10 Best DAWs Software For Music Production In 2022 (Top Picks)

By: Stephen Seaman
Updated: March 13, 2022

Music production is the process of creating a recording. A DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) is software that can be used to produce, record, edit and mix music.

DAWs are available on many different platforms, including Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux. DAWs vary in complexity from beginner level to professional studio grade, so it's important to pick the one that best suits your needs!

Which DAW is the best DAW for music production? There are many DAWs on the market today, and it can be tough to figure out which one you should use.

The truth is that they all offer different features and capabilities, so there really isn't a "best" DAW for everyone. In this article, we will go over 10 of the best DAWs software in order from 1-10 ranked by popularity. You can then decide which one might work best for your needs!

What Is DAW?

DAW is an acronym for Digital Audio Workstation. DAWs are software that is used to create, record, mix, and master music. DAWs can be used for a single purpose, or they may have multiple capabilities, such as mastering one DAW while having sequencing functionality in another DAW.

Best DAW

DAWs aren't just for music production, and DAWS can be used to record and playback audio as well. DAW software is the standard in professional recording studios due to its flexibility and affordability compared with other options such as tape machines or high-end hardware preamps/effects processors.

Now you might have a question which is the best DAW?

Which Is The Best DAW?

The DAW that is best for you depends on your needs. Before deciding, it's important to think about what features are most important to you and which DAWs offer those feature(s). For instance, if one DAW has a better workflow than another, then chances are high that the first DAW will be easier for you to work with.

There's no "best DAW" because every producer has different needs. DAWs are great, and they can help you produce amazing songs, so it's definitely worth checking them one by one out if you're serious about music production.

Read Also: 10 Best Beat Making Software For PC In 2022

List Of The 10 Best DAW for Music Production In 2022

This is a comprehensive list of DAWS, not just for music production but may have other capabilities as well. Here we begin with the list as follows:

1. Ableton Live

A DAW that is specially made for electronic music production. It's intuitive and has a great workflow, but it can be pricey (although they now offer an accessible introduction version).

Best DAW

Price - $99 (Free Intro Version)

Supported DAW Platforms - Mac OS X, Windows

Key features

  • Audio recording
  • MIDI sequencing
  • Automation processes
  • VST plugin support

Recording Features

Ableton Live lets you record your audio and MIDI tracks with ease. You can record audio directly into Ableton Live from a microphone or multi-track recording device, DAW interface, external instrument such as a DAW controller keyboard/pad.

MIDI Sequencing

In addition to the audio capabilities of this DAW, you will also be able to sequence your MIDI parts. MIDI sequencing is great for producers that prefer to work with virtual instruments.

VST plugin support

VST plugins are available in both Windows and Mac OS X versions of Ableton Live DAW.

Pros

  • Unlimited tracks & scenes
  • Flexible routing capabilities
  • Unique Session View

Cons

  • Expensive (free version available)

Bottom Line

Ableton Live DAW is the best DAW for electronic music production. It's one of the most popular DAWs and has a free version that offers limited functionality, which can be enough to start out with this DAW if you are on a tight budget.

2. Apple Logic Pro

This DAW is especially great for producers that use Apple computers.

Best DAW

Price: $199 (Free 30-Day Trial)

Supported DAW Platforms: Mac only.

Key features

  • Audio recording
  • MIDI sequencing
  • Automation processes
  • VST plugin support

Recording Features

This DAW is great for audio recording due to its multiple built-in microphones that are automatically routed into the DAW. You can also record your MIDI parts with ease using this DAW, both of which you can playback in real-time if desired.

MIDI Sequencing

This DAW allows producers to sequence their MIDI parts using a piano roll view.

VST plugin support

The DAW is compatible with VST plugins that are available for both Mac.

Pros

  • Unlimited tracks & scenes
  • Flexible routing capabilities.

Cons

  • It's not as intuitive as some other DAWs.
  • It is available only for Mac users.

Bottom Line

If you're looking to use DAWs on an Apple computer, Logic DAW is the one to get. It's a DAW that is great for producers of all types (beginner, professional).

3. Imagine-Line FL Studio

This DAW is a good option for users that want to produce tracks quickly. It's very fast and fluid, which can be great if you're not interested in spending hours editing one song.

Best DAW

Price: $99 (Free Trial Version Available)

Supported DAW Platforms - Windows, Mac

Key features

  • Audio recording
  • MIDI sequencing
  • Automation processes
  • VST plugin support

Recording Features

FL Studio DAW is great for audio recordings. You can record your voice, instruments, or any other type of audio using the DAW with ease. It also allows you to route multiple microphones into it simultaneously, which is great for DAW users that want to record with multiple microphones.

MIDI Sequencing

FL Studio DAW, like Logic Pro DAW, is capable of sequencing MIDI parts using the piano roll view.

VST plugin support

Yes, this DAW supports VST plugins on both Windows and Mac OS X platforms which makes it a DAW that is compatible with a wide range of VST plugins.

Pros

  • A fast and fluid workflow
  • Unmatched value
  • One of the cheapest DAWs on the market Unlimited tracks & scenes

Cons

  • GUI can feel crowded for beginners
  • Doesn't have as many features compared to other DAWs

Bottom Line

FL Studio DAW is great for producers that want an affordable DAW with a fluid workflow. If you don't mind the lack of features on this DAW, it's definitely worth considering as your next DAW purchase.

4. Steinberg Cubase

This DAW is a good option for producers that prefer DAWs with more features and options. Cubase DAW may take some time adjusting to if you're new to this DAW, but it's definitely worth considering as one of your next DOW purchases if you want an all-inclusive DAW solution.

Best DAW

Price: $99 USD (Trial Version Available)

Supported DAW Platforms - Windows, Mac OS X.

Key features

  • Audio recording
  • MIDI sequencing
  • Automation processes
  • VST plugin support

Recording Features

Cubase DAW is capable of audio recordings with ease using its built-in microphone preamps that are automatically routed into the DAW.

MIDI Sequencing

Cubase DAW is great for sequencing MIDI parts in a piano roll view, and you can also use the DAW to edit your MIDI recordings with ease using its built-in features that allow you to transpose, cut or paste any part of your recording into the DAW's sequencer.

VST plugin support

Yes, this DAW supports VST plugins on both Windows and Mac OS X.

Pros

  • Unlimited tracks & scenes Flexible routing capabilities
  • Unmatched value
  • Refined DAW interface

Cons

  • It's not as intuitive as some other DAWs.
  • Traditional DAW workflow may take some time to get used to.
  • The DAW may feel bloated for users that are new to it.

Bottom Line

If you're looking for a DAW with more features and options, Cubase DAW is a DAW that you should consider as your next DAW purchase.

5. PreSonus Studio One

This DAW is a good option for users that want to produce tracks quickly. It's very fast and fluid, which can be great if you're not interested in spending hours editing one song.

Best DAW

Price: $99 USD (Trial Version Available)

Supported DAW Platforms - Windows, Mac OS X.

Key features

  • Audio recording
  • MIDI sequencing
  • Automation processes
  • VST plugin support

Recording Features

Studio one DAW is capable of audio recordings with ease using its built-in microphone preamps that are automatically routed into the DAW.

MIDI Sequencing

Studio One DAW is great for sequencing MIDI parts in a piano roll view, and you can also use the DAW to edit your MIDI recordings with ease using its built-in features that allow you to transpose, cut or paste any part of your recording into the DAW's sequencer.

VST plugin support

Yes, this DAW supports VST plugins on both Windows and Mac OS X platforms.

Pros

  • One of the cheapest DAWs on the market
  • Unlimited tracks & scenes
  • Refined DAW interface Fast workflow

Cons

  • Doesn't have as many features compared to some other DAWs
  • GUI can feel crowded for beginners

Bottom Line

If you're looking for a DAW with more features and options, this DAW may not be the best option. However, Studio One DAW is a good DOW that you should consider if you want an affordable DAW solution with a fluid workflow.

6. Cockos Reaper 6

This DAW is a good option for users that want to produce tracks quickly. It's very fast and fluid, which can be great if you're not interested in spending hours editing one song.

Best DAW

Price: Free (Trial version available)

Supported DAW Platforms - Windows, Mac, Linux

Key features

  • Audio recording
  • MIDI sequencing
  • Automation processes

Recording Features

Reaper DAW is capable of audio recordings with ease using its built-in microphone preamps that are automatically routed into the DAW.

MIDI Sequencing

Reaper DAW is great for sequencing MIDI parts in a piano roll view, and you can also use the DAW to edit your MIDI recordings with ease using its built-in features that allow you to transpose, cut or paste any part of your recording into the DAW's sequencer.

VST plugin support

No, this DAW does not support VST plugins on all platforms.

Pros

  • Interface Fast workflow
  • Tiny Storage footprint

Cons

  • Doesn't have as many features compared to some DAWs
  • GUI can feel crowded for beginners
  • No VST plugin support on Mac platform.

Bottom Line

If you're looking for a DAW with more features and options, this DAW may not be the best option. However, Reaper DAW is a good DAW that you should consider if you want a DAW with a fast workflow and low storage footprint.

7. Reason Studios Reason

Reason sweetens the DAW pot by being the only DAW that's essentially a virtual studio rack.

Best DAW

Price: $99 USD (Trial version available)

Supported DAW Platforms - Windows & Mac

Key features

  • Audio recording DAW interface
  • Midi Sequencing
  • Automation processes
  • VST plugin support
  • Multi-track editing
  • Track freezing

Recording Features

Reason DAW has a great built-in audio recorder that you can use to easily record your instruments and vocals. The DAW also features professional-grade vintage preamps with phantom power for recording mics, guitars, basses, or keyboards right into the DAW interface. Reason DAW supports MIDI sequencing, and it also has automation processes.

MIDI Sequencing

Reason DAW is great for sequencing MIDI parts in a piano roll view, and you can also use the DAW to edit your MIDI recordings with ease using its built-in features that allow you to transpose, cut or paste any part of your recording into the DAW's sequencer.

VST plugin support

Yes, Reason DAW supports VST plugins on both Windows and Mac OS X platforms.

Pros

  • Diverse set of instruments & devices that you can use to create tracks, record audio or MIDI sequences.
  • Diverse range of virtual synths available for purchase DSP effects like distortion, chorus, reverb etc.

Cons

  • Basic DAW features Limited number of built-in DAW instruments.

Bottom Line

Reason DAW is great for users that are interested in creating electronic music or hip-hop tracks. It's also a good DAW if you want to use it for sequencing MIDI parts using its built-in features and VST plugin support.

However, this DAW may not be the best option for DAW users that are looking for a DAW with more features or who want to work on their tracks using multiple DSP effects.

8. Bitwig Studio

Bitwig DAW is a DOW that you should consider if you want to produce tracks with ease by having an easy-to-use workflow.

Best DAW

Price: $99 USD (Trial version available)

Supported DAW Platforms - Windows, Mac, Linux

Key features

  • Audio recording
  • DSP effects
  • Automation processes
  • MIDI sequencing
  • Diverse range of virtual synths available for purchase DAW interface
  • VST plugin support
  • Multi-track editing and Track freezing

Recording Features

Bitwig DAW has a great built-in audio recorder that you can use to easily record your instruments and vocals. The DAW also features DSP effects like distortion, chorus, reverb, etc., that you can use to enhance your recording projects before exporting the recorded project into a DAW track for further editing and mixing.

MIDI Sequencing

Bitwig DAW is great for sequencing MIDI parts in a piano roll view, and you can also use the DAW to edit your MIDI recordings with ease using its built-in features that allow you to transpose, cut or paste any part of your recording into the DAW's sequencer.

VST plugin support

Yes, Bitwig DAW supports VST plugins on all platforms, and DSP effects such as distortion, chorus, etc., can be used in Bitwig DAW.

Pros

  • Diverse range of virtual synths available for purchase DSP effects like distortion, chorus, reverb etc.
  • Diverse set of instruments & devices that you can use to create tracks or record audio or MIDI sequences
  • Easy-to-use workflow

Cons

  • Basic DAW features Limited number of built-in DAW instruments.

Bottom Line

Bitwig DAW is a DAW that you should consider if you want to produce tracks with ease by having an easy-to-use workflow, and its DSP effects like distortion, chorus, etc. are great for adding creative depth to your recording projects before exporting the recorded project into DAW track for further editing and mixing.

9. Garageband

Garageband DOW is a DAW that you should consider if you are looking for an entry-level DAW with basic DAW features.

Best DAW

Price: Launch price free

Supported DAW Platforms - Mac only

Key features

  • Audio recording
  • MIDI sequencing and limited DSP effects.
  • Diverse range of virtual synths available for purchase DAW interface

Recording feature

Garageband DAW has an easy-to-use built-in audio recorder that allows you to record your instrument or vocals.

MIDI Sequencing

Yes, Garageband DAW supports MIDI sequencing on the Mac OS X platform and a Diverse range of virtual synths available for purchase DSP effects like distortion, chorus, reverb, etc.

VST plugin

No VST plug-in support. You can use DSP effects like distortion, chorus, etc., in Garageband DAW, which comes with the DAW.

Pros

  • Diverse set of instruments & devices that you can use to create tracks or record audio or MIDI sequences Diverse range of virtual synths available for purchase DSP effects like distortion, chorus, reverb etc. D
  • DAW interface

Cons

  • No VST plugin support or multi-track editing and Track freezing feature
  • Only available for mac

Bottom Line

Garageband DAW is a DAW that you should consider if you are looking for an entry-level DAW with basic DAW features. It's also great for users that want to use it for sequencing MIDI parts using its built-in features. It is an awesome DAW for beginners and advanced also.

10. Acoustica Mixcraft

Acoustica DAW is a DAW that you should consider if you are looking for an entry-level DAW with basic DAW features and want to produce music using virtual instruments.

Best DAW

Price: $99 USD

Supported DAW Platforms - Windows only

Key features

  • Audio recording & MIDI sequencing
  • Diverse set of instruments & devices that you can use to create tracks or record audio DSP effects like distortion, chorus etc.

Recording feature

Mixcraft DAW has an easy-to-use built-in audio recorder that allows you to record your instrument or vocals. You can also import MIDI files directly into Mixcraft DAW. DSP effects like distortion, chorus, etc.

MIDI Sequencing

Yes, Mixcraft DAW supports MIDI sequencing on the Windows platform and a Diverse set of instruments & devices that you can use to create tracks or record audio DSP effects like distortion, chorus, etc. Virtual synths are available for purchase in this DAW Diverse range of virtual synths available for purchase.

VST plugin

Yes, Mixcraft DAW supports VST plugins on all platforms, and DSP effects such as distortion, chorus, etc., can be used in Bitwig DAW.

Pros

  • DAW interface Diverse range of virtual synths available for purchase DAW interface.
  • Decent library of DSP effects.

Cons

  • Not available for Mac platform.
  • No upgrade path

Bottom Line

Mixcraft DAW is a DAW that you should consider if you are looking for an entry-level DAW with basic DAW features and want to produce music using virtual instruments. It's also great for users that want to use it on the Windows platform. Also, there is no upgrade path available in this DAW which can be some drawback for DAW users.

Summary

The best DAW for music production depends on the type of projects that you're working on and what kind of DAW experience you have currently.

Having said that, for beginners, DAWs like FL Studio DAW and Ableton Live DAW are good options to start out with because of their ease of use.

DAWs like Garageband DAW and Mixcraft DAW is also good DAW options for beginners because of their Diverse set of instruments & devices that you can use to create tracks or record audio.

Thank you for reading.

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