A digital audio workstation (DAW) is an electronic device or application software used for recording, editing and producing audio files. DAWs come in a wide variety of configurations from a single software program on a laptop, to an integrated stand-alone unit, all the way to a highly complex configuration of numerous components controlled by a central computer.
A DAW is usually used alongside an audio interface, mixing desk, microphones and other bits of external gear. Designed for those in the recording industry, the DAW’s user interfaces replicated many of the same features of a multi-track tape recorder. Play, record, and other controls such as waveform, track controls, a mixer, and so on. In fact, many of the most popular DAWs have very similar interfaces.
The main reason why a DAW is so useful is the range of add-ons with new options popping up all the time. VST plugins give the DAW even more versatility, sample packs expand audio file libraries, and the recording software itself is constantly being improved.
If you want to record, edit, mix and master audio and MIDI projects, a DAW is the tool you need.
To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 7 best free and open source DAWs. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for anyone who wants to record and mix music on their PC. With a high quality DAW you can get on with writing and producing great music. With samples, drum machines, MIDI keyboards, and other digital tools, let’s make chart-topping music.
Here’s our recommendations.
Let’s explore the 7 DAWs. For each program we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, together with links to relevant resources.
|Digital Audio Workstations|
|MusE||Full featured MIDI and audio sequencer with recording and editing|
|Ardour||Record, edit and mix with this digital audio workstation|
|Rosegarden||Sophisticated MIDI (and audio) sequencer and notation editor|
|Bespoke||Software modular synthesizer with a large range of modules|
|Qtractor||Audio/MIDI multi-track sequencer|
|LMMS||Digital audio workstation|
|Radium||Music editor sporting a sleek interface|
Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.
The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk. There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.