The Best DAW for Beginners

You can make professional music in any popular DAW.

If this is the case, then it shouldn’t matter which one you choose, right?

Not exactly.

While you can produce professional music in any DAW, not all are created equal. Each possesses strengths and weaknesses.

In this article, we’ll look at a few critical factors to consider when choosing a DAW.

Resources

You’re not reading this because you want to become an expert on the modern DAW market. 

You’re reading this because you want to write music.

You want to choose the best DAW possible. You want to learn how to use it quickly, so you can start getting ideas out of your head and into the computer.

You don’t want to spend months learning how to use a tool.

As such, the first factor to consider is the quality and quantity of educational resources surrounding the DAW.

It makes sense to choose the DAW with the best possible educational resources.

So which DAWs have the best educational resources?

We highly recommend choosing one of these DAWs if you’re serious about producing electronic music.

Investment

Many people want to start producing electronic music but are immediately scared off by the price.

These aren’t cheap, but the cost is justified.

You’re investing in a high-quality, professional-grade program that you’ll use throughout your entire career.

Each of these DAWs is beginner friendly, but they’re also top quality software used by the best producers in the world.

Sure, you could save money by purchasing a cheaper DAW. That said, I can guarantee it will take you longer to get to where you want to be using a more affordable DAW than if you purchased Ableton Live or FL Studio from the beginning.

Invest in yourself and invest in your career by purchasing a professional grade DAW.

Workflow

You can think of workflow as the way you produce and arrange a track.

As a beginner, you don’t know what your workflow looks like.

However, there is likely one DAW that lines up best with your production goals. Some DAWs are better at recording, others are better at manipulating audio, and others are better for live performance.

If you’ve got a general idea of what type of music you want to create, I can help point you in the right direction.

Here are some important DAW workflow considerations:

  • Do you want to produce electronic music? FL Studio, Ableton Live, and Logic Pro X are all excellent choices.
  • Do you want to record vocals and instruments? Ableton Live and Logic Pro X are great choices.
  • Do you want to manipulate/mangle audio? Ableton Live is a great choice.
  • Do you want to mix/master for other artists? Ableton and Logic Pro X are great choices.
  • Do you want to produce hip hop? Ableton and FL Studio are great choices.
  • Do you want to perform live? Ableton Live is a great choice.
  • Do you want to produce bass music? FL Studio and Ableton Live are great choices.

These are not steadfast rules. They are observations based on my experiences in the industry. There are plenty of examples which defy what I’ve written above, but in general, these rules hold true.

Based on everything I’ve told you, if I had to recommend only one DAW for beginners, it would be Ableton Live 10.

I’ve used Ableton Live, FL Studio, and Logic Pro X extensively, and while all three DAWs are great, Live stands out.

Whether I’m working in MIDI or audio, whether I’m starting tracks or mixing them down, Live has an intuitive and powerful workflow that is second to none. It’s also what most of my friends use, making it easy to collaborate and bounce ideas off of each other.

This is a subjective opinion, but it’s backed by years of research and experimentation.

It’s also the preference of EDMProd founder Sam Matla, who’s helped educate thousands of new producers. It’s what he uses to teach our flagship course EDM Foundations, and it’s what I use for my Track Breakdown series.

Conclusion

I hope you’ve come away with a better understanding of what to look for in a DAW.

While I recommend starting with Ableton Live, know that you’ll be happy with any of the DAWs listed above.

The DAWs mentioned are the most beginner friendly DAWs, but it doesn’t make the rest obsolete. For example, I enjoy using Bitwig, but being that it’s a newer DAW there isn’t a ton of educational content surrounding it.

If you have any questions about choosing a DAW or anything else related to production, feel free to shoot me an email.

Lastly, if you’re looking to jumpstart your production journey, check out our course EDM Foundations. EDM Foundations helps you master the fundamentals of electronic music production by making 4 songs in 4 weeks.

About the Author

Connor O'Brien

Product manager & lead support at EDMProd. He is the author of Songwriting for Producers, the Ableton Workflow Bible, and our popular article series: Track Breakdowns