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DAW Software

A DAW, which stands for Digital Audio Workstation, is a software tool that enables users to capture, modify, and create audio content. It is utilised in various contexts such as music production, sound design, game audio, film and TV post-production, and podcasting.

Primary uses of a DAW

The primary purposes of contemporary Digital Audio Workstation software comprise: 

Recording: All DAWs enable users to capture audio from different sources like microphones, instruments, and MIDI controllers using an Audio Interface connected to the computer.

Editing:  DAWs enable users to cut, copy, paste, and rearrange sections of audio files. They also provide a range of tools for improving the quality of audio, including noise reduction, EQ, and compression.

Mixing: Digital Audio Workstations enable users to blend various audio tracks, modifying volumes, positioning, and adding effects to produce a unified end result.

Mastering: Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) provide features like loudness normalisation and EQ adjustments to ensure the final audio meets industry standards.

Advantages of utilising a Digital Audio Workstation

Efficiency: DAWs enable users to efficiently record, edit, and produce audio with ease, cutting down on time and effort when compared to traditional analogue techniques.

Flexibility: DAWs offer a wide range of tools and features that allow users to customise their audio production process and achieve the desired results.

Collaboration: Numerous DAWs provide tools that enable users to work together and collaborate on projects from different locations, simplifying the process of collaborating on audio projects such as podcasts and song creation.

Portability: Digital Audio Workstations are compatible with different devices such as desktop computers (Mac/PC) , laptops and tablets, allowing users to work on audio projects conveniently from any location.

There are many popular software DAWs, some of which come built into the Operating System of your favourite computer, such as Apple GarageBand on Macs. Sound On Sound regularly covers all the top brands in its monthly DAW Masterclasses. From Steinberg Cubase and Avid Pro Tools, PreSonus Studio One and Apple Logic Pro, MOTU Digital Performer to Ableton Live, Reason Studios Reason and Cockos Reaper, you'll find how-to techniques and tips for all of these and other DAWs collected under the sections shown above.

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    Bitwig Studio 5.1 arrives

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    Following a recent beta release, Bitwig have announced that the full release version of their Bitwig Studio DAW is now available. 

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    Steinberg Nuendo 13 post-production ADR dialogue editing immersive audio Dolby Atmos MPEG-H Audio DAW

    Steinberg unveil Nuendo 13

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    Ableton Live 12 clip launching production live performance DAW update

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    Available to Mac users with no hardware purchase required

    Having previously only been available to those who own Apollo interfaces, UA's LUNA DAW is now supported natively on macOS and free to all. 

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    Hit'n'Mix RipX DAW PRO AI music content creation stem separation software

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    Logic Pro 10.8 for Mac in all its glory, seen here with the new Mastering Assistant joined by the Beat Breaker and Sample Alchemy plug-ins first introduced with Logic Pro for iPad.

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    Cubase 13 delivers a refreshed MixConsole design, expands the capabilities of the Key and Drum Editors and adds some new plug-ins, as well as reintroducing the Vocoder.

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    Image Line FL Studio 21.2 DAW production software update

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    n-Track Studio 10 Mac Windows iOS Android DAW recording production software

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    Focusing on user-feedback, n-Track Studio 10 DAW implements a range of powerful new features which they say represent a game-changing experience for musicians and producers.

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    Bitwig Studio 5.1 DAW update electronic music production semi modular synthesis software

    Bitwig Studio 5.1 beta now available

    New filters, waveshapers & more

    The latest version of Bitwig Studio introduces ten new modules and a pair of new FX containers, as well as implementing a variety of improvements to the software’s mixer and audio editing functionality.

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    Cockos Reaper 7 DAW update

    Cockos launch Reaper 7

    New Track Lanes & Swipe Comping features

    The latest version of Reaper delivers a number of major new features and user interface enhancements, along with a huge selection of behind-the-scenes fixes and improvements.

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    Bitwig and PreSonus’ new DAWproject format

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    Bitwig and PreSonus have announced a new project file format that allows users of different DAWs to share session files.

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    PreSonus Studio One 6.5 DAW update surround Dolby Atmos immersive audio support

    Studio One 6.5 has arrived

    DAW gains surround & immersive support

    The headline feature of Studio One 6.5 is something which many users have been waiting for: support for immersive audio formats including Dolby Atmos.

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    Avid Pro Tools Sketch non-linear clip-based song loop creation tool

    Avid release Pro Tools Sketch

    New feature introduced in 2023.9 update

    Avid have announced the release of Pro Tools Sketch, a new non-linear, clip-based creation window in Pro Tools that is also available as a free iPad app.

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    FL Studio 21.1 Fruity Loops Studio Producer Signature Python scripting Declipper Chorus plug-ins

    Image Line update FL Studio

    Python-based scripting & new plug-ins

    The latest version of Image Line's FL Studio introduces a range of the community's most requested features alongside a selection of new plug-ins.

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    PreSonus Studio One 6.2 update now available

    PreSonus Sphere becomes Studio One+

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    Two new versions of DAW also announced

    The latest version of Bitwig introduces five new Multi-Segment Envelope Generators, new Clip Launcher capabilities and upgrades to the entire modulation system. 

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    Avid and Audiomovers have announced a partnership which will offer new and existing Pro Tools subscribers with free or discounted subscriptions to Audiomovers’ LISTENTO plug-in.

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