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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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    Moving Pro Tools Projects

    Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

    A common occasion for grief in Pro Tools is when moving projects from one system to another. Here are some tips to help you keep your hair.

    Techniques Jun 2004
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    Vocal Manipulation In Sonar

    Sonar Tips & Techniques

    We investigate a new DXi option that makes vocal manipulation as easy as editing MIDI data. Plus the usual haul of Sonar power tips...

    Techniques Jun 2004
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    Digital Performer: Using Your MIDI Synth To Control Plug-ins

    Digital Performer Tips & Techniques

    Fancy turning your knob-laden MIDI synth into a control surface for tweaking plug-in synths? DP's Consoles make this kind of application possible.

    Techniques Jun 2004
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    Using Plug-ins In A Surround Mix

    Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

    Continuing our exploration of surround sound in Cubase SX 2, this month we turn to using stereo and multi-channel plug-ins in a surround mix.

    Techniques May 2004
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    Automatic Beat-slicing

    Logic Notes

    Although beat-slicing is something more immediately associated with programs like Propellerhead Recycle or Bitshift Audio Phatmatik Pro, Logic also has facilities to automatically chop up your loops.

    Techniques May 2004
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    Controlling Pro Tools

    Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

    You don't need a Pro Control to get some hands-on control of Pro Tools. You don't even need one of the 'supported' MIDI control surfaces: pretty much anything with knobs on will do. Read on...

    Techniques May 2004
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    Loading REX Files... and more tips

    Sonar Notes

    Find out how to load REX files into Sonar, discover which digital audio editors work best with loops, and explore some useful envelope techniques.

    Techniques May 2004
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    Consoles: taking control with Digital Performer

    Digital Performer Tips & Techniques

    If you've never investigated DP's Consoles feature, you may be missing out on interesting MIDI and Audio control possibilities. We explain, as well as introducing a couple of indispensable new utilities.

    Techniques May 2004
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    Multi-channel Architecture

    Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

    As more musicians and audio engineers begin to explore the potential of surround sound in project studios, we take a look at Cubase SX 2's revised multi-channel architecture, which gives it advanced surround capabilities.

    Techniques Apr 2004
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    Logic: Working To Picture

    Logic Notes

    This month we continue our advice on working to picture in Logic with tips on how to work around your visual hit points.

    Techniques Apr 2004
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    Pro Tools Plug-ins & Rewire • Gated Effects • Bouncing

    Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

    Public service time in Pro Tools Notes this month as we respond to user queries on recording via plug-ins and Rewire, creating gated effects, and bouncing.

    Techniques Apr 2004
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    Sonar and Multi-processor PCs

    Sonar Notes

    The latest Sonar update optimises the software for multi-processor PCs, as well as adding new operational features. Read on to find out what they'll mean to you, and explore another crop of tips and techniques.

    Techniques Apr 2004
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    Beat-slicing in DP

    Digital Performer Notes

    The plug-in and inter-application software world grows ever richer for DP users, and a set of new features for the program is announced at the NAMM show mdash; including, at last, a 'beat-slicing' function.

    Techniques Apr 2004
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    Cubase Signal Routing

    Cubase Tips & Techniques

    While Cubase's graphical environment makes the application easy to use, it's not always clear exactly where signals are being routed. This month, we open the virtual bonnet and take a look at signal routing in the VST 2.3 audio engine used in both Cubase SX and Nuendo 2

    Techniques Mar 2004
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    Logic: Working To Picture

    Logic Tips & Techniques

    We show you how best to set up Logic for working to picture.

    Techniques Mar 2004
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    Sampling MOTU's Mach Five

    Digital Performer Tips & Techniques

    MOTU finally have their own soft sampler, Mach Five, which is ideal for use with DP, but doesn't always work exactly as you might expect. Read on for the primer...

    Techniques Mar 2004
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    Tempo-shifted Vocals In Pro Tools

    Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

    All Pro Tools systems now come with a bundle of extra software: Reason Adapted, Live Digidesign Edition, Amplitube LE, Sampletank SE and T-Racks EQ. Here we use Live's powerful time-warping features to run tempo-shifted vocals alongside a remix.

    Techniques Mar 2004
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    Syncing VST Effects In Sonar

    Sonar Tips & Techniques

    Sync your VST effects perfectly with Sonar tempo, find out when snapshot is better than dynamic automation, and catch up with the latest Cakewalk software news.

    Techniques Mar 2004
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    Importing & Editing Sample CD Loops In Cubase

    Cubase Tips & Techniques

    Cubase Notes offers a quick guide to speedy importing and editing of audio CD loops in SX.

    Techniques Feb 2004
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    Logic Control Tips & REX Imports

    Logic Tips & Techniques

    This month we help you work with Logic Control, as well as offering advice on importing REX files.

    Techniques Feb 2004
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    Digital Performer & VST Wrapper 4

    Digital Performer Tips & Techniques

    An old favourite utility returns this month, and Digital Performer 4.1 learns something from Cubase SX — on the PC! Surely not?

    Techniques Feb 2004

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