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FL Studio is the most common.. I quite like it and many tutorials exist for beginners. (Different versions offer different features, Fruity or above will do well) Ableton Live is also well known supposedly more powerful but more complicated. Propellerhead Reason I know almost nothing about, it’s also a decent premium DAW. (Digital Audio Workstation.. the proper term) Renoise is a tracker style DAW.. A few from the collabs really liked it. (I started off with a tracker instead of a sequencer/piano roll, so I quite liked it.) Steinberg Cubase is supposedly the Mother-of-all DAW’s.. (complicated as hell.. at least for me..) I’ve also heard Avid Pro Tools is pretty decent.. Cakewalk SONAR supposedly too.. If you’re a Mac kinda guy there’s Logic Pro.. I’ve heard it’s one of the best, but Mac only..
There are free alternatives if you prefer to go that way.. ModPlug/Open MPT (whatever it’s called anymore) is a free tracker that supports samples/vst’s.. MadTracker is another free tracker.. (quite outdated but still usable)
The best free studio would have to be LMMS. (Linux Multi Media Studio – Also made for Windows/Mac) It’s GUI is fairly similar to FL’s. It’s hard to get the hang of at first, but once you understand it you’re golden. (Kongregate also promotes Reaper as a free one, though, it’s more like WinRAR free..)
I have experience with FL, (I actually own it..) Renoise (demo), ModPlug (rather high CPU usage), Cubase (well, not really “experience”, I own an older version.. never really understood it.. or gave it a serious attempt.), LMMS, and Reaper (briefly).
I personally have used Pro Tools and Cubase on my own computers and I’ve had some experience with most of the other daw programs.
My preference is pro tools. You can pick up a lite version along with an audio interface for about 500usd and you’re pretty much set. Its the heart of my almost 1 year old home studio and I can put out professional sounding work with it. Pro tools comes with a lot of great plugins that do everything you need and can even be used for mixing and mastering. Cubase is also a good option, i personally don’t like it but its gaining a lot of headway in the professional industry and also comes with a lot of great plugins out of the box. Reason is good if you’re into electronic music and/or know a lot about synthesis. Its a great program and the newer versions are all in one studios. The older versions are just midi suites I believe. The cool thing about reason is you can use it inside another DAW as a plug in. Its a powerful tool. NI also has a program called machine that can be used to make electronic music. I’ve only played with demos at the store but its a fun tool to play with.
There really is no best program. Each DAW’s layout promotes a certain style of creation and some are easier to use than others but in the end they are all essentially the same. Any tools one has that another doesn’t can be found as plugins. Its really just a matter of picking one and rolling with it. But if you’re uneasy about picking one I’ll help you out here.
If you’re into making electronic music pick up Reason or FL. If you’re interested in preforming your sets live as well pick up ableton live or Traktor.
If you a windows user and want access to the vast array of free vst software pick up cubase.
If you’re wanting to learn production from an engineering standpoint pick up Pro tools.
If you’re a mac user pick up pro tools or logic.
If you’re looking for a free option pick up reaper. I’ve heard wonderful things about it and out of it.
It depends a lot on what you want. I personally have used Madtracker, LMMS, and Ableton. They all have their pros and cons. If you want simplicity I would use a tracker, otherwise, go for one of the bigger “drag and drops” like FL, Ableton, of if you want to use a free one, LMMS.