HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT DAW FOR YOU? | DAW BUYERS GUIDE

The heart of every digital music studio is Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software. It serves as the central location for composing, arranging, mixing, and mastering music, and it must be both user-friendly and conducive to creative work. Since DAWs have such a wide range of features, it’s crucial to know what to look for before choosing a DAW.

DAW provides you with the atmosphere and resources you need to transform your musical ideas into concrete and listenable works.

WHAT EXACTLY IS A DIGITAL AUDIO WORKSTATION (DAW)?

A DAW is a piece of software that transforms your computer or laptop into a full-fledged music studio, allowing you to compose, arrange, record, edit, mix, master, and export your music.

HOW TO CHOOSE A DAW?

Now that you know what a DAW is, how do you decide on selecting the right daw? There are hundreds of DAWs available, with about five being the most common and well-known. You can get a DAW delivered to you in a package from a music gear store (the more traditional way) or download it from the manufacturer’s website. (the more modern way)

Let’s go through some of the factors to consider when deciding which DAW is the best daw for beginners:

1. OPERATING SYSTEM

Certain DAWs can be inaccessible due to your computer’s Operating System (OS). For example, Logic Pro X is only available for Mac OS X, and Image-FL Line’s Studio is only available for Windows. But, unless you’re able to turn to a different OS just to use a different DAW (which some people are), keep this restriction in mind.

2. COMPUTER SPECS

A DAW is a fairly large computer programme that can bring even the most powerful computer to its knees, particularly when working on a heavily loaded project. It will put a strain on your memory (RAM), CPU, and hard drive space. Those are the three to concentrate on whether you can update individual components of your device. There are tips and tricks for reducing the load a DAW puts on your computer, but if your computer is already slow and old, you may not have a good time working on your music with a DAW that freezes or crashes due to a lack of RAM or hard disc space.

3. YOUR BUDGET

Your budget is the most significant factor in determining how much you will spend on a DAW. The best DAW for music production comes in a variety of bundles or editions. More functions, instruments, and effects are usually included in higher-priced packages. As you progress in your music production or recording career, you’ll likely want to invest in additional plugins to expand your capabilities.

4. PLUGIN FORMATS

Plugin Formats are pieces of software that your DAW. An effect, such as a special form of distortion, reverb, or Auto-Tune, or an instrument, such as a virtual piano, is an example of a plugin. Many are available for free download on the Internet. Plugins, unfortunately, come in a variety of sizes, which can be frustrating. VST, AU, AAX, and RTAS are some of the formats you’ll encounter. If you’re just getting started, don’t sweat it; most common plugins are compatible with most DAWs.

5. INTANGIBLES

There could be some very personal reasons while choosing a DAW. Perhaps you found Mat Zo uses Ableton while browsing Equipboard and decided to use it as well. Maybe you find a YouTube channel that teaches you how to make your favourite genre of music and they use FL Studio 12, so that’s the DAW you’re looking for. The relationship you have with your DAW is crucial, and it could last a long time.

THE BEST DAWS FOR BEGINNERS

There are Free DAWs as well as Paid DAWs available in the market. We’re not suggesting that one DAW is better than the other; however, they all work in somewhat different ways, so it’s worth taking the time to weigh your choices carefully

THE BEST FREE DAWS FOR BEGINNERS:

Without considering the free DAWs available on the market, this wouldn’t be a full DAW guide. There are a plethora of options, but Audacity and Garageband are by far the most common. If you’re a little more technically inclined, Cockos Reaper also has a lot of features.

THE BEST PAID DAWS FOR BEGINNERS:

Spending time practising a free DAW before having to relearn a new software can be a time-consuming exercise if you’re serious about choosing the best daw for music production. As a result, it’s critical to appreciate your time, abilities, and the art you’re eager to learn. As your skills improve, you’ll have plenty of space to expand. Therefore, here’s a list of the best paid DAWs:

1. Ableton Live

2. FL Studio

3. Cubase

4. Reason

5. Logic Pro

6. Bitwig

7. Reaper

WHAT MATTERS ?

At the end of the day, the best DAW for beginners would be the one you purchase. All of the above choices will provide you with the resources you need, whether you’re manufacturing or recording.

So it doesn’t matter whether you use Ableton, FL Studio, or Cubase; the key is to devote enough time to learning the ins and outs of your chosen DAW. Whichever one you select, there will be plenty of free tools available online to assist you in learning how to use it. You must have good knowledge of music production & sound engineering to operate DAWs.

Above all, for the ones you like the look of, I suggest downloading a couple of trial models. Give them a spin and pick the one that makes the most sense to you!

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