What are the best MIDI software?

Interested in music production or becoming a DJ, Steve Olson? The community has gathered a number of apps and software that can help you with this hobby or passion of yours. Try these apps and maybe you can be the next Steve Aoki or Zedd!

asked by Steve Olson
269 contributors
16 solutions
  1. 38

    #1FL Studio

    FL Studio

    Fl Studio is a MIDI software developed by Belgian company Image-Line Software BVBA. It features a graphical user interface based on a pattern-based music sequencer.

    Software

    Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

    $99- Varies by plan

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  2. 26

    #2Avid Pro Tools

    Avid Pro Tools

    Avid Pro Tools is a MIDI software developed by Avid Technology for Microsoft Windows and macOS. This software can be used for a wide range of sound recording and sound production purposes. 

    Software

    Mac, Windows

    $24.92- Varies by plan

    Sue Yu
    Written on June 17, 2019
    "Probably the best MIDI software ever!!! This has the cleanest audio editing workflow that I have tried. There are also track freeze that is really helpful."
  3. 26

    #3Cubase

    Cubase

    Cubase is a digital audio software developed by Steinberg for the purpose of music and midi recording, arranging, and editing. It operates on Windows and macOS.

    Software

    Windows, Mac

    $559.99- Varies by plan

    Liu Cao
    Written on June 17, 2019
    "This one is kinda expensive but the work its doing is really good. Editing is really thorough adn the mixer is really powerful."

WHAT'S THE MEANING

MIDI is an acronym that stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. It's a protocol used for exchanging musical information between musical instruments. It records notes, from pitch, to length, and even to vibratos. but it cannot record sound waves, so MIDI data are much smaller than other sound files.

DID YOU KNOW?

Roland Corporation is a Japanese manufacturer. They specialize in electronic musical instruments, electronic equipment, and software. Ikutaro Kakehashi founded it in Osaka on April 18, 1972. He came up with the idea to create a standard language for musical information. This to use in interchanging data between musical instruments from different manufacturers. In 1981, he shared his idea with Oberheim Electronics owner Tom Oberheim. Oberheim then proposed it to Sequential Circuits president Dave Smith. The three then met with other musical instruments manufacturers Yamaha, Korg, and Kawai. They discussed the idea of developing Roland's Digital Control Bus.

Within 12 months, the companies announced they developed the MIDI. It was only in the 1983 Winter NAMM that the first MIDI connection showcased to the public. This was when Smith played a Prophet 600 and Roland JP-6. Today, MIDI files are editable using free MIDI software like GarageBand or AmpliTube. Some other more robust choices like Cubase and FL Studio are available too. Steinberg's Cubase, in particular, as being one of the best MIDI editors. This is thanks to the efforts of Kakehashi and Smith. They were both awarded Technical Grammy Awards in 2013 for their roles in the birth of the MIDI.

  1. 24

    #4Ableton Live

    Ableton Live

    Ableton Live is a software music sequencer and digital audio workstation for macOS and Windows. It is designed to be an instrument for live performances.

    Software

    Windows, Mac

    $99- Varies by plan

    Philip Grant
    Written on June 17, 2019
    "This one is pretty nice, the navigation is fast and the automation is powerful, the only thing that i dont like is its lack of pitch correction tool."
  2. 23

    #5GarageBand

    GarageBand

    GarageBand is a music making software and app for Mac and iOS respectively. It offers a sound library with software instruments, presets for guitar and voice, and virtual session drummers. Users can access piano and guitar lessons.

    Software

    Mac, iOS

    Free

    Gerald Coleman
    Written on November 21, 2017
    "GarageBand is pretty decent software to use if you're on a Mac. I was able to set up a MIDI controller easily and begin using my electronic instruments to create some music. The software also has a ton of features that will probably take years of experience to fully understand and utilize. If you're using a Mac, then this is a great piece of software to start off with and get a feel for recording and creating music. "
  3. 23

    #6Reaper

    Reaper

    Reaper is a digital audio workstation and MIDI sequencer software created by Cockos. It was first released on August 2006 and is available for Microsoft Windows and macOS.

    Software

    Windows, Mac

    $60- $225

    Ruth Alvarado
    Written on November 26, 2017
    "Reaper is so awesome, and the 60 day trial period really allowed me to play around with it and create different tracks using different effects and plug ins. I liked it so much and found it to be so functional that I didn't even wait the 60 days before upgrading to the full version. If light sound engineering is your thing, get this, you won't regret it!"
  4. 23

    #7Reason 10

    Reason 10
    Reason 10 is a digital audio workstation (DAW) music production software developed by Propellerheads which allows users to record, mix, and modify music with built-in collaboration tools and instrumental sounds and effects.
    Software

    Windows, Mac

    $399

    Agustín de la Rosa
    Written on June 17, 2019
    "There are no surround or scoring features but there is a wide variation of bundled instruments which is kinda cool."
  5. 18

    #8vanBasco's Karaoke Player

    vanBasco's Karaoke Player

    vanBasco's Karaoke Player is a MIDI and karaoke player that supports .kar, .mid, .midi, and .rmi files. It has a fully customizable Karaoke window where you can change font, colors, number of lines and background image.

    Software

    Windows

    Free

    Jordan Herrera
    Written on December 1, 2017
    "vanBasco's Karaoke Player is a very easy to use MIDI player on your system. VanBasco is very customizable and is the solution to your problem when you encounter a file that you need to play."
  6. 16

    #9Sonar

    Sonar
    Sonar from Cakewalk is a digital audio workstation used by star producers and musicians for composing, recording, mixing and editing music. Cakewalk offers the possibility of choosing from three versions designed to meet your needs and budget.
    Software

    Windows, Mac

    $49- Varies by plan

    Karen Sanchez
    Written on November 25, 2017
    "There are so any options available in this DWS. However, I also found it to be very intuitive and easy to comprehend. It is definitely easy to learn but difficult to master."
  7. 13

    #10Piano Tutor for iPad

    Piano Tutor for iPad

    Piano Tutor for iPad is a paid app that is intended to be used by piano students or beginners that want to get started with a virtual piano. The app also features four fun games and a midi keyboard.

    Apps

    iOS

    $2.99- with in-app purchases

    James Berry
    Written on April 11, 2018
    "Piano Tutor is a great app for the kids who have an interest in music and piano. But I was expecting to see a more complicated MIDI software instead of a just toy for kids. "
  8. 13

    #11djay 2 for iPhone

    djay 2 for iPhone

    djay 2 lets you convert your iPhone or iPad into a DJ system. You can create your own mixes and add audio effects like Flanger, Echo... The app supports DJ MIDI controllers. 

    Apps

    Android

    $2.99

    Harold Garrett
    Written on November 26, 2017
    "might be good for DJ programs but not much else"
  9. 4

    #12Reaper 5

    Reaper 5

    REAPER 5 is a digital audio workstation and MIDI sequencer software developed by Cockos. It was first released on August 23, 2006. It is available for Microsoft Windows and macOS.

    Software

    Mac, Windows

    $225

    Janet Wagner
    Written on November 19, 2017
    "Reaper offers a lot of interesting scripting and video options as well as API functions. In the newest version, you can compose and edit MIDI as musical notation, as well as viewing and editing recorded MIDI. Nice GUI layouts for everything. "
  10. 3

    #13Walk Band

    Walk Band

    Walk Band is a music app for Android devices. You can play piano, bass, guitar, and drums. The app, also, allows you to add sound plugins, mix tracks and support an external midi keyboard.

    Apps

    Android

    Free- with in-app purchases

    Bryan Miller
    Written on November 23, 2017
    "Awesome! A lot of fun I installed it and began playing around immediately. I'm not sure what else to do to try and make music but it was cool just to play with."
  11. 2

    #14Pianist HD

    Pianist HD

    Pianist HD is a virtual keyboard that allows you to play music at any speed and without effort. It includes over 128 musical MIDI instruments, more than 12 sampled voices and offers you more than 50.000 songs to play.

    Apps

    Android

    Free- with in-app purchases

    Ridhi Sen
    Written on November 26, 2017
    "At first, I didn't think this was exactly what I was looking for, because it specifies being a piano app. But it does MIDI versions of every instrument I can think of, as well as voices, and tons of songs. It's a pretty good solution to my query, though it doesn't have all the features I would want."
  12. 1

    #15Sweet MIDI Player

    Sweet MIDI Player

    Sweet MIDI Player is an app that lets you modify and listen to MIDI files. It also has a mixer-like interface where users can do things like changing the tempo, transposing, muting specific channels and so on. It's available for iOS devices.

    Apps

    iOS

    Free- with in-app purchases

    Terry Young
    Written on November 29, 2017
    "This is a nice app for auditioning many kinds of MIDI files. If you're working on a project at home, and run out of time, you can use this app to make your changes to it while out and about on your phone, and then connect it back to your home computer when you get home and the changes are there! Very convenient."
  13. 0

    #16ACID Pro 365

    ACID Pro 365

    ACID Pro 365 is a digital audio workstation (DAW) software platform which features 16 analog synths, techno beats and other instruments, vintage compressors, 9 GB of built-in ACID loops, and other analog audio tools.

    Software

    Windows, Mac

    $9.99- Varies by plan

    William Davidson
    Written on February 13, 2019
    "Acid really is a very very decent MIDI DAW I am using for the past 3 years"

Summary

Best What are the best MIDI software
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1FL StudioSoftware 38 Paid
2Avid Pro Tools Software 26 Paid
3CubaseSoftware 26 Paid
4Ableton LiveSoftware 24 Paid
5GarageBandSoftware 23 Free
6ReaperSoftware 23 Paid
7Reason 10Software 23 Paid
8vanBasco's Karaoke PlayerSoftware 18 Free
9SonarSoftware 16 Paid
10Piano Tutor for iPadApps 13 Paid
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