Best Free Digital Audio Workstations (DAW) 2024

Best Free Digital Audio Workstations (DAW) 2024

In the dynamic world of music production, the right tools can make all the difference. For budding and experienced musicians alike, Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) are the cornerstone of crafting mesmerizing soundscapes. In 2024, the landscape of free DAWs has evolved significantly, offering powerful capabilities without the price tag. At EDM Templates, we understand the significance of having the right DAW in your arsenal. This comprehensive guide delves into the best free DAWs of 2024, ensuring you're well-equipped for your musical journey.

Key Takeaways

DAW Description Download Link
Waveform Free by Tracktion Versatile with a unique workflow, suitable for various projects Tracktion
Cakewalk by BandLab Unlimited tracks with an award-winning UI, Windows exclusive BandLab
Live 10 Lite by Ableton Ideal for both studio and live use, with essential tools included Ableton
Pro Tools First by Avid Industry-standard with AAX plugin support, 16-track limit Avid
Studio One 5 Prime by PreSonus Single-window environment, no VST support PreSonus
Cubase LE by Steinberg Compact version with 16 audio tracks and over 5 GB of sounds Steinberg
MPC Beats by AKAI Professional Tailored for beatmakers with 16 pads and extensive sample editing AKAI Professional
Serato Studio Optimized for DJs, easy-to-use with sound packs and plugin support Serato
SoundBridge Simple design with essential features and VST support SoundBridge
LMMS Open-source, best for electronic music, no audio recording support LMMS

What is a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)?

A Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) is an electronic system designed for recording, editing, and producing audio files. DAWs have revolutionized music production, making it accessible to anyone with a computer. Over the years, these systems have evolved from basic audio recording software to comprehensive platforms enabling a full spectrum of music production capabilities.

Why Choose a Free DAW?

Why Choose a Free DAW

The Advantages of Cost-Effective Music Production

In the realm of music production, the debate between free and paid DAWs is ongoing. Free DAWs, particularly in 2024, offer a plethora of benefits:

  • Cost Efficiency: The most apparent advantage is cost-saving. For beginners or those on a budget, free DAWs provide an entry point into the world of music production without financial commitment.
  • Feature-Rich Platforms: Don't underestimate the power of free DAWs. Many offer robust features comparable to their paid counterparts, making them suitable for professional use.
  • Learning and Experimentation: Free DAWs are excellent for learning the ropes of music production and experimenting with different styles and techniques without monetary risk.

Making the Most of Free DAWs

While free DAWs come with limitations, such as reduced track counts or limited plugin support, they are often sufficient for many producers. By understanding and maximizing these tools, you can achieve impressive results.

Integrating with EDM Templates' Resources

For those venturing into free DAWs, integrating with additional resources can enhance your music production. At EDM Templates, we offer a range of sample packs and templates that complement these DAWs, allowing you to expand your creative horizons.

In-Depth Look at Top Free DAWs

1. Waveform Free by Tracktion

Waveform Free stands out with its intuitive workflow and versatility. It's not just for EDM; you can record and produce a wide range of genres. Its dark-themed interface and customizable controls make it a user-friendly choice. The built-in effects, while basic, are continually updated and play well with most VSTs. Ideal for those who value a software-centric approach, Waveform Free is a top pick for diverse musical projects.

2. Cakewalk by BandLab

Cakewalk offers a traditional layout with an award-winning UI and the ability to create unlimited tracks. Originally priced at $499, it's a steal as a free DAW. The extensive range of effects, including dynamic compression and EQ, enhances its value. Note that it's exclusively available for Windows users.

3. Live 10 Lite by Ableton

Ableton's Live 10 Lite is renowned for its dual role in both studio and live settings. This DAW is compatible with Windows and Mac and offers essential workflows, instruments, and effects. Its user base and wealth of tutorials make it a solid choice for those starting out.

4. Pro Tools | First by Avid

Pro Tools | First is a gateway to the industry-standard DAW, offering key features like AAX plugin support and the Xpand!2 synthesizer. With a 16-track limit, it's suitable for learning the ropes before upgrading to the full version. It's a bit of a resource hog, so ensure your system meets the requirements.

5. Studio One 5 Prime by PreSonus

This DAW boasts a drag-and-drop functionality in a single-window environment. While it lacks VST support, it compensates with a redesigned Native Effects plugin suite and over 2 GB of bundled content. It's lightweight and not demanding on CPU resources.

6. Cubase LE by Steinberg

Cubase LE is the compact version of the popular Cubase DAW, offering up to 16 audio tracks and 24 MIDI tracks. It includes HALion Sonic SE 3 and Groove Agent SE 5, along with 23 audio VST effect processors. Its Chord Pads and Chord Track make composition accessible to all levels of users. Cubase LE is a versatile tool for comprehensive track production.

7. MPC Beats by AKAI Professional

Tailored for beatmakers, MPC Beats features a layout mirroring the iconic MPC workflow. It includes 16 pads for drum samples, a piano roll for MIDI notes, and a 2 GB sample library. Compatible with class-compliant USB controllers, it's an excellent choice for those looking to dive into beat-making.

8. Serato Studio

Serato Studio caters to DJs and producers seeking a straightforward DAW for beat creation. It includes sound packs from renowned producers and supports VST and AU plugins. This DAW is a top choice for those interested in remixes, DJ edits, or mashups.

9. SoundBridge

Designed for simplicity, SoundBridge offers essential features like sequencing, editing, and mixing, with third-party VST support. Its user-friendly interface and comprehensive feature set make it a great choice for musicians exploring digital production.

10. LMMS

As a free, open-source DAW, LMMS is ideal for electronic music producers. While it doesn't support audio recording, it offers a range of built-in effects and virtual instruments. It's particularly appealing to those familiar with FL Studio's interface.

Enhancing Your DAW Experience with EDM Templates

Maximizing DAW Potential with Premium Packs

  1. Code Black Sample/Preset Pack Elevate your midtempo productions with the Code Black pack, inspired by artists like 1788-L and Rezz. It includes 200 .wav samples and 100 Serum presets, perfect for crafting powerful tracks. Explore Code Black. Code Black Sample/Preset Pack

  2. ERA Sample Pack Dive into heavy dubstep with the ERA pack, offering a collection inspired by Maruada and AKVMA. It contains 411 bass one-shots and an Ableton Live Template. Discover ERA. ERA Sample Pack

  3. Riddim Unleashed by BERRIX Unleash the power of Riddim with this artist collaboration pack. It features 100 Serum presets and 203 .wav samples for dynamic dubstep production. Get Riddim Unleashed. Riddim Unleashed

  4. Death Spell Skrillex Style Xfer Serum Presets Inspired by Skrillex and Noisia, this pack offers 74 bass presets for genres like Dubstep, House, and Drum and Bass. Explore Death Spell. Death Spell Serum Presets

  5. 26 in 1 Bundle Ableton Templates A comprehensive collection of 26 Ableton project files across various genres. Ideal for saving production time and learning professional techniques. Discover the Bundle. 26 in 1 Bundle

How to Maximize Your DAW Experience

Tips for Optimizing Music Production

  • Explore Built-in Features: Dive deep into your DAW’s capabilities to fully utilize its tools and functionalities.
  • Integrate with External Plugins: Enhance your sound with additional VSTs and AU plugins.
  • Regular Updates and Learning: Stay updated with new versions and tutorials to keep your skills sharp.

The future of DAWs is exciting with advancements in AI integration, cloud-based collaboration, and more immersive virtual reality interfaces. These innovations promise to further revolutionize music production.


Choosing the right DAW is crucial in your music production journey. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned producer, the array of free DAWs in 2024 offers impressive capabilities. Remember to explore the wealth of resources available at EDM Templates, from sample packs to Ableton templates, to complement your chosen DAW and elevate your music to new heights.


  • Can free DAWs compete with paid ones?
Absolutely, many free DAWs offer robust features suitable for professional use.

    • Do I need external plugins?
    While not necessary, external plugins can enhance your production capabilities.

      • How important is regular learning?
      In the ever-evolving world of music production, continuous learning is key to staying relevant.