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Discover The Best DAW: Music Production Software – Epic Guide

Best DAW

As a musician in the 21st century, you should understand how important it is to embrace technology and allow it to enhance your music. There are many musicians, who refuse to utilize technology, but this is a major mistake.

The chart toppers undoubtedly use music making software to alter their songs, until they’re absolutely perfect and there is no reason you shouldn’t do the same.

With the best audio recording software, you will be able to add a little extra pizzazz to your songs, while ensuring that no distorting or hiccups are present. Of course, purchasing the right software will be anything, but easy. Below, you’ll learn more, so you can make a more-informed decision.

What Is A DAW?

As a musician in the 21st century, you should understand how important it is to embrace technology and allow it to enhance your music. There are many musicians, who refuse to utilize technology, but this is a major mistake.

The chart toppers undoubtedly use music making software to alter their songs, until they’re absolutely perfect and there is no reason you shouldn’t do the same.

With the best audio recording software, you will be able to add a little extra pizzazz to your songs, while ensuring that no distorting or hiccups are present. Of course, purchasing the right software will be anything, but easy. Below, you’ll learn more, so you can make a more-informed decision.

What To Look For In The Best DAW Software

When attempting to select the right software, you will need to examine each very carefully. First and foremost, you should examine your setup. Are you going to be utilizing the software on a stand-alone unit? Or, will it be installed on your laptop? Both options are more than suitable, but they’re also increased unique.

Your computer’s operating systems and specifications cannot be ignored. Price is also an enormously important factor. The cost of this software can be surprisingly expensive, so figure out precisely how much you’re willing to spend, before moving ahead.

Now, it is time to begin breaking down some of the best DAW software on the market. Below, you will find a comprehensive examination of top DAW software.

Top DAW Software

Title

Price Range

Rating (1-5)

Brand

Cakewalk Sonar

Under £80

4.3

Cakewalk Logo
Logic Studio

Under £200

4.8

Apple Logo
PreSonus Studio One

Under £170

5.0

PreSonus Logo
Sony Acid

Under £30

4.1

Sony Logo
FL Studio Fruity Edition 12

Under £60

5.0

FL Studio Logo
Propellerhead Reason 8

Under £290

5.0

Propellerhead Logo
Ableton Live

Under £80

5.0

Blue Microphones Logo
Steinberg Cubase

Under £80

4.0

Steinberg Logo

Best Music Software for Windows PC

Cakewalk Sonar

Over the years, the Windows operating systems has gone to war with some formidable foes, but it still remains the leader.


The majority of computers throughout the planet utilize this OS, so the software available for it is truly immense.


This is a good feature, because it gives you added options. It also makes the purchase more complicated, since there are so many different wonderful products to choose from. 

When attempting to choose the very best music software for Windows PC, you should take the opportunity to explore the Cakewalk Sonar.


This Windows OS software is surprisingly affordable and is absolutely perfect for beginners, as well as advanced musicians. The software has been enhanced significantly and is now better than ever.


It is capable of allowing lightning fast MIDI editing, which simply isn’t available with others. The new pattern tool gives the musicians added control over the MIDI data and will allow them to add their own personal touch to the music. The upgrades also include new control bar enhances, which make the editing process a breeze.


The software is incredibly versatile and is capable of supporting VST3, ARA, Multi-Touch and DSD. With the step sequenced, the musician will be able to program beats, without difficulty. More pros and cons can be found below.

Pros

  • Immensely affordable, when compared to others
  • Enhanced greatly and now better than ever
  • Supports everything, including DSD, ARA, Multi-touch and VST3
  • Allows editing MIDI, without hassles
  • Allows unlimited MIDI and audio tracks
  • Lightning faster alterations to MIDI
  • Works perfectly with the Windows OS
  • Great for beginners and excellent for advanced artists, as well
  • A truly amazing value

Cons

  • Installation and setup can be a little tricky
  • Customer support should be improved


All in all, the Cakewalk Sonar digital audio workstation is truly a cakewalk to utilize. The setup process may be a little tricky, but once you’ve got the ball rolling, it is all downhill from there.


The software is loaded down with features, which will give you the ability to control all aspects of your music. The best aspect of all is the fact that each of these features is incredibly easy to utilize. For that, this Windows DAW is undoubtedly well worth exploring in greater depth.


Amazon Customer Reviews

"Awesome program!!!" - By Chris R.
"It is a Great Piece of Software" - By Joseph D. Kennedy

Best Music Software For Mac

Logic Studio

Over the years, the Mac computer has grown immensely in popularity. In the past, the operating system was plagued, by the lack of available software.


This has definitely changed and more developers are making their software compatible with the OS.​


With this in mind, you’ll have a larger number of options available to you, when looking for the best music software for Mac. 

The Logic Studio is undoubtedly one of the best for Mac users. It is slightly more expensive than its PC counterpart, but it comes with over 20,000 royalty-free Apple loops!


At the same time, the software is equipped with a brand new Pedalboard, which delivers over 30 virtual stomp box pedals. It also comes with over 80 studio-quality effect plug-ins.


The combination of effects and pedals is undoubtedly impressive and will give the artist the freedom to explore and add their own personality into their songs.


Of course, it doesn’t stop there either! The Logic Studio software is equipped with a new Amp Designer, which gives the musician the ability to re-create sounds from 25 awesome amps and 25 speakers.


Another amazing aspect is the name behind by the digital audio workstation software. Apple is notorious for standing behind their products, so you can rest assured knowing you will have no difficulty getting customer support, when it is needed. More pros and cons will be provided below.

Pros

  • Totally geared towards the Mac OSX
  • Truly impressive array of virtual stomp box pedals
  • Comes with over 80 effect plug-ins
  • Amp Designer is awesome and delivers plenty of functionality
  • Can’t go wrong with Apple
  • User interface is effortless to pickup
  • Great for newbies and experienced musicians

Cons

  • A tiny bit more expensive
  • Some still prefer the earlier version of the software


When it comes down to our review, there is an abundance of awesome DAW software for the Mac OSX. Of course, there are very few, which can parallel the functionality and performance of the Logic Studio.


The software is immensely powerful, but it is totally effortless to control. With the customer service provided by Apple, it is truly hard to complain. For that, this is undoubtedly the best music software for Mac and should be explored in greater detail right now!


Amazon Customer Reviews

"Great substitute for want of like-minded musicians" - By Ed
"Logic Studio is the best audio production software in the world." - By Mr. Rodrigues Ferreira

Best Home Recording Software

PreSonus Studio One

Are you interested in setting up your own home recording studio? If so, you should first obtain a good laptop.


Once you have, you will want to locate a music workstation software, which is capable of satisfying each and every one of your needs.


Unfortunately, not many software can achieve this goal. Of course, the PreSonus Studio One is a rarity and is more than capable of satisfying all of the needs of new and advanced musicians. 

This software is slightly more expensive than many of its competitors, but it offers an immaculate pristine 64-bit audio engine, which will never fail to impress.


The software also allows the musician to utilize four high quality instruments, at the same time. The program comes with thirty-one native effects, which will be sure to satisfy.


For added value, this program comes with a full license for two other helpful programs, Melodyne Ma Processing and Melodyne Essential. This delivers enough functionality for newbies, veterans and those that just want to tinker around.


The software delivers everything the musician needs to begin creating high quality CDs and amazing MP3 albums right away.


The workflow offered with PreSonus Studio One is truly impressive and is definitely unparalleled, by its competitors. For your consideration, the pros and cons of this software will be provided below.

Pros

  • Totally effortless drag and drop workflow
  • Setup and use make the software understandable for newbies
  • 64-bit audio engine is fulfilling for all
  • Offers 4 top notch instruments and 31 effects
  • Full licenses for Melodyne Essential and Melodyne Ma Processing
  • Also includes SoundCloud integration for easier sharing of your music
  • Works immaculately with VST and AU instruments
  • GUI is perfect for all skill levels
  • Comes with everything needed to perfect your music

Cons

  • May feel a little watered down to some


When it comes down to it, the musician will have an incredibly difficult time attempting to find a flaw with this software. It is effortless to use, immensely powerful and not overly expensive.


In fact, the software could easily be classified, as a steal. Whether you wish to make professional music or just want to tinker around, this software is well worth examining in greater depth. Be sure to do just that today!


Amazon Customer Reviews

"Extraodinary DAW, Powerful, Easy to learn and Sounds Amazing!" - By Tad Halder
"Marvelous DAW. It's so up to date its very clear and intuitive to use" - By Satriani the Gargolye

Best Entry-Level DAW for Beginners

Sony Acid

While there is a large variety of musical computer programs available on today’s market, you will not find one that will offer versatility like Sony Acid Music Studio 9.


This program is compatible with Windows 7, Vista, and SP operating systems. You can create songs with more than 3,000 music loops.


There are also free tutorials that will help you along the way. Sony Acid is amazing software that will help you develop outstanding music tracks.

Its interface is very user-friendly and you will be making music in a matter of minutes. This software can be utilized for audio recording, as well as burning CDs. There is no end to the possibilities of your music with Sony Acid. You will be mixing like a professional in no time at all.


While this software is very affordable, it is a very sophisticated editing and sequencing tool. You can also share your musical creation with others via the software.

Pros

  • Extremely affordable
  • Features studio quality audio effects
  • Compatible with Windows operating systems
  • Free tutorials for beginners and newbies
  • 90 different instruments that can be utilized for creating songs
  • Very user-friendly interface
  • Free 1-Year indaba membership with your purchase

Cons

  • Does not have a built-in beat writer


Overall, the Sony Acid is very user-friendly software that will not break the bank. It offers a large variety of features that will help you perfect instrumental and vocals like a professional.


Once you have your CDs complete, you can transfer them to your MP3 player.


Amazon Customer Reviews

"Very easy to pick up, supports VST plug-INS, for the low cost, makes great recordings and mixes." - By Stubbsey
"What a great program, easy to use - wonderful price" - By C. Pearson

Best Music Software For Hip Hop Beats

FL Studio Fruity Edition 12

As a rapper, you should wholeheartedly understand the importance of hitting those beats with immaculate rhythm.


The process is truly easier said than done and the musician needs to obtain the best music software for hip hop beats, so they can make it happen.


Whether you’re looking for a processing or recording software for your hip hop beats, you should take the chance to check out the FL Studio Fruity Edition 12. 

Despite the enormous popularity and functionality of FL Studio Fruity, the price is easily affordable and is more than realistic for musicians of all experience and skill levels.


For added value, this software comes with lifetime free updates! This only enhances the value and gives the consumer the ability to stay up to date, with the latest.


The software offers a full arsenal of tools and is truly a full production environment. It comes with everything the aspiring rapper needs, within a singular package. With the software, you will be able to effortlessly arrange, record and edit your music.


You’ll remain in control, at all times and will be able to churn out the masterful music that you’ve always dreamed of. The software truly offers the easiest, fastest and most efficient way to translate your music from your instruments directly to your speakers and computer.


Although the software is truly impressive, you should realize that it is not designed to record vocals. Therefore, you may need to obtain an additional program, in order to fulfill that purpose.


Still, the software is undeniably the most efficient and effective way to record those hip hop beats that’ll make you want to get out of your chair and dance! More pros and cons will be provided below.

Pros

  • Incredibly affordable, yet immensely powerful
  • Can be installed online or offline, with the thumb drive
  • Absolutely stellar for techno and hip hop beats
  • Allows the user to arrange, record, edit and mix, until the music is perfected
  • Comes with Lifetime free updates for added value and reassurance
  • Gives the musician complete control over their music
  • User interface is immensely easy to understand
  • Plenty of functions and features to explore

Cons

  • Doesn’t record vocals
  • Comes with a thumb drive and no disk


All in all, the FL Studio Fruity Edition 12 is great for the majority of musicians. For those that want to be able to perfect their hip-hop beats, the software is truly a necessity. For the price, the software should be added to all musicians’ arsenal of weapons! Check it out for yourself today!


Amazon Customer Reviews

"Just what I expected, excellent product. Recommend it." - By Krisztian Blaga
"This product is great. I got the thumb drive put it in my computer and BAM! Everything at my fingertips." - By Eric G.

Best DAW For EDM Production

Propellerhead Reason 8

There is an abundance of excellent DAW software on the market, but few of them could be classified as the best DAW for EDM production.


In fact, if you wish to use the software for this intended purpose, you’re likely going to need to spend a little extra.


Once you’ve decided to splurge, you will want to look no further than the Propellerhead Reason 8 Music Software.


The software’s functionality and features are immense and more widespread than the majority of its competitors.

The software comes with a handful of built-in synths, samples and even drum machines. This will allow the solo musician to perform with a digital band.


The software can be used with unlimited audio tracks, so all it is more than compatible with all musicians. The mixing console is very diverse and offers an enormous amount of effects.


The software delivers a very easy to use interface, which will satisfy almost every musician. It also makes collaborating with others incredibly easy. More benefits will be provided below.

Pros

  • Makes collaborating with others totally easy
  • Limitless sonic palette will never grow old and the musician will never run out of toys to explore
  • Delivers everything the musician needs to write, record, mix and produce their own music
  • Comes with synths, drum machines, loop players and samplers
  • A large number of effects, including delay and reverbs
  • Effortless MIDI recording with an amazing mixing console

Cons

  • Definitely more expensive than the majority of others


Truly, it is difficult to complain about the Reason 8 Music Software. It may be a little more costly than the rest, but it truly a must for those wishing to produce EDM and high-quality music.


 If you’re willing to splurge and desire the best money can offer, you should definitely give Reason 8 a closer look.


Amazon Customer Reviews

"Excellent software. Great DAW especially for electronic music." - By PJ Nielsen
"Best music creation software, easy fast download." - By Adam Wilkie

Best Mid-Level DAW Software

Ableton Live

When attempting to purchase a brand new DAW software, you should attempt to determine where you’re at as a musician.


If you’re looking for the very best mid-level DAW software, you need to check out Ableton Live. The software is readily affordable, yet it comes with a large number of features, which will be sure to satisfy musicians of all genres.


The software gives the user the ability to sketch, tweak and experiment, until their music is entirely satisfying and unique.

The Session View gives the musician the opportunity to arrange their ideas across a timeline. This gives you the ability to build your songs, as you play along.


Every minute detail can be mixed and edited to sheer perfection. If you wish to play your music live, you will be able to do so, without any difficult with the Ableton Live.​


The software comes with an abundance of sounds, samples and drums. If you’re not satisfied with this software, you likely won’t be satisfied with any software! More pros will be explored below.

Pros

  • Very affordable DAW software, which is greater for all skills levels
  • Effortless to install, setup and utilize
  • Online support is perfect and can help kick start your career
  • Tons of options to choose from, so you’ll never grow bored
  • Absolutely perfect for studio or the stage
  • Immensely upgraded from the previous version
  • Gives the musician complete control over their music

Cons

  • 32Bit and not 64bit


Truthfully, it is hard to lose with Ableton Live Intro 9. The software is powerful enough for advanced artists, but simple enough for those with moderate experience.


If you want affordable DAW software, but entire control over your music, the Ableton Live cannot and should not be ignored!


Amazon Customer Reviews

"WOW! What this can do is amazing !!" - By RockDog
"Great Product! So many options to learn in this software, easy to install" - By Graham Cowley

Best Pro-Level DAW Software

Steinberg Cubase

The Steinberg Cubase just happens to be the best pro-level DAW software, because it provides a large variety of features that will help you perfect instrumental and vocal recordings.


The best thing about the Steinberg is that it also includes chord pads to help you compose your song writings.


It is compatible with most Windows operating systems. The Cubase has been improved in many ways and supports multi-outputs and inputs.

You will have 120 drum kits to select from for developing the perfect beats and hits. The chord pads will also help you compose your songs with chords and young musicians will definitely enjoy this feature.

Pros

  • User-friendly interface
  • Compatible with most Windows operating systems
  • Unlimited MP3 encoding and decoding of MP3 files
  • Free upgrade downloads for a short time
  • Suitable for amateurs and professionals

Cons

  • Little more expensive than other DAW software brands


Overall, the Steinberg Cubase Elements 8 is very intuitive software that will help you compose songs very efficiently.


It offers an unlimited array of features including drum kits, chord pads, and FLAC lossless compression codec.


Amazon Customer Reviews

"Works perfectly. I love Cubase, and the install was easy. - By Graham Ganahl
"Great deal for the Elements version of Cubase. I am very happy with my purchase." - By Ken B.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, every musician is different and each will want something unique from his or her DAW software. Although this software is immensely important, it is not the only thing that should be taken into consideration.


You should also take the time to consider the laptop, which will be used. Remember that the performance depends on both. Therefore, the combination must be perfect.


Once you’ve gotten your laptop, you will want to utilize the information above to help you choose the best DAW software for your own individualistic situation.

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