DAWs for a Beginner.
A DAW is a Digital Audio Workstation. It is where you compose, record, mix, edit and produce your music. So deciding which one to use for music production is a big decision. This decision can be partly predetermined by a number of factors, though. Some DAWS are not compatible with all operating systems. For example, Logic Pro X is only available for Mac OSX. Another consideration is what DAW your friends may be using or who you may be hoping to collaborate and learn with, or it may simply be financial constraints.
There are several DAWS that you can download for free to play and experiment with. Garageband, Pro Tools First, and Cubase LE are all free to download and use but they often have limited features such as a limited number of audio or MIDI tracks available. However, in many cases, you can download a trial version of the most popular DAWs (links below), that let you experiment before you buy the full version.
If you are serious about music production, then you will eventually need to purchase a DAW because many demo’s will disable the save feature or have extremely limited functionality. Although each manufacturer will claim their DAW is the best for certain types of music production, all of them perform the same functions. The only difference between each is the general workflow so you should try out each (if possible) before settling on the workflow that you feel suits the way you work best. Everyone will have an opinion about which DAW you should use for electronic music production, and you shouldn’t choose one because “insert artists here” uses it. Rather, choose the one you like and learn it inside out and you’ll find it will perform the same functions as any other DAW.
Note that it can easily take several weeks to understand the workflow of a DAW and begin to use it. Don’t expect to be able to use it within a few days of downloading or purchasing, and we do not recommend switching and changing between DAWS in the early days of your career as this can make the whole learning process much longer. After several weeks of using the same DAW, you’ll then begin to learn and enjoy the creative side of music production. We use Logic Pro in our tutorials but we always ensure that the plugins we use are compatible/available with all other DAWs. So no matter which DAW you settle on you will still be able to follow our tutorials.
What follows is a list of the top five DAW’s for electronic music production.
Logic Pro X
Intro EUR 79
Standard EUR 349
Suite EUR 599
Fruity Edition- Basic melody & loops creation Eur 89
Producer Edition – Full Song Creation & audio recording. Eur 189
Presonus Studio One
Studio One 4 Prime- free
Studio One 4 Artists – £85.20
Studio One 4 Professional – £344.40