Favorite tools for music making

I wanted to share with you some of my favorite tools I have for making music. These all are essential items for me. If I was to loose one I would most certainly replace them.


Transcribe allows me to quickly select a piece of music an slow the tempo down to any percentage that I like. I like it as it is so easy to navigate and actually find it very useful to loop phrases.


Another program that I hope will always stay simple. I use score cleaner to sketch out my initial ideas on the piano. I find score cleaner much cleaner than Sibelius for being able to play directly into via piano. I would not use score cleaner for any actual notation of the final score, but it certainly looks clear enough for me when sketching.


Sibelius 6 (or finale): Having a notation program is really the heart of my composing software endeavors.Learn to use them well and you will not be sorry

Logic (or equivalent DAW): Another program I do not know what I would do without. Other equivalents would be Cubase, Digital performer, Reaper, and Sonar,or Protools.


Microphone and Audio interface: I have a RODE NT1 and I really enjoy my Appogee duet. They allow me to have clean recordings, and the duet is so mobile I can record anywhere I go.


Midi USB keyboard: So many to choose from here. I knew I wanted weighted keys and full range of a piano so I settled on a Yamaha. Depending on what your goals are, many composers need a keyboard that acts as a controller for their midi samples. (I will look at midid samples in a future post)


Lastly I would like to give a special mention to my student Frank Foerster who had his composition for String Orchestra performed on fathers day at Fort Tryon Park in New York City. I was in attendance and happy to report it was a hit with the audience. Bravo Frank !

Many best wishes and musical inspiration



Posted on June 24, 2012 in Music Composition

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About the Author

An award-winning composer, accomplished musician and sonic storyteller, Douglas Gibson resides in New York City, where he composes and gives music composition lessons locally and online worldwide.
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