If you are new to producing music you might ask yourself what software can i use to make beats/record/compose etc. In todays world that sort of software is called DAW(Digital Audio Workstation) and im going to show you the best there is out there.
Let's start of with the simples and most used by beginners.
FL Studio( Fruity Loops) first picture on the bottom right ->
FL Studio features a fully automatable workflow based on a pattern-based music sequencer.
Fl Studio is best for beginners because of its simple layout. It's recommended for hip hop/pop/electro and many other genres. It can export your songs into Wav or MP3 Files. Fl Studio Express Edition is only 50$. You can also download a free demo on there website http://flstudio.image-line.com/. The demo lets you do anything but save your work or export it. You can even record audio with Fl Studio but be aware thats it is its weak point. It is not great for recording audio, it does record vocals pretty well. So if you are a beginner I recommend you start of with Fl Studio. FL Studio features a fully automatable workflow based on a pattern-based music sequencer.
Next, in line, is Steinberg's Cubase (second picture on the right)
Cubase is a music software product developed by Steinberg for music recording, arranging and editing as part of a Digital Audio Workstation. I recommend Cubase for intermediate to advance users. Cubase can pretty much do anything. It is widely used in the Electro genre but it works great with anything else. Unlike Fl Studio it is great for recording external audio. Prices vary from 150$ to 500$. I really recommend this if you are serious about your music.
Lets continue with Pro Tools (pictured third on the right)
This is the almighty of DAW's. If you ever go to a recording studio you will see this software being used. It lets you do anything from beats to recording audio. Pro Tools is a digital audio workstation platform for Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows operating systems, developed and manufactured by Avid Technology. It is widely used by professionals throughout the audio industries for recording and editing in music production, film scoring, film, and television post production. Pro Tools can run as standalone software, or operate using a range of external A/D converters and internal PCI or PCIe audio cards with onboard DSP. To cut it short this is the best, whether you're making beats or recording your neighbors band this is the best option.
Ableton Live (pictured fourth on the right)
Ableton Live is a great DAW for live performances and its widely used by Dj's around the world. You can record audio and of course make beats. Recomended for beginners to advanced users. Much of Live's interface comes from being designed for use in live performance as well as for production. As such the interface is more compact than most sequencers and clearly designed for use on a single screen. There are few pop up messages or dialogs. Portions of the interface are hidden and shown based on arrows which may be clicked to show or hide a certain segment (e.g. to hide the instrument/effect list or to show or hide the help box).
Reason ( pictured on the top)
Reason is a music software program developed by Swedish software developers Propellerhead Software. It emulates a rack of hardware synthesizers, samplers, signal processors, sequencers and mixers, all of which can be freely interconnected in an arbitrary manner. Reason can be used either as a complete virtual music studio, or as a collection of virtual instruments to be played live or used with other sequencing software. i recommend this for intermediate users to advance. Only downfall to Reason is its not able to use VST's.
This is it for today. Hope this helps you out on picking the right DAW.