Best Mac Recording Studio Software

Best Mac Recording Studio Software Average ratng: 4,1/5 5810 reviews

Aug 27,2019 • Filed to: Record Audio • Proven solutions

Nov 06, 2019  Here are the ten best audio recording software you can use for your Mac: Apowersoft Audio Recorder. Apowersoft Audio Recorder is a simple and straight forward audio recording app for Mac OS. Audacity.Audio Hijack. Audio Note 2. Macsome Audio Recorder.

We all love streaming music today, the convenience of our favorite audio files to listen to any time without needing to store the files ourselves has changed the way we view our media, but there are still times when having the file available offline can be beneficial. If you want to view on a device that lacks connectivity or perhaps are going on a trip where using online services is impractical for instance, to accomplish this, we have a choice of free audio recording software available, but which is the best option currently available? Read on to have a look.

Part 1. Top 5 Free Audio Recording Software for Mac (Yosemite)


iMusic offers user friendly and zero loss recording from over 500 sites. It can split tracks automatically and strip out ads from the music as it goes. With a choice of either MP3 or M4A file formats it also includes plenty of flexibility, including a selection of quality settings for each format to further help tailor the output to your needs.

In addition, this audio recording software for Mac can recognize and identify tracks as it records, and automatically tag the files with the relevant artist, track title, album tags as it goes. These downloads are fully searchable by artist, title or album, creating your entire music library simply and quickly. Audio Recorder for Mac is a comprehensive and easy to use software package that does everything you could need from an audio recorder. For Windows user, you can also get iMusic for Windows.


This audio recording software puts an enormous power into your hands. Besides recording, it is also loaded with audio editing features as well as the ability to export tools that work in tandem with multimedia capabilities of a Mac PC.


  • Some of its operations are not very intuitive.
  • It does not have indicators of record levels, final mix levels or track levels.


This free recording software for Mac will meet all of your common recording needs. It gives you a wide array of options that allows you to record demo CDs with absolute ease. Other brilliant features that it has include non-destructive editing, ability to edit audio files without changing their original quality, and lock-less real time audio processing.


  • It does not have advanced multi-track recording capabilities.
  • It can take quite some time to learn especially if you are new to it.


This free audio recording software claims to be useful when it comes to recording anything, including a single voice, a band, as well as an entire orchestra. It will also prove to be very helpful if you need music to be edited. It features many great features that include a user friendly interface, multiple track layers, non-destructive editing and real time audio processing.


  • It does not lock audio to video sometimes when only an audio needs to be extracted from a video.

Zynewave Podium

This free recording programs integrates audio recording and other functionalities such as VST plugins, audio gear and external MIDI. Some of the features that make it outstanding include an integrated sound editor, hierarchic track layout, spline curve automation, surround sound and multiprocessing. It also has a customizable interface.


  • Its interface allows you to connect only one midi device at a time.
  • It does not have multiprocessing for plugins.
  • Surround-sound feature is not enabled in the free version.

Part 2. Top 5 Free Audio Recording Software for Windows PC

Apowersoft Free Online Audio Recorder

Apowersoft Audio Recorder for Mac is another quite comprehensive free recording software package that offers easy to use recording in multiple file formats from almost any source you can think of. It includes a built in scheduler to set up recording of specific shows without you needing to be there, offering convenience for users to compliment the easy usability. Finally, it can be used as a voice recorder using your own microphone.


RadioSure is a dual use piece of free recording software that works as both an internet radio player and a downloader. Being able to offer fast searches for radio stations and easy recording once you find them. It can record in several formats and can split music into individual song files as you go automatically. Recordings are made at the source bitrate for lossless recording, ensuring the best quality possible and combined with other features makes this a user friendly package.


Not only does this recording software for PC allow you to record your favorite music from the internet, but it also allows you to edit your own songs very easily. It allows you to edit audio with multiple tracks. Its major highlight is its ease of use. It has a very intuitive and simple user interface that allows you to record and edit your songs without any problems.


  • Less integration with the desktop.
  • Problems with support of some plugins.

Kristal Audio Engine

This is a simple recorder and editor that has everything that is needed for basic mixing and mastering. Its features include a high quality dynamics tool, a powerful multi-track recorder, and an audio sequencer and mixer. It is a very ideal recording software for anyone that is planning to get started with recording or mixing and mastering audio files. Its main interface provides a mixing console. The live audio input and audio sequencer are loaded as separate plugins.


  • The free version does not unleash its full potential.
  • Incompatible with some versions of Windows.


This recording software for Windows PC can do pretty much everything that you expect a typical audio editor to do. Some of the tasks that it can handle very well include recording sound, editing tracks, as well as processing files. It is equipped with all the basics, including ability to cut, copy, loop, and even batch audio conversions. It is portable, so no installation will be necessary for you to be able to run it in your windows PC. It works on different versions of windows, including vista and windows 7.


  • Memory problems with large files.
  • Does not work with many operating systems.

Part 3. How to Record Streaming Audio for Free

Aimersoft iMusic offers a great interface, a huge range of compatibility with hundreds of different streaming services and other audio sources. It includes a straightforward workflow, great features including being able to remove ads as the recording progresses, as well as identifying individual tracks and splitting them into individual files and tagging them with the appropriate title, artist and album data all automatically. Recording is extremely simple, and can be accomplished in just a few steps.

iMusic - Record Streaming Audio with Original Quality

  • Download music from more than 3000 music sites such as YouTube, Dailymotion, Vimeo, Vevo, Hulu, Spotify, and much more through copying and pasting the URLs.
  • Transfer music between a computer, iPhone, iTunes Library, iPad, iPod and Android phones making it easy to share songs.
  • Record music from radio stations and streaming sites and gets the identification of the songs including the title, album artist, and genre.
  • It acts as a management toolbox that lets you manage iPad, iPod, iPhone and Android phones iTunes Library through options like backup iTunes, recover iTunes Library, fix iTunes music tags and covers as well as remove music DRM protection.
  • Batch download of files is supported where you can download up to 100 songs at the same time.
  • 1 click to transfer downloaded music and playlist to USB drive to enjoy in car.
  • Ability to burn downloaded songs and playlists to CDs easily.

Why Choose iMusic

What You Will Need:

A Computer; iMusic

Time Required:

Around 3 mins (Variable depending on the video file size)



Step 1. Record Any Audio for Free

Start iMusic on your computer and click 'GET MUSIC' > 'Record'. Click on the red 'Record' button. Launch your browser and navigate whatever audio you are wishing to record, set it playing. Audio Recorder will detect the playback of media and begin recording automatically. It is so straightforward that there are no barriers to having the ultimate media library easily and quickly.

Step 2.Play the Recorded Audio

Rar app download for mac. When the recording is complete, you can click the Library tab on the top of the interface to access the files. To enjoy the music, you can double click on it.

This recording software is not only an audio recorder, but also an ID3 tag editor. It can automatically identify song's information for you and also allows you to edit ID3 tags as you wish. To do this you can click the song and select Edit Music Tag from the drop-down menu. With this smart tool, you can also transfer music to iPhone/iPad/iPod/Android device with one click and burn recorded music to CDs.

Since way back in the 90’s, when home recording first started…

And the earliest versions of the modern DAW began emerging…

People have always argued about which one is best.

And as the options continually improve, the debate rages on.

For beginners starting out, that makes for a tough decision, doesn’t it?

So to help you guys with the all-too-common problem…

For today’s post I’ve created an in-depth guide covering the best DAW’s.

But before we get to it, let me first answer the one question you’re all probably wondering…

Free vs Paid DAW’s

Are there free DAW’s out there? Yes.

Should you use them?

In my opinion…No.

But if you can’t take my word for it, try one out for yourself.

Personally, I recommend checking out Audacity, as it’s the most popular free DAW on the planet.

Now at this point, you have two choices:

  1. Waste 2 weeks playing with Audacity, only to decide you need something better.
  2. Or skip that part, and get something better now.

If you chose option 1, I’ll see you back here in 2 weeks.

If you chose option 2, let’s move on…

Limited vs. Full Versions

Rather than using a free crappy DAW…the smarter plan is to use a “limited” version of a paid DAW instead.

Many companies offer these versions specifically to accommodate smaller home studios on a budget.

Most are cheap, some are even free, yet they still include 95% of the same features of the full version.

Since only advanced engineers tend to use the “premium” features, you probably won’t even miss them.

And if you want to upgrade to a professional platform one day in the future, you can do so without having to learn an entirely new DAW from scratch.

So if you want to start off with something free (or at least cheap)…THAT’S the plan I recommend.

Moving on…

The Top DAW’s

Poll 1000 studios to ask them which DAW they prefer…and you’ll hear a pretty wide range of opinions.

But listen to enough “expert” opinions, and the same few names appear over and over. Because they are the ones that have developed a strong reputation in the industry over many years.

And since each of these DAW’s has been used on countless hit recordings, they’re ALL perfectly capable of professional results.

So here they are, in no particular order, starting with…

1. Presonus Studio One 4

Best Mac Recording Studio Software Download

Long known in the audio industry for making quality hardware at affordable prices

Presonus recently decided to add their own DAW line as well.

So with the help of several formal developers from Steinberg Cubase

Presonus released the first version of Studio One back in 2009.

Since then, it has quickly risen to become a serious competitor of other top DAW’s.

Click below to check out each version.

  • Studio One PRIME – (free download)
  • Studio One ARTIST – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF/Thomann)
  • Studio One PROFESSIONAL – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF/Thomann)

Bedroom producers find this DAW particularly appealing, because Studio One Artist, is included free with any of the following audio interfaces:

  • AudioBox USB – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF/Thomann)
  • AudioBox iTwo (Compatible with iPad) – (Amazon/MusiciansF/Thomann)
  • Audiobox 44VSL – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF/Thomann)

Up next…

2. Cakewalk SONAR

While it’s probably my least favorite option on the list…

Software 1.3 ipod classic macbook pro. Oct 24, 2003  iPod Software 1.3.1 improves compatability between Mac OS X, version 10.3 Panther, and your iPod: If your iPod requires updating, the iPod Software Updater will run and allow you to install iPod. Global Nav Open Menu Global Nav Close Menu; Apple; Shopping Bag +. Search Support. You can also update to iPod Software 1.3 manually by following the instructions below: Open the iPod Software 1.3.1 Updater in Applications/Utilities. If the iPod is not connected to the Macintosh, plug it in. Click the lock icon in the iPod Software 1.3.1 Updater window and enter your admin password. I stopped updating my iTunes so I can keep Front Row working. I believe my iPod software at the time was 1.3.1. I recently restored my ipod, and noticed it was running ipod 1.1.2. I figure that if I get my ipod software back up to 1.3.1, it may finally solve my games issue. Jul 24, 2003  Audio playback and user interface improvements. Increased playback time on scroll-wheel iPods. Longer stand-by time for all iPods. IPod users with any version prior to 1.3 should upgrade to 1.3. IPod Software 1.3 is compatible with touch-wheel and scroll-wheel iPods without a dock connector.

Cakewalk Sonar has ranked among the top DAW’s for years now…

And is definitely worthy of mention.

But here’s why I don’t care for it:

These days, virtually every top DAW is cross-compatible on both Windows and Mac

Yet for some reason, Sonar is a Windows only program.

PC lovers might not care, yet no one can argue that a HUGE percentage of musicians are Mac users.

And if you EVER plan to collaborate with any of them…Sonar is probably NOT your best option.

Having said that, here are 2 things I like about Sonar:

  1. The X3 and Studio versions are insanely affordable.
  2. Sonar uses serial numbers to unlock their software, rather than the complicated USB dongles required by most DAW’s.

Click below to see prices/reviews for each version.

  • Cakewalk Sonar ARTIST – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF/Thomann)
  • Cakewalk Sonar PROFESSIONAL – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF/Thomann)
  • Cakewalk Sonar PLATINUM – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF/Thomann)

UPDATE: it seems the development of Sonar has now stopped — officially, but still continues as a freeware, meaning the developer is not the former one anymore. And for that reason I would no longer recommend it as one of the top DAW’s, as its development and updates might not be reliable anymore .

Up next…

3. FL Studio


Formerly known as Fruity Loops…but after a run-in with Kelloggs, who thought people may confuse it with their breakfast cereal…

Over a decade ago, Image-Line officially changed the name of their classic software to FL Studio.

A top choice for Hip-Hop, EDM musicians and DJ’s…

It’s a big hit with ‘in-the-box’ producers due to its:

  • spreadsheet-like Playlist
  • flexible Piano roll
  • extensive automation capabilities

One of the coolest things about FL Studio is…it’s the only DAW on the list offering FREE lifetime updates.

Purchase either the Producer or Signature bundle and you’ll never have to give them money…ever again. Awesome, huh?

Click below to see prices/reviews for each version.

  • FL Studio 20 FRUITY – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF)
  • FL Studio 20 PRODUCER – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF)
  • FL Studio 20 SIGNATURE – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF/Thomann)

NOTE: the Fruity Edition does not have audio recording…So avoid it unless you ONLY produce electronic music.

They also offer a cool mobile version known as FL Studio Mobile.

Up next…

4. Propellerhead Reason

Much more than just your average DAW…

Propellerhead Reason offers one HUGE feature that the others don’t.

In addition to being a solid stand-alone DAW

It also functions as a suite of virtual instruments that can be used in combination with other DAW’s.

Audio Recording Software For Mac

With Reason, electronic musicians can easily collaborate with producers working on virtually any platform.

For those who prefer the look and feel of REAL analog gear…

Its visual interface mimics the design of an actual studio rack, even allowing rear access for cable patching.

So if you like virtual instruments, Reason is definitely worth a closer look.

Click below to see prices for each version.

  • Reason 10 INTRO – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF/Thomann)
  • Reason 10 (FULL) – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF/Thomann)

Up next…

5. Ableton Live

What makes Ableton Live so unique…

Is the fact that it was originally designed as an instrument for live performances.

And while it has since evolved into a complete recording package…

Seamless live performing is still one of its primary goals.

This fact is clearly demonstrated, first, with a visual interface that fits entirely on a single laptop screen.

And second, by the MANY 3rd party hardware controllers designed specifically for the software.

The most popular ones include:

  • Ableton Push 2 (w/Live 9 Intro) – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF/Thomann)
  • Akai Professional APC Mini – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF/Thomann)
  • Novation Launchpad – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF/Thomann)

If a live performance tool is what you need, Ableton Live is what I recommend.

Click below to see prices/reviews for each version.

  • Ableton Live 10 INTRO – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF/Thomann)
  • Ableton Live 10 STANDARD – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF/Thomann)
  • Ableton Live 10 SUITE – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF/Thomann)

Up next…

6. MOTU Digital Performer

One of the oldest DAW’s in existence…

The first version of Digital Performer appeared way back in 1990…

Originally as the front-end of a Digidesign system that would later become Pro Tools.

Earlier “MIDI only” versions of the software existed as far back as 1984.

Throughout that time, Digital Performer was known famously as the “Mac only” option.

Which is big deal, since back then, and even more so today, the large majority of audio professionals love Apple.

Still, for that reason, they probably missed out on a lot of potential users. But no more…

Because with their latest release, they’ve finally made themselves cross-compatible with Windows as well.


I suppose it’s about damn time, huh? 🙂

  • Digital Performer 9 – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusicianF/Thomann)

Moving on…

7. Steinberg Cubase

The OTHER “old-timer” on this list…

The original version of Cubase was released by Steinberg back in 1989, which at the time, was MIDI only.

Not long afterward in 1992, they released TWO major advancements to the software…

Adding BOTH support for audio, and Windows compatibility.

From that point forward, they continued to refine the technology, contributing several major advancements to the music industry along the way.

Their greatest claim to fame was their introduction of VST plugins in 1996, and VST instruments in 1999, both of which became industry standards for many years after.

And even today, Cubase has managed to somehow remain just as relevant as they have been for the past several decades.

Click below to see prices/reviews for each version.

  • Steinberg Cubase Elements 10 – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF/Thomann)
  • Steinberg Cubase Artist 10 – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF/Thomann)
  • Steinberg Cubase Pro 10 – (Amazon/GuitarC/MusiciansF/Thomann)

Next up…

8. Cockos Reaper

Founded back in 2004…

The developers from Cockos Incorporated began the process of building Reaper (Rapid Environment for Audio Prototyping and Efficient Recording)…

With a unique bootstrapping business model that quickly positioned them as the top “alternative” to the mainstream DAW’s.

With no advertising budget, Reaper was able to build its popularity almost entirely through word-of-mouth from enthusiastic users who loved in the product.

The first big selling point of Reaper is its extremely frequent update releases, which add improvements based on the feedback of users.

The second selling point is its price structure. As of now, there is only one version of Reaper, which can be downloaded for free, and offers full unrestricted use with no time limit.

Their only request, is that after 60 days of using their software…you purchase either a $60 discounted license for private use, or a $225 commercial license if your business is making money.

And yes…I said “request“. Their entire business model is based on the honor system of their customers. Yet somehow, Reaper is still far cheaper than virtually any other DAW on this list.

To download the free trial, or purchase a license, click here.

Up next…

9. Apple Logic Pro X

Back in 2002, a small company known as Emagic built the first version of Logic…

Which must have looked promising to Apple…

Because they bought it soon afterward.

And it turned out to be a great investment, because since then Logic has grown to become one of the top DAW’s in the world.

No surprise, it is the only DAW on this list NOT compatible with Windows.

And while PC users might complain, Mac users can rejoice. And here’s why:

By keeping it a “Mac only” platform, Logic users are assured that virtually any audio interface compatible with Mac OSX will work with Logic as well.

And since these days Macs are so damn popular with musicians…

Audio interface makers know that OSX compatibility is a MUST. Ultimately this means a TON of interface options for the end users.

For the latest version of Logic Pro X, you need to visit the App Store and purchase the digital download.

Up last on the list, the king of all DAW’s…

10. Avid Pro Tools

In this day and age, Pro Tools has practically become a household name.

Because for many years now…

It has been the industry standard in music recording.

Everyone uses it…in pro studios, and home studios alike.

And that alone, is a strong argument why you might want to use it as well.

Be aware though, that Pro Tools also has more haters than any of the DAW’s on this list (and some of them may even have valid points).

But all this really means is that no DAW is perfect, and each one has both its stronger and weaker points.

So is Pro Tools right for everyone? Of course not. But if you’re a complete beginner, and you really have no idea what to start with, I’d strongly recommend it as a good default option.

Currently, there are 3 versions of Pro Tools available:

  • Pro Tools First – the beginner version, which is totally free, and can be downloaded here.
  • Pro Tools – the intermediate version, ideal for independant musicians
  • Pro Tools Ultimate – the professional version, which offers much more features then the regular version and is ideal for professional recording studios.

I recommend starting with the regular version of Pro Tools if you can afford it. And if not, use Pro Tools First instead.

Anyways so that’s the list, hope you enjoyed it. 🙂

What’s Next?

Once you’ve chosen a DAW for your studio, next comes the difficult process of actually installing it.

And when I say difficult, I mean DIFFICULT!

My first time took me a full two days of work before finally getting things working. Ask any old-timer what his first time was like, and he’ll probably have a horror story for you as well.

Just know that a little frustration here is typical, and it does NOT mean your DAW sucks. That’s just how they are.

Be patient, and know that you only have to do this once.

Then again, it’s been years since I’ve had to do it myself, so maybe it’s no longer as hard as it once was.

Good luck 🙂