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