In a time where everything runs on technology, the music industry has also found a virtual platform. For aspiring musicians, beginner-level artists, making music on their computers is now possible. Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) are essentials tools that provide musicians a virtual studio to make music from the comforts of their homes.
Here we will be discussing 10 best DAW (digital audio workstations) that have been considered as the best by users:
1. Cockos Reaper 6
The first one up is a very powerful DAW that comes at a bargain price. Cockos Reaper 6 is one software with amazingly complex MIDI/audio routing abilities. With a miniature storage trail, this DAW does not have too many plugins. Cockos Reaper 6 is regarded as one of the most customizable and affordable DAWs available today. Moreover, it is very active. With features that include scrolling, zooming, fading moves, and item editing, the software runs with a fluid-like swiftness.
Determinant in some budget for the sound-ware of your preference and Reaper makes for a top-class music production setting.
2. Steinberg Cubase
One of the oldest and the most extensively used DAW is Steinberg Cubase. As an age-old software, Cubase has only brought new editions with a large variety of plugins. With fast processing and a better user-interface, Cubase Pro 10 and 10.5 are two latest versions that an enjoyable experience. Even today, a lot of users prefer Cubase.
3. Apple Logic Pro
With great performance, as an even better value for money choice, Apple has produced Apple Logic Pro for its users. For those who own a Touch Bar-enabled MacBook Pro, version 10.3 is appropriate. Moreover, the other versions, like 10.4, created the ‘smart’ tempo detection technology, while 10.4.2 had the benefit of transferring Logic’s heavy-sized content library to any of the external drives. Other than this, the Logic Pro remains the best among the lot and a complete value for money buy. This is the most comprehensive set of tools for music production that Mac users could have asked for.
4. Reason Studios Reason
This digital audio workstation is a rack-based software that can double-up as a plugin. Recently, the Reason Rack Plugin was launched. This plugin has facilitated the digital studio’s main tools, and could now be accepted as a VST 3 or AU plugin with a different DAW.
Another add-on to Reason 11 is that it enables the usage of its major elements i.e., SSL-modelled mixer, as standalone devices. The addition of its stock instruments and effects available for free use makes up for this engaging software.
5. Image-Line FL Studio
Another amazing DAW is Image-Line’s FL Studio has maintained an iconic status among a generation of music producers, specifically in genres like hip-hop and EDM. The most crucial feature in version 20 has been a native 64-bit version for Mac. Hence, version 20 of FL Studio can now be used on macOS as well. Also, all existing FL Studio users get free lifetime upgrades on the latest versions.
Newer updates like Flex in version 20.5 and more additional features in the version 20.6 are now available.
6. PreSonus Studio One
Known as a powerful and professional DAW, Studio One is moving beyond its competing software. The version 4 of Studio One has added Harmonic Editing of the monophonic and polyphonic audio, MIDI tracks. This feature allows a track or its elements to be moved to a user-defined key and chord sequence directly. Version 4 also has new MIDI editors for drums and some good assortment of workflow enhancement functions. Another upgrade, version 4.5, has almost 70 new features.
Studio One is genuinely a DAW that can change the way you create music.
7. Ableton Live
This is one such out-of-the-ordinary software. Unlike the other digital studios, Ableton Live does not only work as a recording tool but also a performance instrument too. The updated version, Live 10.1, had some more significant add-ons and support for VST3 plugin options.
8. GarageBand by Apple
GarageBand is one of the most advance and intelligent virtual studios today. Although it is regarded as best for beginner-level musicians, a lot of successful artists have been associated with GarageBand and have made some of the best music using it. It has a vast range of plugins which helps in creating music.
With its super-easy features, one can sequence the pre-installed loops, produce multi-track recordings, and use it from a great set of virtual guitars and stompboxes. Also, its drummer option is renowned for creating automated beats, and the Smart Controls work well in editing audios.
What’s even more interesting is that the projects created on this software are compatible also with Logic Pro. Last but not least, GarageBand comes as a free app in all macOS devices.
9. Avid Pro Tools
Known to have set the standard for music recording apps, Pro Tools has been updated to make its workflow better. Now, updating tracks as well as timeline sections during the playback is possible, all the while using different effects and presets. All of this is possible without having to stop the music midway. Moreover, for cloud-based storage, Avid has its Avid Cloud Collaboration. Pro Tools has a loyal fan base, irrespective of the awaited-possible upgrades.
10. Acoustica Mixcraft
This is, in a way, an anti-GarageBand. A rival that offers services to the Windows users, Mixcraft has expanded its tool packages from the basic-level apps into an amazing digital studio for the professionals. With a sleek-interface, the latest version, Mixcraft 9 has detachable panels and several new automation features, new effects, and instruments.
Mixcraft is a well-supported music composition solution that comes at a great price and is very approachable for newcomers.
So, as you can see, most of the above DAWs are easy-to-use and considered to have great user-interface. It is very essential to recognize the major components of any DAW before utilizing it. Depending upon the necessity like recording, editing or mixing, you can choose, and use a DAW.
It is very critical that you are aware of the compatibility of any prospective DAW with your system. If the same does not support a specific operating system or hardware that you are using, you need to look for another option.