Monday, March 4, 2013

Top 10 DAWs For Songwriting

PreSonus Studio One screen image from Bobby Owsinski's Big Picture production blog
Songwriting is such a personal affair. Everyone does it differently and everyone has an idea on the best way to do it. These days, most people write with their favorite DAW to help them either flesh out the rhythm of the tune or simply remember any ideas. For some, that's a heartache in itself as sometimes there's more time spent on the technical aspect of the DAW than on the actual writing.

That said, here are the top 10 DAWs for songwriting as stated by songwriting.net.

1. PreSonus Studio One

2. Propellerhead Reason

3. FL Studio

4. Acoustica Mixcraft

5. Apple Logic

6. Sony Acid Pro

7. Steinberg CuBase

8. Avid Pro Tools

9. Cakewalk Sonar

10. Ableton Live

I'm not sure that I agree with everything on this list, especially the order, but then again, to each his own when it comes to DAW choices. I sometimes think that the easiest thing is a simple handheld recorder by Zoom, Tascam or even a recording app on an iPhone to capture the ideas. You can always flesh them out later on the DAW. Then again, if you're writing around beats and loops, then the songs starts in the DAW in the first place.

What's your choice?

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14 comments:

Adam Y said...

I'm currently PT but I feel the need to jump ship like everyone else. If so I will go back to Sonar because it's more familiar. Presonus to me seems to come out of nowhere with Studio 1. I have 2 great DAWs which is really 1 too many. I don't need a third but thanks Presonus for being an awesome company and looking out for the working man.

joshua said...

I'm an avid PT user (ha ha ha, punny), but I won't even touch it for when I'm in creative/songwriting mode. For that job, it's Reason 6 all the way for me. Doesn't always sound awesome, but I get a lot of fun and creative toys to play with, which is crucial for me when writing.

The "real" stuff comes later in Pro Tools- and if I made, say, a synth patch in Reason that I really fell in love with early on... hey. That's what ReWire is for. :)

Kiwcomposer said...

Bobby.. YI think you mean PRESONUS not PROSONUS.. Typo maybe.. LOL and I agree Presonus is Number 1, I personally think Logic is 2 but that is just my opinion. And yes sometimes a handheld recorder etc to capture the idea is great. Depends on the process and the moment.

auramac said...

Ideas? Handheld recorder, iOS device. Garageband, and Logic.

Andreas F said...

I used Logic for years but about 6-7 months ago I thought I'd give Ableton a go. It turned out Ableton fits my way of writing perfectly. I mean, start with some drums and build the track from there. Also the "scenes" make it a lit easier to point out what is the intro, verse, chorus, etc. and which tracks should belong in which part.
It might not be the go to for everyone but it fits me great.

Reed Robins said...

Digital Performer. I also use Pro Tools when outside compatibility is needed, and I have logic, but don't particularly like it. DP gives me much more control over many aspects of the DAW that the others don't, and the ability to save different versions is outstanding.

Chris Houston Music said...

i'm not a luddite, using Digital Performer and Reason 6 daily. but when it's time to write a song, i use Finale. i WRITE the song.

Jake Beamish said...

as the most customizable, re-rout-able, personizable, light-weight software that's out there (not to mention affordable...) I think it'd be great to see Reaper up on that list. It also has a really friendly group on forum users who are all pretty clued up on their stuff.

Brent Lee Carter said...

I use Reason & Pro Tools. I've tried many others but work flow between these two makes the most sense for me and how I produce & write. I often ReWire my track from Reason to ProTools and can use the synths and sounds I created in Reason right in my ProTools session.

Andrew said...

I tend to stick with a field type recorder and paper for the initial writing/fleshing out the song, then move it into the DAW to develop the arrangement and production. This isn't a rule, though. I've written some songs by clicking in midi notes in Cubase with the mouse. So, whatever tool I have at the moment, I guess.

As far as which software is the best; they can all be set up to good effect, so use whatever you're most comfortable with.

Alexandru Nuca said...

Reaper is my choice of DAW from start to finish. Great file browser, fast, endless routing capabilities, cool flip channels on FX sends feature that allows me to pan reverbs on the opposite side of the stereo field. oh and direct monitoring really works with plugins :D

Edgar said...

templates + shortcuts...

Gregory Pollock said...

Robert,
Recorded direct to Abelton Live, inside MacBook Pro, using a Focusrite 2i2. Trying to move forward, toward CDs to hand out but Live really doesn't have any "how to" kind of instructions. Any thoughts?

Let me know,

Gregory J. Pollock

PS anyone can chime in here.

Gregory Pollock said...

Robert,
Recorded direct to Abelton Live, inside MacBook Pro, using a Focusrite 2i2. Trying to move forward, toward CDs to hand out but Live really doesn't have any "how to" kind of instructions. Any thoughts?

Let me know,

Gregory J. Pollock

PS anyone can chime in here.

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