What would be the best option to compose? What is the best software? Or should I compose on paper?
I’d say the “best” way to compose is through a Digital Audio Workstation with Kontakt libraries.
here’s a video for an overview of the workflow this kind of software (DAW) offers.
Each method has benefits and drawbacks.
Composing by hand actually activates your brain in different ways from using software. I believe there is benefit to sketching by hand, and many composers still do this. Some even still compose everything by hand, only using composition software near the end of the process.
Using notation software, you can get through a lot of music quickly. You can also quickly tweak existing compositions.
I personally see the DAW as a place for the final performance of your work, either through midi or audio recording. However, I have done a fair amount of composition in my DAW as well for film scoring.
I would recommend trying out all three methods and see which works best for you.
As far as “best” software I think you’ll find that there is no such thing. Partly no software is complete, each of them offer something the others don’t. Also, it’s down to personal preference and what you aim to do with said software.
Some notation software is great for speed, composing quickly, others great for finishing a score for printing out and handing to artists (while some lack in this regard), others are great at editing MIDI beyond just the notes on the sheet. So it’s very much a question of finding what’s right for you.
Personally I chose to go with Notion, this because;
1. I don’t plan on printing my score, which is one of Notions drawbacks compared to Sibelius and Finale
2. I find it very easy and fast to use
3. I’ll do my MIDI editing in my DAW, Notion is barely a tool for transcribing scores and getting ideas down on “virtual paper”, I won’t even be sending MIDI from Notion to Cubase I’ll rather just work with these completely separate.
4. My choice might make sense now, but my needs may change as my compositional skills grow, so I’m expecting to have to buy and learn more software down the line.
5. Pencil and paper is still king of speed, it’s a great skill to develop so I keep training this as well