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DAW Software Comparison

DAW’s the silent hero’s of the production world. The unseen forces behind the world’s greatest songs. You’d think they’d all be so similar right?

Well my audio friends, that’s where you’d be wrong! 

Though each DAW can get you to the final destination, the rides are much different. Take a look at this comparison chart we’ve created that talks about some of the different points!

Feature / DAW Ableton Live FL Studio Pro Tools Logic Pro X Cubase Reaper Studio One Reason
Platform Windows, macOS Windows, macOS Windows, macOS macOS only Windows, macOS Windows, macOS, Linux Windows, macOS Windows, macOS
Price Range $99 – $799 $99 – $899 $29.99/month or $599 – $2599 $199.99 $99.99 – $559.99 $60 (discounts for personal use) $99.95 – $399.95 $399
MIDI Support Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Audio Tracks Unlimited Unlimited Limited based on version Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
VST Support Yes Yes Yes (AAX) Yes (AU) Yes Yes Yes Yes (Rack Extensions)
Built-in Instruments Yes Yes Some versions Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Built-in Effects Yes Yes Some versions Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Max Sample Rate 192kHz 192kHz 192kHz 192kHz 192kHz 192kHz 384kHz 192kHz
Max Bit Depth 32-bit 32-bit 32-bit 32-bit 32-bit 64-bit 64-bit 32-bit
Notation View No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Video Support Limited Limited Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Live Performance Yes Yes No Limited Limited No Limited Limited
Loop-based Composition Yes Yes Limited Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Multi-Touch Support Limited Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Real-time Collaboration No No Yes (Cloud) No No No No No

We even made a video detailing some of our favorite DAW’s for beginners if you want to check it out!

Choosing a Digital Audio Workstation

Ah, the Digital Audio Workstation, or DAW for short. That magical digital realm where you bring your musical daydreams to life—or where you experience a soul-crushing blend of confusion and self-doubt. The choice is yours.

See, the DAW you choose is like a long-term relationship. Pick the right one, and you’ll experience a harmonious blend of creativity and functionality. Choose poorly, and you’ll end up smashing your keyboard in a frustrated rage.

But let’s cut the bullshit and get real. No DAW is going to make you the next Beethoven or Skrillex if you can’t tell a sine wave from a subway line. A DAW is a tool, not a magic wand. But like any tool, some are better suited for certain jobs than others.

Ableton Live: The Swiss Army Knife That Thinks It’s a Lightsaber

Ableton is like that overachieving friend who’s good at everything but just won’t shut up about their latest hobby. You need to warp time signatures like you’re a Time Lord from Gallifrey? Sure. MIDI capabilities that make you feel like you’re conducting an orchestra of robots? You got it.

But let’s not forget, all these features come with a learning curve steeper than a mountain. Sure, you can do a lot. But you need a Ph.D. in Abletonology to know how to do a lot. Here’s a detailed review for the skeptics among you.

FL Studio: The Pretty Face with a Geeky Soul

FL Studio is as visually stunning as Instagram influencers but with the substance of a nerd who’s into quantum physics. It’s highly intuitive and user-friendly, but it still offers you a playground of complex features to get lost in.

But beware: it’s so user-friendly that you may end up dialing in generic beats if you’re not careful. Want to deep-dive? Check out this comprehensive guide on MusicRadar.

Pro Tools: The Corporate Overlord

Pro Tools is that corporate exec who wears three-piece suits to bed. It’s professional, industry-standard, and, let’s be honest, a bit stuck-up. If you want to walk into any professional studio and act like you own the place, Pro Tools is your ticket.

But be prepared to shell out for that ticket. You’re paying not just in money but in time spent learning a system that often seems designed to be as complicated as possible. For the brave hearts, here’s a full rundown of what you’re getting yourself into.

Look, picking a DAW is a personal choice. It’s about what you need, not what some YouTube tutorial tells you is cool. So go forth, make some terrible music, and remember: the only thing holding you back is yourself… and maybe your DAW. But mostly yourself.

Thanks for reading! If you still need help, check out my Free Vocal Presets for Logic Pro X that will get your vocals sounding amazing in no time!!

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