Making music is a passion for many, but it can be difficult to get started if you don’t know the right tools to use.
Fortunately, making music has never been easier than it is today thanks to the best daw software (it was hard years ago).
There are many different Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) and music production software available and anyone can mix, master, and produce professional sounding tracks.
The only problem is that with so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which daw software is right for you, once you’ve secured a laptop for music production.
In this article, we’ll compare some of the best daw software/music recording software, and help you decide which one is best for your needs.
When it comes to learning how to make music and beats, these daw software are perfect for beginners.
What is the best DAW software for beginners?
1. FL Studio
FL Studio is a complete software music production environment for audio production on Windows PC.
Produce and record in multi-track, edit your songs with the built-in sequencer, arrange your mix using the mixer and then render it to the best possible audio quality when you are done.
It’s used by professional artists all over the world including Avicii, Afrojack, Martin Garrix, Tiesto & more.
FL Studio comes in four versions: Producer, Signature, All-plugins edition, and Fruity.
The producer version costs $199 and is the most popular one, the signature version costs $299, the all-plugins edition costs $499, and the fruity version is $99.
- Highly intuitive and friendly user interface with multiple windows for viewing and editing tracks, instruments, effects, and more.
- A comprehensive range of high-quality virtual instruments and effects for the creation of any kind of music you can imagine.
- Generate audio tracks, music, and beats in a variety of styles from house music, EDM, techno, trance, dubstep, hip hop, R&B, electro, and more.
- Work with waveform, spectral, and other advanced audio editing tools to add effects, change pitch and tempo, and perform a host of other creative tasks.
- Integrates with a variety of hardware and software to provide a comprehensive creative environment for producers of all levels.
FL Studio is one of the most popular DAWs in the industry.
It’s incredibly powerful and comes with “everything needed” to compose, arrange, record, edit, mix and master professional quality music.
There’s a lot of stuff that goes into making music, including having the right software, and FL Studio’s easy-to-use interface makes it great for beginners, as well as professionals.
And with the latest version, you can create music using built-in synthesizers, sample libraries, effects, and more.
As the industry’s most intuitive daw software for beginners, Steinbergs Cubase is suitable for all users from hobbyists to professionals who want to create great music quickly and easily.
Cubase is one of the most popular Digital Audio Workstations on the market, made by Steinberg, a company well-known for making music production software.
Cubase has been around since the early 1990s and has a large following among producers and engineers.
Cubase is a full-featured DAW software that offers multitrack recording, MIDI sequencing, audio recording, editing, VST plugin support, and more. It offers a complete music production environment for recording, mixing, editing, and composing music.
Besides its functionality, Cubase also excels in ease of use and outstanding sound quality.
Cubase is available in three different editions: Cubase Pro, Cubase Artist, and Cubase Elements. The Pro edition is the most feature-rich, while the Elements edition is the simplest and most affordable.
It costs $599 USD for the Pro edition, $329 USD for the Artist edition, and $99 USD for the Elements edition.
These prices in combination with the beginner friendliness of Cubase make it one of the best DAWs for beginners.
- Easy to use daw software that is affordable
- Beginner-friendly and suitable for all levels of users
- Experience the thrill of creating music and producing like a pro from the outset.
- Great for professionals as its intuitive workflow and top-quality features make it an indispensable tool for even the most ambitious projects.
- Compose, record, edit, mix, master, and share your music with everyone.
Cubase is a multitrack music software that lets you record and edit audio and MIDI. What does that mean for you? It means that you can create music with ease, using a variety of virtual instruments and audio recordings.
Cubase also comes with a wide range of effects and plugins to help you achieve the perfect sound for your song.
And if you’re ever stuck, there are plenty of online resources to help you out. With its intuitive interface and powerful features, Cubase is the best daw for any beginner music producer.
Check out the latest version of Cubase below.
3. Ableton Live
Ableton Live is a DAW that is greatly suited for artists looking to record and edit using comping, and experiment with new tools and devices to create sounds unlike anything else.
You’ll be able to remix on the fly, improvise your favorite songs in the studio or on stage, work in tight collaboration with other musicians, and so much more.
Ableton Live comes in three different editions: Intro, Standard, and Suite.
They all have similar features but Standard and Suite also have added benefits like more instruments, more effects, and an extended library of samples.
- Record into a DAW that is designed for artists, and for live performances.
- Create new sounds never heard before, and manipulate them in ways that are simply impossible with other DAWs.
- Record, compose, remix, improvise and edit your musical ideas into fully realized productions.
- A wealth of instruments, sounds, kits, presets, and loops in Ableton’s unique browser.
If you’re looking for a modern DAW that’s open to experimentation and creativity, Ableton Live is a great choice.
It combines the best parts of many different DAWs into one easy-to-use package.
From the workflow to the sound quality, to the open nature of the software, Ableton live has all the right tools for any musician.
PreSonus Studio One is a digital audio workstation that is popular among beginners and professionals alike. It is simple enough for a beginner to use but also has the power and flexibility to be used by more experienced musicians.
Studio One comes with a wide variety of sounds and loops that can help you get started making music right away, and there are also a number of third-party plugins and sounds available if you need more options.
Studio One also has a wide range of features, including songwriting tools, virtual instruments, audio recording, sound libraries, and more. And because it’s cloud-based, you can access your projects from most computers.
It’s no secret that PreSonus Studio One is one of the best daw software on the market, as PreSonus is a well-known and respected brand in the music industry, so you know that you are getting a quality product.
Plus, PreSonus offers a wide range of training resources to help you get started. If you’re looking for a DAW that’s both easy to use AND powerful, Studio One is a great choice.
PreSonus is a great choice for beginner music producers. It’s affordable and has a ton of features that will help you get started. The recording software is available in three different versions: Artist, Professional, and an unlimited version called Studio One Prime.
If you’re just starting out, the Artist version will be plenty for your needs. It offers unlimited track recording, a variety of effects and instruments, and MIDI sequencing.
You can also upgrade to the Professional or Prime versions if you need more features down the road.
They have a subscription-based license with everything included for $14.99 per month, but also have a single-time payment of $499 for the Professional version, $99 for the Artist version, and free for the entry-level version!
Why PreSonus Studio One
- Recording, editing, mixing, and mastering in a single application.
- Designed for musicians who want to easily create, record, edit, and mix music.
- Drag-and-drop interface
- Unlimited tracks and instruments
- Automatic delay compensation and an intuitive browser
- Known for its fast, smooth, and efficient workflow.
- Record voice, audio and midi tracks.
- Create drum tracks from scratch and add effects.
PreSonus Studio One is a great DAW for beginners because it’s intuitive and user-friendly, is affordable, and offers a lot of features that other DAWs may not have.
You can use Studio One to create amazing music, podcasts, voiceovers, and more. It’s really versatile and perfect for anyone who wants to get into music production.
Whether you are an experienced producer or a beginner, Studio One is a great option for anyone looking to make music.
If you would like to learn more, check it out below.
Apple Logic Pro X is the most advanced version of Logic ever.
This incredible app for the Mac combines professional tools and technologies with innovative new features to help you create amazing music.
From recording to mixing to editing, and even music creation in real-time with loops, it’s designed to get you from initial idea to final song with full control of everything.
Logic Pro is the next progression after the entry-level DAW software GarageBand, which beginners should test out the waters with. But you’ll quickly outgrow GarageBand, which is why Logic Pro is on the list.
The pricing starts at $199.99 and it also comes with a 90-day trial!
Why Logic Pro X?
- A powerful and flexible DAW with a collection of professional-grade instruments and effects with an incredibly fast interface.
- Optimized for the pro musician with a unique combination of advanced tools and ease of use.
- Create music in real-time, compose, record, edit, and mix your music all in one seamless environment.
- Edit while you mix with the Smart Controls to quickly dial in the perfect sound, or use the Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro to tweak the plug-ins and effects in your mix.
Logic Pro is one of the best DAWs available on the market and it comes with a wide range of powerful features.
It is incredibly flexible and powerful and can work with different types of projects.
It comes with a built-in mixer and session management tool, as well as support for MIDI and audio tracks.
It can also be used for live performances, as you can easily record and arrange in real-time.
It’s a great DAW for professional sound creators looking to expand their skills, like Marc Rebillet.
From the first use, Reason+ delivers a powerful DAW with instruments and effects that can be used right out of the box.
With a unique approach to sound design, Reason+ is the perfect tool for anyone looking for fresh sounds and new ways of making music.
And as a plugin software, Reason+ seamlessly integrates with any other DAW on the market like Ableton Live, Apple Logic, FL Studio, or Avid ProTools.
Truly a unique software that provides and elevates music production for anyone.
You can get a free trial of Reason for 30 days, and if it meets your needs, you can continue your subscription for just $19.99/month, or $220 per year.
You can also buy the stand-alone software Reason 11 for $399 but it does not include all the instruments and effects – nor any of the Sound Packs or major upgrades included in Reason+.
- Unique sounds: Reason is the only plugin or DAW with its own signature sounds.
- Customized instruments: Create your own sounds with customized instruments.
- Sound packs: Get weekly sound packs, all sounds are unique and never heard before.
- Reason+ works as a standalone DAW.
- Give your music that professional touch!
Reason is much more than a plugin for your DAW or digital audio workstation.
It is also a completely standalone digital audio workstation with its own powerful software components.
Reason+ adds fresh, unique instruments and sounds on a weekly basis that you may not find anywhere else.
Cockos REAPER is a complete digital audio production application for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux, offering a full multitrack audio and MIDI recording, editing, processing, mixing, and mastering toolset.
Whether you’re making music for fun or profit, REAPER gives you the tools to allow your creativity to flow.
Reaper has probably the most simple pricing structure of all the DAWs.
One license for personal and semi-commercial use costs $60 (if your yearly gross revenue is below 20k), otherwise, the commercial license costs $225, extremely affordable.
- Multitrack audio and MIDI recording, editing, processing, and mixing
- Comprehensive digital audio workstation with unlimited tracks and busses
- Flexible, high-resolution user interface with support for Retina displays
- Highly configurable, with comprehensive control surface support
- Support for any audio format
REAPER is packed with features but remains a lightweight application that performs quickly and has the smallest memory footprint of any professional digital audio workstation.
Not the most beginner-friendly DAW, but packs a punch and has a cheap license.
Even more daw software
8. Cakewalk sonar by Bandlab
9. Bitwig Studio
11. Avid pro tools
12. Motu digital performer
What is a Digital Audio Workstation or daw software?
In short, a DAW is software that helps you create, edit and mix music. It allows you to work with audio files, software instruments, and control various aspects of the music-making process.
DAWs are also used by sound engineers to edit audio files. There are several types of DAWs that vary in terms of features and price.
However, they all allow users to record, edit and mix music, as well as import or create samples, loops, and VST plugins. Typically, DAWs are used for recording audio.
However, they can also be used for sequencing, mixing, and editing MIDI files, and even making a living out of it.
But with so many different DAWs on the market, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. That’s where this guide comes in.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is the best DAW software?
There are many DAW software on the market and It’ll depend on the type of music you want to create, but some of the best are:
FL Studio, Stenberg Cubase, Ableton Live or PreSonus Studio one.
What DAW do professionals use?
Artists that like to perform live and create music in real-time prefer Logic Pro since most of them are on a Mac.
Artists in the EDM space use FL Studio, while professional sound creators love a mix of Logic Pro, Ableton, or Studio One.
Which is the best DAW for beginners?
Steinberg Cubase is the absolute most beginner-friendly DAW software on the market, in close company with FL-studio and GarageBand.
Why is FL Studio one of the best DAWs?
FL Studio is a complete software music production environment, representing more than 20 years of innovative development and unrivaled user experience.
Dedicated to the art and science of music creation, it’s the ultimate tool for producers, songwriters, musicians, and audio engineers to create the most amazing recordings.
What are the different types of DAWs?
There are three main types of DAWs: software, hardware, and cloud-based.
Software DAWs run on your computer and can be installed on any device. Hardware DAWs are physical devices that you use to create and produce music. They come with their own built-in software, so you don’t need to install anything on your computer. Cloud-based DAWs are accessed online and don’t require any installation.
How to choose the right DAW for you?
So, how do you decide which DAW is the best for you? It depends on your level of experience and what you’re hoping to get out of your music-making software.
If you’re a beginner, looking for an easy-to-use DAW with a simple interface, we recommend Steinberg Cubase or FL-studio. These DAWs are both popular among beginners and more experienced users alike.
FL Studio is also a great option for beginners, as it’s relatively easy to learn and has a large user base.
If you’re looking for something more advanced, Ableton Live is a great option—it’s one of the most powerful synthesizers on the market.
The best DAWs for beginners?
If you’re just starting out, it can be hard to know which daw software is right for you. There are a lot of different software options available, and each one has its own strengths and weaknesses. So, how do you choose?
We’ve put together a guide to the best DAWs for beginners, based on our own experience and feedback from music producers around the world. If you’re just starting out, we recommend Steinberg Cubase or FL-studio.
They’re both great options for beginner producers, with plenty of features and tutorials to get you started.
Music production is a lot of fun and can bring out a lot of creativity in you. However, there is a lot to learn before you can make decent music.
You have to learn how to use the right tools and how to approach your creative process in the best possible way. This is why we recommend you choose one DAW and master it.
This will enable you to create better music and to be more focused on the creative process.
You should try out a few different DAWs to see which one works best for you before fully committing, but you can’t go wrong with the top 3 best DAWs on our list as they are truly industry-leading and have been around for decades.
And the good thing is: you don’t have to buy a DAW to start making music, most of them offer a free trial, some up to 90 days, giving you plenty of time to mess around and create beats for yourself.