I recently made some first steps with FL Studio.

Do you know of any programmable DAWs?

I would like to write software that can generate tracks, change instruments, add and edit patterns, start and stop playback and just generally do everything programmatically that would otherwise be done via mouse clicks.


I haven't found a DAW yet that provides something like an API.

I am currently experimenting with Ableton Live. I figured out how to write midi files with java, so that way I do not have to actually fiddle with the sequencer of the DAW. Ableton imports MIDI files nicely as clips (as opposed to FL studio which closes the current project when I try to import a midi file).

I guess the next best thing to an API is to simulate mouse and keyboard actions (e.g. using the java Robot class). That way I can use the arrow keys to select a clip and Ctrl+X/V (cut/paste) to move the clips around. There are also keyboard shortcuts to create and delete tracks, play and stop clips and scenes.

I still have to figure out how to assign instruments to tracks, but it should be doable as well.

  • 1
    reaper is scriptable if this is the kind of things you're looking for. reaper.fm/sdk/reascript/reascript.php
    – audionuma
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 17:03
  • 1
    I've really wanted something like this myself. I've never tried it, but I wonder if Logic Pro and AppleScript would work for at least the basics Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 19:48
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    What about the 'Logical Editor' in Cubase? Too basic? Because I'm pretty sure you can use them for most of those things you want to do. You can even group them into macros along with 'menu commands' and use a shortcut key to execute them. They're quite handy.
    – n00dles
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 22:46

2 Answers 2


I believe you are looking for REAPER It has an API and its own plugin language you can use. Above and beyond that it is one of the most customizable DAWs out there, and affordable to boot.


A “programmable DAW” is an audio MIDI API such as the Web Audio API and the Web MIDI API that run in Web browsers.

A great place to start with Web Audio API is the book Web Audio API by Boris Smus, which also has great samples of what you can do, which includes everything you mentioned.

There is also the equivalent on Apple platforms, which is the CoreAudio API that you can use in native Mac and iOS software, as well as a MIDI framework.

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