Especially so when all your music talent lies in being able to play the pianica a bit, but that’s about it then. Thankfully there are several programs out there that will cheerfully make up for one’s own misses and provide easy and intuitive tools.
In the past I’ve been using Myriad’s Melody Assistant. It’s a very capable program for writing and rendering music. You can import Midis, change their notation, the instruments and render your stuff out to an MP3 if you want to.
Recently I started tinkering with music creation again after a long recess, I’ve been using FLStudio and it’s absolutely great. It has all the features of Melody Assistant plus a some real stuff for quickly producing and editing songs. There’s a waveform editor that allows you to do slicing, looping and sampling from within the program, a bunch of drumkits, VSTi support and support for soundfonts. It’s a real treat to be able to do work so swiftly, especially when you’ve got a basic knowledge only. There are several versions of the program out there starting from about 50$ up to 300$. Still, that’s pretty cheap if you consider the costs of applications like Reason.
And things get better from here on: FLStudio works fine with Wine on Unix. It does have the expected amount of visual glitches and minimizing is a no-no but apart from that the application works flawlessly. That’s not only cool for FLStudio and Wine but also for Linux 🙂 .