8 Best DAW for Hip Hop Music Production in 2021
Apr 08, 2021• Proven solutions
A fully-function DAW software, also known as Digital Audio Workstation, is the essential tool in a music producer’s arsenal. Whether you’re starting your career with your first song or have finally got that break you were looking for, a DAW software will help you handle different elements of music production, including composing, mixing, mastering, etc.
While there are dozens of DAW tools to choose from, it is essential to pick the right one, especially if you’re planning to produce a hip-hop track. Unlike other genres, hip-hop is everything about playing the right beat at the right time. So, it becomes quite essential that you have the best DAW for hip-hop that’ll allow you to master your track perfectly.
To help you in the journey, we’ve put together a list of 8 of the best hip-hop DAWs you can use to mix and master a hip-hop track.
Best Dawfor Hip Hop
Image-line’s FL studio is hands-down, the best audio workstation out there. For several years, it has been the go-to tool for music producers across the globe, especially to master hip-hop and EDM tracks.
Being the most popular hip-hop DAW, Image-line always puts in the work to add new features and make it easier for artists to compose their tracks. Thanks to its free upgrade policy, you’ll have access to all the future upgrades for free. The tool is perfect for people who are looking forward to sailing their music careers towards the professional world.
- Perfect for Hip-Hop & EDM Genres
- Free Lifetime Upgrades
- Sluggish User-Interface
- Steep Learning Curve for Beginners
Logic Pro is Apple’s contribution to the world of Digital Audio Workstations. It’s probably the best option if you’re looking for a straightforward DAW for mixing hip-hop tracks on your Macbook.
Having hundreds of built-in plugins, it becomes quite easy to add different audio effects to your track. Moreover, you can use these plugins to take your sound mixing to the next level by adjusting pitch and time for different recordings.
In a nutshell, Logic Pro is one of the most optimal choices for Mac users and a complete value for money.
- Easy to Manage Workflow
- A variety of built-in plugins
- Being produced by Apple, Logic Pro is a Mac-only DAW
- Working on large projects can become a bit hectic due to too many windows
If you have just stepped into the world of music production and don’t want to make any investments, Cakewalk is the best DAW for hip-hop you can install on your system. Since 2018, the software has been made free for everyone after it got acquired by BandLab.
Although it might not have advanced features like other professional audio workstations, Cakewalk can help you understand the basics of music composition. With an easy-to-use interface, Cakewalk completely justifies its name. If you’re a beginner, working with this audio station would be a complete cakewalk for sure.
- Advanced Pro Channel Modules
- Perfect for Novice Music Composers
- Only Available for Windows
- You’ll have to install BandLab Assistant to Operate Cakewalk
Bitwig Studio is yet another professional DAW for composing hip-hop tracks. Bitwig was launched back in 2015, which makes it the modern-day audio station for music composition and mixing.
A modular interface makes it easier to customize the software as per your requirements. Moreover, it offers dozens of user-friendly tools for audio mixing and sound-recording, making it easier to connect different instruments and record sounds.
- Easy Learning Curve
- Modular Interface
- Too much resemblance to Ableton Live
- Frequent UI crashes
Cubase has been the best hip-hop DAW in the market ever since digital music production became a reality. Despite being one of the oldest digital audio workstations, Steinberg Cubase has everything you’ll need to compose and mix a hip-hop track.
Recently, the company released Steinberg Cubase version 10, which focuses on automation over everything. With several built-in plugins, you can expect a quick workflow. Also, Cubase offers a user-friendly interface, making it easier to navigate through different features.
- Quick Workflow
- The latest version includes several bundled plugins
- The “traditional” design may seem a bit underwhelming for modern-day composer
- Cubase lacks a few features that several modern DAWs offer.
Acoustica is a cross-platform hip-hop DAW that can be used on Mac as well as Windows systems. However, cross-platform compatibility is not the reason why you should pick Acoustica. The tool offers several features that make it a reliable tool for composing hip-hop tracks. Spectral editing and multi-channel support are such few features that’ll help you compose the entire track in a hassle-free manner.
- Easy User Interface
- Advanced functionalities
- You can only record one track at a time
- Works only with Mac OS X 10.11 and later
Presonus can be considered an underdog in the world of hip-hop DAW, which has now started to pick up the pace and match the performance of high-end audio workstations like FL Studio. In the latest version, Presonus offers a variety of features like Harmonic Editing that’ll make your music production a hassle-free task. The latest version also majorly focuses on enhancing the workflow.
- Easy Workflow
- Perfect for Moderate Audio Mixing
- The single-window interface can be annoying
- Now Suitable for large projects
There are only a few digital audio workstations that offer a beginner-friendly interface. Fortunately, Acoustica Mixcraft Pro is one of them. With its sleek design, it’ll become quite easier to start composing your tracks, even if it’s your first time working on a DAW. The software also offers a decent amount of plugins that’ll help you add professional-touch to your tracks.
- Perfect for Beginners
- Enough Built-In plugins to start with music production
- Fewer software upgrades
- Not an ideal tool for advanced projects
We understand that choosing the best DAW for hip-hop can be a bit hectic, especially when you’re looking forward to starting a career as a professional. The truth is, picking the right tool depends on what you want to achieve. So, analyze your requirements and use the above list to pick the right software accordingly.