In the previous post, I talk about “Which DAW Software is BEST for Your Home Music Studio?“. And to day, I list some common Best DAW softwares below, their features and functions of each. I hope you have a right choice. Here we go!
1#: Cockos Reaper
This is the beast in Daw software world and to tame it take quite a time. It’s not easy to use ‘cause the limitation of the display, hard to watch but functions are very excellent and efficiency is more than great.
You can hardly believe that the DAW software installment just takes several megabyte, it’s really hard to believe, right! Another point makes Reaper very attractive is that the fair price, you will own Reaper with 60$ for individual version.
Community which use Reaper is more and more big. One who used Reaper would be very loyal and enthusiastic, this must have a reason, right? And what reason that is, find out for yourself.
2#: Apple Logic Pro
Smart and efficient with hybrid audio engine mode. This is one of best DAW softwares but only runs on Mac. It has tools enough for composing, recording, mixing, … Powerful functions with simple, convenient and beautiful display.
Strong point of this software is the high quality attached plugins. In which we have to call out drummer, drum kit designer. However, if you use small screen, sometimes you’ll feel distress with Logic Pro tools.
3#: Ableton Live
Ableton Live is a quite young DAW software, the first version was born in 2001. This is favorite option of DJ, Beat Maker, EDM artist ‘cause of the ability to work excellently with MIDI and its Loop. And I even haven’t mentioned about its “alien” display and unusual working process of Ableton Live.
If you’ve already used one DAW software and change to Ableton Live, you almost have to start from the beginning for getting used to it instead of just remembering some changes like others.
4#: Steinberg Cubase
Steinberg is pioneer in DAW software production since we didn’t know what is color television. They’re also the company which give the common standard VST nowadays.
Steinberg Cubase is also my favorite software because of its multifunction. Cubase can do all the works relate to midi, audio, composing, mixing, recording, mastering and do it very well! Especially, Cubase has very powerful tools relate to midi and audio. You can hardly find other best DAW softwares have more functions.
The recent versions have some improvements of efficiency, displays, working process as well as cooperate projects through internet.
Imagine you’re at Europe and your girlfriend’s playing guitar, you want to record that sound but your girlfriend is at Australia, no problems, Cubase will help you. Your girlfriend just need to install Cubase assisting software. Then you’ll record like your girlfriend is playing next to you.
5#: PreSonus Studio One
Studio one is DAW software of famous hardware production brand, PreSonus. This software was born in 2009, one of the youngest DAW software. With the advantage of the newer coming, Studio One learns so much strong point of previous seniors, results in convenient, new, powerful working process.
To version 2, Studio One supplemented many functions such as audio editing, advanced mini make this software more interesting.
The official developers of Studio One are Wolfgang Kundrus and Matthias Juwan. Wolfgang Kundrus is one of the first programmer to join Cubase project and later is Nuendo. Matthias Juwan is the one who wrote three famous VST standard of Steinberg.
What does this mean? Clearly, Studio One has many strong points of Cubase and Nuendo and it applies well with VST standards of Steinberg. However, Studio One display is very different from Cubase, it is optimized for big screen, this will attract new customers but also prevent some music producer who can’t live without two screens.
6# Image Line FL Studio
FL Studio is a DAW software which many beat maker, edm, producer from over the world love. Functions, display, working process of FL Studio is very suitable for composing, mixing, working on computer especially when you usually work with Loops. And, give FL Studio a chance, it won’t make you disappointed.
7#: Propellerhead Reason
Reason is a powerful DAW software for composing music. It’s principle is somehow unique, it’s nearly, all-in-one. Reason has many tools, unique musical instruments, attached plugins just for itself.
However, if you compare its functions relate to audio editing, mixing, audio recording, midi editing to “dinosaurs” like FL studio, Cubase, Reason may have to improve more.
8#: Avid Pro Tools
Talking about popularity, Pro Tools is industrial recording standard of the world. This is professional DAW software with stability, many high-grade Avid hardware integrations. It has powerful editing, mixing audio tools.
However, if you often work with midi, this may not be suitable choice since function relates to midi of Pro Tools is still not good in recent versions.
9#: Steinberg Nuendo
Nuendo and Cubase has similar look because they have the same mother. So, what’s the reason make Nuendo $2000 and Cubase $600?
Nuendo’s nature is the tool made with video supporting feature and good stabilization. It has all the functions we usually see in Cubase, this means you record, mixing, compose, master with Nuendo just as well as with Cubase.
The cost of more $1400 is for:
- Many supporting tools like sound design, ADR, film editing, advertising, et cetera.
- Steinberg hardware integrations.
- Cooperation with another studios over the world in real time.
10#: Apple Garage Band
Garage Band is easy study software with basic function, friendly display, you have Garage Band after purchasing mac or install mac OS. We can say that this is the simple version of Logic Pro.
If you just start to record and just need to record, simple audio editing, GarageBand is not a bad choice!
11#: Adobe Audition
Is common software for amateurs. This is more function version of Garage Band but can’t be compared to Cubase, Reaper or Logic Pro.
Audition permits you multi channels recording, basic mixing, improve the audio of the interview of real sound,… This is not a bad choice for people with simple recording need and it’s easy to learn.
However, if you want to follow music professional path, don’t waste time with it, learn from another high-grade tools.
It’s not that Audition is bad, just because it’s somehow a middle software, half pro, half amateur. Therefore, you’ll waste a lot of time to learn when you want to change from Audition from another pro software.
I’ve just introduced to you some common best DAW softwares. Talking about popularity, Reaper haven’t made it yet but it’s a very potential DAW software, try it and you’ll receive the reward!
Note that with the speed of storm when talking about software development nowadays, what I write in this guide at this time (2016) won’t be true at the time you read.
Furthermore, If you don’t know how to choose between DAW softwares. You can download trial version from each brands and experience for yourself for a time and eventually give decision.