What’s The Best DAW For Electronic Music?

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Best Daw For Electronic Music

Well, I have to say this: no DAW is superior to its competitors. It’s just a matter of taste. The best DAW is the one YOU feel most comfortable working with. Sure, every man vouch for his favourite music making software and keeps telling it’s the only choice for this-and-that type of music. But like I said, it’s all just a matter of taste and preference.

What you need to do is to download the demos and test them throughly. That’s the only way to find out which DAW is the best.

However, I’ve been in the electronic music scene for some time now and IMO there seems to be four music making software that electronic music producers favor quite a lot: Logic Pro (only for Mac) and Ableton Live are probably two of the most popular DAWs in many professional electronic music studios. Majority of well known artists seem to use either Logic or Live.

Also, lot of people use FL Studio & Reason as well so I would suggest to check out these four DAWs first.

I personally use FL Studio (been using it for 10 years now). I also know lot of popular producers use FL Studio (EDIT: as with always, you can’t be 100% sure with these “who’s using what DAW” -type of things. Only the producer himself can tell you for sure. Be noticed that I base the following “claims” on what I’ve read from the net on various different sources): BT9th Wonder, Boi-1da, Basshunter, Deadmau5 (EDIT: FL at least to some extent (?) alongside with Ableton Live and other DAWs), Mike Oldfield, Tim Berg (AVICII), AfrojackAudiojack to name a few. It has also been voted as best DAW by MusicRadar users in 2011 and 2012 and I could give you thousand reasons why FL Studio is the best DAW,  but that would be just a my opinion. It may work for me but not for you.

I also use Ableton Live (but not that much though). Lot of DJs use Ableton Live on stage (and for podcasts, etc) so it’s an awesome “live” tool, but also very good for music production as well. Many big name artists use Ableton Live for production: Daft Punk, David Guetta, Gabriel & Dresden, Pete Tong, Rennie  Pilgrem, Richie Hawtin, Sasha, Skrillex, Knife PartyArmin Van Buuren (alongside with Logic Pro) and the list goes on and on.

(ADDITION: it doesn’t actually matter who’s using what.. what’s really important is what YOU feel comfortable working with)

Reason is popular too. But there’s one major flaw in Reason: it doesn’t support VST which is a standard in most modern DAWs. That means you’re not able to use any additional virtual synth plugins or effects in it. However it has some pretty good virtual synths and effects built in so you can definetely create high quality electronic music with it.

Then there’s Cubase which is one of the oldest DAWs and still used widely and Pro Tools which is broadly used by professionals throughout the audio industries for recording and editing in music production, film scoring, film, and television post production.

Other popular DAWs are Sonar, Presonus Studio OneSony ACID Pro, Synapse Orion, Reaper and Adobe Audition.

Check out some of the free and open source DAWs as well such as Ardour or Rosegarden.

For more alternatives, look at this list of digital audio workstations.

As you can see there’s quite a lot of choices. You really need to download the demos and do some testing. When you find a one that works for you, learn it inside out. That’s the best DAW.

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About Author

Petri Suhonen is an electronic music hobbyist. He has been producing music with computers over a decade on such styles as trance, downtempo, ambient & experimental electronic using FL Studio.

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79 Comments on "What’s The Best DAW For Electronic Music?"

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Andre Lefebvre
Andre Lefebvre
5 years 2 months ago

The best DAW I find is the one that makes your workflow fluid…

BTW, you may also want to add Reaper to your list: http://www.reaper.fm/

Cheers,

Andre

Aung Myin(DJ Cosmo)
Aung Myin(DJ Cosmo)
5 years 2 months ago

Hi Petri,
I’m Aung Myin. I’m from Myanmar.
I’m also an Electronic Music Hobbyist like you.
Greets from Myanmar!!!!!!

Regards,
Aung Myin

Andre Onate
Andre Onate
5 years 27 days ago

Hey, Adobe Audition is always left out of this arena for whatever reason!! I use this program and I’ve used many others as well. For me, Audition is the best audio editor of them all. I think Audition is used mostly for t.v. and radio commercials and movies even, but it can most definetly still rock an electronic track!!

Andre Lefebvre
5 years 26 days ago

Audition used to be CoolEditPro. A very nifty and richly featured program indeed…

Maladroid
Maladroid
4 years 11 months ago

Mmm been using Fruityloops for years now too but it’s only recently that I have started really getting serious with music making. Yeah the thing with reason and VSTs is both a blessing and a curse. Its exclusivity to its own plugins make it more straightforward which is conducive I think to creativity and workflow. That’s always been my problem with FL, the availability of VSTs these days, its hard for me to focus on just making music and not wasting hours on finding that perfect plugin

mory
mory
4 years 9 months ago

ONLY
FL STUDIO

enflans
enflans
4 years 9 months ago
Hi, Your post helped a lot since I am deciding which one to buy on a limited budget. However, as much as I would like to produce electronic music (specifically electro house), my other love is acoustic/hard rock as well. Could you give me some advice on which DAW would likely be able compensate best for both electronic production and instrumental recording (ex. Guitar/Vocal plugin, rock drum beats)? I’ve done some research on popular DAWs for studio recording such as Pro Tools and Cubase but I don’t want to be compromising the electronic production aspects as well. I am thinking… Read more »
Rob
Rob
3 years 3 months ago

I do both live music and electronic music. Reaper is REALLY good and easy for rock music. Especially on the mac. It’s cheaper than the alternatives and easier to use. I also use maschine, which whilst tailored to electronic music, I have been using it for a bit of folk, with really good results.

David
David
4 years 9 months ago
Hi! A really good post and extremely helpful for me since I’m about to buy my first daw :). I’ve been playing keyboards and arranging some compositions but I want to explore the software production aswell, since I find really expensive buying new gear according to my needs when I can have a powerful setup in my computer at an affordable price. I’m kind of in the same situation than enflans. I love both acoustic and electronic music (specifically trance and deep house). I know that there isn’t a “all in one” daw that covers every genre but I just… Read more »
giorgio
giorgio
4 years 8 months ago

Good article, only some clarifications:

Logic and Ableton are the most used daw from the pro producer. The other daw as FLStudio, cubase, reason etc. are not diffuse between pro producer as Logic and Ableton.

Many pro producer use Ableton for podcast and in live but use Logic for production as Armin.

Deadmau5 doesn’t use FL but Ableton

ProTools is not generally used in production but for the final stage (mix & mastering)

MasterHolten354
MasterHolten354
4 years 8 months ago
Hi, i really liked your article and it did help point me in the right direction, but im still only slightly uncertain as to which DAW’s would my definitive choice although i have a good idea but would like your opinion in the matter. I want to make electronic music (maybe some jazz in the future) making mostly ambient techno, illbient, acid techno, some dnb, glitch and house. From what i mostly read and studied, FL Studio seems to be very commonplace for electronic production as well as Logic and Cubase (i think) and I also know well of Pro… Read more »
andre
andre
4 years 8 months ago

I’m looking into taking advantage of the FruityLoop promotion and can’t decide between the Fruity Edition of the Producer Edition. I will be using it with VST instruments like Synthogy as well as CamelAudio Alchemy or other of their samples.

Thanks!

Andre

fizpop
fizpop
4 years 8 months ago
deadmau5 and avicii most certainly do not use fl, they both use ableton live. deadmau5 plays live with ableton. in my opinion ableton is the best by far. almost every electronic music producer uses it (many also use logic now to) i have never heard of a top producer/performer using FL, ever. with that said, FL is a great start, but find 1 you like and try not change from that. you will find that for electronic music, ableton has so many possibilities, its endless. in my opinion, go for ableton, the ease of use and possibilities for electronic music… Read more »
enflans
enflans
4 years 8 months ago

i saw in an interview with deadmau5 where he claimed to be using FL studio but the final production always ends up with ableton.. I saw it on the net too but can’t seem to find it for now.. but definitely it doesn’t matter what DAW anyone uses as long it gives the desired results

n00bz
n00bz
4 years 7 months ago

Avicii uses FL n00bs

Lootius
Lootius
4 years 12 days ago

Yep he sure does, no midi controllers atm either.
Keyboard maestro!
Sorry C-DJs, he is a laptop DJ but he is playing his own stuff! Not bad for a headliner!

Myself, FL Studio Producer edition for arranging, Ableton for the polish and mastering.

Amit
Amit
4 years 7 months ago

Sequoia is one of the best sounding daw in the daw world now and also Samplitude both these softwares are manufactured by the company Magix.

Lozaristo Prince
4 years 7 months ago

Any Daw is gud as long u understand the way of communicating wit its, i uses fl9 bt i wanna learn pro tools cause its gud for mixing, as for midi editing i go wit cubase.

hazir
hazir
4 years 7 months ago

hi petri.i am using fl studio too,i started age before,and i learned so much,fl studio is really good software and i produced two sounds,but i have never tested other DAW s,i think i will download demo of cubase 6 or ableton live.and i think that is very important whose producers use daw prograams,producers who uses FL studio climbed up to first place on dj mag top 100 list :D(like afrojack,avicii,dead mause,arty)thank you for this theme.

Hazir from Bosnia (balkan)

luke
4 years 6 months ago
hi there. i use flstudio for many years and i feel perfect with that, producing all kind of music: from tekno to trance, from dnb to heavy dubstep and flstudio never misses the point ,) btw in these years i tried also ableton live, which i prefer for live performance than flstudio that seems to be more studio oriented. im using the combo ableton + flstudio rewire too and it rocks! i also make some pieces of songs in flstudio, than i record all the stuffs into ableton and i continue in that… the last steps, mixing and mastering, are… Read more »
Joe Howard
Joe Howard
4 years 5 months ago
What annoys me about certain articles you read referring to FL Studio, is that its nearly always “I use it as a tinker tool and transfer it into something else”. As a hobbyist, I find this annoying. Yes most professional studios are not using FL Studio so transferring WAVs into LOGIC or whatever must be commonplace, but FL Studio, particularly version 10, is spectacular in my opinion. I’m not even using 25% of its capabilities and its still amazing. I tried Reason, and it is limited and complicated. The left to right approach of programs like Cubase is appealing (I… Read more »
luke
4 years 5 months ago

FL Studio since ver.9.0 rules!!

Nicholas
Nicholas
4 years 4 months ago

I know for a fact deadmau5 is primarily FL Studio.

Alex Dickson
Alex Dickson
3 years 10 months ago

FL and Cubase 6 are my current musical weapons of choice

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