Updated: Apr 30, 2020

Best Free DAWs for Music & Sound Design

Best Free DAWs for Music & Sound Design

Best Free DAWs for music, sound design, and anything audio. These are the best free daws for Windows (pc), Mac & Linux in 2020!

There are even some free daws for mobile and online (browser).

A Digital Audio Workstation is an essential tool for the modern audio engineer or producer, so why not learn what's out there?

Chart of the best Free Digital Audio Workstations

DAW Name Plugin Support OS Support
Bosca Ceoil N/A (built-in) Windows, Mac, Linux, Online
LMMS VST, SoundFont, LADSPA (64 & 32-bit) Windows, Mac, Linux
Tracktion T7 VST & AU (64 & 32-bit) Windows, Mac, Linux
Ohm Studio VST (32-bit) Windows & Mac
SoundBridge VST (64 & 32-bit) Windows & Mac
Cakewalk VST (64 & 32-bit) Windows
Garageband AU Mac
Qtracktor LADSPA, DSSI, NativeVSTi, LV2 Linux
Rosegarden LADSPA, DSSI, VSTi, VST, LV2 Linux
Audiotool N/A (built-in) Online
Soundtrap N/A(built-in) Online
Audacity VST, AU, LADSPA, Nyquist (64 & 32-bit) Windows, Mac, Linux
MixPad VST (64-bit) Windows, Mac
WavePad VST, DirectX (64-bit) Windows, Mac

Now, it's worth mentioning if you have a plugin that isn't supported by a DAW that you want to use it with, there are ways around it.

By using a plugin wrapper, you can load (for example, a VST plugin into a DAW that only supports AU). You can even turn 64-bit plugins into 32-bit, and vice-versa. It all depends on what the plugin wrapper can do.

Top FREE DAWs For any OS (Operating System)

Bosca Ceoil

Supported Plugin Formats: N/A

Bosca Ceoil is not only a downloadable DAW but it can also be used directly on your browser. This DAW is dedicated to chiptune and other low-bit styles of music, and it's got some pack to its punch.

It all comes as-is, so you won't be able to use any third-party plugins or effects directly in the DAW, but it's not like you'll need any.

With its simplicity, this is a great tool for audio producers of any skill and even game developers who want to do their own music.

Download Bosca Ceoil For Free Here


Supported Plugin Formats: VST / SoundFont / LADSPA

Now, if chiptune or bit-music is your thing and you want to also use your own plugins or simply want to be in more of a standard DAW environment, LMMS has got you covered.

It comes with quite a few plugins that emulate those nostalgic video game sounds and is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It’s also said to be like FL Studio.

Download LMMS For Free Here

Waveform Free

Supported Plugin Formats: VST / AU

Tracktion T7. One of the best FREE DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations).

Available on the 3 major operating systems, T7 is fully-featured free DAW has a nice UI. With unlimited audio and MIDI tracks, you won’t run into any roadblocks.

Download Waveform Free Here

FREE DAWs For Windows & Mac

Ohm Studio

Supported Plugin Formats: VST

Ohm Studio. One of the best FREE DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations).

Ohm studio has an amazing feature that is really rare for a DAW to have. With Ohm studio, you can collaborate in real-time with anyone, anywhere.

This means you can work on the same project at the same time with more than one person from anywhere in the world. You can chat in the DAW and see what they're doing as well.

Download Ohm Studio For Free Here


Supported Plugin Formats: VST

SoundBridge (previously known as Lumit) has a very unique and easy to understand interface, which is great for newcomers in audio especially.

It comes with a few stock effects and a powerful drum machine called Ritmix.

Download SoundBridge For Free Here

FREE DAWs For Windows


Supported Plugin Formats: VST

Cakewalk by Bandlab is a free DAW that used to be a popular paid one called Sonar (by Cakewalk). This gives the DAW some great premium-grade features that were made to cost money.

Download Cakewalk For Free Here



Supported Plugin Formats: AU

GarageBand. One of the best FREE DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations).

Sharing a near-identical User Interface with Apple's flagship DAW, Logic, you have a seamless upgrade path to one of the leading DAWs in the industry. Not to mention there is a Garageband app for IOS so you can make your music wherever you are.

Its simplicity and arsenal of sounds will have you ready to produce even at entry-level. There is an abundance of resources to learn from, all interactive, all integrated into the DAW.

Download Garageband For Free Here

FREE DAWs For Linux


Supported Plugin Formats: LADSPA / DSSI / NativeVSTi / LV2

Qtractor. One of the best FREE DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations).

Qtracktor comes with many unlimited features and its open-source, so its updates are virtually unlimited too.

This DAW is updated very frequently (~every few months) so you can look forward to more out of this as you develop your skill.

Download Qtractor For Free Here


Supported Plugin Formats: LADSPA / DSSI / VSTi / VST / LV2

Rosegarden. One of the best FREE DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations).

If you understand sheet music or want to learn more about it and have access to a Linux computer, Rosegarden is definitely worth experimenting with.

It comes with a notation editor, so you can actually write a song using sheet music, or simply use the piano roll, which is the MIDI editor.

Download Rosegarden For Free Here

FREE Online DAWs (Browser)


Supported Plugin Formats: N/A

Audiotool. One of the best FREE DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations).

If you'd rather make your music online or on the go, Audiotool is the perfect DAW.

With everything being cloud-based, you can collaborate and access your projects much easier. So you can go from your computer, to your phone, then to your friend's computer.

After you've made your music, you can actually publish it through Audiotool's built-in publishing platform.

Use Audiotool For Free Here (Press app on the navbar to launch.)


Supported Plugin Formats: N/A

Soundtrap. One of the best FREE DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations).

If you just can't sit still when you produce your music or like to work on-the-go, Soundtrap works on any device. Your phone, tablet, laptop or computer, you name it.

This is a good choice for those who just want to quickly get a song down without access to a professional DAW on a computer.

Use Soundtrap For Free Here

Audio Editors (Semi-DAWs)


Supported Plugin Formats: VST / AU / LADSPA / Nyquist

This audio editor is a go-to for anyone involved with podcasts or voice acting. It comes with plenty of effects built-in. The use of plugins with Audacity is limited to effects.

Currently, there is no support for instruments. However, this DAW doesn’t come with the ability to edit MIDI and is focused on recording and audio editing.

Download Audacity For Free Here


Supported Plugin Formats: VST

MixPad. One of the best FREE DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations).

A simple free DAW that works on both Windows and Mac, this software can let you record multiple tracks at once. There is also a royalty-free sound library included with it.

In this, you can export files via many different formats or directly upload to SoundCloud, Dropbox, or Google Drive.

Download MixPad For Free Here


Supported Plugin FormatsVST / DirectX

WavePad. One of the best FREE DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations).

With a similar feel to Audacity, this audio editor comes with some simple to use features for audio production. Although there is no support for virtual instrument plugins for this Digital Audio Workstation, it’s still a good way to edit and record live.

Download WavePad For Free Here

There you go, a list of amazing free DAWs that you can use to start (or continue) making music with.

No excuses, go to the library and use a computer there if you have to.

If you'd like to check out some options that cost money, you might enjoy The Best Paid DAWs.

I hope you found this list insightful, don’t forget to share this article if you liked it. Thanks for reading!

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