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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 2

    Music Production Software

    Bitwig Studio 2 blurs the lines between sequencer, synthesizer and DAW, with an advanced and very flexible modulation system.

    Reviews May 2017
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    Apple GarageBand For iOS 2.2

    DAW App For iOS

    GarageBand For iOS continues to impress as it becomes more sophisticated; and while you likely won’t finish a full production with this app, it’s becoming an increasingly good sketchpad — especially with the increased Logic interoperability.

    Reviews Mar 2017
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    Steinberg Cubase Pro 9

    Music Production Software

    The latest update to Cubase sees Steinberg’s DAW embrace single-window working and integrated sampling.

    Reviews Mar 2017
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    Steinberg Cubasis 2

    DAW App For iOS

    Steinberg update Cubasis 2 with real-time time-stretching and a “carefully redesigned user interface”, which amounts to a flatter, cleaner design that’s a little crisper and more pleasing to the eye than previous versions.

    Reviews Jan 2017
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    Magix Samplitude Pro X3

    Digital Audio Workstation [Windows]

    With clever new tempo-mapping features and low-level Melodyne integration, time and pitch are now putty in the hands of Samplitude users!

    Reviews Jan 2017
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    Propellerhead Reason 9

    Music Production Software

    Propellerhead’s latest Reason update adds features you never knew you wanted — but which you might find indispensible.

    Reviews Sep 2016
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    Apple GarageBand 2.1

    DAW App For iOS

    GarageBand 2.1 now  supports the iPad Pro, but also has new features to benefit all users. When you start a new Song, you now have the option to use Tracks (as before) or the new Live Loops.

    Reviews Apr 2016
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    Steinberg Cubase 8.5

    Digital Audio Workstation Software

    The latest Cubase update connects Steinberg’s DAW to the cloud, but also brings plenty of improvements for earthbound users.

    Reviews Apr 2016
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    Bitwig Studio 1.35

    DAW Software For Mac OS, Windows & Linux

    Bitwig Studio might be the newest kid on the DAW block — but it’s growing fast!

    Reviews Mar 2016
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    Acoustica Mixcraft Pro Studio 7

    Music Production Software For Windows

    If you’re looking for a PC music creation environment that’s affordable, powerful and easy to use, Acoustica’s Mixcraft 7 ticks all the boxes.

    Reviews Mar 2016
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    MOTU Digital Performer 9

    Music Production Software For Mac OS & Windows

    MOTU’s sequencing software has been around longer than some SOS readers. Do the improvements in the latest version keep it bang up to date?

    Reviews Feb 2016
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    Avid Pro Tools 12.3

    Digital Audio Workstation Software For Mac OS & Windows

    The new features promised in Pro Tools 12 are finally starting to arrive. Can Avid persuade existing users that it’s time to start paying annual fees?

    Reviews Jan 2016
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    Steinberg Nuendo 7

    Digital Audio Workstation [Mac OS/Windows]

    Nuendo 7 inherits all the new features Steinberg debuted in Cubase 8, and adds sophisticated functionality for producing audio for film, TV and games.

    Reviews Dec 2015
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    Ableton Push 2

    Hardware Controller For Live

    Ableton have released major new versions of their two flagship products, Live and Push. Live 9.5 is free to owners of Live 9. Meanwhile, and more importantly, there is a new Push controller. 

    Reviews Dec 2015
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    PreSonus Studio One 3

    Digital Audio Workstation For Mac OS & Windows

    A major update to PreSonus’s cross–platform DAW sees Studio One take some popular feature concepts to new levels.

    Reviews Sep 2015
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    Harrison Mixbus 3

    Music Production Software For Mac OS X, Windows & Linux

    Harrison’s Mixbus offers large–format console sound at a budget price, and the addition of MIDI and third–party plug–in support broaden its appeal considerably.

    Reviews Sep 2015
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    Tracktion 6

    Music Production Software [OS X, Windows, Linux]

    After a number of years in the wilderness, Tracktion is back with its second major update in just over 12 months.

    Reviews Aug 2015
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    Magix Samplitude Pro X2

    Digital Audio Workstation Software For Windows

    Magix’s powerful Windows DAW gets another raft of new features in a comprehensive update.

    Reviews Jun 2015
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    Cakewalk Sonar Platinum

    Music Production Software For Windows

    Cakewalk are the first major DAW developer to move to a monthly payment model. And Sonar ‘membership’ provides plenty of goodies.

    Reviews May 2015
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    Apple Logic Pro 10.1

    Digital Audio Workstation Software For Mac OS

    Though the headline features are aimed at dance producers, Apple’s latest Logic update has something for everyone. And it’s free!

    Reviews Apr 2015
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    Evolving DAWs

    Spotlight

    With the DAW wars heating up, how are the major players tempting new users to buy into their wares?

    Reviews Apr 2015

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