As many of you have pointed out, it’s not credible for us to say that one DAW is better than all the others. There are loads of great music production applications on the market for PC and Mac, all of which have their strengths and weaknesses and function in slightly different ways.
What we have done, though, is ask, once again, MusicRadar’s users to vote for their favourite DAW so that we can build up a picture of which music making packages are currently the most popular. The following countdown is based on your votes in our 2012 poll: you might not agree with the order or the winner, but what we can say with some confidence is that, if you can’t make decent music with at least one of these products, the fault certainly doesn’t lie with the software.
Our list is an updated version of the one that we published in 2012, and kicks off with Apple’s GarageBand.
You’ll have to search long and hard to find a more beginner-friendly DAW than this one, which ships with all new Macs and can now be bought on its own for the ridiculously low price of £8.99 via the Mac App Store. Non-musicians can simply sequence the supplied audio loops, but a decent collection of software instruments comes included too, as does multitrack recording functionality and a good selection of virtual guitar amps and stompboxes.
GarageBand ’11 adds more of these, plus Logic’s Flex Time and Groove Matching technology. Enhancements have also been made to the software’s Learn To Play features: this is the only DAW that can teach you to play guitar or piano.4 Stars