My “Favorite” DAW 2024 Edition

My “Favorite” DAW 2024 Edition

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RECORDING’s contributors and staff share the DAWs they choose to use and why!

Twenty-seven years ago, in our May 1997 issue, Bill Stunt looked at 12 popular DAWs of the day. At that time, digital audio workstations were less than a decade old and often still referred to as “sequencers” or “audio editors.” If you had a decent amount of RAM (measured in megabytes at that time) and a one- or two-gigabyte hard drive, maybe you could multi-track audio.

The two-track editors in the showcase included Sound Forge, Fast EdDit, Samplitude Master, Cool Edit, Wavelab and GoldWave. The multi-track offerings  included SAW, Samplitude Studio, Digital Audio Wings and TripleDAT, and finally, tackling MIDI and audio side-by-side, you had Cakewalk Pro Audio and Voyetra Digital  Orchestrator Plus. Not mentioned in the roundup, you also had Cubase VST, Pro Tools (of course), Digital Performer, AudioDesk and others. Some of these still exist today, while a few have faded away, like MySpace and Homestar Runner.

Today, DAWs are ubiquitous—it’s just how we ‘do’ audio. Chances are, if you make music or create any sort of content today, you use a DAW in some form.

As this is our annual DAW issue, we asked our contributing authors, editorial staff and even our Associate Publisher which DAW they currently use and why with bonus points if they have a favorite process to share.

Of course, not every DAW is here—frankly, there are just so many available—and we apologize if we missed your tried and true favorite. The cool thing is that most DAWs do the same things, each in its own way, and much of the advice and tips should translate at some level to your DAW. sdg