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Cubase is pretty good a minimizing Midi pressures on the CPU. (Way better than Garage Band.) It's not free, but it is Windows and Mac compatible. I've used it on both and there aren't very many differences in how it works. You can install it on any machine, but it will only run with the license Dongle in a USB port on the computer used.
LMMS. Pattern-based composition (i.e., drum machine) plus audio recording. It's a simple FL-Studio/Garage Band clone and it's free. Even though the name means "Linux MultiMedia Studio" there are 32- and 62-bit Windows versions.
My Bandcamp AlbumsHappy Techno Robots - Electro By And For RobotsHorrorVox - Blues for ZombiesBaroque Now - Classical crossover (recorder/synthesizer)My Music Web SitesRobots Music BlogBaroque Now Official PageAkai EWI4000s, 1991 MIM Fender Stratocaster, Alto Recorder at Baroque Pitch (1994, Jean-Luc Boudreau), Moog Little Phatty, FL-Studio, etc.
As I recall, Fruityloops (now FL Studio) has craploads of plugs (drums included) - it's pretty deep.. $199
SuperMicro - X7DA3+
Xeon X5470's - 24GB ECC FB
12TB SAS [HS] Backbone
Quadro FX 5800 4G
R800w power [HS]
Greenvalley HDV SP Broadcast Suite
3 Sony 3/4" Pro VTRs
Roland V-Synth GT
Roland Fantom XR W/RPC-1
5.1 Dynaudio BM5A
60" HD Multi-Touch (unfinished)