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Back in the day, recordings weren’t done using Digital Audio Workstations or DAWs. Before the digital age came about, records were made in studious utilizing large consoles and were recorded using tape. However, as technology became more advanced and more efficient, music studious transitioned to DAWs.

Before we move forward, let us first find out what a DAW is. It’s a software program designed specifically to cater to the nuances of creating music such as recording, editing, mixing, and manipulating sound. And these days, the DAW is the core product that drives either a home or a project studio. 

And if you’re just starting out, finding one that suits you may be difficult. Switching from one to another is just as challenging, as this will not only cost you time but money as well. The fact of the matter is this: each DAW has its own pros and cons, with some maybe more ideal for electronic music producing while some maybe more suited for mixing and mastering. 

The setup of your computer plays a huge role too, as without an optimized setup, the DAW might not work as well as you need it to. Plugins may not run smoothly, pops and clicks maybe heard while you’re recording and worse, the DAW may crash while you’re working, which can prove disastrous!

Needless to say, learning what the pros and cons are of different DAWs will help you select one that will suit your music making style. This article will tackle several DAWs and discuss what their pros and cons are. Continue reading below to find out what the best DAWs are today:

1) Ableton Live 10 Suite Multitrack Recording Software

The Ableton Live 10 is one of the most well loved DAW recording software in the market today. While it has plenty of benefits that would make any music producer happy, the feature that stands out the most is the wide array of options the Ableton Live 10 offers you. With this, you’ll be able to record on multiple tracks using industry-standard software as well as sequence MIDI files. Also, you’ll benefit from the loads of samples it has—you have access to over 5,000 sounds and 57 difference effects.

The software also gives you access to 10 different electronic instruments. There’s a drum track and even a wavetable that you can use. In all, the Ableton Live 10 is a dependable and solid choice for home producers everywhere, especially those who are just starting out.

Pros:

  • More than 5,000 sounds to choose from
  • Ideal for beginners
  • User-friendly interface
  • 57 effects
  • Reasonable Price

Con:

  • Different working layout compared to conventional linear based DAWs.
  • Not so ideal for band or film producers
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2) GarageBand

If you own a Mac computers, it’s best to just skip the rest and use GarageBand as it is one of the best free DAWs you can get your hands on. The only drawback to this particular DAW is that only those that have a Mac can use this. Other than that, there’s nothing negative that can be said about GarageBand.

It has a robust amount of virtual instruments and drum loops as well as many essential effects like an electric guitar amplifier simulations, EQs, reverb, compressions. As a matter of fact, GarageBand is great to use when finishing a music piece, that is ready for commercial broadcast.

Best believe that no other free DAW comes close to GarageBand with its wide array of features and functionality. So, if you have a MacBook and want to dabble in recording and music production, using GarageBand is an easy choice.

Pros:

  • Free for MacOS users.
  • Has many essential effects.
  • A wide variety of virtual instruments.

Cons:

  • May have limited features compared to other DAW’s.
  • Only comes with a Mac
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3) Pro Tools 10 Audio Recording and Editing Software

If you’re a budding musician who is trying to make a mark in the industry, then you should try the Avid Pro Tools 10. Simply put, the sound that is processed by this software is done faster and sounds better. This is because it is one of the most powerful software products on the market today when it comes to mixing music, editing, composing and, of course, recording. 

The DAW package has an assortment of virtual instruments that includes drums, pianos, synths, and other sample instruments. This makes Pro Tools the best DAW if you intend to utilize plenty of virtual instruments when mixing your music. In addition, Pro Tools 10 Audio Recording and Editing Software for audio productions has 8 GB of loops that has some of the most recent plugins and effects that can help you mold your sound just the way you like it. The advanced editing tools also lets you tinker, enhance, and smoothen your musical work. This software provides superb portability and flexibility by letting you work on a dedicated audio interface or from your laptop. This makes the Pro Tools 10 Audio Recording and Editing Software the best DAW if you move around a lot, or tend to a live performances.

Pros:

  • Has plenty of virtual instruments
  • Modern plugins and effects
  • Great value

Cons: 

  • Lacks built-in pitch correction
  • No VST or AU plug-in support
  • Monthly fee required for new software patches past 12 months
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4) Propellerhead Reason 7 DAW Music Software

If you are a serious producer who has a discerning taste when it comes to the sounds that you’ll pick, then the Propellerhead Reason 7 will work well for you. This is because the Propellerhead Reason 7 has been developed with some of the most prominent and passionate music producers in the industry such as Hank Shocklee, Printz Board, and DJ Lucky Date. 

The Propellerhead Reason 7 is loaded with sweet sounds that will provide you with a healthy heaping of flexibility in your home studio. It’s also has an intuitive setup which means you can spend more time producing tracks and less time reading the instruction manual. The Propellerhead Reason 7 includes a superb, versatile piano feature, and three collections of sampled instruments and audio.

Pros:

  • Amazing sounds
  • Intuitive
  • Versatile piano
  • Three sampled instrument collections
  • Lots of synths

Cons:

  • The lack of track, channel and edit grouping schemes is holding back Reason’s full potential.
  • Still some weaknesses in general editing procedures and song management.
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