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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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    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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    Logic: Avoiding Processing Delays

    Emagic Logic Tips & Techniques

    There are various places in a Logic-based studio where processing delays occur, and these can really mess with the groove of your tracks, so here we show you how to keep everything properly lined up. Also, there's the usual sackful of user tips and a clever way for v5 users to mimic one of the most useful features in v6.

    Techniques May 2003
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    DP4 & MachFive

    MOTU Digital Performer Tips & Techniques

    We take a closer look at Digital Performer for OS X (which shall henceforth be known as DP4), and MachFive, plus the latest MAS plug-in releases.

    Techniques May 2003
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    Automation Facilities In Pro Tools

    Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

    We begin a two-part tutorial explaining Pro Tools' powerful facilities for automating your mix.

    Techniques May 2003
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    Digidesign Pro Tools 6

    Audio + MIDI Recording Software

    The major audio and MIDI recording applications are slowly migrating to Mac OS X, and the latest to arrive is Digidesign's Pro Tools. The upgrade also introduces powerful new project management features, Groove Template functionality and a more powerful LE version.

    Reviews May 2003
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    Sonar: ASIO Support & Dithering Advice

    Cakewalk Sonar Tips & Techniques

    We explore Sonar's new ASIO support, explain the advantages of recording dry while monitoring with effects, and shed some light on the knotty topic of dithering.

    Techniques May 2003
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    Mastering Tracks In Logic

    Logic Tips & Techniques

    This month's workshop shows you how to go about mastering your tracks in Logic, and there are also some useful tricks for faster audio and MIDI editing.

    Techniques Apr 2003
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    Serato Scratch SE

    Turntable Controller For Pro Tools TDM, HD & LE

    We are used to the idea of using fader boxes and other MIDI controllers to manipulate our music software, but now Serato want to get us using our turntables to scratch digital audio. Can it possibly work?

    Reviews Mar 2003

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