The Best Software for Artists of All Kinds
When it comes to technology, artists of all kinds have been catered to by the computer industry, creating gadgets and software developed to streamline the creative process and create a truer representation of your vision. Whether you’re a musician or a writer, there’s technology out there designed to make your life easier, so why aren’t you taking advantage of it?
In this article we’ll outline some of the best tools available to artists of all kinds to help them go from idea to reality. Nothing can beat the feel of playing an instrument or holding a brush in your hand, but some of these alternatives come pretty darn close.
Musicians primarily use DAWs to manage their music. A DAW, or Digital Audio Workstation, is a computer interface which allows you advanced functionality with sound files. You record your music directly to the computer, or upload it later, then are able to make any changes, edits, mixes etc. necessary to turn a raw recording into studio-quality content.
We don’t mean that lightly, either. Musicians can record or even compose using DAW software, using a vast variety of plug-ins, add-ons and instruments, both digital and real. Then use the program to edit your tunes, with DAWs capable of doing everything from moving arrangements to manipulating individual notes.
Musicians have more options than other artists for their software; there are dozens of different DAWs to choose from. Professional tools like Cubase, Pro Tools, Reason, Logic Pro or Ableton Live are all good places to start. You can begin slowly, like with a Logic Pro tutorial, to get a feel for these programs.
Visual artists love going to the craft store to see all the wonderful tools. Different paints, brushes and materials enable artists to release their full potential, which is what makes software like Coral Painter 16, Adobe Illustrator or ArtRage so exciting. You can pick from an unending variety of mediums, tools, colors, canvas textures… everything you’d expect in a fully stocked art studio at your fingertips with these sorts of software.
Animators use different software, like 3ds Max, Maya, or Blender (free!), most of which has both 2D and 3D capability. Depending on your level of expertise, you may want to try free programs like Blender first to get a feel for the software. Most companies try to stay within a close enough interface system that the skills you learn on one can cross over to another.
Photoshop may be the first software you think of when you imagine visual artists, but in truth it doesn’t produce very realistic looking art compared to the competition, and it’s animation software is expensive. It remains the standard for photo manipulation, however.
Authors and poets may feel left out of the technology loop but believe it or not, there’s lots of helpful software available for writers. Most is detailed around helping creative writers develop stories from ideas. They offer a way to organize your thoughts into fully-realized stories, and will help you with formatting and content suggestions depending on what you’re writing.
Examples of creative writing software include Contour, Power Writer, Storyist 3 or Final Draft 9. These will all help you format screen plays, scripts, novels and more, teaching you interactively along the way.
Software like Persona approaches the problem of character development, while programs like Dragon 13 allow you to dictate your masterpieces, turning your voice into text with advanced editing functions. MasterWriter even offers features for the poet or songwriter. As you can see, writers have been far from left out when it comes to helpful technology.
Traditionally, artists have been limited by their tools, but technology is changing that and finding ways to offer artists of every kind the freedom of expression they always wanted. Be sure to take advantage of these awesome tools for your next project!
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