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DAWs

A DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) is a software program that allows users to record, edit, and produce audio files. It is used in many different settings, including music production, sound design, game audio, film and TV post-production, and podcasting.

Main Functions of a DAW

The main functions of modern-day Digital Audio Workstation software include:

Recording: DAWs allow users to record audio from a variety of sources, such as microphones, instruments, and MIDI controllers.

Editing: DAWs allow users to edit audio files by cutting, copying, pasting, and rearranging sections of audio. They also offer a variety of tools for cleaning up and enhancing audio, such as noise reduction, EQ, and compression.

Mixing: DAWs allow users to mix multiple audio tracks together, adjusting levels, panning, and applying effects to create a cohesive final product.

Mastering: DAWs offer tools and features for mastering audio, such as loudness normalization and EQ adjustments to ensure that the final audio product meets industry standards.

Main Benefits of using a DAW

Some of the main benefits of using a DAW include:

  • Efficiency: DAWs allow users to quickly and easily record, edit, and produce audio, saving time and effort compared to traditional analog methods.
  • Flexibility: DAWs offer a wide range of tools and features that allow users to customize their audio production process and achieve the desired results.
  • Collaboration: Many DAWs offer features that allow users to collaborate together and work on projects remotely, making it easier to work with others on audio projects like podcasts and song ideation.
  • Portability: DAWs can be used on a variety of devices, including computers, laptops, and tablets, making it easier to work on audio projects from anywhere.

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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    Bitwig Studio 5.1

    Music Production Software

    Bitwig goes from strength to strength as v5.1 introduces a host of new features.

    Reviews Apr 2024
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    Steinberg Cubasis 3.6

    DAW Software For iOS & Android

    Steinberg’s mobile DAW just keeps getting better.

    Reviews Mar 2024
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    Ableton Live 12

    DAW Software

    Live 12 introduces a raft of new features, devices and general improvements.

    Reviews Feb 2024
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    Avid Pro Tools 2023.9

    Music Production Software

    Pro Tools users can now join the clip‑launching party without leaving the comfort of their favourite DAW.

    Reviews Dec 2023
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    PreSonus Studio One 6.5

    Digital Audio Workstation

    The latest update to PreSonus’ top of the line DAW introduces comprehensive Dolby Atmos integration and more besides.

    Reviews Dec 2023
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    Steinberg Cubase Pro 13

    Digital Audio Workstation

    Cubase Pro 13 may be light on headline features, but its raft of small improvements makes it a worthwhile upgrade.

    Reviews Dec 2023
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    Atmos-capable DAWs

    Spotlight Round-up

    Want to mix in Atmos? We take a look at compatible DAWs.

    Reviews Nov 2023
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    Apple Logic Pro For iPad

    Digital Audio Workstation Software

    With their iPad version of Logic Pro, have Apple succeeded in implementing a touch‑first user interface without sacrificing pro features?

    Reviews Nov 2023
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    Ableton Note

    Sketchpad App For iOS

    Ableton’s first app puts a Live‑compatible ideas machine in the palm of your hand.

    Reviews Dec 2022
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    Pro Tools Intro & 2022.9 Features

    Avid Pro Tools Tips & Techniques

    Avid’s latest 2022.9 release introduces a new free edition of Pro Tools.

    Reviews Dec 2022
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    PreSonus Studio One 6

    Digital Audio Workstation

    PreSonus’ DAW software continues to grow and improve as it reaches version 6.

    Reviews Dec 2022
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    Avid Pro Tools Artist

    DAW Software

    Is the most affordable version of Avid’s DAW still a serious music production tool?

    Reviews Aug 2022
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    Steinberg Cubase Pro 12

    Music Production Software

    Cubase gains new features and dispenses with the dongle.

    Reviews May 2022
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    Apple Logic Pro 10.7

    Music Production Software

    Could a small step for Logic’s version number represent a giant leap for music production?

    Reviews Feb 2022
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    MOTU Digital Performer 11

    Digital Audio Workstation

    DP11 might not be any louder than DP10, but it’s got plenty more to offer.

    Reviews Jan 2022
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    Reason Studios Reason 12

    Music Production Software

    There are now two ways to buy Reason, but whichever you choose, v12 is an essential upgrade.

    Reviews Jan 2022
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    Bitwig Studio 4

    Music Production Software

    Bitwig continues to blur the boundaries between instrument and DAW, while offering some welcome practical enhancements.

    Reviews Nov 2021
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    Steinberg Cubasis 3.2

    DAW For iOS & Android

    Steinberg’s mobile DAW just got even better!

    Reviews May 2021
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    Ableton Live 11

    Music Production Software

    Live 11 introduces new features, improves some old ones, and throws in some exciting new rack devices for good measure.

    Reviews Mar 2021
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    Image Line FL Studio 20.8

    Digital Audio Workstation

    Famed for its speed of use, the latest version of FL Studio is a highly sophisticated music production environment.

    Reviews Mar 2021
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    Steinberg Cubase 11

    Digital Audio Workstation Software

    Steinberg turn the dial up to 11 with a stonking new version of Cubase.

    Reviews Jan 2021

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