Eleven Best Digital Audio Workstation Softwares in 2020

Here's a question that comes up quite a bit what is the Best Digital Audio Workstation Software in 2020 for windows 10? And the answer isn't going to be the same for everyone so in this article, I'm going to go over eleven best DAW's in 2020 for windows 10 and you can decide which one might be the best for you. Download some of them and see which one is best for your style. They all have free demos. I just want to say that this list is in no particular order now let's get into the best DAW software of 2020.


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1. FL Studio

First up we have FL Studio, this one is great for people that want to work with virtual instruments & loops. FL Studio makes it very easy to work with MIDI & even the audio recording is decent. You can easily become a one-man-band or use this in conjunction with your band. One of the best parts about FL Studio is you get lifetime upgrades so you buy it once and you can always download the latest update for free. you also get some decent instruments and effects to get you started.

This digital audio workstation software doesn't have the traditional workflow and layout that a lot of the other programs have but if you're a solo musician and you don't care about the traditional workflow, FL Studio might be the best DAW for you. You can download the FL Studio Demo that gives you access to pretty much everything but if you save a project you won't be able to open it until you purchase a license.


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2. Pro Tools

The next digital audio Workstation on the list is Pro Tools, this is still referred to as the industry standard and the reason for that is, it's been the go-to DAW in many pro studios and has been used on a very large number of hit songs. If you're thinking of getting into audio production more seriously may be working in or owning a studio one day then you should learn Pro Tools as you will likely run into it quite a bit. Pro Tools comes with 115 plugins, this includes an assortment of professional quality effects & instruments.

This is a great choice for home studio owners that plan on recording bands or a large number of inputs at the same time but it can also be a great choice for solo artists too. You can actually download a free limited version called Pro Tools First and take it for a bit of a test drive.



3. Reaper

Next on the list of best DAW for windows 10 is Reaper, this DAW has been making its way into more and more studios all the time. It gives you that traditional workflow that some musicians really like if you've worked with Pro Tools or like the looks of Pro Tools. Reaper is very similar but you can customize it quite a bit more you get a large variety of effects but no instruments however you can find free instrument plugins all over the internet so that's not really a huge negative.

Reaper is a great choice for bands and home studio owners that want a budget-friendly but very powerful digital audio workstation but of course solo musicians and beat creators can get great results with this too. Reaper Digital Audio Workstation will give you professional audio recording and editing and it's pretty budget-friendly and a license is just $60 for an individual or just over $200 for commercial use. You can actually download the Reaper demo which is completely unlocked and use it for 60 days.




4. Cubase

Cubase is a very powerful digital audio workstation that works very well with the modern musician it comes with several great quality instruments and effects. The workflow is similar to the traditional style of Pro Tools but it has its own unique twist that's intended to speed up your workflow. Cubase can be great for solo musicians, beat creators, bands, and home studio owners.

There are several editions depending on your needs the pro and artist options require a USB E-licenser which can be annoying for some users but if you don't mind that then this is a great program for you. You can download a free 30 day trial of Cubase elements unless you already have a USB E-licenser then you can download a free trial of Cubase Pro.


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5. Ableton Live

The next DAW on the list is a little different from the traditional workflow, this is Ableton Live if you're comfortable with the traditional workflow of recording and editing Ableton Live can handle that no problem too but it also adds a whole other dimension to it. The session view, which can help you with composing songs or performing live you load samples or MIDI clips into the tracks and then you can trigger the tracks and clips as you like, you can also record this so you can go back and listen to your session.

Sometimes the best beats and sounds come from freestyling and Ableton allows you to easily capture it and transform it into a song. Ableton is popular with beat creators, DJ's, and pretty much any electronic music style but you can use it to record bands or whatever else, it's very versatile. You can download a free 30-day trial but if you've purchased an audio interface or MIDI keyboard you may have got a license for Ableton Live Lite which is a free limited version of Ableton Live.



6. Cakewalk (Sonar Platinum)

Speaking of free music production software this next digital audio workstation is completely free, Cakewalk by Band Lab formerly known as Sonar Platinum, this is a free and powerful DAW it has that traditional layout and workflow plus you get several instruments and effects included with it. Band Lab updates Cakewalk all the time so it's not like this is an abandoned piece of software. The idea is to use Cakewalk to get people into their music community.

There are no limitations with Cakewalk, you can record full bands, drum sets or whatever you want. If you're a solo artist you can easily access the piano roll and all the features to make music on your own. This is a great choice for bands, musicians, and home studio owners on a tight budget. you'll need to download the Band Lab assistant program and use that to install Cakewalk.


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7. Harrison Mixbus

This next program really doesn't get the attention that it deserves, this is Harrison Mixbus. Harrison has been making recording consoles for over 40 years. This DAW gives you the power of an actual studio console with all of the great features of a modern digital audio workstation. The mixing workflow of Mixbus is where it really shines as the mixer is very well laid out with many of the key features easily accessible right on the screen there's no clicking and searching for things.

This one can be great for bands, solo musicians beatmakers and pretty much any studio. If you want to get that classic analog feel without having to purchase a huge console then this program might be for you. It's easy to use and it's only $79. Give Harrison Mixbus a try you can download a free demo.



8. Presonus Studio One

Up next on the best digital audio workstation software list is Presonus Studio One, this is another digital audio workstation that's making its way into more and more studios. The workflow is designed to help you quickly record, edit, and mix music. It comes with some great quality instruments and effects that can be used in a variety of situations. Presonus Studio One can be great for bands, solo musicians, and beat creators and home studio owners there is a free version called Studio One Prime, it's fairly limited but you can download that and see if it works well with your workflow.


9. Traction Waveform 10

Next one on the list is Tracktion Waveform 10, Tracktion DAW's have come to a long way and Tracktion Waveform 10 is a very capable digital audio workstation with a unique workflow. Everything can be accessed from a single screen and you can easily modify the user interface to suit your workflow. You get some really decent instruments with Waveform 10 and some decent effects. The Waveform can be great for full bands, solo artists, beatmakers or really anyone making music. The chord track can speed up your music creation or even inspire it. You can download a 30 day free trial of Waveform 10 and see if it's for you.

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10. Acoustica Mixcraft 9

The next best digital audio workstation software in 2020 is Acoustica Mixcraft 9, this one is very popular amongst guitar players and solo musicians but it can be used with full bands and beat creators as well. It actually comes with over 7500 loops so if you're someone that likes to work with loops and samples this might be the one for you. You also get a decent collection of effects and synths with Mixcraft and where it really shines is with its workflow and ease of use. If you're looking for an all-in-one package with an easy to use workflow be sure to check out Mixcraft 9. There are actually 2 editions, the recording studio edition and the pro studio edition, prices start at just $75 they have a free 14 days trial that you can download so give it a test drive and see if Mixcraft 9 is for you.



11. Bitwig

This is number eleven on the list of best DAW's in 2020, I do have a few honourable mentions after this one but right now let's look at Bitwig, this is a really interesting program that's very flexible you can adjust the layout to suit your needs and it comes with over 80 instruments and effects. The grid is an interesting concept where you can create a custom synth or custom effect to create a signature sound that is all your own. There are so many customization options in Bitwig and if you love to tinker with synths and gadgets this DAW might be the one for you. It can be great for solo musicians, beatmakers and any other electronic music makers but it can be used for full bands as well.


Honourable Mentions (MuLab & Ardour)

Now for some honourable mentions and the first one is MuLab this one is actually a great program for beat creators and solo musicians. It actually has some really great features and it's fairly affordable too. However, it didn't really stand out against the rest on the list and that's why I put it as an honourable mention. It may be a great program for you so check it out.

Another honourable mention is Ardour, this one can be a very capable program but I couldn't find anything but the price that makes it stand out from the others you can get it free if you can compile the source code or you can pay $1 and download it.


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