Today there are so many digital audio workstations out there that we can name one software and say “hey this is what professionals use”. There are so many nuances associated with digital audio workstations and the use of this software in a studio. even though some top software is ruling the laptops of professional music producers, you might also see some surprising results in this article.
Digital audio workstations are the basic setups of music producers and composers. Without a digital audio workstation, it’s like asking a horse rider to play his sport without a horse. Music production software has evolved over the years and puts them on the same plate when you compare the feature that each of them holds. The updates that we get from these digital audio workstations are putting them together in terms of comparison of features.
One such example could be the Ableton vs pro tools comparison. A few ago pro tools had an upper hand on Ableton. Now Ableton came up with a stunning interface and features like comping to put an end to the comping debate.
Here is a list of 6 digital audio workstations that professionals use,
- Pro tools
- Fl studio
Lets dive into one by one shall we,
Even though Ableton has been around for so long, Ableton got its professional status in the last three years where every producer in the elite level started to try and use Ableton. We started to hear infamous records and albums. Sound designers who predominantly use Ableton started to shine in the global arena as well. the user-friendly design makes it easily approachable for anyone to learn and use this professional software.
One amazing thing to note about Ableton is the use of session view or the live performance view. The session view makes all our lives easier by helping us perform live without using loop records, instead to record directly into Ableton and play them. With the release of Ableton 11, it has taken everything to the next level in terms of new plugins and the clean organization look they have aimed for this year.
Ableton comes in three packages which are intro, standard, suite. The lite version is about 99$, standard at 449$ and the suite at 749$. Even if the price may seem like it’s expensive, it’s one of the all around software that provides amazing user experience and functionality.
You can get Ableton lite here
You can get Ableton standard here
You can get the Ableton suite here
This software is usually called the industry standard by most professionals around the world because of the extensive use of this software in the music studios. Since there is so much avid hardware in studios the use of pro tools made by the same company became popular. The user interface and the tools that were available in pro tools changed the game for professionals who are using pro tools in a recording studio.
Pro tools is known for their ability to record vocals and instruments and continuously loop record(also called comping). Pro tools became the industry-wide standard for studio production use. There are so many features in pro tools that I think other digital audio workstations can copy.
One of the amazing features in pro tools is the use of cloud collaboration. It allows its users to collab with people all around the world by sharing the project easily on the cloud and work on it simultaneously as well. this has introduced a new world of opportunities in the digital audio workstation industry.
There are three versions available in pro tools. The pro tools first is a free version with restrictions. Pro tools artist and pro tools ultimate are two versions at 24$ and 79$ per month.
this software is used by 25% of all film composers in the industry. Cubase has the design and the ability to work with digital libraries that other software struggle and overlead. Professionals use software like Cubase for its varied functionality to compose music for films without having issues, no matter which format they are in.
Cubase is an amazing recording software used by thousands of composers and beatmakers. With the release of Cubase’s new version, things have been taken to a new level in terms of slicing and working with samples. the continuous updates that this software is providing, make it stand out in the crowd.
The first choice of digital audio workstation for an apple user is logic pro x. there are a lot of professionals who use a logic pro for beat making and other compositions as well. logic pro has come a long way from being a sequencing software to being a complete digital audio workstation.
The updates from logic this year included a loop play just like Ableton. This allows the ability to perform in stages without any issues. Still, Ableton is the king of live performance with its racks and chains features.
Logic Pro comes at 199$ and gives you lifetime free updates as well.
if there is one software that is used by most producers even if they aren’t using it now and moved on from it, that’s fl studio. Fl studio has been the gateway to music production for almost all the producers. Fl studio has so much producer base, that if you say fl studio is not good. Be ready to receive some intense threats.
Fl studio comes in different versions as well. there are three versions fl studio fruity, fl studio producer, and fl studio signature edition
You can get fl studio fruity here
You can get fl studio signature here
You can get fl studio producer here
I had to include this software because of how far professionals use this software. Even if this software who is usually called the little brother of logic pro x, is not used by music producers, it’s used by filmmakers and content creating professionals for various audio productions.
Garageband is free to use and it’s available in the apple store as well. just like fl studio, Garageband is a gateway for many producers as well.
No matter which software you use, the ultimatum is how you immerse yourself to bring the best music out of it. If you aren’t putting the time and effort to learn the software and instead complain that the software is faulty, I don’t know what to tell you. If you are interested in music production, select one software, and stick to it. learn the ins and outs of the software.
Investing in the digital audio workstation is an amazing commitment to take music production seriously and have accountability as well.
If you are interested check my article on why Ableton is the best DAW here.