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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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    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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    Steinberg Cubasis 3

    DAW For Android

    Can Steinberg recreate the Cubasis DAW experience on Android?

    Reviews Oct 2020
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    Apple Logic Pro X 10.5

    Digital Audio Workstation

    Logic Pro X 10.5 introduces a raft of new features and remains exceptional value for money.

    Reviews Sep 2020
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    PreSonus Studio One 5

    Digital Audio Workstation

    Studio One continues to battle the big hitters with a broad range of enhancements and new features.

    Reviews Sep 2020
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    MOTU Digital Performer 10.1

    Digital Audio Workstation Software

    Long a favourite amongst film and TV composers, Digital Performer now embraces loop-based production and live performance.

    Reviews Apr 2020
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    Steinberg Cubasis 3

    DAW Software For iOS

    For those who want an iOS workflow that closely follows established desktop conventions, Cubasis is probably the most popular DAW/sequencer app currently available.

    Reviews Mar 2020
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    Steinberg Cubase Pro 10.5

    Advanced Music Production Software

    There's something for everyone in the latest version of Steinberg's flagship music production package.

    Reviews Jan 2020
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    Reason 11

    Modular Music Production Software

    Version 11 introduces the most radical development in Reason's long history: the Reason Rack now runs as a plug-in within other DAWs.

    Reviews Jan 2020
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    Tracktion Waveform 10

    Music Production Software For Mac OS, Windows & Linux

    Rebranded Waveform by Tracktion, is this long-established alternative ready to become a mainstream DAW option?

    Reviews Nov 2019
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    Bitwig Studio 3

    Music Production Software

    Innovative music creation platform Bitwig takes a big leap forward with the introduction of an open-ended modular environment.

    Reviews Sep 2019
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    Magix ACID Pro Next

    Loop-based Production Software For Windows

    ACID Pro is the original loop-based remixing program, and the Next version opens up new possibilities thanks to the intriguing Stem Maker.

    Reviews Aug 2019
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    Steinberg Cubasis 2.7

    Music Creation System For iOS

    Steinberg's Cubasis is one of the more popular and powerful DAWs/sequencers for the iPad — and since its first release, this...

    Reviews Jun 2019
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    Steinberg Cubase 10

    Music Production Software

    Cubase celebrates a milestone birthday with an update that makes almost every aspect of the program slicker and easier to use.

    Reviews Feb 2019
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    Open Labs Stagelight 4

    Touch-friendly DAW For Desktop & Mobile OS

    Can a single DAW really perform well on laptop, tablet and mobile phone?

    Reviews Jan 2019
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    PreSonus Studio One 4

    Music Production Software

    With the fundamentals covered in previous versions, Studio One 4 branches out to explore new creative possibilities.

    Reviews Aug 2018
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    Magix Acid Pro 8

    Music Production Software For Windows

    After almost a decade in the wilderness, the original loop-based sequencer is back. But is Acid still the best?

    Reviews Jul 2018
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    Ableton Live 10

    Music Production Software

    With Live 10, Ableton’s aim is to make the music‑making process as smooth as possible. Have they succeeded?

    Reviews Feb 2018
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    Harrison MixBus 4

    Music Production Software For Mac OS, Windows & Linux

    Harrison’s MixBus promises the sound and user experience of a large-format console, at approximately one-thousandth the price!

    Reviews Nov 2017
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    Korg Gadget For Mac

    Synthesizer Studio Software

    Korg have created a synth production studio that works on all your devices. Could this be your new second DAW?

    Reviews Jul 2017
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    Acoustica Mixcraft 8

    Music Production Software [Windows]

    Acoustica’s alternative Windows DAW continues to evolve, with a new audio engine and some intriguing new features.

    Reviews Jul 2017
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    Apple Logic Pro 10.3

    Digital Audio Workstation For Mac OS

    Offline effects and new playlist functionality are just two of the highlights of Apple’s latest Logic update.

    Reviews Jun 2017

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