Vocal recording remains a very crucial aspect of music production. There are so many factors that contribute to achieving the perfect vocal recording.
Factors like acoustics, the technique of the singer, and the choice of hardware like the microphone all contribute greatly to the outcome.
Just like the saying which says that “a chain is as strong as its weakest link,” not getting even the least significant aspect of vocal recording right could ruin the overall job and effort. Vocal recording is a delicate art and it should be approached as such.
Unlike other aspects of music production which can be narrowed down to a single factor, in vocal recording, several factors collectively work and interact to create a final result.
The DAW, although not often the most talked about aspect of vocal recording as compared to aspects like microphone choice, still, however, remains a very important aspect and a great contributing factor to the final result.
When putting different factors together, it is very important not to make the mistake of undervaluing the importance of any of the factors.
Choosing the wrong DAW for your vocal recording project could be twice as disastrous as choosing the wrong microphone or using poor acoustics. Just like the room and its acoustics constitutes the physical environment, the DAW constitutes the virtual environment.
In this article, we will discuss in-depth, the 10 best DAWs for vocal recording. It doesn’t matter if you are a self-recording singer-songwriter or a professional audio engineer, this article will bring new insights and perspectives on the best DAWs for vocal recording.
10 Best DAWs for Vocal Recording
- Logic Pro x
- Studio one
- Garage Band
- Steinberg Cubase
- Pro Tools
- Ableton Live
- Reason Studio
- FL Studio
- Cockus Reaper
- Magix Music Maker Plus
Review of 10 Best DAWs for Vocal Recording
Logic Pro x
Logic Pro X is one of the most popular DAWs used for vocal recording. It is so easy to record vocals. It offers a variety of tools that are quite useful and meet the requirement for modern vocal recording and processing.
Logic Pro X also offers advanced audio editing. For example, users can easily quantize poorly recorded vocal that was not sung on time
Watch more about the Logic Pro:
|Advance Audio editing tools||Strictly for Mac user|
|Friendly user interface|
|Tons of stock plugins for vocal editing|
|Considering the capabilities of this DAW, it is one of the cheapest DAW in the market|
The Presonus Studio One is another awesome DAW for vocal recording. The interface of studio one is intuitive and well-designed for ease of use. It supports unlimited audio and midi tracks.
Also, it has a comprehensive set of features such as monophonic and polyphonic tracks. Recording vocals with the Presonus Studio one is straightforward. It is also a go-to tool for audio editing for most professional audio engineers.
All you have to do to record is launch Studio One, create and name a new mono or stereo track and then click record. You can also select track, input, preset, and colour. It’s so easy to record vocals with Studio One.
Watch more about the Studio One:
|Friendly user interface |
Tons of Features for audio editing
Ease of use without losing functionality
|May easily crash sometime|
Garage Band is a great DAW popularly recommended for beginners with Apple devices or wannabe audio professionals who cannot afford Logic Pro X. However, it is one of the best vocal recording software with a very friendly interface. Also, Garage Band is free.
It is easy to learn and use. Anybody can quickly learn and start working with it. Although it is often rarely used, Garage Band has been used to create several amazing podcasts and great music. Watch more about Garage Band:
|Easy to edit and delete audio tracks||Limited to only IOS device|
|Export different size MP3s|
|Free to use|
|Very similar to Logic Pro X; if you can use Garageband, you’ll most likely be able to use Logic Pro X|
Cubase remains an industry favourite for vocal recording; it is loved by both pros and beginners alike. After fixing up your mic and audio interface, it is very easy to record vocals with Cubase.
Cubase pro offers users the edit and effect feature to make vocal recordings sound a lot more professional.
The split tool is there to help you cut unwanted parts from the recording. And also a very intuitive crossfade.
For effects, users can change the low, mid, and high frequencies of the recorded vocal from the EQ option in the inspector panel. Watch more about the Cubase:
|Easy to use||May be a little hard for newbies|
|Easily Edit audio clips||Tends to work better on a PC|
|Advanced pitch correction tools|
Pro Tools has been one of the best DAWs for recording vocals since the late 90s. It has a friendly interface to easily record vocals and features to tune and mix audio recordings.
Pro Tools is often regarded as the industry standard. It is being used in almost all popular recording studios. Watch more about the Pro Tools:
|Very intuitive||Requires more time to master|
|Good layout||Requires the latest update or may often crash|
|Tons of features and shortcut||Requires the fastest computer or may experience a bug|
|Most used software||Expensive|
|Best audio editing features|
To some musicians, Ableton Live is the industry standard for live recording. It is also a great DAW to record vocals and music production in the recording studio. Ableton live offers two main views, the session and arrangement view.
Users of Ableton Live can flip through these views using the tap key or the two circular icons at the top right.
Once your mic and audio interface is connected to your computer, all you need to do is arm the track for recording.
Click the record button to start recording and the stop bar or space bar to stop recording. Watch more about the Ableton Live:
|Ease of use||Lacks mobile support|
|Great sound quality||Latency issue|
|Big community, quick response|
Reason studio is another great DAW to record vocals. It has a pretty inspiring and stunning user interface to work in.
It features pitch editing and timing tools that enable users to easily manipulate and edit recorded audio. Another great feature of Reason is the ability to be connected to anything with everything. Watch more about the Reason Studio:
|SSL style mix compression||Track editing lag|
Fruity Loops Studio is often regarded as a more beginner-friendly DAW for vocal recording. However, it is also one of the Daws that is cross-platform compatible.
This means that FL Studio is compatible with both Windows and Mac users. It is very simple and highly intuitive. It also offers tons of synths and plugins in case you wish to create music to accompany your recorded vocals.
Fl studio enables users to quickly edit vocals and add a missing or new vocal part to an existing recording. Watch more about the FL Studio:
|Easy to use||Confusing routing and automation|
|Affordable User-friendly interface||Confusing recording process|
|Tons of audio effect||Delayed autosave feature|
|Popular in the music-producer community|
Reaper is one of the most customizable DAWs available for audio recording. It is gradually becoming one of the most popular DAWs on the market.
Apart from being one of the best DAWs for vocal recording, It is also easy to record vocals with Reaper. The Cockus Reaper has an intuitive and clean interface for heavy-duty music production which will likely include multi-track audio recording.
With Reaper, users can record and edit multi-tracks with ease. It also supports a wide range of audio, making it easy for users to import and edit multiple vocals in different formats. Watch more about the Cockus Reaper:
|Easy to use||Counterintuitive functions|
|Great Native plugins||Small fonts|
|Fast and reliable|
|Light, not space consuming|
Magix Music Maker Plus
Magix Music Maker is another great DAW for audio recording. It is fast and flexible, making it easier for users with no experience to record and build audio tracks.
To record your vocals, look for an empty track and click the red button on the left in the track header. Wait for “Audio Rec,” to pop up—which means the audio is ready to be recorded.
Proceed to the transport bar, click the red button, and start singing into the microphone. The Magix Music Maker also offers features and effects for vocal editing after recording. Watch more about the Magix Music maker plus:
|Great for beginners||Lack of advanced control and function|
|Drag and drop function||Not versatile enough for modern vocal recording needs|
Can you Use Any DAW for Vocal Recording?
Yes, you can use any Digital Audio Workstation to record your vocals. Any piece of software regarded as a DAW consists of a digital tape recorder along with other components to record and produce music.
The digital tape recorder makes it capable of dealing with any kind of recording, be it vocal or instrumental.
However, you may need to work with one DAW for a start. Understanding any DAW you want to record with is very important.
That being said, it is also important to note that some DAWs are better and best recommended for some things than others.
And, NO. You cannot use just any DAW for vocal recording. You will need to consider DAWs which will offer excellent audio recording and efficient vocal editing functions best for you.
What are the Best Vocal Recording DAWs for Macbook Users?
The best vocal recording DAWs for Macbook users will be DAWs that are compatible, can record excellently, and feature advanced tools to edit audio. The following are the best vocal recording DAWs for Macbook users:
- Logic Pro X
- FL Studio
- Ableton Live
- Studio One
- Reason Propeller Head
- Bitwig Studio
- Acoustica Mixcraft
What are the Best Vocal Recording DAWs for Windows
Apart from a few digital audio workstations like the Logic Pro X, almost all the other DAWs are compatible with windows. The following are the best vocal recording DAWs for windows:
- FL Studio
- Pro Tools
- Ableton Live
- Reason Studios
- Cakewalk Sonar Platinum
- Sound Forge
- Tracktion Waveform
Best Free DAWs for Vocal Recording
- Waveform free
- Ohm studio
- Cubase LE
- Pro tool first
- Ableton live lite
- Cakewalk by Bandlab
What DAW Do Professionals Use?
The professionals use all the DAWs, that is what makes them professionals right? The ability to record vocals, mix, and master with a particular DAW or any DAW.
Some professionals will prefer a particular DAW for vocal recording and another for mixing and mastering. On the other hand, some will stick to one particular DAW from recording to mixing and even mastering.
However, some DAWs offer great features for recording while some for mixing and beat making. You must have seen the “industry standard” label on the Pro tools. Making it one of the most popular DAWs for recording.
Pro Tools is great for recording and mixing in analogue studios with consoles; it is also a superb DAW for audio engineers who are used to working with actual knobs and feathers and old-school gadgets.
Other professionals, especially singer-songwriters prefer Logic Pro X, which is also a popular DAW for vocal recording. Regardless, the Hybrid studio will work with Cubase for recording and mixing and sometimes, Studio One.
Noah Shebib, Drake’s producer, works with Avid Pro Tools, Cubase, Ableton Live, and WaveLab.
Noah Shebib who is popularly known as “40” has used his minimalistic production to mould Drake’s sound using these DAWs. You see that the professionals understand workflow, interface and what they need.
At the end of the day, it is the DAW used by the professional, that is the professional DAW.
You will have to choose among these 10 best DAWs which will be perfect for your vocal recording. Some of these DAWs are cross-platform making them compatible with both Mac and windows.
However, some music producers have bought Macs just so they can work with the Logic Pro X which is exceptionally for Mac users alone.
While others are recommending some of these DAWs for beginners, others are just playing around with a lot of DAW trying to figure for themselves. What DAW you end up working with will be the best for you. Get started now.
Your preference and why you will choose a particular DAW will revolve around the popularity, price, and features of the DAW.
Nonetheless, endeavour to get a DAW that will be user-friendly, serve your workflow, and is widely used in your environment.
This will speed up the process of learning and will serve you a lot of stress figuring out a lot of things by yourself.
It is also not a bad idea to consider learning a new DAW. If you are already working with one, learn another. Having a fair knowledge of at least the most popular DAWs will be an advantage to you and your music production career.