The marketplace for DIGITAL AUDIO WORKSTATIONS (DAW) is a crowded field.
Most used to agree that the finest one was ProTools – but it was also the most expensive and the most complicated. Now there’s the totally free and very capable Audacity along with a host of others on a spectrum of varying prices, learning curves, and capabilities.
The answer to the question of “Which one is right for me?” runs smack up against the frustrating answer: “depends”.
As much as I appreciate an unequivocal answer, I have to admit with a sigh that “depends” is the right answer.
But before we even get into the different kinds of DAWs, let me direct you to an absolutely fantastic article. I asked the author to guest-post it on my blog (I can count on one hand the times I’ve done that), but he preferred me including it as a link, so here it is, well worth the time it takes to read. DAW Workflow Boost: The 9 Important Tips For All DAW’s Users
To be relevant, I must first point to the DAWs that are available on mobile devices, since that’s the way of the world going forward.
The field automatically divides into Android and iOS. Here’s a brief list of what I consider to be the best in each platform:
More: Best DAW Audio for Android
More: Best iOS DAW software for iPhone iPad
Can I just mention right off the top the most intuitive, full-featured, least expensive DAW no one has heard of?
It’s GOLDWAVE. ‘Made by an outfit in Canada, so it plays nice. 🙂
Also I really like the perspective in this article about using more than one DAW:
The Case for Using More Than One DAW (sweetwater.com)
PLUS, a great post on Choosing the right DAW from some voice actor named CourVO: Choosing the Right DAW | Dave Courvoisier: Pro Voice Over Talent & Commercial Voice Over Actor
… can be summed up in about a-gazillion online resources. I’m listing the best below, but keep in mind, you’ll run into the old “voiceover takes second seat to music” syndrome when you see these evaluations and lists.
20 Best Free DAWs 2021 – Never Pay For A Digital Audio Workstation Again (midination.com)
The best DAWs 2021: the best digital audio workstations for PC and Mac | MusicRadar
Best DAW Software: The Ultimate Guide (ehomerecordingstudio.com)
The 10 Best DAW Apps for Recording and Production Today | LANDR Blog
The 10 Best DAWs of 2021 – Home Studio Hub
Best Digital Audio Workstations (DAW) – 2021 Reviews & Comparison (sourceforge.net)
10 Best DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations): Paid & Free (drummingreview.com)
The 10 Best DAWs in 2021 (Mac, PC, Linux) (electronicdrumadvisor.com)
Top 10 Best Music Production Software – Digital Audio Workstations – The Wire Realm
Which DAW is Right for You? | B&H Explora (bhphotovideo.com)
Best 15 Free DAWs (Digital Audio Workstation) in 2021! – The Home Recordings
30 Best Free Music Making Softwares and DAWs
Which DAW do I use?
Adobe Audition CS 2020 (CS stands for Creative Suite). It’s the best in my opinion, but that’s the thing; use the DAW that works best for your style, needs, budget, workflow, level-of-techy-acceptance. For instance, a lot of audiobook narrators like Reaper because it apparently has the best punch ‘n’ roll feature.
If I missed something, please note it in the comments below.