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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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    Reasons To Be Cheerful: v3

    Reason Tips & Techniques

    Version 3 of Reason is officially on the way, adding some high-spec new devices and improved operational features.

    Techniques Feb 2005
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    Sonar: Hands-free Recording & Other Tips

    Sonar Tips & Techniques

    This month, find your way around projects, undertake hands-free recording, configure an external MP3 encoder and create pseudo-Track Folders for MIDI.

    Techniques Feb 2005
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    Cubase: Real-Time MIDI Effects vs Audio FX

    Cubase Tips & Techniques

    Cubase SX has a wide selection of real-time MIDI effects that can often substitute for the more processor-hungry audio effects, as well as opening up other creative possibilities.

    Techniques Jan 2005
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    Logic: Synchronising Sequences To Live Audio

    Logic Tips & Techniques

    Synchronising sequences in Logic to live audio tracks can really help give your music the edge, but what's the best way of doing this? We look at the options, and weigh up their pros and cons.

    Techniques Jan 2005
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    Digital Performer: New Ways To Work

    Digital Performer Tips & Techniques

    DP 4.5 delivers new features that promise to fundamentally change the way users work, as well as offering smaller but crucial enhancements to existing features.

    Techniques Jan 2005
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    Pro Tools 6.7: New MIDI Tools

    Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

    Our new columnist provides the detailed lowdown on a new version of Pro Tools...

    Techniques Jan 2005
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    SysEx & Sonar's Big Freeze

    Sonar Tips & Techniques

    We present everything you ever wanted to know about SysEx (System Exclusive) but were afraid to ask, plus the whys and wherefores of Sonar 4's cool new Freeze functions...

    Techniques Jan 2005
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    Cakewalk Sonar 4

    MIDI + Audio Sequencer [Windows]

    The latest version of Cakewalk's flagship sequencer brings it into the world of surround sound, makes it easy to work with folder tracks and multiple takes, and adds one of the most comprehensive Freeze functions available on any DAW.

    Reviews Jan 2005
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    Reason: Arpeggiators & Cool Techniques

    Reason Tips & Techniques

    There are more clever tips and techniques than you can shake a stick at in this month's Reason Notes, kicking off with yet another fun way to fake an arpeggiator effect...

    Techniques Jan 2005
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    Cubase Mixer Controls

    Cubase Tips & Techniques

    We take a look behind the behaviour of Cubase's most common mixing controls, to show the many options beneath the seemingly simple surface.

    Techniques Dec 2004
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    Logic: Live-style Tricks With Touch Tracks

    Logic Tips & Techniques

    Have you ever coveted the real-time functions of Ableton's Live? In which case, you will be interested to know how you can simulate some aspects of Live in Logic using the Touch Tracks object?

    Techniques Dec 2004
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    Apple Logic Pro 7

    MIDI + Audio Sequencer [Mac OS X]

    The new version 7 of Logic is a huge upgrade which sees the program assimilated even further into Apple's product range, and adds some intriguing new instruments and networking features. Following last month's preview, here's the full lowdown...

    Reviews Dec 2004
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    Using Digital Performer With Ableton Live

    Digital Performer Tips & Techniques

    We explain how to use DP effectively with Ableton's Live and offer a brief preview of MOTU's latest big update to Digital Performer, version 4.5.

    Techniques Dec 2004
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    Pro Tools Help Books

    Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

    There's an outbreak of literary criticism in this month's column, as we take a look at some of the Pro Tools books currently doing the rounds.

    Techniques Dec 2004
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    Q. How can I improve workflow between Mac- and PC-based sequencers?

    I am a composer working with Sibelius on a PC, and recently I needed to send some pieces to an orchestrator working in...

    Sound Advice Dec 2004
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    Reason: Substituting Sounds In REX Loops

    Reason Tips & Techniques

    Ever loved the feel of a REX loop but disliked the drum sounds? Using Reason, you can steal the feel and substitute sounds of your choice... We show you how.

    Techniques Dec 2004
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    Sonar v4: Workflow Improvements

    Sonar Tips & Techniques

    Not every new feature of Sonar 4 is a headline-grabber — there are many new facilities and tweaks to existing features that you might not initially notice, but which could make a big difference to your workflow.

    Techniques Dec 2004
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    Cubase: SX Embracer, Tonic & Monologue Plug-ins

    Cubase Tips & Techniques

    We take a closer look at the Embracer, Tonic and Monologue plug-ins that come supplied with Cubase SX.

    Techniques Nov 2004
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    Steinberg Cubase SX 3

    MIDI + Audio Sequencer [PC & Mac OS X]

    Cubase SX 3 is the latest incarnation of one of the best-known brands in sequencing software, offering many new features and tying up the loose ends from previous generations of Cubase. But with increased competition, most notably from Apple and Cakewalk, can Steinberg maintain their cross-platform advantage?

    Reviews Nov 2004
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    Marquee Tool Tips in Logic

    Logic Tips & Techniques

    Once you find out all the things you can do with the Marquee tool, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it, so we offer some advice on how to put it to work in your projects.

    Techniques Nov 2004
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    Digital Performer: Audio Pitch & Tempo Manipulation

    Digital Performer Tips & Techniques

    A guide to DP's options for audio pitch and tempo manipulation is on the agenda for this month's instalment of Performer Notes.

    Techniques Nov 2004

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