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DAW: 10 Best Digital Audio Workstation for Windows and Mac

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May 21, 2024• Proven solutions

Audio sets the tenor of your music video. You choose the wrong sound effect and your video is completely ruined, so creating a piece, audio is the most vital part of the music studio.

The Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) is known to help in editing audio in an easier way. It's a must for all the prospective video makers, YouTubers, and anyone who wishes to create unique content with great audio and background scores.

But, do you know what DAW is all about and which is the best DAW to use? Here are the details that you may check to know about the best free DAW for Windows and Mac.

Part 1: What Is DAW?

DAW or the digital audio workstation is an electronic software application. It is used to record, edit, and produce audio files. You can find it in a range of configurations. From highly critical configurations of several components on a central computer to the single software program on, DAW offers it all. With a central interface design, the DAW lets you mix and alter manifold tracks into a complete great audio piece.

Part 2: Best DAW for Windows You Need to Know

1. Reason by Propellerhead

Reason by Propellerhead is one of the best DAW for Windows. This music maker tool helps you in creating, composing, mixing, and completing the music with perfection. You can mix the instrument sounds to create something new with reason. The pros and cons of this app are:


  • Every audio channel and instrument gets a Mixing Console
  • High precision audio tool comes with Multitrack Sequencer
  • Unlimited instrument and audio tracks
  • Several effects like Scream 4 Distortion and RV7000 Advanced Reverb
  • Find effects and loops easily with the help of advanced browser
  • Advanced export option


  • Beginners may face some difficulty while using this digital audio workstation
  • The complete latest version of Reason is quite expensive



REAPER is a comprehensive digital audio workstation for Windows. It offers MIDI recording, multi-track audio, processing, editing, mixing, and mastering tools. Whether a network drive or a portable device, REAPER is fast at loading, efficient, and tightly coded. The pros and cons of REAPER are:


  • Change to the different themes as you wish
  • Supports a range of extensions
  • Unlimited tracks and effects
  • Rarely crashes
  • 300 free plugins
  • Multiple recording and playback formats
  • Edit audio on track


  • An issue with MIDI latency
  • Groove integration is missing in Reaper 4 DAW
  • MIDI drum tracks lack efficiency, slow and difficult to use


3. Steinberg Nuendo

For game audio production, Steinberg Nuendo is the best DAW available today. For any audio post-production workflow, Nuendo is tailored for both TV and films. If you are looking for a fully-equipped solution for a digital audio workstation, try out Steinberg Nuendo. The pros and cons of Steinberg Nuendo are:


  • Great game sound design
  • Comprehensive ADR taker solution
  • Excellent post-production tool for TV and film


  • Expensive

Steinberg Nuendo

4. Cakewalk Sonar

Also known as the Logic Pro, Cakewalk Sonar is one of the best DAW for Windows. It is a versatile DAW and a very affordable one too. For aspiring people who wish to record or produce, Cakewalk Sonar is the most economical option. The pros and cons are:


  • Ease of use and affordability
  • Mixing and recording features are great
  • Renowned plugins like simulated synths, modeled LA-2A are available


  • Very clumsy user interface
  • Could be buggy
  • Not suitable for electronic music making

Cakewalk Sonar

5. ACID Pro

Get into the world of beat creation and recording with the Acid Pro DAW. It is an economical option that you may choose. Being one of the best DAW, Acid Pro offers a large loop library, unlimited tracking, and a good amount of plugins too. The pros and cons of Acid Pro are:


  • Multitrack recording
  • Resize every track at one time with the master slider
  • The easiest digital audio workstation for beginners
  • Apt for the sample and loop-based music
  • Ability to bounce clips to WAV


  • The size of the project gets limited as Acid Pro 7 is 32-bit only and cannot use 64-bit plugins
  • Not compatible with Mac


Part 3: Best DAW for Mac You Need to Know

6. Digital Performer

One of the best DAW for Mac, Digital Performer offers parallel VST plugins support and 64-bit operation to ensure plugins are compatible across both platforms. It is one of the most stable DAW to kindle your creative initiative, mixed with high-tech studio production technologies for top-notch production and recording environments. Its pros and cons are:


  • MusicXML Export
  • Retina Optimized Themes
  • New plugins
  • MX4 synth included
  • Amazing MegaSynth


  • The general sound of standard instruments like bass, drums or piano is missing

Digital Performer

7. Bitwig

With a polished interface, Bitwig is an amazing and best DAW for Mac. For performance and DJing, production, editing, and smooth and quick workflow, Bitwig is a great multi-platform. The pros and cons are:


  • Well-implemented modulation system
  • New hardware devices make this digital audio workstation an extraordinary workroom
  • Polysynth is better at present


  • Limited VST plugin choices
  • Several toolbars make it confusing for the users
  • Characterful instruments and effects are confusing compared to Bitwig competitors'


8. Harrison Mixbus

As a comprehensively featured digital audio workstation, Harrison Mixbus offers professional-level features for recording and importing an unrestrained number of MIDI tracks and audios. You can easily edit, analog-style mix, and master your production with it. It is considered one of the best DAW for Mac. The pros and cons are:


  • Easy to learn
  • Ardor based
  • Great analog-style mixer


  • Does not support for sharing and listening to rough mixes

Harrison Mixbus

9. n-Track Studio

n-Track Studio is an amazing application that makes the creation of your own music easy and simple. There are a host of advanced as well as standard features that can be used to create superb audio tracks. The pros and cons are:


  • Express creativity and create music of your own
  • App for music sharing
  • Artist collaboration
  • Range of music files supported


  • You need to have musical knowledge
  • Confusing advanced features
  • Not supported on all devices

n-Track Studio

10. Logic Pro X

As Apple’s professional software for editing audio, Logic Pro X is one of the best DAW available for Mac users. It is an intuitive, logical, and streamlined tool for production work. The pros and cons are:


  • The best virtual instrument library
  • Affordable
  • Compatible with the third-party instrument and effect plugins
  • Over 60 effect plugins to add clarity and depth to recorded audio
  • Amazing stock plugins like FX, Synths, MIDI, etc.


  • Does not support Windows
  • Steep learning curve and difficult navigation
  • GPU issue, slowdown larger projects

Logic Pro X

Read More:


There are various options when it comes to selecting the best DAW for Mac or the best DAW for Windows. You need to choose the best digital audio workstation that can serve your purpose.

author avatar
Shanoon Cox
Shanoon Cox is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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