Before we discuss what DAW would be best to get if you’re just starting out as a music producer, let’s talk about what a DAW actually is.
DAW stands for Digital Audio Workstation, and is software that is used to record, edit and produce audio. DAWs have been used in the production of music, podcasts, film scores, and much more. They are very versatile programs, used by the majority of music producers and sound engineers across the globe.
There are many kinds of DAWs, some more complex than others, but today we will be talking about the kind that is used on a computer. A DAW typically comes with built in effects and instruments called VST (Virtual Studio Technology) plugins. They can also host 3rd party plugins from other developers. All in all, a DAW is a one-stop-shop for recording, editing, mixing, mastering, and exporting. To be a successful musician, you no longer need a big room with speakers and a console; you just need a laptop and some headphones. Even a MIDI keyboard is optional.
What makes a DAW easy to use? This is of course subjective, as everyone has a different workflow and process, but in my opinion a beginner DAW should be easy to use and should have everything there without any additional downloads.
I think that the best DAW for beginners is Logic Pro X. Although it is inconvenient that it can only be used on an Apple computer, it is the most intuitive, the most comprehensive, and is basically a more advanced version of Garageband. Logic’s interface is by far the most user friendly, and it comes jam packed with high quality stock plugins, it’s great for recording, for automation and has a pretty good mixing workflow.
However, the biggest factor as to why Logic is the best DAW for beginners is because of the abundance of instruments that come with it, and most of them sound very polished and professional. It comes with a wavetable synthesizer, a sampler, a Mellotron emulator, drum kits for every genre, studio quality strings and horns, ethnic instruments, orchestral instruments and so much more. Although I would recommend replacing some of these with Kontakt libraries as you advance, these are great starting points for you if you’re just starting to experiment with music production.
Logic Pro makes the learning curve much less steep, for a more enjoyable learning process and more efficient production. It's a very powerful tool. Most importantly, remember to have fun and be creative!