I started with Audacity. It didn't accept 3rd party plugins and had too many restrictions. I dumped it after a month.
Next up was Pro Tools. Then I learned that it's an AVID product so that was the end of it for me (too much bad karma from previous AVID experiences.
Tried Reason and Prosonus. They were OK.
Finally I tried Waveform. It made sense and had all the features I needed. Great MIDI editor. Great built-in plugins. Easy to create sub mixers, folders, multiple plugins. I've been using it for about two years. I was so impressed with Waveform Free that I stepped up to Waveform Pro. That added a great synth tool (Collection) and a lot more plugins.
I recently added Mixbus 7. Beautiful mixer but challenging MIDI tools. I really don't want to create 20 MIDI tracks on Waveform then port them over to Mixbus 7.
So I'm married to Waveform. It does everything I can think of. It's easy to use, stable, plays well with others (no problem with 3rd party plugins). I can't imagine a better DAW.
I am using waveform 11 free and having problems when trying to render a file. Some edits render no problem at all but 1 particular edit just does nothing. All edits have the same settings/options as far as I can see.
being a newby I have hit a brick wall and being free version Tracktion is offering no support.