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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. What's the difference between Detect Silence and Hitpoints in Cubase?

    Cubase SX has a Detect Silence feature and a Hitpoints feature that seem to me like they do pretty much the same thing. Are they different, and when should I use them?

    Sound Advice Sep 2003
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    Pro Tools: Using Beat Detective

    The groundbreaking Beat Detective module in TDM Pro Tools systems offers some hugely powerful tools for manipulating the timing of recorded audio. This month we start by quantising audio material.

    Techniques Aug 2003
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    Drag Techniques/Backing Up In Sonar

    Sonar Notes

    It's not a drag to drag-and-drop, nor is it a drag to export your way to a truly universal backup solution. Craig Anderton explains all...

    Techniques Aug 2003
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    Surround Sound in SX & Nuendo

    Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

    Both SX and Nuendo offer plenty of scope for recording and mixing in surround sound formats...

    Techniques Aug 2003
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    v6 Project Manager

    Logic Notes

    The Project Manager is one of Logic's most useful v6 features, and this month we show you how it can work in different ways to suit your needs.

    Techniques Aug 2003
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    DP3 & Multiple Audio Interfaces; Waveform Editor

    Digital Performer Notes

    This month we take a look at using multiple audio interfaces with DP3, the new OS X patchlist format, and practical uses for the Waveform Editor for all DP users.

    Techniques Aug 2003
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    Cubase's Macro Facility

    Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

    This month we take another look at Cubase's Macro facility and discuss a selection of examples for adding some rather neat features to the program.

    Techniques Jul 2003
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    Making Waves Studio

    Loop-based Music Production Software [Windows]

    Making Waves have been developing their eponymous looping software to include new features such as VST Instrument support and high sample-rate recording, while retaining its core virtues of simplicity and low hardware requirements.

    Reviews Jul 2003
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    Construct Your Own Logic Matrix Sequencer

    Logic Tips & Techniques

    Re-live the hardware of the early synth pioneers, as we show you how to construct your very own matrix sequencer in the Environment.

    Techniques Jul 2003
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    Synapse Audio Orion Platinum

    Software Studio [Windows]

    Synapse Audio's Orion is now supplied platinum-coated and, with only a modest price rise over the Pro version, is also available in a cardboard box.

    Reviews Jul 2003
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    Freeze Tracks; AUs; Audio Hijack Pro; Rax

    Digital Performer Notes

    More on DP4 and OS X, including the new 'Freeze Tracks' feature...

    Techniques Jul 2003
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    Digital Audio Clocking In Pro Tools

    Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

    The subject of clocking in digital audio systems is often a hazy area of understanding among us users, perhaps because we've been turned off by propellerheads who love arguing about it. Here's what you need to know in Pro Tools from a practical angle.

    Techniques Jul 2003
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    Sonar: Hidden Sources Of Distortion

    Cakewalk Sonar Tips & Techniques

    Track down hidden sources of distortion, make your audio playback more reliable, and manage your window Layouts.

    Techniques Jul 2003
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    Cubase SX/SL: Marker Track

    Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

    Navigating complex arrangements can often be frustrating, but by taking advantage of Cubase's Marker Track, you can easily define a structure to simplify the process.

    Techniques Jun 2003
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    Meta Messages In Logic

    Logic Tips & Techniques

    Meta Messages are some of the most powerful and arcane features in Logic. But what are they, and why are they so useful?

    Techniques Jun 2003
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    Digital Performer For OS X

    MOTU Digital Performer Tips & Techniques

    At last, Digital Performer for OS X is a reality. But does it offer any real advantages over the previous version, and more importantly, what compromises are 'cutting edge' users going to have to make?

    Techniques Jun 2003
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    Pro Tools: Mixer Snapshots & Automation Data

    Practical Tips & Techniques

    More automation tips, including how to create and use mixer 'snapshots', a few special editing hints, and an in-depth look at how Pro Tools handles automation data.

    Techniques Jun 2003
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    Magix Samplitude 7.1

    Digital Audio Workstation [Windows]

    The latest 7.1 version of Magix's popular recording software adds support for native audio standards including ASIO and VST, as well as some tasty new features such as full plug-in delay compensation.

    Reviews Jun 2003
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    Removing Clicks With Crossfades In Sonar

    Cakewalk Sonar Tips & Techniques

    Can't get rid of clicks when comping takes? You need to learn how to crossfade, and here's how... plus plenty of other Sonar-related tips.

    Techniques Jun 2003
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    Soundscape Masterclass: Part 1

    Power User Tips For Soundscape Workstations

    We show how you can use well-known Soundscape features in unusual manners, plus more in-depth explanation of some specific Soundscape functions, including details of how to use VST and Direct X plug-ins to process Soundscape audio.

    Techniques Jun 2003
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    Cubase's Logical Editor Window

    Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

    The Logical Editor window is a powerful way to process MIDI data in Cubase, although it can often appear daunting to new users. What's more, it provides excuses for writers to dust off their Mr Spock quotes.

    Techniques May 2003

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