JANUARY 29, 2012 updates: There were some feedback from the commenter G. berg and Phil so consider the following changes in the analysis. For example:
1.) Sound forge is not a DAW software. It is only an audio editor. Audio editors cannot be used to perform a multitrack recording session.
2.) Cockos Reaper and Reaper Cockos are just the same. Personally I’m a Reaper user, you can read some of my Reaper DAW tutorials.
3.) These changes might be redo at the end of year 2013 (re-doing the analysis covering 2012 to 2013)
There is a lot of software in this category but most of them have very little user base and they are not included in this study.
Based on the data it clearly reveals that in the year 2004 to 2009, Cubase holds the DAW overall popularity and is the choice for most users. FL Studio at the time (in 2004) is still in the bottom of top 5. Protools and Cubase did hold a significant share in the popularity in year 2004 to 2009. But things happen really slowly, FL Studio continuously becoming popular starting in the year 2005 until now (as shown by the increasing popularity trend.).
Adobe Audition and Ableton Live has similar share in the user’s popularity. Sad to take note that Cubase popularity went down significantly in the last 7 years and it was overtaken by FL Studio and Protools sometime in the year 2010.
Conclusion and Recommendations: Does being popular also means it’s the best? It’s not true at all times. But another question is why FL Studio became so very popular? Why did Cubase popularity went down significantly in the last 7 years only to be overtaken by FL Studio? Some might answer because the price is lower which means it is very affordable.
Some might answer because it is relatively easy to use and some will say they have great documentation and manuals as well as community support. Some will also testify that the features are complete for the very low price they paid (best bang for your buck). Or some users might also answer that FL Studio is a very light program and take very little amount of system resources to operate. Does this imply that FL Studio is now the best DAW software? You decide. Wait; let’s see what will happen in the next couple of years.
Selecting a DAW should not be based on popularity alone. There are still a lot of great things you need to know when selecting DAW:
1.) Advantages of 64-bit DAW over 32-bit float Digital audio workstation– Importance of having a high mixing engine resolution in DAW software.
2.) How to Build a Recording Studio using DAW method Method – pairing your hardware with your DAW software for maximum compatibility.
3.) Secrets to Audio Mixing Success: Stick to one DAW and set of plugins -find out why sticking to a single DAW and a set of plugins increases your success in audio mixing.
Content last updated on June 14, 2012