This question is subjective, but I feel I may be able to help as far as getting off the ground quick and making music! I’ve used Pro tools, LogicX, FL, Ableton, Sony Acid, GarageBand, Adobe Audition, Studio One, Cubase, Reaper, Auduor, MixLab, Audacity, and more!
Looking for a cheap price?
GarageBand is free when you buy a Mac for minimum $1000 dollars! Logic Pro X is $200 and updates for it are free! Same with FL studio and Studio One, (Studio one does have a free version but it’s very limited, similar to pro tools free version) Audition is $20 a month and updates. DM me on Twitter your budget and what your trying to accomplish and I’ll help you pick one!
Looking for Mastering? Mixing?
So this is kind of tough one because so many 3rd party and some even built in plugins will help you get this done very easily! with that said we are talking about DAW only so let’s leave 3rd party stuff out!
Out of the box 📦 has to be Audition, i haven’t tried the latest update this month yet, but in my experience it has specific project settings to target mastering for broadcast applications, and the tools actually work. Logic Pro has a broadcast preset on the master bus but it’s mediocre imo. On the contrary in the latest logic update they added two new FX processors both of which have the potential to be what I’ve been saying about audition! It’s a close race, but audition gonna take this one!
Looking for Innovation?
If you are looking for the latest FX and forever updating software synthesis then I would grab FL studio or Abelton! FL has lifetime updates for free and trust me when I say they are not going anywhere! Some of the best records of 2018 were produced in FL and Abelton as well!
Both of these softwares come with a decent learning curve, but the thing is as soon you feel like hey I get this software there is 1000 more things you can do with it so! For me that’s exciting there so many buttons and knobs plugins built in you can do ALOT more than what it looks like. These software can be daunting to configure for recording, and because of how innovative are not the most stable, crash 90% chance vs others 99.9999% still great software, I use both!
Looking for a Beginner?
If you want something you just start recording chunks to and slap some drums behind it for fun or background music for your own video productions without much care of effort and barely any learning curve you should use garage band.
It’s really simple for a guitarist to get an irig and start playing directly into the Mac, plus you will get the hang on Logic Pro X in a way because of how similar it is.
Looking for long term support?
If you are interested in learning PRO software with great support and large user communities and don’t mind sitting down taking time to learn the system and processes you should be using something like Pro Tools 🧰 or Cubase, Logic ProX has been proving itself a leader in recording software as well, tough call but..one thing I can say is the softwares are all rock solid, no crashing freezing 🥶 rebooting
The cool thing is they provide a free version of pro tools so you can try it out to see if you like it. Garage band is like the trial version of Logic Pro But all of them audio standard around the world and great to know if you plan on being a professional audio engineer!
Hold your horse tho, cause now a days all of the DAWS are starting to show up mobile and handheld devices. Plus you can get high quality interface cards for these mobile devices now too. They aren’t really expensive either + the learning curve is same as made by same or similar development teams. That is for next post, though.
That’s it for me if you have any DAW questions fire them my way I will help you!!