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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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    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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    Using Cubase Drum Maps

    Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

    We report on Steinberg using Nuendo to record a three-day music festival, and look at how a Cubase Drum Map can assist you in finding and working with all the one-shot drum and percussion sounds in your studio.

    Techniques Nov 2003
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    Steinberg Cubase SX 2

    MIDI + Audio Sequencer [PC & Mac OS X]

    This first major revision to Steinberg's Cubase SX incorporates the newly developed audio engine from Nuendo 2, new features for media composers, and classic features from Cubase VST. Does it all add up to a substantial improvement over version 1?

    Reviews Nov 2003
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    Image Line FL Studio

    Loop-based Sequencer For Windows

    Fruity Loops has built itself quite a cult following in dance music circles. The latest version comes with a new name, FL Studio, as well as some interesting new virtual instruments and proper audio recording features.

    Reviews Nov 2003
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    Kick Drum Processing Tips Using Logic

    Logic Tips & Techniques

    Is the sound of your kick drum letting the rest of your mix down? If so, find out how to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat with this bass-drum processing workshop.

    Techniques Nov 2003
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    OS X Performer

    Digital Performer Tips & Techniques

    DP 4.1 is here at last, with significant increases in stability and efficiency, as well as support for Apple's Audio Unit plug-in standard. So is Digital Performer finally ready for the big time in OS X?

    Techniques Nov 2003
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    Making The Most Of D-Verb In Pro Tools

    Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

    Since Pro Tools 6, there's been some additions to the set of built-in plug-ins. This month we look at how to get the most out of the D-Verb reverb.

    Techniques Nov 2003
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    Exploring Sonar v3

    Cakewalk Sonar Tips & Techniques

    Sonar's version number has just been incremented by a Significant Digit, so it's time for some exploration of what this new release means to Sonar aficionados.

    Techniques Nov 2003
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    Cubase SX Drum Editor

    Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

    The Drum Editor has been a part of Cubase for over 10 years now, and here we investigate its latest incarnation within Cubase SX, as well as bringing you news of a major update to Steinberg's popular sequencing software.

    Techniques Oct 2003
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    Using Logic's Built-in Synths

    Logic Tips & Techniques

    Logic has a number of simple synths built in, and they're surprisingly useful if you know what you're doing, so here's some advice on getting the best out of each one. Plus there's a bumper crop of sequencing tips to make your sessions faster and more productive.

    Techniques Oct 2003
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    DP & Waves Plug-ins

    Digital Performer Tips & Techniques

    The news that Waves' range of quality plug-ins is now available for DP adds to the activity in an already interesting month for Digital Performer users — despite a delay in the release of 4.1.

    Techniques Oct 2003
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    Using ReWire In Pro Tools

    Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

    Pro Tools 6.1 adds ReWire support for both TDM and LE users. Here's a look at what it is, how it works, and how to get the best out of it.

    Techniques Oct 2003
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    Sonar: MIDI Plug-ins/effects

    Cakewalk Sonar Tips & Techniques

    There's more to plug-ins than audio, as we discover when digging deep into the world of MIDI plug-ins and effects.

    Techniques Oct 2003
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    Using Your Sequencer's Filter Plug-ins

    Masterclass

    Filters are at the heart of many of the weirder sequencer plug-ins, so here we check out what each one has to offer, and how you can obtain weird and wonderful sounds for your mixes.

    Techniques Oct 2003
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    Q. Can I make my computer perform better with Reason?

    I have an oldish Mac with only 128MB of RAM, and would like to know how I can squeeze the most out of it with Propellerhead's Reason.

    Sound Advice Oct 2003
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    Window Management

    Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

    Your computer screen really doesn't need to be cluttered when you're working with Cubase's many windows, because Steinberg have provided handy window-management features.

    Techniques Sep 2003
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    Hyper Editing; Sibilance Removal

    Logic Notes

    This month we offer help for those getting to grips with Logic's much misunderstood Hyper Editor, and tell you how to reduce sibilance without using a de-esser plug-in.

    Techniques Sep 2003
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    Steinberg Nuendo 2

    Digital Audio Workstation

    Since its first release three years ago, Nuendo has raised a great deal of interest among those who need a professional audio production tool, and with Nuendo 2, Steinberg have developed one of most ambitious native-based audio systems yet seen. But in an industry dominated by Digidesign, will it be enough to lure potential users away from their Pro Tools rigs?

    Reviews Sep 2003
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    Digital Performer Notes

    DP v4.1; VST plug-ins under OS X

    DP v4.1 is available, and it looks like MOTU can provide a viable alternative to DP3 under OS 9 at last. Plus a look at VST plug-in support in DP under OS X...

    Techniques Sep 2003
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    Pro Tools: Extracting Tempo/Timing From A Recording

    Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

    Last month we looked at using Pro Tools' Beat Detective tool for chopping up and quantising drum recordings. Now it's time to explore the other side of the coin: extracting and using the tempo and timing of a recording.

    Techniques Sep 2003
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    Sonar Notes

    This month, using markers for navigation, getting the most from the piano roll view, and undertaking pseudo-mastering in Cakewalk's Sonar.

    Techniques Sep 2003

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