Experiment with another DAW with Free Demos!

Maybe you’re in England and are so excited by the tropical heat we’re having that the likelihood of you being anywhere other than sprawled out on the grass is about as high as the weather holding out for longer than a couple of days, but nonetheless, it’s Assignment time!

This week’s Assignment isn’t actually that specific. What we want you to do is simple: Just try another DAW! Plenty of developers hand out demo versions of their babies, so all that’s really standing in your way is a download.

Having a pop at a new piece of software is win/win. It might blow the cobwebs out and shake up your workflow just enough to remind you why you love your DAW of choice, or you might realise that your current DAW and you aren’t as compatible as you thought after all and make the switch!

Here are a few of our recommendations:



We love Reason here at OD. It’s very inspiring to be able to simply close yourself off to everything except a single piece of software, safe in the knowledge that you can make it sound like more or less anything. Propellerhead Software give away a free demo of Reason that can do anything except open saved files, so if you do make something you love in the demo, you can still save it! Download it!



If you really want to shake things up, Renoise is king. Trackers enjoyed significant success in the early days of computer music, but their popularity has been dwarfed by visual sequencers in recent years. Of the four workstations we’re looking at, Renoise is probably the one that’ll confuse you the most – if you like being thrown out of your comfort zone then this is the one for you! The Renoise demo is fairly well functioned, it’s mainly just rendering that’s disabled. Download it!

Ableton Live

It’s not quite accurate to say that Live’s clip based workflow is totally unique, but Ableton really nailed it down and it’s definitely the go-to DAW for on the fly sequencing. If you find yourself building sections of tracks inside loop markers in your DAW, you might fall in love with Live! Better yet, Ableton provide a fully functional 30 day trial! Download it!


Reaper’s the black sheep of the DAW fraternity, the renegade that people can’t quite figure out. Why is it so inexpensive? Why don’t people shout about it more often? To tell the truth we struggle with both of those questions. Reaper is worth a look, especially if you, er, didn’t pay for the software you use already. That’s bad, and Reaper’s affordability destroys any arguments you could have for not being able to afford your software. What’s more, Reaper is a fully functioning 30 day trial and even after that the only thing stopping you using it without forking out $60 for the licence is your conscience. Download it!

We go into more detail on these packages and more in OD101, so make sure to join the community for a free download!

Enjoy the weekend, and don’t forget the sunscreen!

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