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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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    Apple's Emagic Takeover

    The Inside Story Of The Deal That Changed The Music World

    The music technology world changed overnight on June 30th, as Apple announced their acquisition of German sequencer heavyweight Emagic, becoming the first computer manufacturer to own a music software company. Our team brings you the latest news on how and why the deal went through, and what the changes may mean for Emagic and their PC and Mac users.

    Music Business Sep 2002
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    Main screen.

    Making Waves v3

    Loop Sequencing Software [PC]

    The straightforward but effective Windows-based sequencing package Making Waves has been upgraded to include multi-channel recording, DirectX and MIDI support.

    Reviews Aug 2002
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    Cool Edit Pro's multitrack editing window, with its virtual mixer open in front.

    Syntrillium Cool Edit Pro v2

    Audio Editing Software For PC

    From its beginnings as shareware, Syntrillium's cool Edit Pro has acquired an impressive professional user base. The new version offers more features, more power, and an updated user interface.

    Reviews Jul 2002
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    Emagic Logic v5 & Logic Control

    MIDI+Audio Sequencer & Hardware Control Surface

    Users of Emagic's Logic sequencer have been itching to get their hands on the latest version 5 and Logic Control, the company's dedicated moving-fader control system. Has it been worth the wait?

    Reviews Apr 2002
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    Magic Logic.

    Surround Sound Explained: Part 9

    Surround In Your DAW

    In this final part of our series, we look at how the major project studio-oriented MIDI + Audio sequencers (DAWs) currently handle surround.

    Techniques Apr 2002
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    Ableton Live v1.03 main screen.

    Ableton Live

    Performance Loop Sequencing Software [Mac / PC]

    Ableton's Live allows the user to create and record musical performances by combining sampled loops in real time, with high‑quality pitch‑shifting, time‑stretching and audio effects.

    Reviews Feb 2002
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    Configuring Pro Tools For Traditional Band Recording

    Digidesign (Avid) Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

    How would you configure your PT system to cope with the practicalities of traditional band recording?

    Techniques Dec 2001
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    Eliminating Phase Problems

    Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

    This month, we explain how to eliminate phase problems in Cubase's Audio Editor, and round up some interesting new plug-ins.

    Techniques Dec 2001
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    PERFORMER NOTES

    MIDI Automation Features

    Performer Notes turns its attention to DP3's MIDI automation features. Plus all the latest MOTU-related news and tips.

    Techniques Dec 2001
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    LOGIC NOTES

    Groove Templates

    There's a step-by-step guide to creating Groove Templates this month, plus the usual collection of handy tips, including some pointers on making the most of Aliases.

    Techniques Dec 2001
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    LOGIC NOTES

    Time & Pitch machine; Protecting finished tracks

    A workshop on using Logic's off-line pitch-shifting, as well as advice on how to protect your finished tracks from accidental damage. Plus more tips, tricks and problem-solvers...

    Techniques Nov 2001
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    PERFORMER NOTES

    Sequence Editor; Audio Bundles

    Performer Notes continues its detailed look at some of DP3's new features. This month, there's more on mix and plug-in automation, creative aux buss routing tips, and the mysterious new Audio Bundles window is unveiled...

    Techniques Nov 2001
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    TDM MIX Systems Routing 5.1 Surround

    Digidesign (Avid) Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

    For MIX TDM users, the latest Pro Tools software offers a tailor-made way of mixing in surround. But those with older TDM setups or LE-based systems can do surround too, with some lateral thinking...

    Techniques Nov 2001
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    VST Channel Settings; Channel Mixer; Cubasis v3

    Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

    When you work with a complex program such as Cubase VST, it's easy to overlook the hundreds of small features that are there to make your life easier.

    Techniques Nov 2001
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    Steinberg Nuendo v1.5.2

    Multitrack Recording Software [Mac]

    Can Steinberg's professional recording package make an impact in the Pro Tools-dominated Macintosh market? Sam Inglis finds out.

    Reviews Oct 2001
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    Extract Tempo Data From Unmetricised Audio

    Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

    Last month we explained how to derive a Cubase tempo from freely played MIDI. This time, we look at how to extract tempo data from unmetricised audio...

    Techniques Oct 2001
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    LOGIC NOTES

    How to match your song's tempo automatically to that of a sampled loop

    Tweak the levels of individual sounds in a stereo mix, and learn how to match your song's tempo automatically to that of a sampled loop. Plus, the usual fistful of handy tips, including some ways to make your life easier using Logic's colouring options.

    Techniques Oct 2001
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    PERFORMER NOTES

    New Tool Bar and Graphical Editing Options

    DP3 is here - and there's a number of fundamental changes to the way the program looks and works. This month, we examine the new tool bar and graphical editing options and consider how to get the most out of your plug-in effects...

    Techniques Oct 2001
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    Rocket Network Compatability

    Digidesign (Avid) Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

    Pro Tools is about to get Rocket Network compatibility, facilitating long-distance collaboration between Digi users. Also this month, we continue our series of inter-application transfer tutorials with a look at how to move Digital Performer tracks into Pro Tools.

    Techniques Oct 2001
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    LOGIC NOTES

    Automate Plug-in parameters

    Advice on how to best automate your plug-in parameters, as well as tips for lightening-fast comping and a power-user trick for simulating double-tracking using Autotune.

    Techniques Sep 2001
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    Master track; Meter Hitpoints; DR-Verb

    Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

    This month, we explore the murky world of Cubase's Master track in a bid to teach it the tempo of a MIDI part. There's also some hot news about updates and an excellent shareware reverb plug-in, as well as the usual tips and tricks.

    Techniques Sep 2001

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