Home music production has been gaining popularity nowadays. A lot of people are getting into it and you’ll see a lot of musicians, whether they’re underrated or trending, producing their music from home using just their laptops and some music gear easiest daw for beginners.
Now, whether you are moving from analog gear to produce music digitally on a computer or you are completely new to this and you’re just getting started with your music production career, you need to choose the right DAW. Choosing the right DAW is a really important step to begin with, as having the one that you like will make you feel much more comfortable when you are working and make your workflow much smoother.
What is a DAW?
To start it off with, you first need to know what a DAW is exactly. Digital Audio Workstation better known as DAW, is a software that is mainly used to edit, record, master and mix digital audio, though it is important to note that a lot of hardware devices capable of doing the same are also often referred to as DAW.
DAW is mostly seen on computers that replicate a physical audio workstation which are used by producers and audio engineers. In simple terms, a physical audio workstation is that big chunky interface board you see in recording studios, the one with all the sliders, knobs and buttons on it.
In recent times, DAW software has almost taken over hardware DAWs. It has gained a lot of love from musicians who are looking to work and produce their own music from the comfort of their home. It allows them to be more flexible, have more power and have the ease to be able to share their music whenever they want to.
It turns your computer into an audio workstation and it can also emulate the use of hardware gears such as equalizers, compressors and many other virtual instruments as well, with the help of plugins that can be added. All DAW software have essentially the same purpose of making music but each of them do it in a slightly different way due to their difference in the interface and workflow.
What to Consider when Choosing a DAW?
The first place to start would be by checking if the DAW you want to get is compatible with your operating system, since some DAWs are specifically for Windows and some only for macOS.
You’d also want to check the workflow arrangement and song composition since the music sequencing and composition play a big part in digital audio production.
You need to also pay attention to the capability of audio plugins. Some DAWs will offer you a huge library filled with a variety of effects, plugins for audio processing and also virtual instruments while there are others that may lack in this specific criteria.
This is an important area to consider when putting your money in a DAW since this can make audio production much easier and better for you giving you much more options to play around with. It is also important to keep in mind that certain formats of audio plugins work with certain operating systems.
There’s a wide range of DAWs available with significant difference in prices, some are even free to use. After you have taken a look at your operating system and gone through the plugins that are necessary for you, it’s time for you to start looking at your budget.
You need to lastly select a DAW that best fits your needs. It helps in choosing a DAW that is best fit for you when you are sure what type of music you want to work with. For example, some DAWs are great for songwriters and acoustic singers while there are others that are good for people who want to produce EDM music.
Keep in mind that when it comes to choosing the right DAW for you, there’s not really a “one size fits all” solution. Each DAW offers different features to the user so it is important to choose one that is the most appealing to you.
Best DAWs for Beginners
Now, with all that being said, let’s get into choosing a DAW that is great to begin your music production career with!
It is a free to use open-source DAW. They do ask you to donate however much you can but that’s completely optional. It has a simple interface and it allows you to do all the basic things like editing, recording, using effects and also lets you export files at a really high quality.
Compatible with Windows, Linux and macOS
Supports VST and AU audio plugin formats
It’s free of cost
Best for people who have no previous experience of music production
FL, short for Fruit Loops is made by Image-Line. It’s great for making beat loops and instrumental music. It comes with an easy to use interface and a variety of virtual instruments so that you can get to making music the moment you get it. It is great for people who already have a basic idea of music production but want a few extra features.
Windows and macOS compatible
VST and AU audio plugin format support
Ranges from prices of $99 to $899
Great for beginners as well as intermediate producers
Pro Tools First
Almost every professional recording studio has Pro Tools available for use even if it’s not their main DAW of use. Pro Tools First is the beginner version of Pro Tools. You’re completely set if the song you’re producing has 16 tracks or less.
If you require anything more than that you can upgrade to Pro Tools itself. Keep in mind that Pro Tools First is free but upgrading to Pro Tools requires money.
Windows and macOS compatible
RTAS and AAX audio plugin support
Free of cost
Best for beginners but can be used for professionals as well
It is important to choose carefully and invest significant amounts of time into your work to get better. These are some of the best DAWs available so choose one and start making your music!
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