1. FL Studio By Image Line
Countless musicians will tell you that Fruity Loops was their first foray into the world of DAWs, and that they now use FL Studio (Fruity Loops Studio) for songwriting and recording. Martin Garrix and Afrojack are two examples. One of the things that sets this DAW apart from the rest is that all upgrades are free once you buy a copy. Unlike other DAWs that require you to pay to upgrade from one version to the latest when it is released, FL Studio was designed with the needs of the semi-professional producer on a budget in mind, but with the features of a professional DAW.
- The Piano Roll is quite efficient, and the Playlist allows you to change time signatures in the middle of a sequence
- This is an easy-to-use DAW for electronic music producers searching for a simple interface to create beats and melodies.
- The Fl Studio Mobile edition allows you to make music on the fly and review it afterwards.
- Simple to use and ideal for beginners and enthusiasts.
- It is inexpensive, and the free version may be used indefinitely.
- Electronic music makers will find these tools useful.
-It lacks the greatest post-production tools.
-The user interface is frequently chaotic.
-Unless you dig deep into understanding this DAW, it might feel less professional than some of the others on the market today.
2. Ableton Live 11
Ableton Live is in its eleventh iteration and was produced by the Berlin-based business Ableton AG. This is a very popular DAW since it can be used not just for recording but also for live performances.
- Ableton allows you to download the DAW with full capabilities for a trial period before purchasing it. You may use this time to become acquainted with the visual interface and completely study it before making a purchase.
- Users can switch between the distinct’session’ and ‘arrangement’ views. As a result, it is a very effective live performance tool.
- A large collection was created specifically for electronic music makers. The included plugins and VSTs are quite configurable.
- The editing, MIDI, and automation tools are extremely user-friendly, making post-production a breeze.
- Max for Live is a platform for creating your own instruments and effects racks.
- Ableton Live is well-known for its stability and lack of crashes, making it suitable for usage during live performances.
- The’swap mode’ to change sounds, for example, contributes to an efficient workflow.
- Push is an Ableton Live controller that can be used to write, record, and even edit.
- The full version (Ableton Live 11 Suite) is reasonably priced. If you are just starting off, this might not be the ideal solution for you.
- Although the visual interface appears to be easy, if you want to investigate Max for Live, the learning curve might be severe.
- Because it is designed for electronic music, it is less flexible than some of the other DAWs on our list.
3. Cubase By Steinberg
Steinberg is well-known for producing “gold standard” audio software. Cubase has been around for a long time and is used by many famous artists and composers, including Hans Zimmer, Hildur Guonadóttir, and Chromeo.
- Many composers use Cubase to create cinematic scores and background music. It may also be used for post-production tasks such as mixing and mastering.
- Groove Agent is a strong drum program that includes both acoustic and electronic kits. This may be used for writing songs, altering beats, live sampling, and even sound design.
- The DAW has advanced editing tools such as multi-take comping, audio/MIDI rendering in situ, quantizing and audio warping, time stretching, and so on.
- Control Room is a live studio setting that includes elements like talkback, monitoring, and mix cues.
- The Scale Assistant in the Key Editor is a useful tool for folks who don’t know much about music theory. When editing or recording, you may utilize this to provide scale suggestions.
- One of the most established and trusted DAWs available. Cubase, now in its 11th edition, has kept the program current by introducing several new capabilities.
- The editing tools may be used to create professional-sounding mixes and masters.
- Versatile enough for artists and producers of all genres to utilize as their primary DAW.
- When compared to other DAWs on the market today, the conventional visual interface may appear archaic.
- It has a steep learning curve and is not the easiest to use.
- Expensive if you’re not searching for a professional-quality DAW.
4. Pro Tools By Avid
If you’ve ever gone into a professional recording studio’s control room, chances are they’re using Pro Tools as their DAW. Pro Tools has become the industry standard throughout the years due to its ability to accommodate a large number of tracks without problems. Because of its better capabilities, it is the preferred tool for producers and mix/master engineers.
- Pro Tools Ultimate can accommodate up to 2048 audio tracks and 1024 MIDI tracks. According to user comments, no matter how large a project is, this DAW can process a large amount of data at the same time.
- The ‘QuickPunch’ tool speeds up track comping.
- Dolby Atmos and Ambisonics VR mixing are also supported by Ultimate.
- A large plugin collection with tools for music composition and post-production.
- Avid Cloud Collaboration and Avid Marketplace are useful services for musicians who want to save their projects in the cloud and interact with other Pro Tools users.
- Excellent recording and editing capabilities.
- Large projects can be supported.
- Avid Pro Tools is frequently regarded as the industry standard.
- Songwriting is more suited to recording and post-production than songwriting.
- The visual interface is standard and uninspiring.
- If you are a newbie, it is not user-friendly.
5. Reaper By Cuckos
Rapid Environment for Audio Production, Engineering, and Recording (REAPER) was created for budget-conscious artists searching for a basic yet powerful DAW. It is a highly customisable program that aids in the optimization of your workflow.
- One of the aspects that distinguishes Reaper from other DAWs is how little space it takes up on your PC. It is only 66MB in size and is compatible with both Windows and macOS.
- Almost all plugins are DAW-compatible.
- You may configure your menu to show only the features that you require the most access to.
- Reaper is really light and takes up very little space on your PC.
- The DAW is also well-known for its remarkable CPU efficiency.
- This is one of the most affordable DAWs that produces professional-sounding output.
- Excellent for novices or musicians utilizing a DAW for the first time.
- It is quite light and takes up little space on your computer.
- Not as inventive or cutting-edge as some of the other DAWs. At times, the UI feels a touch antiquated.
- The post-production features are frequently restricted.
- Reaper has less features overall than competitors.