Which DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) is the best?
To begin a career in music recording, all you need is a personal computer with a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). The days of booking a professional studio to record your ideas are long gone, but that leaves you with the question of which DAW is ideal for you.
You should ideally be able to use the majority of the prominent DAWs, since this will provide you with more options when recording or producing with other artists and because one DAW may provide you with insights that another may not. What is the most user-friendly DAW? Which DAW offers the most value for money? What is the most widely used DAW? All of this will be discussed more below!
However, DAWs are not free, and not everyone has the opportunity to play with them all. So, to assist you in deciding which DAW is ideal for you, below is a list of the greatest DAWs. Although Berklee Online students frequently utilize DAWs like PreSonus Studio One and Soundtrap in their courses, this list only includes DAWs that you may learn more about by taking a course at Berklee Online.
Pro Tools is well-known for its expertise in audio recording and editing. It has a track count of up to 256, making it an excellent DAW for live recording. Pro Tools is also known as the industry standard, which means that if you're going to be working with a professional studio or collaborating with someone, understanding how to use Pro Tools will come in handy. It also works well as a mixer, although its MIDI capabilities are regarded as inadequate when compared to competing DAWs such as Logic Pro or Cubase. If you're not sure if you want to commit to such a high payment, consider the monthly subscription option.
Logic Pro X
If you're used to GarageBand, Logic is an apparent step forward. Because the user interfaces are so similar, the reason for utilizing Logic instead is for its various functionalities for production and mixing. It's like GarageBand on steroids. Its benefits and downsides are fairly similar to those of any Apple device: the user interface is highly intuitive, but if you don't know all of the ins and outs, you may miss a lot.
If you merely need a starting point and are already familiar with the Apple interface, Logic is a good choice. It essentially contains everything you need to create a song. Its extensive library of instruments and loops also allows you to experiment with different sounds without having to pay for a plug-in. With the addition of Live Loops, you may now arrange and compose musical ideas in real time, as well as add or record your own loops to the mix.
With the ability to record tracks indefinitely, it is critical to have a diverse environment in which to mix. Cubase's virtual mixer is intended to mimic its hardware equivalent, but with far greater versatility. Faders, panning, equalizers, buses, group channels, effects returns, inserts, and meters are all readily and automatically accessible.
Each track has its own channel strip, allowing for fine-grained modifications, and the mixer's general layout can be customized to your liking. Cubase may also be used to create surround-sound mixes. Because it is mostly MIDI and plug-in instrument-based, it is popular among electronic music producers (EDM, hip-hop, pop). However, its main disadvantage is that it is not as widely used as the other DAWs, making collaboration more difficult.
If you're used to fiddling with analog gear, Reason is the best DAW for you. It excels in sound design and virtual modular synthesis, in addition to having the functions that most other DAWs offer nowadays (multi-track recording, comping takes, mixing, and so on).
With Rack Extensions, you can simply add and even build new plug-ins to the DAW, allowing you to patch them with existing synths or plug-ins to produce sounds you wouldn't expect to hear.
Ableton is considerably distinct from the other DAWs we examined. While other DAWs structure music in a more linear way, the way Ableton works allows for a wide range of live performance options. Rather than composing the music from beginning to conclusion, you can record different parts on different instruments that react to each other based on how you set it up. In a sense, you're recording musical components and "coding" a sequence with them.
Because you can simply drag and drop musical sections into a composition, this non-linear workflow is ideal for live experimentation. If you're not sure about this concept, Ableton includes an Arrangement View that puts the project in a linear format. Ableton is particularly recognized for its versatile sampler and the Ableton Push, which have helped it become a popular DAW among DJs and hip-hop producers.
The FL Studio
What distinguishes FL Studio? To begin, you can handle drum programming, MIDI recording and editing, audio recording, mixing and mastering, and effects processing!
There are many free courses on Youtube or Internet. The software is pretty intuitive so you can watch some tutorials and free courses to learn the basics. By the end of any course, you'll be able to produce your own music from scratch.