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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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    Tracktion Waveform Pro 13 DAW update clip launcher wavetable soft synth

    Tracktion announce Waveform Pro 13

    Clip launching, new wavetable synth & more

    The latest version of Tracktion's DAW introduces a whole host of new features along with a refined GUI.

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    PreSonus Studio One 6.6 DAW Dolby Atmos Renderer Apple Spatial Audio TuneCore mixes virtual instrument update

    PreSonus Studio One 6.6 arrives

    Atmos enhancement, new Lead Architect VI, TuneCore upload & new hybrid licensing model

    The latest Studio One update expands on the DAW's immersive capabilities as well as adding a new virtual instrument, implementing TuneCore integration, and offering an alternative licensing option.

    News
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    Acoustica Mixcraft 10.5 DAW update AI stem separation project templates

    Acoustica Mixcraft 10.5

    Windows DAW gains built-in stem separation

    Mixcraft 10.5 offers a range of new features including AI-powered stem separation, user interface enhancements, new plug‑in management options and more.

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    Hit'n'Mix RipX DAW PRO AI music content creation stem separation software

    Hit’n’Mix RipX DAW updated

    Version 7.1 now available for download

    The latest version of RipX DAW introduces a range of new features along with some improvements and bug fixes.

    News
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    Avid Pro Tools 2024.3 MIDI effects plug-in Dolby Atmos live re-render

    Avid release Pro Tools 2024.3

    MIDI effects plug-ins, live Atmos re-renders & more

    The first Pro Tools update of 2024 introduces MIDI effects plug-ins, custom live re-renders for the integrated Dolby Atmos Renderer and enhanced integration with Pro Tools Sketch.

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    Ableton Live 12 clip launching production live performance DAW update

    Ableton Live 12 now available

    Popular DAW gets major upgrade

    Following their preview of its new features towards the end of 2023, Ableton have announced that Live 12 is now available to download.

    News
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    Hit'n'Mix RipX DAW Apple Vision Pro mixed virtual reality music production software stem separation

    Hit’n’Mix announce RipX DAW for Apple Vision Pro

    Company preview immersive mixed reality DAW

    Hit’n’Mix have revealed plans for a version of RipX DAW that will be compatible with Apple’s Vision Pro mixed reality headset.

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    Abletunes Infinite Keys free Ableton Live Instrument Rack vintage analogue synth sounds

    Abletunes introduce Infinite Keys for Ableton Live

    Free instrument samples vintage synths & acoustic instruments

    Abletunes' latest free release is a dual-layer Instrument Rack that samples over 30 vintage and modern analogue synthesizers and acoustic instruments.

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    MAGIX Software Sequoia v17

    MAGIX unveils ground-breaking update with Sequoia 17

    New Object-Oriented Editing, 32-Channel Surround & 3D Audio, Ambisonics & Vector-based Amplitude Panning

    Key enhancements in Sequoia 17 involve object-oriented editing, 32-channel surround plus 3D audio, visualisations and metering for different inputs, source-destination cut, live editing workflow, and more...

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    Steinberg Cubasis 3.6 Dorico for iPad 5.1 Android iOS iPadOS mobile DAW recording notation scoring app

    Steinberg update Cubasis and Dorico apps

    Mobile apps gain HALion-powered instruments

    With the arrival of their latest updates, Cubasis and Dorico for iPad now benefit from new built-in instruments powered by the company’s HALion sampling and virtual instrument engine.

    News
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    Avid Pro Tools 2023.12 built-in Dolby Atmos renderer DAW update

    Avid launch Pro Tools 2023.12

    DAW gains integrated Dolby Atmos renderer

    The latest version of Pro Tools introduces a built-in Dolby Atmos renderer, overhauls the marker and memory location system, adds I/O colour-coding options and much more. 

    News
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    Bitwig Orchestral Tools Brass sound package expansion samples

    Orchestral Brass from Bitwig & Orchestral Tools

    Joins Orchestral Strings and Woodwind packages

    Orchestral Brass provides Bitwig Studio users with a range of high-quality brass samples that have been optimised specifically for use within the DAW’s Sampler tool.

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    Bitwig Studio 5.1 DAW update electronic music production semi modular synthesis software

    Bitwig Studio 5.1 arrives

    Full release version now available

    Following a recent beta release, Bitwig have announced that the full release version of their Bitwig Studio DAW is now available. 

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    Steinberg Nuendo 13 post-production ADR dialogue editing immersive audio Dolby Atmos MPEG-H Audio DAW

    Steinberg unveil Nuendo 13

    MPEG-H support, new ADR Script Reader & more

    Nuendo 13 delivers a range of improvements to the built-in immersive audio capabilities, as well as kitting out sound designers, mixers, dialogue editors and ADR engineers with a whole host of helpful new tools and features.

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    Ableton Live 12 clip launching production live performance DAW update

    Ableton to launch Live 12

    New MIDI tools, devices, sound packs & more

    Live 12 introduces a set of new features designed to spark musical creativity, including new MIDI tools that help to generate unexpected ideas and a range of improvements that allow users to work more intuitively.

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    Universal Audio LUNA analogue emulation DAW free Mac

    Universal Audio’s LUNA DAW now free

    Available to Mac users with no hardware purchase required

    Having previously only been available to those who own Apollo interfaces, UA's LUNA DAW is now supported natively on macOS and free to all. 

    News
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    Hit'n'Mix RipX DAW PRO AI music content creation stem separation software

    Hit’n’Mix release AI-powered RipX DAW

    Combines DeepRemix, DeepCreate and DeepAudio

    Hit’n’Mix's new DAW packages combine their existing processors and aim to provide a holistic approach to cutting-edge AI music production.

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    Logic Pro 10.8 for Mac in all its glory, seen here with the new Mastering Assistant joined by the Beat Breaker and Sample Alchemy plug-ins first introduced with Logic Pro for iPad.

    Apple release Logic Pro 10.8 for Mac & Logic Pro 1.1 for iPad

    Mastering Assistant introduced for Mac and iPad; v10.8 gets Beat Breaker and Sample Alchemy plug-ins

    Headline attraction is Mastering Assistant on both Mac and iPad. Plus, Beat Breaker and Sample Alchemy plug-ins first seen in Apple's Logic Pro for iPad have been brought to the Mac in Logic Pro 10.8.

    News
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    Beatport Studio Plugin Boutique Loopmasters Loopcloud samples effects instruments subscription

    Beatport announce Beatport Studio service

    New subscription package launched

    Beatport Studio brings together a collection of instruments and effects from the Plugin Boutique range with the extensive sample libraries from Loopmasters and the user-friendly workflow of Loopcloud.

    News
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    Steinberg Cubase 13 music composition production DAW update

    Steinberg unveil Cubase 13

    Overhauled MixConsole, new MIDI editing capabilities & much more

    Cubase 13 delivers a refreshed MixConsole design, expands the capabilities of the Key and Drum Editors and adds some new plug-ins, as well as reintroducing the Vocoder.

    News
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    Image Line FL Studio 21.2 DAW production software update

    FL Studio 21.2 now available

    New Stem Separation function & cloud service

    Users of FL Studio can now extract drums, drums, bass, instruments and vocals from an audio file, and access a huge range of content on a new cloud-based platform.

    News

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