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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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    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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    Calibrating Pro Tools

    Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

    Many users probably never venture into Pro Tools's Calibration Mode, but you could be compromising the sound quality of your Pro Tools rig and external gear if you don't think about lining up your analogue connections correctly.

    Techniques Feb 2004
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    Sonar's Hidden Useful Features

    Sonar Tips & Techniques

    We're taking a break from examining Sonar 3 to look at some useful features, available in previous versions of Sonar, that we haven't yet covered in this regular column.

    Techniques Feb 2004
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    Cakewalk Sonar 3

    MIDI + Audio Sequencer [Windows]

    The Sonar adventure continues with a new audio engine, a fresh look, new plug-ins and a surprising sampler.

    Reviews Feb 2004
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    Easy Cubase Tempo Changes

    Cubase Tips & Techniques

    Until its recent update, Cubase SX did not have all the specific tools needed for easy tempo changes when, for example, working to picture — but a close look at the tools it does have reveals ways of getting the job done for those who haven't yet upgraded.

    Techniques Jan 2004
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    Logic Matrix Editor: Step-Sequencing Tips

    Logic Tips & Techniques

    We show how to create step-sequencer effects within Logic's MIDI editing windows. Plus practical tips to make your sessions more productive.

    Techniques Jan 2004
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    Using DP with OS X Panther

    Digital Performer Tips & Techniques

    As Mac OS X's Panther incarnation brings some slinky new working methods to Digital Performer, we pass on some advanced ways of pasting data, as well as rounding up the usual tips and news for DP users.

    Techniques Jan 2004
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    Pro Tools Effects, Plug-in Converter & More...

    Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

    We've rounded up some free effects and other goodies. On the news front, there's word of a VST-to-RTAS plug-in converter from FXpansion.

    Techniques Jan 2004
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    Sonar's Hidden EQ

    Sonar Tips & Techniques

    This month, get the most out of your meters, locate that missing patch, beef up your bass, and discover the hidden EQ bands in your console.

    Techniques Jan 2004
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    Cubase 2.01 Update & Rewire Tips

    Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

    We look at how you can get the most out of Cubase and Reason using Rewire, and report on the release of the significant, yet seemingly insignificant, Cubase SX 2.01 revision.

    Techniques Dec 2003
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    Snazzier Snares In Logic

    Logic Tips & Techniques

    Get better snare drum sounds with these nifty processing tricks.

    Techniques Dec 2003
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    Pro Tools HD Accel Card

    Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

    HD Accel is the latest processor card for Pro Tools HD TDM systems. We investigate, and try to clear up some of the confusion surrounding the release.

    Techniques Dec 2003
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    Propellerhead Reason v2.5

    Virtual Studio [Mac & PC]

    The success story that is the Reason software studio continues to unfold with the release of v2.5, which adds a slew of sophisticated effects and processing devices — all free to registered users.

    Reviews Dec 2003
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    Flexible Busing In Sonar 3

    Cakewalk Sonar Tips & Techniques

    Extremely flexible busing and assignable effects controls are just two of the extra features brought to Sonar by the 3.0 upgrade and explored here.

    Techniques Dec 2003
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    DP4 and FXpansion's VST-to-AU Adapter

    MOTU Digital Performer Tips & Techniques

    A whole world of free, inexpensive or just plain great VST plug-ins opens up for DP 4 users who also run FXpansion's indispensable VST to AU Adapter. We check out how it works and round up some DP news and tips to boot.

    Techniques Dec 2003
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    Q. How do I make the JV1080's patch names come up in Logic?

    I'm having trouble getting my Roland JV1080 to work well with Emagic Logic Audio. When I change MIDI channel in Logic the sound disappears, or I can't get the sounds that I want to stay put. How can I get Logic and the JV to synchronise?

    Sound Advice Dec 2003

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