The 10 Best DAWs for Chromebook (2023)
Chromebooks are tablet computers that run on Chrome OS, an operating system based on web apps. Chromebooks aren’t compatible with industry-standard DAWs such as Pro Tools, Logic Pro, and Ableton Live. However, you can produce quality music on your Chromebook with web-based DAWs.
Below, I have listed the 10 best DAWs for Chromebook. The following music programs should allow you to produce a studio-quality track inside your Chromebook. For more info on DAWs, check the 10 best DAWs in the world and the 10 best online DAWs.
Soundtrap is an online DAW owned by Spotify. As a freemium software, Soundtrap works on any device and also functions as a music-collaboration tool. It’s one of the most impressive browser-based DAWs around because it has all of the features you’d expect to see on a full-fledged DAW.
Soundtrap allows you to arrange tracks with the help of loops and virtual instruments. Boasting full MIDI compatibility, it also supports recording and automation. As a nice extra, Soundtrap gives you access to Antares Auto-Tune, an industry-leading pitch-correction tool.
BandLab is a standout DAW for Chromebook because it’s 100% free, 100% web-based, and perfectly suited for collaborating with other artists. This acclaimed music software includes one of the most comprehensive collections of stock plugins and royalty-free samples around, with over 200 virtual instruments to choose from.
Like most online DAWs, BandLab stores your projects on the cloud. The arrangement view and mixer windows are very familiar. You should have no issues with getting started, especially if you’ve already worked with other DAWs in the past.
Free online mastering is one of BandLab’s most impressive extra features. You just have to import your track and select your favorite mastering style to get high-quality mastering in less than a minute.
3. Music Maker
A powerful music program, Music Maker is available for Chromebook and branded as the perfect DAW for beginners. If you have never used a DAW before and want to know more about music production, downloading Music Maker should help you to get started.
However, Music Maker is more than just an entry-level music software. It includes loops and samples, recording, arrangement and mixing tools, and MIDI compatibility. As a nice extra, Music Maker also features an inspiring Song Maker AI device.
You can get Music Maker for Chromebook for free or buy the Music Maker Plus premium edition, which includes more samples and instruments.
4. FL Studio Mobile
Unlike fan-favorite DAWs such as Ableton Live and Pro Tools, FL Studio is available for most mobile devices. Thanks to their FL Studio Mobile app, the guys at Image-Line have made sure that their popular DAW can be used virtually everywhere, including your Chromebook.
FL Studio Mobile is the perfect Chromebook DAW for longtime FL Studio users. However, it should also fit the needs of new and veteran music producers looking for a full-fledged music-making app. In a nutshell, it’s a version of FL Studio you can use everywhere.
Features include a high-quality audio engine, arrangement view, mixer, and piano roll windows, lots of stock instruments, audio effects, and MIDI compatibility.
Sleekly designed, extremely comprehensive, and free, Soundation is one of the best music programs you can install on your Chromebook. Like most of its competitors, it supports artist-to-artist collaboration and features a massive built-in library of sounds and instruments.
Soundation isn’t compatible with VST, which can be a bummer. To make up for it, this powerful program relies on WebAssembly Threads. This programming technology helps Soundation to stand out in terms of computer performance. When using this DAW, expect low latency and excellent sound quality, even if you’re working on CPU-heavy projects.
6. Amped Studio
Amped Studio is a complete DAW that was specifically designed as a Chromebook app, which can be great for performance. Easy to navigate, Amped Studio includes all the DAW fundamentals. It features an arrangement view with a sequencer, it supports recording, MIDI compatibility, and VST, and it also allows you to collaborate online.
Mainly due to the fact it was designed for Chrome OS, Amped Studio is a music program you should seriously consider installing on your Chromebook. There’s a free version, but you need the premium edition to save and export recorded audio.
It’s a stretch to say that Flat.io is a DAW. To be fair, it’s more of a music writing software program, in line with industry-standard tools such as MusicScore and Sibelius. As a music-making app, though, it’s one of the best things you can install on your Chromebook.
If making beats is not your thing and you’re all about writing your compositions on “paper,” Flat.io is the mobile music program you need. This music notation platform allows you to collaborate online in real-time and supports flawless MIDI imports/exports.
Many browser-based DAWs approach music-making as a collaborative effort. As far as online music collaboration goes, though, Audiotool may well be at the very top. This interesting free DAW is all about community. You can work in real-time with other artists, share tracks on Audiotool’s website, and experiment extensively with remixing.
Audiotool is also one of the few music apps for Chromebook with a Reason-like modular workflow. If that’s your jam, you should check it out. Audiotool is also great for samples, it gives you access to a cloud-based sound library with over one million royalty-free files.
Sometimes, less is more. LoopLabs isn’t the best DAW for Chromebook, but it’s arguably the simplest. If you’re looking for a music program that allows you to have fun with loops and demands little-to-no advanced music-production knowledge, you should give LoopLabs a try.
LoopLabs is branded as a DAW for anyone, “regardless of technical skills or ability.” Like most DAWs on the list, it also supports online music collaboration.
Even though LoopLabs is limited and overly simple, that may very well be its greatest strength.
10. Song Maker – Music Mixer
Even though Song Maker – Music Mixer is flawed (many users have complained about performance and exporting issues), there’s no doubt it’s a fun-to-use and extremely intuitive entry-level DAW. If you’re a beginner who wants to learn the basics of music production, Song Maker – Music Mixer is the perfect app.
The workflow of Song Maker – Music Mixer, based on the idea of combining built-in samples and presets, makes it more of a game and less of a DAW. However, this can be great if all you’re looking to do is have some fun and come up with interesting new beats.While simpler than most DAWs for Chromebook, Song Maker – Music Mixer features recording, meaning you can use it to create 100% original songs.
Are Chromebooks good for music production?
You can make studio-quality tracks using a DAW that supports Chrome OS. However, Chromebooks aren’t ideal for music production. Because Chromebooks are web-based, there are just too many music programs and VSTs that simply won’t run on your Chromebook.
For more info on this subject, check this comprehensive article on producing music on a Chromebook.
Can you run industry-standard DAWs on Chromebook?
The vast majority of industry-standard DAWs (Ableton Live, Pro Tools, Logic Pro, etc.) aren’t available for Chromebook. However, there are some exceptions (FL Studio Mobile) and plenty of high-level web-based DAWs that run on Chromebook, such as Soundtrap, BandLab, or Audiotool.
Can you record vocals on a Chromebook?
You can record vocals on a Chromebook, and there are many Chromebook-supported DAWs that allow for recording. Multitrack recording can be problematic due to performance limitations, but you should have no issues with recording your voice on a Chromebook.
For better sound quality, try to use an audio interface in all of your recordings.
There’s value in making music on a device you can take anywhere. While Chromebooks aren’t the perfect device for producing music professionally, they’re easy to handle and fit comfortably in any backpack. In other words, they’re perfect for writing down musical ideas on the go.
If you’re a creative person, you should know that inspiration has the strange habit of appearing when you least expect it. If you have a Chromebook with a nice web-based DAW app, you have all the tools you need to be ready whenever inspiration strikes.