The Top 11 Most Popular DAWs (You Voted For)

Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) are the hub for 99% of all modern musicians and producers. It's where our ideas, feelings and collaborations start to take form. So which is the most popular DAW?  

Back in September, 2015 we ran the mother of all music gear contests, with a whopping $33,000 worth of hardware and software prizes that made other studio setups green with envy. As part of the contest we asked you to complete a survey about your music production habits. One question was about your primary preferred DAW. Almost 25,000 musicians and producers gave their answer. Here’s the results!

The Best DAW?

It’s an age-old question, “which is the best DAW?” It’s also a rather pointless question. The DAW you choose often depends on the type of music you make (Ableton Live is clearly the favorite of electronic producers, while Pro Tools tends to have more sway amongst band-based engineers). Other factors include what your friends or colleagues are using, which one you first learned, which DAW came bundled with your audio interface or controller, which one you first learned via video tutorials, and which is used by your musical heroes and heroines.

Perhaps a more relevant question is which DAW is the most popular and has the largest user base. So, out of approximately 25k musicians and producers who answered our Ask.Audio survey in September 2015, let’s take a look at the results we got.

And The Most Popular DAW (as Voted For By You) Is…

Bear in mind, that only one DAW could be chosen from our survey list. So many of us who use two or more DAWs were forced to choose their “primary” DAW. This means some DAWs like Bitwig Studio, Reason and Sonar might appear to be less popular than they are in our results.

However, this still makes for interesting reading, especially as most DAW developers are hesitant to publish the number of sales and users. These results are shown as a percentage of all the survey responses.

Oh and winner? As you can see below, Ableton Live was by far the runaway winner with over 23% which is incredible considering it was first released back in 2001. And congratulations to all the top 5 (and all 11) for enabling us to record, arrange, compose, mix, master and produce audio and music.

Top 11 DAWs 2015 (voted for on Ask.Audio)

(Click the image to see a larger version) Top 11 DAWs 2015 (voted for on Ask.Audio)

  • #1. Ableton Live 23.14%
  • #2. Logic Pro 16.95%
  • #3. Pro Tools 15.13%
  • #4. FL Studio13.63%
  • #5. Cubase 9.03%
  • #6. Studio One 3.80%
  • #7. Reason 3.46%
  • #8. GarageBand 2.49%
  • #9. Sonar 1.99%
  • #10. Digital Performer 0.92%
  • #11. Bitwig Studio 0.77%
  • Other 8.70%

 

Because we love you, here's an interesting infographic focusing on the top 5. You can download the PDF version here.

Ask.Audio Most Popular DAW infographic.

Ask.Audio Most Popular DAW 2015  infographic. (Click the image to see a larger version)

Become a master of all functions in your DAW (popular, or not)! Check out the video courses in The Ask.Audio Academy here. Support your music production skills!

Rounik is the Executive Editor for Ask.Audio & the macProVideo Hub. As an Apple Certified Trainer for Logic (and a self-confessed Mac fanatic) he's taught teachers, professional musicians and hobbyists how to get the best out of Apple's creative software. He has been a visiting lecturer at Bath Spa University's Teacher training pro... Read More

Discussion

Stonzthro
Interesting.

The statistics may be more representative of Ask.Audio's clientele. VI-Control did the same thing and Cubase won by far, but most of the board members are composers. I wonder if the courses Ask.audio offers has a direct correlation to who responded - you really don't have many Cubase tutorials, in comparison to Logic - I'm a Logic user myself, which is why I have a subscription. Were I a Cubase user, I likely would just buy the tutorials since you guys don't have many.
Rounik
Hey Stronzthro, well we have lots and lots of Cubase tutorial articles which are read regularly. Maybe not as often as our Logic articles, but probably more than our Pro Tools articles. However, as I mention above, some people use more than one DAW, so while they might track and process in Cubase, if they mix / master in Pro Tools they might put that as their answer.

In terms of Cubase video courses... stay tuned, there's lots more in production... and really, really good ones :)
mrdoublebeats
Well I know that most people I know like to make instrumentals in fl studio and then record and mix in logic or pro tools, and since I work with a production team I often times have to use like 3 to 4 different daws before recording. I think this list is pretty accurate since it is not genre based.

Want to join the discussion?

Create an account or login to get started!