and reverse it all with one keystroke.

It’s worth downloading the demo to give it a try. It can seem daunting at first, but worth it once you start creating macros which aid your workflow.

Keyboard Maestro

Spreadsheet Software

A rather dull inclusion I know, but setting up a spreadsheet using Microsoft Excel or Apple Numbers is a must if you want to keep track of your, uhm, tracks. Documenting which libraries they’ve been uploaded to, whether they’ve been accepted.

I have two primary spreadsheets. The first is for track metadata – I make a note of the title, tempo, length, description, keywords and additional edits.

The second sheet lists all of the libraries I contribute to, and I use colour coding to represent the status of a track (submitted, pending, accepted, etc.).

I’ll be going into more detail in further tutorials.

Apple Numbers | Microsoft Excel

Typinator (Mac only)

Typinator

Typinator works by automatically expanding text when the appropriate keystroke is used.

How is this useful for a music composer? Well, it goes some way to reducing the tedium of adding descriptions, tags and keywords to music after it has been uploaded to a library.

Just enter your track description and keywords once into Typinator, assign them a keyboard shortcut and save masses of copying and pasting by typing the shortcut into the appropriate fields on the music upload page.

Typinator is Mac only, but I’m sure similar text expansion software for the PC exists.

Typinator

Vienna Ensemble Pro

Vienna Ensemble Pro

VEPro hosts plugins (both instruments and effects in VST and AU format at the same time) outside of your DAW.

This means you can host sample libraries and effects on a ‘slave’ computer, or to take some of the strain off your DAW by hosting your CPU intensive sound libraries on the same machine.

As it runs independently of your DAW, you can set up a template in VEPro and switch seamlessly between projects in your DAW without the need to continually load your instruments all over again.

It even opens up both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of your plugins, handy if your DAW no longer supports them.

I found hosting my string and brass libraries in VEP on my iMac has improved the performance of Cubase and Logic immeasurably. Allowing me to use very low latency settings and having all instruments at hand when composing.

Vienna Ensemble Pro

Jon Wright

Jon Wright, is a composer based in London, UK. His music has featured on networks including NBC, CBS, Discovery, History, EuroSport, and the BBC.