What is the best DAW for the beginner?
In order to decide what DAW is the best for you, as a beginner, you first need to fully understand what a Digital Audio Workstation does.
First: DAW stands for Digital Audio Workstation. The key word here is: Digital. DAWs were originally created to find an alternative to recording with tape. DAWs are computer based, and play back digital audio tracks. In a simple nutshell: A DAW is a virtual studio residing inside of your computer.
You need to understand the differences between an actual Digital Audio Workstation, and a MIDI sequencing program. These two are often confused with one another. The most important key feature to any DAW that can separate them from MIDI sequencing softwares is it's ability to record audio. Some software, such as Propellerhead's Reason, have the strong ability to sequence music through MIDI, but don't have any capabilities to record actual audio. Simply put: You can use your MIDI keyboard to make beats, but you can't record vocals or live instruments.
So which DAW is best for you when you're just starting to learn?
There is a long list of available DAWs out there. Let's mention a few of them, shall we?
Fruity Loops Studio
PreSonus Studio One
and the list goes on.
The Industry Standards
Which DAW do the professionals use?
Most professional studios will be found using one of the following DAWs: (With a majority using Pro Tools)
In reality, all Digital Audio Workstations are fundamentally similar. They all do similar things (record your music), and operate in a similar way. So what sets them apart, and why would you choose one over the other?
Most people buy their DAW because someone has recommended one to them. Perhaps they feel one is easier to use than the other. But truthfully, they're all easy to use if you spend some time learning how to use them.
My recommendation: Choose a DAW that has a strong amount of users. The more people that use the same DAW as you, the more support that is available out there for it.
Don't pick a DAW just because someone tells you it's cheap / free or "super easy to use" – you want something that is going to help you correctly capture your art, your music. Don't pick something just because you think it's easy. They're all easy. It just takes some time and dedication on your part.