Best Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs)
The Top Ten
Fruity Loops Studio is probably gonna be your best bet in the Digital Audio Workstation zone, if you are looking for a good, advanced yet simple one. I have used Fruity Loops since version 7, and it is very user-friendly, a good looking interface, easy and advanced at the same time type of Digital Audio Workstation you will ever have, now comparing this to Ableton, it's only what you can do better with either the two. But for my side, It's probably the best, and includes FREE lifetime updates, Performance abilities, several VST plugins that come along with it, and way too much more and more up with it. It is the best Digital Audio Workstation you can get.
NO MATTER WHAT, People will always disagree. If you like using a specific DAW, that is all that matters.
I have Pro Tools. I've used PT for 4 years now. However I've used FL for about 8-9 years, since version 6. There's a few things I much prefer in PT, but for my compositions and own song writing, its FL any day of the week.
PT I use to compose for films, or to record and produce other bands.
Given the option (please bear in mind this is my opinion and everyone is different so don't be elitist, you're no better than anyone else for using a specific DAW) I would use Fruity Loops Studio.
Awesome. My first DAW, and after trying a few others, I know I'll never use another Daw. Pure genius, everything works smoothly and is streamlined to perfection. Fully recommended
I have been using FL studio since its was 3 i.e. FL 3. I am a music producer. When my clients ask the files to be exported in cubase, pro tools, logic, live or any other programs then I just simply render my FL Studio tracks in wav or desired form and send them. They say it sounds great and I have repeat customers more often. Also, he who says the FL a simple DAW have never tasted it. My desperate suggestion to the imageline.com is that please change the name of FL studio and the dispute is all over. You can name is IL Studio i.e. ImageLine Studio...etc...V 53 Comments Visit Website9
Hands Down Best DAW so much flexibility. I started with Reason then Record the Logic, now Live.
I've used so many different DAWs over the years, with each having their various problems. Live is the only one that actually is able to keep up with my compositional pace. It's very intuitive to use, and unlike so many others that feel like they were written by coders, Live was something which came out of the Basic Channel/Chain Reaction stable of artists...meaning, it was created by musicians, and it shows! In its full Suite version with Max for Live, you have the feeling that you've tapped into raw sonic power with Live, and that if you can think of a musical idea, it can deal with it admirably. Having literally ridden the whole arc of digital workstation development from Studer Editech Dyaxis to the present day, trust me, this DAW is truly the pot of gold at the end of a very long developmental rainbow.
Has everything you will ever need to create and record music. If it had a few more sample instruments it would be the complete package.
I started with FL studio but now I'm using Ableton Live 9 because it's so easy to use and I'm comfortable with it and I thing that's all matters.V 28 Comments Visit Website9
Pretty amazing even without considering price. Finally an app for people with touch screens. Absolute freedom from using a mouse which is impressive. But taking price into consideration, amazing software. I guess the idea is to sell sounds and features in app for making money? Sort of like games. I like it. - feydmusic
I'm using it for over a year and it's definitely easy (more like working with a tutor), advanced (considering the processing abilities) and literally affordable by everyone! The updates are very-very-promising as well!
Best product ever so glad I got it! It has completely changed the way I produce music! It is so easy to use plus in my price range! I'd highly recommend this product to all my friends and anyone who wants to create music easily!
Unbeatable price/value! It gives life back to music.V 14 Comments
The layout being similar to old-school analogue interfaces is a great nostalgia trip for veteran audio engineers, but that's not all this DAW has to offer. Simply put, Pro Tools is a piece of software for audio engineers, rather than artists. While Ableton and FL are good for composition, and Ableton shines at live performance, for recording, mixing and mastering audio, Pro Tools is simply the best option on the market.V 1 Comment
Cubase is probably the strongest jack of all trades in terms of DAWs, specialising in MIDI.
The most complete DAW out there.
I am a composer and producer and I have had the opportunity to work with more than 5 DAW's, and I think Cubase has all the tools you need to compose, produce, mix and master music, in my opinion is the best profesional DAW in the marker.
Great Audio editing capabilities.V 5 Comments
Just love the interface! Three-level processing: 1. just create instrument/track, record, apply some basic settings and it sounds ok (for complete new-comers), not to mention the preset definitions, effects, etc. 2) Start tweaking the basing parameteres in the racks/mixer and you already sound cool (for those who know a thing or ten about mixing/sound creation/editing). and 3) is just... infinite tweakability, once you open the in-depth settings of sequencers, synths, effect parameters or you turn the racks around, to access simulating environments, rooms, miking, oscillator voltages (usable as side-chain parameteres for other effects, as well) or detailed synthesis of even wavetable sound instruments. Different built-in types of synthesis for synth freaks. Extremely easy midi hardware integration. Auto quantization of waves, etc.
Reason can do just about anything, if you know how to combine and chain racks, just as you would do in an analog studio. The downsize of that is that ...more
Although this is more of a production tool than a full DAW, it's the best on the market for those who want ultimate freedom to tailor sounds.
Where it excels is the real-feel workflow and profoundly versatile instruments:
1. If there's a sound in your head, you can make it a reality with without compromising on account of limited functionality. The instruments have overlapping but unique functions, and can accommodate ANY type of music creation.
2. You don't have 8 levels of windows to control the sound on one channel, it's all modular - so productivity stays high, the workspace clean, and everything is easy to monitor.
3. Routing audio and MIDI paths is almost mindlessly simple, like plugging into a sound board.
It's as if this DAW is a physical piece of equipment, it's a much more organic experience and can really change the way you produce.
Extremely versatile DAW, gives advanced users the ability to create new original sounds and instruments that have never been heard before, though it takes a reasonable amount of technical understanding and a large amount of time. CPU load is among the best in the industry and it DOES NOT CRASH, EVER. From a production perspective its definitely my favorite though there are a few things that could be improved.
Regardless of its sequencer being less deep than other more mature DAWs, it is still capable of delivering professional results. The stock devices cover a lot of ground and with a few Rack Extensions I have created my ultimate production workspace. The hardware look concept is pleasant and inspiring to work with.V 35 Comments Visit Website9
Apples Logic Studio is a great DAW!
For everyone who want's to play around with a software containing: professional mastered sounds / Plug-Ins, wide choice of "Apple Loops", good opportunities for mastering (even "top notch" mastering settings) and 100000 different kind of things!
It has a very user-friendly interface, is intuitive and has the Apple products quality. It includes tons of samples and a great collection of instruments. Above all, is compatible with almost all digital music formats (unlike the rest).
Logic is Pro Tools little brother (with Pro Tools being the Audio industry standard and Logic being the consumer friendly DAW) Anything you can do on Pro tools you can do on Logic and vice versa giving you the richest, fullest, most professional sound for your buck. Lots of instruments, lots of plug ins, User friendly, easy to read not overcrowded interface.
... Bottom line is this: MOST (well known) DAWs GOING AROUND ARE PRETTY DECENT AND ALL HAVE PROS AND CONS ITS ALL ABOUT THE USER... HOWEVER IF YOU ARE SERIOUS, YOU WANNA LEARN THE ROPES AND MOVE YOUR WAY UP TO BEING A PROFESSIONAL AND EVENTUALLY ENDING UP WITH PRO-TOOLS AS A PRODUCER OR ENGINEER, WHY NOT START WITH LOGIC? IT WILL BE A GREAT STEPPING STONE RATHER THAN PLAYING WITH LITTLE KID TOY DAWs.
I own reason, logic and pro tools... And used to own fruity loops
Has many powerful plugins, some of which are worth more than the daw itself.V 14 Comments Visit Website9
Not complicated at all, large flexibility in workspace (you can tune up everything, even cursor behavior). Large amount of built-in VSTis. Ergonomic interface an mixer. And much more. Perfect for any kind of music.
This has it all you need nothing just this and hit it
Really great flow and easy to use in my opinion - it is THE first class professional DAW and an incredibly powerful tool if you know how to use it
Very solid, Very Stable, Very Versatile. Most powerful DAW in the world from Film Scoring to Hip Hop/R&B all the way up to Rock music.V 16 Comments Visit Website9
Low priced and full of features that the other big household names have and then some. I've been using Reaper for the last three years and I'm still discovering new features that I didn't know existed. It's simply the best!
REAPER just works, solid/stable, best business model/cheapest, looks best/skinable, small footprint, most updated DAW ever, best support, great to rewire with FL Studio, Ableton Live, Reason etc... Most underrated likely because of its price. So funny how ignorant & set in there ways & easily lead by commercial advertising so many people are who think they are 'in the know' esp. When it comes to Pro tools, it really is a clear case of the blind leading the blind :P
Got a bunch... Always end up back at Reaper... JUST WORKS
Just amazing software for recording music. Brilliant and easy once you understand how it works. And so cheap! In my humble opinion, just creative magic. 🙂❤!V 20 Comments
Mixing? Check. Mastering? " check. VST 2.4 and VST 3 support? Check. User-friendly? Check. Drag-and-drop anything? Check. MIDI editing? Check. Piano Roll? Check. Exactly how many characters can I use for this comment? I have used Cubase SX3 and 5, FL Studio (which is more of a sequencer than a DAW, really, Ableton Live Suite 8, Tracktion 3, Audition, Sequoia, Acid Pro, Music Maker, Pyramix Virtual Studio, and just about every other DAW released for the PC. I really like Mixcraft 6 for its mixing capabilities, but I have to say the DAW I have always returned to after trying so many others to see if there is a feature I missed in Studio One, and can't find even the slightest comparison. I use a lot of Kontakt 5 stuff and really like V-metal, (after upgrading from Shreddage-X) and all it takes to create a dual-channel track is to click the Kontakt instrument in the instrument list in Studio One's mixer, and click the box for the next output. Nothing is easier to use than this DAW. ...more
I have all the Major DAWs. Studio One 3 spoils you by making it extremely easy to use with it's drag and drop features. I love how creativity doesn't get interrupted by the music stopping because you're audition different instruments. This the only DAW I know that doesn't stop the music.
It came with my Presonus Audio Interface and it does so much it will be a long time before I am done exploring the possibilities. I have used it for recording my band, mixing live performances, sequencing, composing,
Is there anything another DAW can do that Studio One can't do easier?
The best DAW till date, I found, I am a hard core FL studio user, using it since the Fruity loops 2 version, used nudendo, cubase, reaper, Logic Pro, mixcraft, tracktion, live, sonar, podioum and many, but after spending so many years I found that my mixes were not coming out specially vocals, so I tried many DAW's I Liked Reaper and mixcrarft are really good user friendly and do all the tasks required for producing a song,
but when I tried Studio one...o my god, fell in love, this is damn awesome DAW. now it is my every day thing...I heighly recomand it to everyone.
I cannot find fault with it. Editing is its strong point. All the way from surround sound to spectral analysis. Not heavy on CPU usage. Multitrack functionality is good. Red book CD burning options are fantastic. Will use any plug in you can throw at it. Will use any hardware interface you can mention. I cannot find fault with it.
I got thousands of dollars just because of adobe audition.. Thanks adobe
good daw - now fully featured DAW
I like Adobe Audition for its Amplitude Analysis so I use it for Mastering. Combined with a plug in like Izotope
Ozone it cannot be beaten when it comes to mastering. Use any of the other DAWs on the market - they
are all good and there is very little to separate them for doing your recording and mixing. But then do
yourself a favor and transfer your mixdown to Adobe Audition for the Mastering stage. You won't be
If you want to play with the big boys, you've got to have the same toys, in professional music, it means shelling out big bucks for a Pro Tools System. Pro Tools is currently the industry standard tool used in countless popular contemporary recordings and music productions. And many will argue that Pro Tools is the best. Pro Tools has an intuitive interface that makes it suitable for amateurs and new comers, while at the same time it provides great depth and power for industry professionals. The downside however is its price and its limited compatibility and high hardware requirements. Still, if you want to have the best music production software that money can buy, you better check out Pro Tools and the range of products they offer.
Pro Tools is truely stunning! It is top of the line in all aspects of audio recording, music production, mixing and mastering, and so much more. However, Pro Tools (as you may be able to discern by the name) is directed more toward Professional musicians/producers. It is used by studios and big-name producers all around the world. However, though Pro Tools is mainly designed for professionals, it has an intuitive interface that makes it suitable for amateurs and new comers, while at the same time provides great depth and power for industry professionals.
When I discovered Pro Tools, my only previous experience with DAWs was with Garage Band, so you can imagine the overwhelming confusion that came with trying to learn how to use one of the most professional DAWs on the market after having such an amateur background.
I am by no means a professional producer/artist, but I would highly recommend Pro Tools to both Professionals and amateurs, providing that they already have ...more
Pro Tools 10 Rocks!
All the others can not hold a candle to it, it presses all the right buttons, very low learning curve but takes years to master has a class about it that other daws strive to catch up with and when they almost do, protools is off again reaching new heights of brilliance, suck it and see you will like the taste.
Excellence at it's best...V 6 Comments
To be quite frank, in the day and age we live in, its all subjective. I for one think that in terms of audio editing Samplitude/Sequoia is second to none. Mastering Samplitude kills it hands down. Midi is well developed for the genre I'm doing, I started with FL Studio, then moved to Reason, at one point I was making beats on Reason and Recording in Samplitude. But today I use Samplitude for Beat Making, Recording, Editing, Mixing, Mastering and CD Authoring.
I have been working with this DAW for many years. I have to say, that I do not have a good comparison with an other DAW. But there was nothing I could not do with this DAW. It is super simple for newcomers and has a lot of features. And once you get used to it, you do not want anything else.
I have been using this DAW for over 15 years now also used to work with logic and with ableton live. Once you experienced its level of professional mixing and editing, I'm- and export features and mastering skills, these simply is nothing like it. Period.
This DAW sounds transparent, is stable, and reads/writes OMF / AAF files.This is the best DAW I have worked with. Samplitude PRO X3 suite is a complete audio editing software, it produces very high sound quality and has top quality plugins.I prefer Samplitude above ProTools!V 7 Comments
I really like this Daw. It does everything I need plus more. I am currently on 8.5 producer. My only wish is that it was ported to the Mac.. I an sure it would work even better on a mac.. Unfortunately, Windows is the only thing holding this product back..
A DAW for anything.. I arranges music and Sonar has been my loyal companion since 2006. I'm with Sonar X2 now and will be upgrading to X3 soon.
I've always liked the robust combo of the audio engine and the midi. By far the best combo out there
Simple and powerful. From the very first Cakewalk I used in 1990, MS-DOS to Pro Audio 9 for Windows to Sonar 2,4, 5 and 6, it never failed.
Simple - hit arm record for track(s), hit record button, and play audio or MIDI instrument. No glitches.
Powerful - all the stuff you need. It's like just having a Tascam 4-track, only this time you get unlimited tracks and MIDI, too! And bundled FX!
Simple, powerful, stable, and efficient. No frills.
DP has been in the shadows of Pro Tools for as long as I can remember, but it has always be the more flexible, full featured DAW. The most recent incarnation gives you tons of usable plug-ins, instruments and endless routing, editing, tracking and mixing possibilities. It is a studio workhorse, head and shoulders above any other DAW for scoring video. Totally undervalued.
This is the best DAW out there for film scoring!
Best Daw for me work flow is ok, steep learning curve but works for me, I'd give it 7 out of 10
DP has been and is my favorite DAW. It offers everything that has any DAW and makes it more elegantly and with more quality. Is incredible. DP is my choice for many years.V 1 Comment
For me Nuendo is a super complete DAW. In it I can record, edit and mix up with the audio quality and efficiency. Besides having an easy to use interface. Leaves nothing to be desired as the others.
The only DAW for serious film design and production. Automation leaves everyone else in it's wake alone.
I have used other DAW as well. Nothing beats Nuendo. It's best for Mastering and production. You should have good gears. I switched to Nuendo 5 years back and doing great.Sorry for other DAW.
Mixcraft 6 is an awesome DAW, especially for using a MIDI controller to compose most of a song. I have Ableton live and it can't touch the midi power of Mixcraft. In fact, Ableton barely works with a virtual instrument without the CRASH or poping and hissing. Mixcraft is something anybody can it the ground running with and is very stable. I'm using windows 7 with a dell laptop and FireWire express card and it is seamless. Appleton, not so seamless. How do they sell mixcraft so cheap? It is amazing! It is the best kept secret of all DAW's
Most user-friendly I've used and I've tried numerous ones...really nice MIDI editor (piano roll), bundled with a lot of loops and VST stuff too. Not perfect (what's with the transport bar in the middle of the screen? ) but overall the easiest to learn and use, and has the best look and feel about it as well.
I've tried many DAW's, Ableton, Cakewalk, Magix etc. I gave up on them, and the money I spent. There is only one, that is user friendly, and that's Mixcraft! I recently looked at a "top ten" list of DAW's. The writer explained that it's normal to take a couple of days to get problems worked out and be ready to use the DAW's on the list. Which makes sense, since Mixcraft wasn't on the list. I guarantee you, install Mixcraft, and you'll be creating songs, instead of "getting all the problems" ironed out. There are no problems. Mixcraft 8 Pro Studio comes with Melodyne Essentials. Very Nice!
The most intuitive, low cost, powerful DAW out there. Mixcraft 8 = hard to beat.V 11 Comments
Been using Sony Acid since the late 90's back when it was Sonic Foundry. I find the audio recording & plugin support great and easy to use. I also prefer the midi editing. can't really compare it to other DAWs, but for me it does almost everything I need. I have recently been working with Propellerhead Reason 6, and that seems though handle everything and more that Acid can't.
Midi sequencer, maps...Automatic knobs. Needs a lot of upgrades.
The Render of Mixdown takes too long than any new daw... But, the sounds is better than any of this list. Just try to mix the same parts in any software...you'll see the difference. Sonic Foundry was one of the best company in the 90's. Trust me.
I have Ableton Live 9 but much prefer Audacity and that is what I use day in day out. When I get an idea I can go through the steps manually, virtually nothing is automatic, and I like that as I'm a musician. My Live is limited to 8 tracks, but using Audacity I have as many as 35 tracks on some projects. Live requires much more screen real estate than my 19" monitor, Audacity serves me well.
Not really a DAW but if your into learning to record, mix, master, and effects, this is a good starting point!
I make all with this DAW: recording, mixing, mastering.
I added some external VSTs and the results are ok!
Highly Innovative, Friendly User interface, suitable for all producers from Beginners to Pros, Anything is possible with Caustic, there are no limits. Free for Windows and Mac. Genius Mobile Version For Android and iOS only $7.99. Large online community where friendly users can share their songs and content. Caustic is incredible because it provides endless possibilities to the creative Producer. Great for sound design as well, easily create your own unique samples and synth patches. However, If all you desire to produce is beats or sample-based music, Caustic has you covered here too. Like I said there are no limits, create the most personal unique music designed entirely by you or make hits with industrial quality, it's up to you. If you want a high quality DAW for very little cost, Caustic is the correct choice. Great software at low cost saves you money for other studio necessities, choose Caustic, after making beautiful music in a relatively short amount of time the scales will ...more
The best daw on the market, easy to pick up, huge potential. There seems to be a lot of snobbery amongst daw users when it comes to products like caustic. Don't listen to these people, try caustic for yourself and see. Anything produced on caustic 3 will sound every bit as good as any other daw, and that is all that matters. Caustic gets the same results twice as fast and twice as easy as any other daw. Music making should be fun and intuitive not boring and complicated. What caustic has done is given us a daw that is both very powerful and capable, but still user friendly something the others are not. Also caustic, just like Cubasis is available on iPad which makes it the best and easiest way to make music. Also on mac and pc of course. A fantastic bit of software that just keeps getting better.
No other program that I have come across is as easy to pick up yet richly packed with features. It is simple, intuitive and easily approachable for a beginner to get started making tracks in the first few minutes.
My favorite for ACIDtechno in my phoneV 8 Comments
Will be number two or three in a few years time
Amazing new DAW with developers that are listening to the community. Ableton users will feel at home.
I have worked with 5 profesional DAWs, and I must to say that BitWig surprised me; is very intuitive, BitWig takes the best of Ableton Live and I can to predict that will be one of the best DAWs in the future.
Still in developementV 2 Comments
This is a great DAW, anyone can use it, even if you're just starting to make music. It will be twice as good after its upgrade next month.
Great all around Daw system. I love the 16 pads and midi for keys. I come from the MPC world so this works great live and in the studio. The editing and sample capabilities are easy and awesome! Best price and great sounds!V 2 Comments
Very reliable for audio recording with great effects and easy to use.V 1 Comment
Been using since version 2, with all bugs and flaws of legacy design. Now with version 4 it is just brilliant. Name your price, from $1, or build yourself from source.
The best analog sound that I have ever heard
Love Mixbus for mixing down, sounds so good!
For the year this software came out they were ahead of their time. Try Track Caster which is the newer software from the developer. Rock solid.
As a Mastering Engineer I used Mac based Sonic Solutions in the 1990's. The company went belly-up and the winner after that became Merging with the PC based Pyramix. It can do anything you can possibly dream of, except make coffee.
Power, Flexibility, Features, adapts to your style, a little longer learning curve simply because it does so much! Sonic performance second to none.V 1 Comment
Tried the demo. Know I seriously need it. It's workflow is so logical, whether you be a tinkerer or a beat-smith. I haven't had a chance to experiment with its recording abilities and audio editing options yet. The layout is typically the first thing I focus on.
The most powerful for quick composing ever created.
Agree with others here. Rock solid DAW, almost doesn't need a manual to use. Incredible stability & plugin scanning.
The best DAW you would ever come across. Good looking, easy to use, great sound quality and breathtaking flexibility.
Powerful modular area, routing everything to anywhere, several synth that can be tweaked to sound like classic analog ones, some basic effects (compressors, amp sim, eq, reverb, delay... Etc) good compatibility with plugins and good and easy audio recording. What else would you need?
Very nice Tracker but too RAM intensive for a tracker. Uses up more resources than most sequencers do. Sort of defeats the purpose of having a tracker. Very nice feature 'Render plugin to instrument' Wow! Every DAW should have that.
Personally, this DAW has a special spot in my heart, what with its tracker interface and everything. It's used by many chiptune artists (if that's your thing) because of this. Also, other significant artists include: Richard Devine, Christian Vogel, and the almighty Venetian Snares! They have a full list available on their website if you want to check it out.
If you're looking for an intuitive new way to program music, then this is it. As of the newest update (3.0.0), it is one of the most feature-full DAW's I've ever used; you've got to check out all the features yourself to really understand. Also, its preloaded DSP effects are actually quite good and professional.
For those who like customizability, it has a full themeing engine and almost all keyboard shortcuts are changeable. I forgot to mention, this DAW can be used with nothing but your keyboard! Now, if that's not cool, I don't know WHAT is.
Amazing DAW. Can be equivalent to some of the greatest. Does not have voice recording, though.
Very nice DAW especially when on linux.
How can something free have all these? Seriously guys, you gotta give LMMS a try. It won't cost you a cent.
Its core functionality is:
Compose music on Windows, Linux and Apple OS X
Sequence, compose, mix and automate songs in one simple interface
Note playback via MIDI or typing keyboard
Consolidate instrument tracks using Beat+Bassline Editor
Fine tune patterns, notes, chords and melodies using Piano Roll Editor
Full user-defined track-based automation and computer-controlled automation sources
Import of MIDI files, Hydrogen project files and FL Studio ® project files
It also has effects mixing:
Drop-in LADSPA plug-in support
Drop-in VST ® effect plug-in support (Linux and Windows)
Built-in compressor, limiter, delay, reverb, distortion, EQ, bass-enhancer
Bundled graphic and parametric equalizers
Built-in visualization/spectrum analyser
And a lot of musical instruments.
Built-in 32-bit VST instrument ...more
Easy to use! I just love it to bits! On iPad and iPhone though when I first got it, it was so complicated, but thanks to my iMac, I know how to use this much easier! - sryanbruen
Great for me as a complete beginner, especially as it was free with my Mac
Low CPU, Does most of what you'll ever need with some cool unique features. Uses about what a sparse tracker uses for resources. DO Not Underestimate this DAW by Size!
Giel Bremmers' Studio program, full-featured, even in the trial version, and compares favorably with the big boys.
GoldWave is a highly rated, professional digital audio editor. It's fully loaded to do everything from the simplest recording and editing to the most sophisticated audio processing, restoration, enhancements, and conversions. It is easy to learn and use. It's the only software I use as a Voice Actor.
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9 years, 296 days old
Top Remixes (4)
2. Pro Tools
2. Ableton Live
3. PreSonus Studio One
2. FL Studio
3. Steinberg Cubase
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