Best Digital Audio Workstation Software for 2017 [GUIDE]


Best DAW Software For Recording

Choosing a DAW that fits your Home Recording Studio Workflow

I think many of you still have an old tape recorder somewhere at home right?

But really…

…let’s be honest with each other:

Recording music these days really happens with the computer.

Especially when you have a home recording studio.

And of course…

Windows Sound Recorder is not enough.

You know you need the best DAW that fits your needs right?


Here is an overview!


The top 18 Daws

1. Ableton Live

Ableton Has 9 Lives

Compare Prices:

  • Ableton Live 9 Intro: Amazon | Thomann (EU)
  • Ableton Live 9 Standard: Amazon | Thomann (EU)
  • Ableton Live 9 Suite: Amazon | Thomann (EU)

Ableton Live has always been a unique one.

If you’re coming from Steinberg or Cakewalk products, you’ll find yourself in a strange new world, which has a tutorial to help you go along with it. Read more...


2. Image Line Fruity Loops

FL Studio 11 from Image Line

Compare Prices:

  • FL Studio 12 Fruity: Amazon | Thomann (EU)
  • FL Studio 12 Producer: Amazon | Thomann (EU)
  • FL Studio 12 Signature: Amazon | Thomann (EU)

However Fruity Loops is partially a DAW. It’s a digital sampler interface. I wouldn’t call it a virtual instrument because it has multiple virtual instruments in its arsenal.Read more...


3. PreSonus Studio One

presonus studio one professional

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Aside from its well-known built-in vocal melody editor, PreSonus Studio One is the creation of former Steinberg employees who wanted to create a different kind of software aside from the one they’re used to.Read more...


4. Apple Logic Pro X

Logic Pro X for Windows

 

You might say that Apple’s Logic Pro X is quite overrated even with high reviews, but I would honestly say that this is something else.Read more...


5. Avid Pro Tools

Pro tools 12 from Avid

Compare Prices:

Avid Pro Tools First: Free Version Download
Avid Pro Tools 9:  Amazon | Thomann (EU)

Avid’s Pro Tools is probably the most celebrated (or most used) out in the market.Read more...


6. Propellerhead Reason

Mixing into Reason 8 from Propellerhead

Compare Prices:

  • Reason 9 Essentials: Amazon | Thomann (EU)
  • Reason 9 (Full): Amazon | Thomann (EU)

If you wanted a precise-sounding, clean interface while integrating the plethora of samplers, synthesizers and instruments Fruity Loops has, you should have Propellerhead’s Reason.Read more...


7. Steinberg Cubase

Pro 8 From Steinberg

Compare Prices:

  • Steinberg Cubase Elements 9: Compare Prices: Amazon | Thomann (EU)
  • Steinberg Cubase Artist 9: Compare Prices: Amazon | Thomann (EU)
  • Steinberg Cubase Pro 9: Compare Prices: Amazon | Thomann (EU)

For those not wanting to spend so much for a Pro Tools suite but need something more effective than an open-source program, you’ve got Steinberg Cubase.Read more...


8. Steinberg Nuendo

Nuendo 6 From Steinberg

Compare Prices:

  • Steinberg Nuendo 7: Amazon | Thomann (EU)

Cubase is focused on music production and recording. Cubase’s Nuendo counterpart is focused on professional audio post-production.Read more...


9. Cockos Reaper

If there’s one truly stable and expandable studio recording program in the business today, it’s gotta be Cockos Reaper. Not only is it stable than Cubase, it’s also the most affordable I’ve found throughout my experience as an audio engineer.

Check Out Cockos Reaper

I love everything about Reaper. From changing the skins to suit your style of production neatness to its endless support of 32-bit plugins on its 64-bit architecture, that $225 you’re paying for a full commercial license is definitely priceless.Read more...


10. Sony ACID Pro

sony creative software acid pro

Compare Prices:

  • Sony ACID Pro 7: Amazon | Thomann (EU)

If you’re familiar with Sonic Foundry’s Acid interface, which sported some very decent MIDI support for recording, then you know that Sony’s Acid Pro 7 is its grandchild.Read more...


11. Cakewalk Sonar

Version X3 Of Cakewalk Sonar

Compare Prices:

  • Cakewalk Sonar Artist: Amazon | Thomann (EU)
  • Cakewalk Sonar Professional: Amazon | Thomann (EU)
  • Cakewalk Sonar Platinum: Amazon | Thomann (EU)

Its newest version, the Cakewalk Sonar X3 Producer edition, had received mostly four out of five stars from well-known music production blogs.Read more...


12. MOTU Digital Performer

DP 8 Motu Software

Compare Prices:

  • Digital Performer 9: Amazon | Thomann (EU)

If you have a small laptop, this is the best interface that you could use.Read more...


13. Magix Music Maker Samplitude

Music Maker Samplitude From Magix

Compare Prices:

Magix Music Maker Samplitude: Amazon | Thomann (EU)

Why should you even consider the Magix Music Maker Samplitude? Well, I’ve found there are many cases this awesome little DAW could really help you out with.Read more...


14. Adobe Audition CC

Creative Cloud From Adobe Audition

Creative cloud is the meaning of that CC, and it should have helped many engineers with their stuff.Read more...


15. Bitwig Studio

Bitwig Studio Program

This peace of software, produced by ex-Ableton engineers, is a unique digital audio workstation, but it’s actually pretty good especially when it’s fighting a new kind of market out there.Read more...


16. Acoustica Mixcraft

mixcraft studio 7 from Acoustica

Perhaps the easiest out there for starting musicians and artists would be Acoustica Mixcraft.Read more...


17. Apple Garageband

garageband for pc From Apple

If you’re just starting out into the world of mixing music, Garageband is for you.Read more...


18. Renoise

Renoise 3.0 VS Fasttracker

Do you remember “Fasttracker” or “Protracker” back in the days?Read more...


 Introducing: 10 Ultimate Essentials to know about DAW


1. What Are Digital Audio Workstations?

What is a digital audio workstationThe acronym DAW stands for ‘Digital Audio Workstation’…

…It’s a collective term for software (systems) that allows you to record audio, playback and editing.Read more...


What to use a DAW for

DAWS are often developed for a specific audience or purpose.

However…

…they often overlap each other when it comes to the possibilities.Read more...


Work Load and Speed

Fast DawsTasks, processes, channels, bits and sample rates are all the things that must be processed before your DAW will make any sound.Read more...


You must try it before you buy It

Before you even think about buying any type of software, check if there is a free trial.

So you can test before you spend your savings on it.Read more...

Which DAW Should You Choose


2. From the Past to the Future of Audio

If you were born in the 60s…

…individual instruments and vocals were recorded through tube-powered mixer-boards straight into a tape recorder.Read more...

Tascam ATR-80 2 Analog Tape Recorder


3. Major Differences Between DAWs

There are certainly differences between DAW’s.

Every manufacturer aims for the same goal: record audio, store efficiently.Read more...

Good or Bad

Good and Bad DawsThere is much speculation about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ DAWs, especially on the Internet.Read more...


4. Free Versus Paid

Free DAW software could either be free to use with limited features or can be “freemium“, where you’ll have to pay for certain features to work.Read more...

Audacity Software


5. Which Audio Production Software To Use?

Honestly,

all Digital Audio Workstations could modify and improve all recordings.

However…

…I keep the following points when I work with digital audio workstations.Read more...

Best DAW Music Production Software


6. Buying one Online or Offline in the Music Store?

Almost any audio retailer sells a variety of DAW’s nowadays.

Heck,

even instrument shops sell DAWs as part of their catalog aside from the numerous guitars, keyboards, basses and drum kits and pieces they sell.Read more...


7. Installation onto the Computer

DAWs are often easy to install. Let’s use my Cockos Reaper, for example.

You get to download a full version of Reaper online.Read more...


8. Do You Need a DAW For Live Performances?

If you’re a solo artist,

you’ll probably want a digital audio workstation.

Most work with cues and loops and they interface flawlessly with plenty of digital sampling equipment.Read more...


Most Used DAW’s
Read more...


Final Word

The DAW and Interface Combos are primarily bad deals to be honest.

The best investment is to purchase a full DAW software, then try to master it before you purchase an audio interface.

I have a principle regarding this little issue.

It’s that if the DAW is stable with just your CPU, then it won’t have troubles with advanced AIs with added features. Have fun experimenting!

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Read Next: The Best Audio Interface For your Home Recording Studio