7 Best DAW For Beginners In 2022

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What is the Best DAW For Beginners? The answer is broad, but to cut it short, you need a DAW that is easy to use. As an emerging electronic producer, there are probably a million questions running through your mind trying to buy the best DAW.

There are so many conflicting opinions and options available in the market, and of course, you want something that will not waste your money. At this point, sane advice is what you need to help you make a decision you won’t regret.

In this article, we will give you a list of the best DAWs that you can choose from and buy. You can however get some good beginner-friendly DAWs for free too. Though not as good can help you start off.

Which Is The Best DAW For Beginners

Apple GarageBand

If you’re looking for a powerful DAW that is intuitive with incredible features, then this Apple GarageBand might be for you.

Although we can’t say that this DAW can match its big brother Logic Pro which has features like 5.1 surround capabilities, it has beginner-friendly features.

Apple GarageBand supports about 255 audio tracks coupled with full automation and a drummer track, pedalboard emulations, guitar, and many other features making it a fully packed DAW.

This digital workstation is not only recommended to newbies. There are seasoned music producers who have successfully used Apple GarageBand. And the good thing is you can always upgrade to Logic Pro if you need to go higher.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Free for Mac users
  • It comes with interactive lessons for piano and guitar

Cons

      Steinberg Cubase 11 Elements Audio/MIDI DAW

      Steinberg Cubase 11 Elements is a professional DAW with incredible features and comes at a fair cost. The Steinberg brand started as a MIDI sequencer 30 years ago. Years later, they introduced a block-based screen arrangement feature that many other DAWs are currently using.

      Most software got a blow when piracy arose years back, but Cubase 11 Elements stood its ground. Their technology keeps improving, and their invented virtual studio technology can back this fact up, and they went further to develop a top-notch audio editor- Wavelab.

      Now, getting down to why Elements 11 is here. Although you might feel it’s okay to start with free software, knowing that starting with a pro tool will spike your confidence.

      Cubase 11 serves a vast content size with up to 1000 instrumental sounds, 48 audio tracks, 64 MIDI, and close to 50 VST effect plugins. You don’t need to get an e-license USB dongle, which doesn’t limit you because there are many other incredible features like the Mixconsole, chord track, sampler track, basic score editor, and scale assistants.

      Pros

      • A brilliant balance of features
      • Great speed, all thanks to its scale assistant feature
      • Amazing pedigree

      Cons

      • It doesn’t have AudioWarp Quantize

      PreSonus Studio One 5 Artist

      PreSonus Studio One 5 DAW is, without a doubt, a capable and solid DAW. The software is compatible with Mac and PC (Windows 10 64-bit only). The software comes in three versions Prime which is free, Professional, and Artist, depending on your needs and budget.

      The three versions feature an intuitive single-window landscape with an easy drag-and-drop feature. Although you might feel the free version is a great start, we highly recommend starting with Artist.

      The Artist version might not be the best because of its shallow learning curve, but it has impressive features with unlimited audio, FX channels, basses, and instrument tracks.

      Get to explore five top-class virtual instruments; Sample one XT live editor and sampler, Impact XT, a drum sampler, Monitors monophonic subtractive synth, and Mai Tai polyphonic analog synth.

      Pros

      • Has powerful features
      • Intuitive
      • Has unlimited MIDI and Audio tracks

      Cons

      • The modern features can be a bit overwhelming for a beginner

      Avid Pro Tools

      Avid Pro Tools is a famous software because most home studios and professional music producers use it. The software has an easy-to-use interface coupled with super-powerful editing technology.

      Avid Pro Tools audio editing allows you to split and join takes and has a brilliant pitch correction capability. Much other software lacks such features.

      Create collaborations with other producers, engineers, musicians, and mixers through Cloud Collaboration. And what’s fun is you can do this with collaborators from all over the world.

      Pros

      • Affordable
      • Easy to use
      • Reliable

      Cons

      • Most beginners face issues with hardware configuration

      Mixcraft 9 Recording Studio

      Mixcraft 9 Recording Studio from Acoustica is equivalent to Apple’s GarageBand, just that Mixcraft is only compatible with PC. Although you’ll have to pay for it, this DAW has so much to offer that you won’t feel the pinch.

      We are comparing Mixcraft with Garageband because they are both intuitive, making it easier for beginners to explore. With Mixcraft, you get third-party plugins, hardware controllers, audio interfaces, vocoder tracks, synchronizable automation, and a library of over 7500 loops, samples, and effects.

      You can get the cheaper Recording Studio version that offers you unlimited audio, 15 instruments, Able ton-issue Performance, and MIDI tracks. That’s not all, the DAW has a built-in video editor making it a highly competitive DAW in the beginner category.

      Pros

      • Wide range of instruments
      • Improved workflow

      Cons

      • Unlimited track count
      • Only compatible with a PC

      Reason 11 Intro

      Reason 11 is another outstanding, easy-to-use DAW for beginners looking into recording, composing, and mixing music. This software has all the editing tools, instruments, and effects ideal for music production.

      This version offers you 10 virtual instruments, instrument tracks, 3 MIDI effects, 9 effects, and 8 utilities not forgetting the 3GB factory sound library it

      Â comes packed up with 20,000 patches, samples, and loops. The reason is built around a Studio rack that can easily be integrated grated as a VST3/AU/AAX plugin incompatible DAWs. That is an advantage for you because in case you want to shift to a different DAW, you will still have access to your projects.

      Pros

      • You can use Reason as a plugin
      • Easy to use
      • Unique design

      Cons

      • Outdated interface

      FL STUDIO 20 Producer Edition

      Fruity Loop Studio is a popular DAW amongst beginner electronic recording musicians. FL Studio 20 has a shared license between PC and Mac and features a step sequencer. You will not have to pay for updates because this software comes with lifetime updates at zero cost.

      Most producers use FL Studio 20 to create heavy-duty songs, structure beats, create beats, remixes, and loops. The most attractive part about this Studio 20 is the step sequencer that makes it easy to create beats for amateurs.

      With a massive library of plugins and synths, you get to work on projects of any genre of electronic. Even if you do not know at all, this tool makes it easy to learn as you go.

      The only downside of this FL Studio 20 is that it’s not so good for making metal songs. Although we did mention that you can create music in any genre, we still feel that it doesn’t create metal songs well.

      Pros

      • Easy to use
      • Free updates
      • Powerful mixing

      Cons

      • Not good on metal songs

      How To Choose The Best DAW For Beginners

      DAW Features

      Most DAWs are heavy and they can easily bring a computer down. Ensure that your computer has the recommended RAM, CPU, and HDD to keep up with the DAW you’re aiming to buy. If you don’t have faith in your current computer you might want to upgrade before the DAW crashes and you lose all your projects.

      Budget

      Budget is the biggest factor after the DAW features because DAW prices vary. Most good DAWs go for $100 to $1000 and the higher the price the more the features. You can start with a large package or basic versions.

      Operating System

      Operating systems can limit you on what DAW to choose. There are DAWs that are exclusively available for MAC and some for Windows. A good example is FL Studio which is only available for Windows and Logic Pro which is only available for Mac.

      Plugins

      Plugins are effects, instruments, and applications that are plugged into your DAW.  Although you can get free plugins, we recommend paid plugins.

      Frequently Asked Questions About DAWs

      What Is A DAW?

      DAW stands for the digital audio working station. A DAW is software used for recording, mixing, and editing music or audio.

      Is A Free DAW Good For Beginners?

      Most producers started their music production careers with free DAW versions, but that doesn’t mean you cannot start with a premium version. There are a lot of incredible features packed in the premium versions that you might miss out on. But it all goes down to your budget and your needs. You don’t have to postpone starting because you don’t have the money to upgrade. You can start with the free version and then upgrade later.

      Which Is The Easiest DAW To Use For Beginners?

      PreSonus Studio One is easy to use and is also affordable. This software has become a go-to DAW for most engineers, musicians, and top producers worldwide.

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