And even then, the chances of actually having your music heard by millions or even thousands of people were slim, since record labels and agents tended to allocate laughably little money to smaller projects that weren't already offering massive returns.
Thankfully those days are over, and it's now possible for anyone with an increasingly modest budget to produce everything from a hit single to a full-length record in the comfort of their own home.
In fact, some of the biggest hits of the past five years have been recorded using little more than a microphone and a laptop, and as home-recording technology becomes more advanced, the gap between raw creativity and all-out stardom seems to be shrinking dramatically.
Even major artists who end up using traditional studios to complete records tend to get their ideas off the ground using relatively simple equipment, and in an age where everyone seems to be on the go, the portability of laptop studios makes them especially appealing for musicians who can't wait to record their next great idea.
The only problem is that there are several pro-level music production platforms to choose from, each of which has its unique benefits.
Used by best-selling artists to create some of the biggest hits of the past decade, Logic Pro, Ableton Live, and FL Studio all offer artists and producers a virtually limitless number of tools that can be used to craft a pro-level track from scratch, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a major recording studio that doesn't rely on one of these programs.
So which one is best for you?
1. Logic Pro
As one of the world's leading digital audio workstations, this ubiquitous production platform is a favorite among Apple fans due to its simplicity and power.
You can automatically match the timing of your tracks using tools like Smart Tempo, work with a wide range of plugins like on-board reverb and EQ in order to fine-tune your sound, build tracks with realistic-sounding drum kits and much more—all within an intuitive interface that works seamlessly with every Mac OS.
Despite Logic Pro's intuitive nature, however, you still need the right instruction if you want to take advantage of everything it has to offer. Through 45 hours of expert-led content, the Ultimate Logic Pro X Music Production Bundle will teach you everything you need to know about this award-winning platform—from the absolute basics to the more advanced tricks and tools.
You'll learn how to set up tracks, write music using both your ear and established theory, record vocals, work with post-production methods in order to polish your work and much more—all through instruction that teaches you how to work with synths, plugins and loops.
2. Ableton Live
A favorite among electronic music producers, Ableton Live offers a unique set of tools that make it easy to create a limitless number of sounds with minimal effort.
You'll be able to sample tracks from recordings, integrate DJ tools that make it easy to perform on the fly, produce tracks remotely and much more—all within a platform that prides itself on making things easy for beginner and advanced producers alike.
Through 28 hours of training, the Ableton Music Production Mastery Bundle walks you through everything you need to know about this leading production platform.
You'll learn how to navigate the more advanced elements of the program that often go unnoticed even by more seasoned users, how to make the most of Ableton's on-board synths and samplers, how to edit your clips in order to make them sound perfect and more.
3. FL Studio
Last but certainly not least, FL Studio is a complete music production environment that offers a great deal of freedom when it comes to producing tracks of all genres. As one of the world's most popular audio workstations, FL Studio has been used by everyone from Avicii to Martin Garrix in order to bring their ideas to life, and the latest version—FL Studio 20—has more features than ever before.
To help you navigate those features, we recommend the Music Production in FL Studio 20: Learn FL Studio in a Day bundle, which comes with everything you need in order to take full advantage of this best-selling platform.
You'll learn how to record, edit and mix your music by using pre-installed instruments and production tools, along with a series of pro-level plugins that will help you take your tracks to the next level.
There's even instruction that walks you through the more advanced elements of arranging your songs professionally.
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