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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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    Cubase Score Editor

    Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

    More wise words on using Cubase's Score editor this month, as we explain how to create a musical score in which several voices share a single stave. There's also the usual assortment of handy editing tips...

    Techniques Aug 2001
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    LOGIC NOTES

    Hyper Draw Function; Diagnose and Solve MIDI Routing Problems

    Environment tricks and techniques to help diagnose and solve MIDI routing problems, plus tips on splitting stereo audio files and getting started with Logic's powerful Hyper Draw function that allows you to graphically enter and manipulate control data.

    Techniques Aug 2001
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    PERFORMER NOTES

    Clipping Window; VST Freeware plug-ins; Setting Up Side-chain

    This month, Digital Performer's useful but little-known Clipping window falls under the Performer Notes spotlight. Plus tips on where to find top VST freeware plug-ins for use with DP, and advice on setting up side-chain access to MOTU plug-ins.

    Techniques Aug 2001
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    Tightening Drum Recordings With Beat Detective; Online Answerbase

    Digidesign (Avid) Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

    Pro Tools users now have their own monthly column, focusing on tips, techniques, news and technical development coverage for the full range of PT systems, from the popular Digi 001 to top-flight professional studio hardware. *

    Techniques Aug 2001
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    LOGIC NOTES

    Compression Techniques

    This month, we show you a powerful compression technique available in Logic, as well as describing a workaround which increases the bank range of your Multi Instruments. Also, there are instructions on how to control a large range of Logic's parameters in real time from your MIDI master keyboard's mod wheel.

    Techniques Jul 2001
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    PERFORMER NOTES

    Memory Cycle Function

    More invaluable MOTU-related user tips, including effective mix automation and the use of grouped controls, as well as customised Mixing Board layout editing, plus loop editing and crossfading.

    Techniques Jul 2001
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    VST Score & VST/32

    Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

    This month we focus on the score editor in Cubase VST Score and Cubase VST/32, and offer a handy tip for recovering corrupt Songs.

    Techniques Jul 2001
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    Logic: Correct Timings Of Multitrack Drum Recordings

    Logic Notes

    This month we show you, step by step, how to correct the timing of multitrack drum recordings using the powerful editing capabilities of Logic, as well as showing you how to make the most of your audio storage space.

    Techniques Jun 2001
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    Exporting Audio; Incorporating External MIDI Instruments

    Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

    This month's crop of Cubase tips covers the multitude of options available when exporting audio, plus ways of incorporating external MIDI instruments and effects into your mix.

    Techniques Jun 2001
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    Propellerhead's Rewire

    Performer Notes

    SOS's resident MOTU expert Robin Bigwood looks at ways of working with audio loops in Digital Performer, and hands out tips on using Propellerhead's Rewire to interface DP with software synths.

    Techniques Jun 2001
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    How To Fix Vocal Tuning; Logic Upgrade; EXS24

    Logic Notes

    This month we look at how to fix vocal tuning and timing, as well as showing how the recent Logic v4.7 upgrade improves working with Emagic's EXS24 virtual sampler.

    Techniques May 2001
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    Interactive Phrase Synth; Merging MIDI Parts; Steinberg LM4

    Cubase Technique

    This month's Cubase Technique introduces more features of the Interactive Phrase Synth, offers some handy hints on merging MIDI Parts, and provides some words of bitter experience on creating your own instruments in Steinberg's LM4 drum machine.

    Techniques May 2001
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    POLAR, FreeMIDI & OMS

    Performer Notes

    This month Robin Bigwood concludes his look at MOTU's RAM-based recorder POLAR, and explains how to get software instruments working with Digital Performer via FreeMIDI and OMS.

    Techniques May 2001
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    Pro Tools Explained: Part 3

    Exploration

    Simon Price concludes his three-part series on Digidesign's flagship recording system with some power-user hints and tips.

    Techniques Apr 2001
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    Interactive Phrase Synthesizer

    Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

    The Interactive Phrase Synthesizer is one of those parts of Cubase that most of us know exist, but which few have actually used. We take a look at what it can do, as well as offering some handy tips on setting up loops and introducing the idea of controlling your computer remotely...

    Techniques Apr 2001
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    Polar

    Digital Performer Notes

    Logic and Cubase owners have had their own dedicated SOS columns for several months — so we're now devoting space to another of the world's favourite sequencers, MOTU's Digital Performer. Long-standing DP user Robin Bigwood presents the first of this regular column.

    Techniques Apr 2001
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    Logic: Touch Tracks

    Logic Notes

    We look at the creative potential of Logic's Touch Tracks feature and the corrective potential of the audio fade-in, as well as showing you what 'solo safe' is and why you need it.

    Techniques Apr 2001
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    Comp Performances

    Logic Notes

    This month, we see how best to comp performances within Logic, and we also show you a neat trick for finding new guitar fingerings.

    Techniques Mar 2001
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    Pro Tools Explained: Part 2

    Tips & Tricks

    Simon Price continues his look at Pro Tools, focusing this month on the software and how it can be used in the studio alongside other MIDI + Audio recording and editing applications.

    Techniques Mar 2001
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    Manipulating Note Lengths

    Steinberg Cubase Tips & Techniques

    The facilities that Cubase offers for manipulating note legnths may not be amongst its most exciting features, but as this month's Cubase Notes demonstrates, they can prove to be invaluable.

    Techniques Mar 2001
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    Pro Tools Explained: Part 1

    Tips & Tricks

    Simon Price begins a three-part series designed to demystify that staple of modern music production, Pro Tools. This month, he looks at the various components that make up Digidesign's systems.

    Techniques Feb 2001

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