It’s one of the most common questions. And unfortunately, there’s no one answer.
Choosing your recording software comes down to three things: your budget, your preference, and the application. For example, if you’re recording demos or songs for your own amusement at home (i.e. not something that will be released commercially) then you don’t need to spend $1000 on software. However, you don’t want to use something that’s complicated and confusing, and you don’t want to use something that is of poor quality and lacking features.
My advice would be to stick with the masses and go for one of the more popular DAWs on the market such as Pro Tools, Cubase, Logic, Studio One and so on. My logic behind this is that if the majority of the recording public are using it – it must be good, and, there will be lots of tutorial videos on YouTube and plenty of people to help you out if you run into problems. For example, if you’re having a problem with Pro Tools or Cubase, a couple of minutes on Google will yield a thousand results from people having the same problem and finding a solution. Try that same exercise with Sony Acid or another lesser used program and you’ll most likely come back empty handed.
With most of the bigger more popular DAWs, you can head to their website and download a full-function demo which runs for a limited amount of time. I would highly advise doing this and trying out a few of the ones you’ve got your eye on and see which one you like best.
*Two suggestions from me:
Lower budget – PreSonus Studio One Artist – exceedingly easy to use and very intuitive…even innovative!
(RRP $99 US – also comes free with PreSonus audio interfaces)
PreSonus Studio One Artist DAW
PreSonus AudioBox USB w/Studio One Artist
Higher budget – AVID Pro Tools 10 – the industry standard…enough said.
(RRP $699 US – also comes bundled with AVID audio interfaces at a discounted price)
Pro Tools 10 DAW
AVID MBox Mini w/Pro Tools 10