15 Great DAWs: The Best Music Software In The World

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We get asked a lot here at GTPS, “What is the best music software?” Fortunately, there are many possible answers, depending on your musical style, your preferred workflow, budget, level of experience with music software,  and even GUI/visual preferences.

One of the first series posts I ever wrote for GTPS was titled ‘How To Choose The Best DAW For You’ – it’s a fundamental decision for every aspiring producer, and one that needs to be revisited every once in a while, both as your own skills and software demands increase, and as the range of available DAW platforms and solutions develops.

Of course things have changed significantly in the DAW landscape in the last few years. One highlight has been Ableton Live spearheading a new live/performance/studio paradigm that began to properly blur the lines between those previously separate realms. Now we have the new Bitwig Studio pointing towards the future; Pro Tools is back on form with version 11; and Logic X quietly continues to garner praise.

So, leaving mobile music-making apps for a later post, here’s our run-down of 15 of the very best digital audio workstations available in 2014:

 ableton live 9 suite

1. Ableton Live

First appearing in 2001 but really becoming a contender as a serious production solution in the competitive audio software market in the last seven or eight years, Live revolutionized our conception of what we could consider a DAW to be. Blurring the line between studio production tool and live/DJ performance tool, it caught the more-established DAW manufacturers on the hop – in recent years they’ve mostly caught up again, introducing their own versions of many of Live’s best-loved features, including fast, auto-time-stretching and arrangement workflows that mean we can finally make whole tracks on the fly by jamming with elements in real time.

Mac and PC.

Click the appropriate link below for price and additional info:

Buy from Amazon.com     Buy from Amazon.co.uk


bitwig studio

2. Bitwig Studio

The new kid on the block, Bitwig Studio’s arrival has been causing quite a stir – it’s not often that a completely new DAW enters the fray. Bitwig seems to be a logical progression from the leaps made by Live over the last few years – indeed, it was created by former Ableton developers. Whilst not sharing any actual code DNA with Live, the layout features integrated Clip and Arrange windows that hint at an effort to bridge between Live’s innovative functionality and more traditional sequencing. We recommend you demo this one.

Mac, PC and Linux.

Click the appropriate link below for price and additional info:

Buy from Amazon.com     Buy from Amazon.co.uk


image-line fl studio 11 producer edition

3. Image-Line FL Studio

A firm favourite amongst aspiring electronic producers, FL Studio has developed hugely from fairly humble origins (the step sequencing Fruity Loops) into a fantastic, fully-featured DAW. Version 11 saw the introduction of Performance Mode, where you can trigger Playlist Clips from a laptop, MIDI controller or touchscreen, and a host of new plugin effects and instruments (Image-Lines stand-alone plugins are always worth checking out).

PC only.

Click the appropriate link below for price and additional info:

Buy from Amazon.com     Buy from Amazon.co.uk


Cakewalk SONAR X3 Producer

4. Cakewalk SONAR X3

One of the earliest entrants on the MIDI sequencing scene back in 1987, Cakewalk brought out the first version of SONAR in 2007, and it’s continued getting better with each new ‘X’ release. Standout inclusions in the SONAR X3 package include versions of Overlouds TH2 amp simulator for guitarists and their great reverb plugin Breverb. The excellent pitch-shifting software Melodyne is also integrated into Studio and Producer editions, and the amazing Console Emulator (emulating three classic mix consoles) in the Producer editions ProChannel plugin.

Mac and PC.

Click the appropriate link below for price and additional info:

Buy from Amazon.com     Buy from Amazon.co.uk


Apple Logic Pro X

5. Apple Logic Pro X

Another of the longest-serving DAWs available, Logic has been developed beyond recognition from its pure MIDI roots. With X, Logic finally underwent some overdue cosmetic and functionality overhaul, consolidating what it has always been good at and adding a ton of new plugins, MIDI effects and feature enhancements. A natural step up from Garageband for developing producers, but also so much more than that – a truly professional solution.

Mac only.

Click the appropriate link below for price and additional info:

Download from the US Mac App Store     Download from the UK Mac App Store


steinberg cubase 7

6. Steinberg Cubase

Another of the original DAWs, Cubase was my own introduction to music production. Like Logic Pro, it’s done a good job of keeping up with the younger competitors, and has more than a few genuine innovations lurking amongst it’s huge feature set. Oftentimes, the fact that a software solution has been through as many iterations and developments, and ridden the waves of trends and new production paradigms as Cubase has, proves it’s one of the best solutions available.

Mac and PC.

Click the appropriate link below for price and additional info:

Buy from Amazon.com     Buy from Amazon.co.uk


steinberg nuendo 6

7. Steinberg Nuendo

A familiar design and basic workflow to anyone who uses Cubase, Nuendo is designed primarily as a tool for post-production audio for picture: sound design, dialogue and mixing for movies and TV. Pro Tools had this market completely sown up a few years ago (some would argue it still does), but Nuendo is one of the only alternatives to have made much of an impact – many top post-production studios and technicians now base their core systems around Nuendo instead. Why? Simply that it’s at least as good as the ‘industry standard’.

Mac and PC.

Click the appropriate link below for price and additional info:

Buy from Amazon.com     Buy from Amazon.co.uk


mix checklist ebook


sony acid pro 7

8. Sony ACID Pro

ACID’s strength is it’s relatively straightforward, loop-based sequencing style. For those put off by the complexity of Live’s (and others) all-singing, all-dancing features set and interface, Sony’s DAW could be a boon. It’s particularly popular with sound editors and post-producers of low-budget video projects for exactly this reason.

PC only.

Click the appropriate link below for price and additional info:

Buy from Amazon.com     Buy from Amazon.co.uk


avid pro tools 11

9. Avid Pro Tools

The big daddy, ‘industry standard’ DAW, ‘Pro Tools’ is virtually a household name – the ‘Hoover’ or ‘Biro’ of professional music recording. In fact, a few versions back Pro Tools was in danger of permanently losing it’s reputation as the deserved industry leader, but with version 11 any niggling doubts over Pro Tools legitimacy have been well and truly put to rest. Found in every professional facility.

Mac and PC.

Click the appropriate link below for price and additional info:

Buy from Amazon.com     Buy from Amazon.co.uk


propellerhead reason 7

10. Propellerhead Reason

Reason users are fairly evangelical about their chosen DAW: after all, it does everything, and in a fun and stylish way. Even the limitations of earlier versions – lack of third-party plugin support and inability to record audio – have now been resolved, making it basically impossible to find significant fault with Reason at all. An entire virtual studio (it even includes the virtual patch cables for hooking everything together) in a single software package: very enticing.

Mac and PC.

Click the appropriate link below for price and additional info:

Buy from Amazon.com     Buy from Amazon.co.uk



presonus studio one

11. Presonus Studio One

Presonus were previously best known for their hardware mixing consoles and audio interfaces, but in 2010 they released a brand new DAW, Studio One. Now on version 2.6, Studio One is a very solid platform that feels a lot more mature and developed than it’s age suggests. Highlights include built-in Melodyne pitch editing, and the OpenAIR convolution reverb plugin.

Mac and PC.

Click the appropriate link below for price and additional info:

Buy from Amazon.com     Buy from Amazon.co.uk


MOTU Digital Performer 8

12. MOTU Digital Performer

Digital Performer is another well-established DAW, and this one likes to do things it’s own way. In terms of features and functionality it holds it’s own against any of it’s rivals, but the way the various windows, views and workflows operate can take a bit of getting used to if you’re more familiar with, say, Cubase or Logic. That said, it’s a powerful beast and definitely worthy of consideration.

Mac and PC.

Click the appropriate link below for price and additional info:

Buy from Amazon.com     Buy from Amazon.co.uk


Magix Samplitude Pro X (Software Download)

13. Magix Samplitude Pro X

Magix are probably better known for their more entry-level audio software, but at the business end of their range you’ll find Samplitude Pro X – a serious, feature-packed DAW that is well worth checking out.

PC only.

Click the appropriate link below for price and additional info:

Buy from Amazon.com     Buy from Amazon.co.uk


acoustica mixcraft pro studio 7

14. Acoustica Mixcraft Pro Studio

Much like a Garageband for PC users, Mixcraft is a great solution for those starting out and on a budget. It comes bundled with 6,000 loops and a host of decent plugins, and can now run as a Rewire host for linking to other software, effects and instruments.

PC only.

Click the appropriate link below for price and additional info:

Buy from Amazon.com     Buy from Amazon.co.uk


 

Cockos REAPER 4

 

15. Cockos REAPER

REAPER (Rapid Environment for Audio Production, Engineering, and Recording) has an unusual pricing and distribution method, being available only from the official website, and with a pricing structure that relies on the honesty of the user. That said, there’s nothing cut-price about the power or feature-set of this DAW, and it’s become massively popular even without the marketing campaigns and exposure afforded competing products. Well worth checking out.

Mac, PC and Linux/Wine.

Click the link below for price and additional info:

Buy from REAPER.fm


The Ultimate Guide To Mastering ebook

Whick software package lies at the heart of your studio? Have you found a DAW that perfectly suits your style and production workflow? Let us know in the comments below!

37 Comments

  1. Patrick Pleau on

    Reaper and Studio One should be top of the list. they really are powerful and great. studio one is so clean, clever and easy to use – the best of all DAW features without any useless junk. And Reaper is just crazy customizable, full of nerdy features if you need them. just great.

    • Thanks Patrick – appreciate your thoughts.
      I should also point out that the list is NOT ranked – like all the lists on GTPS, we don’t believe it’s useful to say one piece of gear we’ve highlighted is categorically better than another. The purpose of the lists is simply to bring together and highlight some of the best options available, for various styles, workflows and budgets. Everyone will always have their own personal favourites.
      Cheers!

  2. What a great Article! My current weapon of choice is Ableton Live but the new Reason 8 looks promising. I saw a few videos on youtube and wow..i was blown away a little. So im thinking about cheating on Ableton with Reason…only just a little lol

    Latavish

    • Wow what a great article! I love that you don’t list them in a ranking type list. I agree that all of these pieces of software are extremely well made! The DAW market today certainly leaves musicians with little room for excuses if they’re not getting songs out there! Pro tools certainly stepped it up big time with version 11 and while still not having the monopoly on the music world it once did remains to be the “standard” for pro studios everywhere. Reason with all its prior limitations has evolved into a massive beast of production gear. It has always been extremely quick to work with and no one will argue Reasons “fun” factor, but version 8 with its new workflow enhancements is going to make an already lightning fast DAW even quicker. Studio one is fantastic as well and with its “modest” look and basic interface it just begs you to get work done instead of tweak and customize. The opposite side of that coin is Magix Samplitude Pro X, which is just massive. I don’t think another DAW out there can compete with the shear amount of features that Samplitude is loaded with. And that’s saying a lot with music software being loaded with more and more every year.Reaper to me feels like the “good guy” DAW in that its unreal how much you can accomplish for such an insignificantly low asking price. I love how involved the developers are in the digital community and they improve the software faster than one would think possible in terms of updates. Ableton Live and Bitwig both are great for the musicians who love to write in a more live performance way. FL Studio has evolved into a DAW these days that no one could be embarrassed to say they use . It truly is a powerhouse! Two unsung heroes so to speak are Mutools Mulab 6 and Tracktion 5 which both have their own feel but if they suite your workflow can be rather engaging. Mixcraft i cannot comment on as its still at this point not 64 bit which is a game changer for me in that i used mostly 64 bit plugins. Sonar x3 is fun to work with but i have not given it enough time to give a proper opinion. Cubase and Logic are both great programs and i think two of the nicer looking interfaces to work inside of. I haven’t however worked with either recently so i’m probably not a great judge of the most recent versions. My point in all of this is exactly what the author was pointing out in that if your not getting your music out there, its not the software. It cant be the crutch it once was years ago. Its simply evolved into something where a good writer or musician can get something stellar out of any one of these DAW’s. Many great artists before us have done so much more with so much less so we should feel blessed with this exciting time in the music world!

  3. I’m new to the electronic music universe and got by chance a DAW called EnergyXT 2.7 It seems to me that it has most if not all of the resources from other DAWs and it seems great to use with VSTs.
    I tried to install Reaper but it crashes on start because of some old VST I cant discover which is. And its so slow to load! EnergyXT is up an running on a sec and has no problem with these old VST I got from a friend and installed to see what they are.

    Do you know this DAW? How would it compare with these on your list?

    {}Overtake

  4. LOL..the fact that Reaper is number 15 on this list clearly shows how much of a fail the rankings are..it should certainly be in the top 5..actually just change places with Bitwig Studio and this list would be fairly accurate

    also don’t understand why Pro Tools 11 is not in the top 5..like wtf

    • Hey Sebastienn, thanks for commenting. To answer your point, the fact that Reaper is at number 15 actually clearly shows that the list, like all the others on GTPS, is not in rank order. But as I didn’t clearly state that at the beginning of the post, as I usually do, your outrage is forgiven :p
      I try to provide a broad enough selection of software in these lists that ranking is not necessary: it’s about highlighting what some of the best options are for a number of different scenarios and uses, so that you can choose from a decent selection what might work best for your particular tastes, style and workflow.
      Cheers!

    • They are not ranked, it’s just a list. READ!
      GEORGEGTPS on JULY 29, 2014 1:17 AM
      Thanks Patrick – appreciate your thoughts.
      I should also point out that the list is NOT ranked – like all the lists on GTPS, we don’t believe it’s useful to say one piece of gear we’ve highlighted is categorically better than another. The purpose of the lists is simply to bring together and highlight some of the best options available, for various styles, workflows and budgets. Everyone will always have their own personal favourites.
      Cheers!

    • “That sound” you’re referring to is more in the person mixing and mastering the audio, and the quality of gear you use, than in the DAW itself, you can get “that sound” from just about any DAW out there, proper mixing and mastering are the real key, although you might see subtle differences in the recordings from different DAW’s, it wouldn’t be drastic enough to say one is necessarily better than the other.

    • Hi thanks for your comment, and essentially I completely agree with you – yes the name of the site is Get That Pro Sound, but as we’ve written about a lot in various other posts on the site – mostly notably 10 Principles Every Producer Must Know To Achieve The Pro Sound, which is kind of the GTPS manifesto – there are indeed more important things than which software you use.
      That said, you do generally have to choose some kind of DAW at some point, so this post is intended simply to offer some insights on some great ones and help you make the right choice for your own requirements. We’re certainly not saying, you have to have this or that DAW to achieve a particular sound in terms of objective ‘sound quality’, which I think maybe you’re referring to – sorry for the crossed wires there!

    • The myth that ProTools gives a better sound than other DAWs is just that : a myth. I’m surprised it’s still repeated as it has mostly been put to rest for a while. As has been eloquently said before, “that sound” comes from the skill of the users and the quality of hardware, not the DAW. It happens that ProTools is an “industry standard”, and hence is used in more big studios, where some inordinately talented people work and piles of really high end hardware sit. So the DAW became associated with “that sound”, but it’s really not the DAW itself, it’s everything around.

      ProTools gained its reputation in the 1990s, a time when DAWs were far less advanced than they are today. At that time indeed, it was head and shoulders above the competition in terms of recording capacity and editing possibilites. Hence it quickly became a staple of all studios. But as of today, most of its competitors have largely caught up with ProTools and anyone can have “that sound” if they have the talent and some quality equipment.

  5. Rather belated, thought I’d throw in my two cents worth.

    Nice article and I love the author’s attitude. Browsed through quite a few best ofs and in all honesty I agree, why rate them 1 to 10? or 15? They are all good. As we are all wired differently one will always be better than the other for a specific function. In my opinion, Reaper is the most dangerous one to it’s competition. Their following just gets stronger every day; it’s very affordable, updates regularly and runs on Linux, Win and Apple. I do believe that over the next 5 years there is going to be a massive change from pro-audio to pro-sumer. Affordable and less snobbery. There is an incredible amount of untapped talent sitting on your doorstep, or their own. More home tinkering and You Tube. Reaper just lends itself to this mix, pun intended.

    • Cheers Ian, thanks for the nice comments :)
      I too sense that the revolution has only just begun in the music production world (not to mention the wider music industry and how peoples listening habits are changing). It’s certainly difficult to predict exactly how things will carry on developing – just when we’ve all gotten used to our studios migrating Into The Box, for example, something happens like hardware gear making a big comeback – but I definitely like your idea of a shift to more affordability and less snobbery.
      Thanks for reminding me, at the start of the year, that we’re in such an exciting time for making music!

  6. My first experience, Audacity; I really enjoyed the ease of recording an instrument, And as it was my first exposure to computer recording.. i was enamored with the effects vsts… But Not being able to record more than one track at, or hearing effects happen real time was a bit of a bummer.

    FL Studio, addressed these issues… took a couple weeks to for me to get interested and a few more months to find a flow. Yet… i found some of the editing and mixing tasks…bouncing./comping/sends..etc could be a bit more….i am not sure the word still, just feel it lacking. moving on.

    I acquired Cubase and Studio One I was a bit intimidated by these softwares and reluctant to use them..I had some issues installing cubase, but something positive about all of the softwares that I will mention is that i have received good support for these products, and I have found many videos demonstrating the product…, long story short i also have ableton, samplitude and protools . All of them have their strengths; but i notice i tend to use Studio One more frequently. It has a very nice feel, and for the most part i would say its controls and function are intuitive enough for anyone. its funny though it seems I learned more about operating Studio One after learning about Pro Tools…so anyways have a good day, , sample them all and get what you like.

  7. I am a professional voice coach and make recordings for myself and my students. Im a big fan of LogicPro X. But for PC users, there seems to be a need for a simple “garageband” like application for beginners that is easy to use. I hope that the mix craft solution works for this…

  8. Samplitude is a surprisingly effective DAW suite with a lot of pricing options. But beware, after a few years the Magix support team tends to forget that they ever made older versions of the software, and it doesn’t play nice with system upgrades. Still, looks, feels and performs about like Protools on pocket-change for a budget.

  9. Reaper and Studio One is for hobbyists and bedroom producers. And it´s ok.
    Pros are using Cubase, Logic and Pro Tools. That´s it.
    = Fact.

    • No, Pete. Sorry for that, but Reaper is as professional as is Logic. It’s what YOU make out of it. Btw I’m a Pro User as well and I’m using Reaper.

    • With the change from fade files to live fades, logic X has become a laughing stock with bugs. Why can’t they leave it as an option? I admit the flex/fade click problem was annoying, but it was managable. Now, at completely random times, the combination of fades and flex makes random audio regions quiet. Now, i aks you, Logic dev team, is this really better?

      Except from that i really like logic, but there are certain things that draw me to studio one more frequently, that i think Apple should look into:

      1. seemless loop playback from files as you browse the disk. Not “build a loop database of special magic apple loops, and then wait 1 bar or more before audition playback starts.” No. Studio one actually plays all kinds of loops in tempo of the projects. It does not care that it does not have any information about original tempo. It just snaps it to the temo (probably by measuring the lenght of the loop and analyzing it’s peaks.) and the right place of playback, even if you are not in the beginning of a bar. Just seemless. This is not even an advanced feature. But it’s worth sooo much in terms of workflow. Should be basic.

      2. Snappier automation. I want it to snap. I don’t want to zoom into oblivion.

      3. Transposition in the left menu for all regions. Midi or audio. Do it! (No, i don’t want to have to make an apple loop of it. No, i don’t want to open Pitch Shifter. Just integrate it! How hard can it be???? Ghaa!)

      4. Make a commando (that can have a short key) for duplication of regions that correspond to the closest even part of a measure or measure, or whatever the algoritm is. Studio one has it. Check it out. It does wonders for the workflow.

      5. Copy or make equivilent of S13’s new Arranger-feature. Fantastic thing.

      6. Get your **** together with the midi takes after “capture recording” feature is used. Now it’s just chaos. It seldom corresponds to the order the takes were recorded. I always have to go through them all before i find the right one. Somtimes the last take, that i wanted, does not even show up. Sometimes half of it shows up.
      I mean, does this even?

      Or!, just give us a proper feature for midi take recording that does not playback the first take as soon as the playhead jumps back to the start. Why does this not exist?Why does this not exist?Why does this not exist?Why does this not exist?Why does this not exist?Why does this not exist?Why does this not exist?Why does this not exist?

      If i could do a list for Presonus, it would be the following points (after using S13):

      1. Make an option for changing between audio takes with one click instead of double click.

      2. Make it faster to expand layers. Like logic has a small clickable arrow in the left corner of take folders. Make something like this, so i don’t have to right click and expand layers from a menu.

      3. Install a performance mode button, so one can still record audio in heavy projects with low latency. The absence of this has caused much annoyance here.

      I don’t know if this is the right forum for this, but you got me thinking about it. Hope anyone agrees with me on these points.

    • LOL no, lots of pro musicians and studios use Reaper. Go to the very active Reaper forums, at least half of the users are pros.

      Reaper can do everything Logic can do and then some. It’s also a super stable, no nonsense, fully featured DAW, with amazingly responsive support. Agreed, Logic comes with a lot more stuff, and some excellent default tools. But Reaper’s tools are not shabby at all (in fact they are free VSTs that anyone can download), despite their plain look. The compressor for instance is excellent, transparent and versatile.

      And today one can get lots of free or cheap plugins that easily rival the plugins that comes with any DAW. I find it better to choose my own plugins, like those by Tokyo Dawn Labs, ToneBoosters, Klanghelm, D16, SKNote, Valhalla, etc.

  10. y donde esta el ORION de synapse? sera por que soy tecladista pero es para mi mejor el REASON que el ABLETON, LOGIC para los que tienen MAC pero REAPER es el numero 1 seguido por SONAR y PROTOOLS muy de cerca MIXCRAFT, de resto demandan demasiada CPU para lo que hacen y ORION le gana a REAPER por su compatibilidad! HE DICHO!

  11. To throw in with my experiences– I have been using Samplitude/Sequoia for over 12 years, and started recording with V3.5 circa ~1995!! Back then they sold primarily to a German market via a company called Sek’d but their customer service was always great, even during transition of ownership to the more geocentric MAGIX group. I must inform anyone interested in their audio tools– I’d advise you stay away from the cheaper, more recently created MAGIC products– there is a clear distinction between the low end MAGIX offerings that have been created in the last 7 years when compared to the top-end Samplitude Pro / Sequoia lines whose programming has had 15+ years to mature. Samplitude Pro includes very robust sections of code that hearken back to the pre-Magix days, and remain in their high-end audio lines (thank god) in part because of the many beta testers and Samplitude devotees that insisted they not remove what we loved, but only add features if it helped the recording process, and i.e. amazingly they LISTENED, and for the most part didn’t remove anything if it wasn’t broken…
    I have worked with many if not all of the other tools in this list over the years and with the exception of Logix, Samplitude’s editing power and usefulness has, over time, really crushed the competition. I used to get a laugh back in the day when younger musicians would come into the studio and immediately cast judgment on my software because I was not using BloTools, when (for example) I knew with certainty that Sam’s ability to stack vst’s within any split and xfaded section of a track’s recording was so ahead of its time and such a powerful creative tool…meanwhile same period of time PT did not even have a usable Midi editor…Add to that the ability to ‘freeze’ effect-laden sections of audio to free up processor mips, the revolver tool for Vocal comping, (I think Cakewalk came out with collapsible track grouping first, which is a variation on Sam’s track bus, grouping, and take manager / revolver tool) and equivalent powerful manipulation of Midi tracks- I am pretty sure all the true studio-level DAW’s out there have been chasing Samplitude’s technology for some time now, it’s just sad that the great majority of people did not know it! :(
    (Side props to Ableton however– Live is a most innovative approach to songwriting/laptop performing I’ve seen in a decade). Anyway I hope I have peaked your interest or even persuaded a few of you to try out Samplitude. Get past the learning curve and I know you’ll love it!

  12. music production tutorials on

    Very interesting conversation, I like the in depth analysis of all of the DAWs that you explored. Great article!

  13. First there was Cubase then a long time nothing and then…………………………….
    been using Cubase since 1990 they are the inventors of VSTi, they got a music engine that works !!
    they are not snobs like the Logic team what’s keepin’ ya ???

  14. I’m suffering from DAW-induced workflow-change burnout disorder. Think I’m going back to an analog board, four ADATs, and a BRC for my studio in the new house. Worked nicely for me 15 years ago!

  15. I bugged my parents to get me FL Studio for my 13th birthday about 4 years ago when I was less caring. But now that I’m used to the DAW and have been for so long, I see no reason to change :)

  16. I have been using Reason for several years now, penned over a hundred songs and produced 8 albums on the software.
    I was lucky as the software seemed to mature as I was ready for it to do so.
    By the time I was putting the finishing touches on my first album, they came out with rack extensions, and a problem I was having with frequency masking from my vocals was fixed with my first rack extension purchase of the Softube FET Compressor. (Reason has compressor busses in the mixing desk and a master compressor, none of which controlled the sound like Softube)
    I have purchased very few rack extensions as many are redundant, but this certainly improved Reasons functionality. I will say that their one flaw is mastering. Their default devices are somewhat lackluster. So I have become less of a Reason purist and purchased Izotope ozone 5, which I use by importing my finished wav files from Reason into Reaper. What a difference. To date I have mastered 4 albums with Ozone and the difference from my first four is like night and day.
    Reasons workflow is uncomplicated and effective and its mixing desk is crazy-good, as my mixes only need a slight nudge from the mastering software.
    My current issue with the software is setting up live performance, which I am now attempting to cure, and which is what brought me to this site in the first place.

  17. I too have found Reason in its current state to be one of my favorites for tracking and mixing from beginning to end. The fact that it doesn’t crash or really hiccup at all really helps when your in a good groove. Whenever i am using another DAW for tracking I always remember why I love Reason’s environment. I should also mention i write primarily rock and indie and for me Reason is by far the quickest and most fun to just record and mix right away. Just drag any and all effects onto your audio track in the rack and hit record. I too bounce out and do my msastering in Studio one 3 or Samplitude ProX as they have some incredible mastering tools but Reason is where I can find my creativity the easiest.

  18. I have to chime in with David and J Scott on this one. I’ve used Reason since version 1. I love it for it’s synth rack and was especially excited when they introduced audio recording in the program via Record.

    I still use Reason to this day, but more as a synth rack and less for recording or mixing. Oddly, I produce most of my tracks in Reason, export (or ReWire) them into Studio One. From here, they get the full on production treatment. Once I’m happy there, I export my stems and mix them in Harrison Mixbus. Why? Because it sounds better than ANY DAW I’ve used (and I’ve used them all). Harrison have used some magic fairy dust on all those ones and zeroes and made them sound better. That MUST be how they did it. I have no other explanation. Oh, and to add more confusion to my chaotic life…..I use Ableton Live for live performance. Jack of all DAWs, master of none! :)

    Anyway, another great list. I hope it’s updated soon to include Harrison’s most excellent mixing DAW!

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