DAW recommendations

hi it’s me, yr pal viney

ive got a new laptop lately, moved from mac to pc and ive got a need to make some tunes, but nowt to do it with. i previously used a combination of garageband and audacity, bending them to my iron will with mixed results but now ive just got audacity, which is fine but i like having presets to break and plug ins to fix. any recommendations? also if you want to send me links, my software finding skills arent what they were ten years ago

Not sure if you’re specifically looking for something free, but Ableton changed my life, really user friendly and fun to use. The Intro version is relatively cheap (sure there are nefarious ways to get it for free but I wouldn’t know). Sure they do a demo as well before you commit.


i tried a demo years ago and never got into it but i prob didn’t try very hard. now ive got no choice i may as well give it a go, and it seems to be the most popular choice

it’s what I use to make up for a lack of talent/discipline. Definitely a great choice.


haha, sounds perfect for me then!

I think the main thing with it is that it streamlines the frustrating elements of recording much better than any other DAW I’ve tried. Easy to get interesting drum loops going in no time, quick to create variations and to quantise everything so you sound like a better musician. Basically gets you to the compositional and structural choices of music which to be honest are what’s important anyway :slight_smile:

nice yeah. if you can’t get lost in making it sound like this live drum sample was played by a robot and recorded in a working steel mill then what’s the point


I’ve been using Reaper, having stepped up from Audacity myself, and I really love it. It’s got a couple of things that are a bit more fiddly than they need to be but once you’ve gotten used to it it’s great. And best of all it’s FREE!*

*It’s technically not free but they let you use it as long as you like for free with just a reminder to pay them one day popping up every time you boot it up. I will stump up eventually because it tells you how many hours you’ve spent on it and knowing how long it takes me to make a dodgy sounding track is upsetting.


this sounds worth a bash an all

Just started using Presonus Studio 1, as it came for free with an audio interface. Absolutely no idea what I’m doing with it, but I’m told that its actually meant to be quite good.

ooh not heard of that one. actually should prob install my synths on my laptop and see if they’ve got owt included

All of my stuff is made in FL Studio and I can’t imagine ever switching for composing purposes (I barely do any live recording).

That said, I’ve been using Ableton Live’s session view in a demo version to work on performing live (watch this space…) and that part is revolutionary. I don’t like the piano roll in it very much - I find it to be a much clunkier UI than FL Studio, but that might partly be down to familiarity.

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I’m currently using Presonus Studio 1 which does have some cool stuff about it. I tend to get into using something different every year or so. I never feel like I make full advantage of DAWs, and would love to spend the time/money on educating myself properley.

Also I’m a big fan of Soundforge and Adobe Audition. The latter of which has a great interface that’s nice and easy to use. Neither are DAWs but thought to mention them!

Last time I had a windows machine it was soundforge and Cubase :man_shrugging:

I’d second the Reaper recommendation. Moved over to it after persevering with an old version of Ableton for too long. You get all the functionality on the free download, and the licence is only £50 if you ever decide to pay. It’s a bit of an honesty box arrangement (though they say it’s commercial software and non time-limited full functionality on the free download is just their business model etc).

It’s easy to just get up and going with, you can tailor it however you want, loads of user guides/videos/forum support etc available online.

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think ill prob give this a go

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another vote for Davidoff Cool Reaper

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There’s loads of vids on the main site to get you started so long as you can put up with the American dude telling you how to do each thing 6 different ways very slowly.

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that actually sounds right up my street

I hope you don’t mind me asking a DAW related question, but does anyone operate their daw via a tablet?

I use logic via my Mac but have to get a tablet for work so was wondering if there’s any advantage in getting one where the specifications are favourable to Logic Pro?