Choosing the right DAW is the first step for every music producer as it is the main tool for creating tracks. Nowadays there are many to choose from, but little information about the pros and cons of each. Here we provide the ultimate guide on how to choose the right DAW.
Fruity Loops 12
Fruity Loops Studio is a well-known DAW created and developed by the Belgium Company Image Line. This product has been on the market for around 17 years and has proven its value right across the spectrum - from absolute beginners to top producers in the EDM scene.
The Fruity Loops audio engine is built on a pattern-based music sequencer. It comes with built-in VSTs, plugins, samplers and synthesizers, allowing users to start producing without any third party VSTs or plugins installed.
The latest series comes in Fruity Edition, Producer Edition and the Signature Bundle and the price ranges from $99 to $300.
Ableton Live 9
Ableton is a well-recognized professional music sequencer and Digital Audio Workstation both for OS X and Windows. It’s been a favorite of names like Armin van Buuren, Daft Punk, Diplo, Kaskade, M83 and many others.
The arrangement view and session view make the Ableton an all-in-one suite that allows artists to create new material and perform it live as a daily driver both in the studio and on the stage.
Ableton Live comes in three packages: Intro, Standard and Suite. The price ranges from $99 to $750.
Logic Pro 10
Logic is a professional Digital Audio Workstation and MIDI sequencer designed specifically for the OS X platform.
Logic Pro provides VST instruments, audio effects and recording facilities for music synthesis. It also supports Apple Loops – royalty-free professionally recorded instrument loops ready to use for any production.
The Logic Pro package includes everything a pro musician needs to write, record, edit, and mix like never before. As of September 2015, it is only available through the Apple App Store at the price of $199.
Cubase is a music recording, arranging and editing Digital Audio Workstation designed by German musical software and equipment company Steinberg.
Claimed to be the world's most popular DAW by the developers themselves, it offers an immense arsenal of great synths and creative effects, an industry-acclaimed audio engine and built-in state of the art mixing desk.
Stock Cubase 8 in the box costs around $549. If you are currently using previous versions of Cubase, updating to the latest version will be cheaper, coming in at $130.
Pro Tools 12
Designed by Avid Technologies, Pro Tools is the industry standard DAW in professional studios across the globe.
The main advantages of Pro Tools are its compatibility with external software and adaptability to workspace. It can run as standalone software, or operate using a range of external A/D converters or PCIe audio cards with onboard DSP.
The price range depends what kind of Avid customer you are. For new users the price is $599. If you are using a previous version or have subscribed to their annual plan, you will get a discount.
Reason was created by Swedish developers Propellerhead Software back in 2000. During the last 15 years it has become the world’s best known Digital Audio Workstation for creating and editing music.
It offers a rack of hardware synthesizers, samplers, sequencers and mixers, all of which can be freely interconnected in an arbitrary manner. Reason is a highly advanced DAW and requires some knowledge of audio engineering.
Reason 8 costs $399, but as with most DAWs, you can get a discount if you are a current customer using a previous version of the software.