Most Popular DAWs 2017

Most Popular DAWs 2017 - AudioSkills DAW Survey

Published July 6, 2017

What's the most popular DAW (digital audio workstation)? The AudioSkills team wanted to find out! So we surveyed our list of email subscribers, and published the results here.

Data in this report are drawn from the AudioSkills 2017 DAW Survey, conducted June 27 – July 2, 2017.

The survey respondents are located predominantly in the United States, and have expressed a prior interest in home recording, mixing, mastering, or music production.

Table of Contents

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The Most Popular DAWs (Overall)

Our survey asked, "Which DAWs have you used in the past year?"

The following table displays the most popular DAWs overall in the survey. Pro Tools is the most popular DAW among our survey respondents, with 30% of all respondents indicating that they have used it in the past year.

Note: Multiple versions or variations of a single DAW are analyzed and ranked as a single DAW in this table. For example: Pro Tools, Pro Tools First, and Pro Tools HD are all combined as simply "Pro Tools" in the table below.

Rank DAW Popularity OS Pricing Free Trial?
1Pro Tools
30%
Mac, WindowsFrom FreeYes
2Logic Pro
27%
Mac$199.99No
3GarageBand
24%
MacFreeNo
4Audacity
22%
Mac, Windows, LinuxFreeNo
5Presonus Studio One
21%
Mac, WindowsFrom FreeNo
6Ableton Live
18%
Mac, WindowsFrom $99 CADYes
7Steinberg Cubase
16%
Mac, WindowsFrom $99.99Yes
8Reaper
15%
Mac, WindowsFrom $60Yes
9Cakewalk SONAR
14%
WindowsFrom $49Yes
10FL Studio
11%
Mac, WindowsFrom $99Yes
11Propellerhead Reason
9%
Mac, WindowsFrom $69Yes
12Adobe Audition
7%
Mac, WindowsFrom $19.99 per monthYes
13MOTU Digital Performer
3%
Mac, WindowsFrom $499Yes
14Tracktion
3%
Mac, Windows, LinuxFrom FreeNo
15Acoustica Mixcraft
3%
WindowsFrom $49.99Yes
16Magix ACID Pro
2%
WindowsFrom $59.95Yes
17Steinberg Nuendo
1%
Mac, WindowsFrom $1900Yes
18Magix Samplitude
1%
WindowsFrom $599Yes
19Ardour
1%
Mac, Windows, LinuxFreeNo
20Auria Pro
1%
iPad$49.99No
20Harrison Mixbus
1%
Mac, Windows, LinuxFrom $79Yes

The Top 10 Most Popular DAWs 2017

The Most Popular Free DAWs

The following table displays the most popular free DAWs in the survey. GarageBand is the most popular free DAW among our survey respondents.

For those DAWs that offer both free and paid versions, only the data for the free version is included in this table. The top three most popular free DAWs are shown in the preview table below; click the link following the table to see the entire list, as well as additional related data for the free DAWs.

Rank DAW Popularity OS Pricing Paid Version Available?
1GarageBand
24%
MacFreeNo
2Audacity
22%
Mac, Windows, LinuxFreeNo
3Pro Tools First
4%
Mac, WindowsFreeYes

Click here to see the entire list of free DAWs (plus related data)

The Most Popular Mac DAWs

The following table displays the most popular DAWs among users who indicated that Mac is their preferred operating system for mixing and recording music (as opposed to Windows, iOS, or Android). Logic Pro is the most popular Mac DAW among our survey respondents; 53% of Mac users have used Logic Pro within the past year.

For those DAWs that offer both free and paid versions, only the data for the free version is included in this table. The top three DAWs most popular with Mac users are shown in the preview table below; click the link following the table to see the entire list, as well as additional related data for the DAWs popular among Mac users.

Rank DAW Popularity OS Pricing Free Trial?
1Logic Pro
53%
Mac$199.99No
2GarageBand
39%
MacFreeNo
3Pro Tools
38%
Mac, WindowsFrom FreeYes

Click here to see the entire list of popular Mac DAWs (plus related data)

The Most Popular Windows DAWs

The following table displays the most popular DAWs among users who indicated that Windows is their preferred operating system for mixing and recording music (as opposed to Mac, iOS, or Android). Audacity is the most popular Windows DAW among our survey respondents; 25% of Windows users have used Audacity within the past year.

For those DAWs that offer both free and paid versions, only the data for the free version is included in this table. The top three DAWs most popular with Windows PC users are shown in the preview table below; click the link following the table to see the entire list, as well as additional related data for the DAWs popular among Windows PC users.

Rank DAW Popularity OS Pricing Free Trial?
1Audacity
25%
Mac, Windows, LinuxFreeNo
2Pro Tools
25%
Mac, WindowsFrom FreeYes
3Presonus Studio One
23%
Mac, WindowsFrom FreeNo

Click here to see the entire list of popular Windows DAWs (plus related data)

Survey Methodology

Our data was collected from a survey we sent to our email subscribers. The AudioSkills 2017 DAW Survey accepted responses June 27 – July 2, 2017. The survey respondents are located predominantly in the United States, and have expressed a prior interest in home recording, mixing, mastering, or music production.

Click here to learn more about our methodology

DAW Survey Respondents Demographics

In addition to DAW usage, our survey gathered data on the respondents themselves, including popular music genres, preferred operating system, and self identification.

Popular Music Genres

Our survey asked respondents to select all of the types of music that they create. Rock was by far the most popular choice, with 55% of our respondents indicating that they create rock music.

The Most Popular Music Genres 2017

Survey Respondent Identification

Survey respondents were asked, "How do you most identify yourself?" and were given the options presented in the chart below. The majority of our survey respondents identify as "amateur or semi-professional musician/singer," while sizable portions identify as professionals (either musicians, audio engineers, or other industry pros).

Survey Respondents

Preferred Operating System

Survey respondents answered the question, "What is your preferred operating system when recording and mixing music?" The majority of respondents prefer Windows, while a sizable minority prefers Mac. Other respondents indicated a preference for iOS (iPad/iPhone), Android, or Linux. These were combined into "Other" in the chart below.

Most Popular Operating System for DAW Users 2017

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