I am not asking this question for myself, since I am already well seasoned with Logic and Cubase, but for my significant other.
My girlfriend is interested in making some music, just for her own entertainment, since she enjoyed the simple iPad apps you can get these days where it is just pressing some buttons and you get a groove (Polyphonic - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/polyphonic!/id740204500?mt=8). She likes to take it a step further but the software I use is waaaay too complicated to just start with. Ideally she would like to make music that she can put under our holiday videos, which she makes herself.
To find the right software for her it is important to understand her computational skillset and that is quite good. She is already very proficient in applications like iMovie and Final Cut Pro, so no problem there, which makes the playing field a bit wider. However I can't expect her to start making music with a complete mixing rack with send and insert effects, compression and all that stuff. That is just a step too far. Don't care about the mixing/mastering at the moment.
Since she has quite some musical feel (rhytm and melody) but absolutely no practical experience in any instrument I think it is wise to start with a loop-based approach.
I am more into rock and pop and have spent most my time with Cubase and Logic Pro so I don't really know what has happened the past years in the loop-based scene. At the moment I am thinking about trying out, for her:
- Fruity Loops Studio
- Acid Studio
What would be your best software tip for a complete music production beginner? Her musical taste is quite broad, so no problem there. Software wise we have both macs and pc's here so we're open to all possibilities.