Finding the Best DAW Software For Students

A Useful Guide for Music Education

Every audio producer needs a digital audio workstation (DAW) that allows them to breathe life into their songs. However, students need a DAW that fosters their creativity but can guide them on their musical journey. 

As a school administrator, you can help your students become epic track makers through the right DAW software. If you’re an administrator new to audio production, the first major decision you must make is which DAW you will choose to help your students create their musical masterpieces.

There are quite a few options, but don’t get overwhelmed. We’ll break it down for you to choose a DAW that is right for your students. You’ll unlock their artistic vision and create a lifelong appreciation for music production.

What Is DAW Software?

Whether students are creating music from their bedroom or have a dream of becoming professional musicians, they’ll need a DAW. 

In the past,  primary DAW functions were separated into multiple programs. However, modern DAWs have the following capabilities within a single program:

  • Digital audio processors allow you to record, edit and mix your tracks.
  • MIDI sequencers allow you to record, edit and mix MIDI notes.
  • Virtual instruments receive information from the MIDI and convert it into different instrument sounds.
  • Music notation turns MIDI notes into printable sheet music.


The ability to create unique sounds in the music world lies in the history of DAWs. In the 1970s, it was all about analog audio, and it was impossible to use early versions of DAW software. At that time, computers lacked the processing power they have today. 

Fast forward 50 years, and it’s a whole new world for audio producers. These days, audio producers can handle the entire audio production process with a single platform. Many DAWs even have built-in instruments, loops, and effects to enhance your creative vision. Ultimately, your DAW is so much more than an audio editing program. It’s software that empowers your music while allowing you to express yourself creatively and communicate with other artists.

What Can Students Accomplish with DAW Software?

When students learn about DAW software, it can be an uphill battle. However, giving students the ability to create music helps them obtain a new skill, foster their creativity, and learn about various instruments. As an educator, getting students involved in an intuitive, user-friendly DAW is the right first step to helping them build something great. 

Remember that even the best budding musicians will have their hard work spoiled by poor audio production. In contrast, becoming knowledgeable and experienced in audio production will bring out the best in a mix. With a good DAW software, your students can build their music education on a solid foundation. 

Record Live and Virtual Tracks

Once the songwriting process is complete, DAW software allows students to record these sounds, whether they’re using live or virtual instruments. For example, when they’re ready to record electric guitar tracks, they can simply plug the guitar directly into the interface with their guitar cable and start playing. Most interfaces come equipped with at least four inputs, making recording a breeze.

If students want to record an instrument they don’t have, DAW software has built-in virtual instruments and loops. These instruments and loops can help your students crystallize how a mix should sound and make it a reality. 

Cloud-based DAWs, like Soundtrap, come with over 800 instruments and sounds, so students can experiment with all sorts of instruments that they have never heard of before.

Audio Editing, Mixing, and Effects

Of course, one of the essential features of a DAW is the ability to edit audio. A high-quality DAW makes it simple to slice audio tracks, move them, crossfade, and more. After arranging the instrumental tracks precisely how your students need them, they can use a DAW to perfect the mix by balancing the EQ and incorporating compression. 

Some DAWs simplify this process by adding compressor plug-ins and built-in EQ. Then, students can add a little extra kick to their mixes with effects plug-ins, like reverbs, autotune, delays, and more.

Collaborate Remotely

Not all DAWs allow audio producers to collaborate with other artists in real time, but Soundtrap for Education does! This innovative cloud-based DAW will enable students to work seamlessly across any wifi-connected device. Educators have the opportunity to create secure, invite-only groups where students can connect anytime, anywhere in a protected digital environment. To make Soundtrap for Education even better, teachers can provide feedback, monitor student progress, and create new assignments in the software. These advanced collaboration features empower students to unleash their creativity through the power of music, whether they’re in the classroom or at home.

What to Know Before Choosing DAW Software

There’s quite a bit of debate regarding whether or not a producer’s choice in DAW software makes a significant difference in the final product. Although some people claim to hear a difference, what really matters is the accessibility to education. If your students have access to guidance and the ability to collaborate with others, they can start their journey to learning on a DAW. 

A high-quality DAW will simplify the audio production process from start to finish.

Are You Using a MAC or PC?

The DAW you choose for students must be compatible with the operating systems (OS) that they’re using. Before purchasing a DAW, check and see if the version of the DAW is capable of functioning with the version of the operating system that students will be using. Avoid barriers by ensuring multiple operating systems support the chosen DAW. Fortunately, students can access cloud-based DAWs like Soundtrap from any device or browser. 

Whether you prefer Mac or Windows, you can help your students create with Soundtrap for Education. When collaborating with other classmates,Soundtrap for Education has no limits on cross communication on differing operating systems. 

How Are You Using Your DAW?

Before choosing a DAW, remember that how you and your school intend to use it will also determine which DAW works best for your students’ needs. Some DAWs can do everything from recording, editing, mixing, mastering, and composition, but other DAWs are better for specific genres or for improving your workflow.

A songwriter may prefer DAWs with excellent MIDI editing capabilities. However, an electronic music producer will need a DAW that makes it easier to sequence drums and manipulate loops. Some students are new to audio production and just beginning to find their groove. In this case, a DAW made especially for students like Soundtrap for Education is the best option for learning the craft of audio production. The Soundtrap Studio is intuitive and makes it easy for your students to collaborate with their classmates and follow lesson plans built into the DAW. 

How Much Does a DAW Cost?

When it comes to price ranges, DAWs can range from no cost at all to up to $2599. Most DAWs also have tiered pricing options, which allow you to unlock more features for a higher price. While there are DAWs available for any budget, Soundtrap for Education allows educators to purchase a minimum of 50 seats for only $349 per year. This equates to only $6.98 per user. In addition, Soundtrap for Education offers a wide range of subscriptions for classrooms, schools, and districtwide usage. If you’re still on the fence about Soundtrap for Education, teachers also have the option to test out a 30-day free trial for up to 500 seats.

Become an Audio Producer with Soundtrap for Education

There are quite a few DAWs on the market today, but none compare to the benefits that Soundtrap has to offer. The unique DAW is crafted exclusively for students that are ready to master their craft.

Soundtrap for Education is the ultimate audio production platform for students and teachers to create and edit audio recordings unlike any other. This innovative platform provides users with thousands of instruments, sounds, loops, and more for an engaging sonic experience. Students and teachers can easily tap into their artistic side with this intuitive audio platform that facilitates a creative learning environment for every subject, regardless of the student’s age or experience level.

With Soundtrap for Education, students and teachers can collaborate at any time, in any place with advanced cloud technology. In addition, the platform is equipped with a robust resource portal. The portal comes equipped with  tutorials, external curriculum, and lesson plans to complete the educational experience. Teachers can ensure that student collaboration is safe and secure with invite-only groups in Soundtrap’s versatile digital environment. 

If you’re ready to enhance your educational experience with an intuitive cloud-based audio production platform, get started today with Soundtrap for Education!