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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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    Audiomovers Omnibus

    Audiomovers launch Omnibus

    Offering seamless audio routing options for Mac

    Exclusive to Mac, Omnibus allows audio routing between applications and can combine multiple audio sources into a virtual input.

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    Tracktion Waveform Free DAW software

    Tracktion Waveform Free updated

    Free DAW software gains new features

    Tracktion have released a major update for Waveform Free, the free version of their Waveform DAW software.

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    Harrison Mixbus32C 8.1 DAW update

    Harrison Mixbus 32C updated

    Introduces Mixer Scenes and improves Clip & Cue Launching

    Harrison have released the latest update to their Mixbus 32C DAW software, introducing some new features as well as offering improvements and fixes.

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    Bitwig Studio 4.3 DAW software update

    Bitwig Studio 4.3 released

    New devices, synthesizer upgrades and sound packages

    The latest version of Bitwig Studio includes two new effects devices, new sound packages and a whole host of functionality upgrades. 

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    Reason Studios Chord Sequencer Player device plug-in

    Reason Studios release Chord Sequencer

    New sequencer device includes over 900 chords

    Chord Sequencer is the latest Player device from Reason Studios, and has been designed with both new players and experienced musicians in mind. 

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    NAMM 2022 - Audio Design Desk DAW

    Video report

    Audio Design Desk have developed a DAW that uses AI and machine learning technology to assist creators. 

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    Tracktion Waveform Pro 12 DAW

    Tracktion Waveform 12

    DAW update brings a wealth of new features

    Version 12 includes a refreshed user interface, new audio and MIDI functionality, refreshed audio plug-ins, and a rewritten audio engine...

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    Steinberg Nuendo 12 DAW software

    Nuendo 12 available now

    Steinberg update their post-production suite

    Latest version focuses on dedicated tools for dialogue editing, expands immersive audio capabilities and adds native Apple silicon support.

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    Avid Pro Tools

    New Pro Tools versions unveiled

    Avid's established DAW now available in three subscription-only editions

    Plus: GrooveCell and SynthCell virtual instruments released.

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    Reason Studios BV-X Multimode Vocoder GUI

    BV-X Multimode Vocoder from Reason Studios

    New Rack Extension joins Reason’s effects line-up

    The BV-X Multimode Vocoder provides Reason users with easy access to classic vocoder sounds whilst introducing some interesting new features.

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    Steinberg Cubase 12

    Cubase 12 released

    Steinberg update established DAW

    Find out what's new in Steinberg's flagship music production suite.

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    Steinberg Cubasis 3.4

    Steinberg Cubasis 3.4 brings Ableton Link support and many improvements

    Enhanced powerful audio sequencer app for iOS, Android and Chrome OS.

    Steinberg have released Cubasis v3.4 of its powerful audio sequencer app adding support for Ableton Link plus over 75 workflow and performance improvements.

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    PreSonus Studio One 5.5

    PreSonus Studio One 5.5 Update adds requested features

    New Mastering Tools and more...

    New version includes some of the most requested features for the Project Page like: Track Automation; Clip Gain Envelopes; Listen Bus and Track Transform.

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    Steinberg eLicenser

    Steinberg software licensing scheme announced

    Post eLicenser roadmap unveiled

    Bye-bye dongle, bienvenu Software Licensing. Plus: Cubase 12 to be released in 2022.

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    Apple Logic Pro X 10.7

    Apple M1 Pro & M1 Max MacBook Pros plus Logic 10.7

    Apple doubles down on Atmos immersive audio enhancements

    New version of Logic Pro X now available; next-gen Apple Silicon MacBook Pros announced.

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    Steinberg Dorico For iPad

    Dorico for iPad released

    Free scoring app from Steinberg

    Steinberg's notation and composition suite is now available for Apple tablets. It's completely compatible with desktop Dorico projects, sports a new touch-friendly MIDI editor — and is available for free.

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    Ableton Live Lite 11

    Live Lite 11 launched

    Now with MPE!

    Ableton have released a major update to their entry-level DAW, adding new effects, MPE compatibility, and more.

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    Bitwig Studio 4

    Bitwig Studio 4 now available

    New version adds conditional triggering, comping and more

    Final release of Bitwig Studio 4 introduces a new file format called 'Anti-Loops', which take advantage of the new Operators and comping features to offer intuitive loop manipulation.

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    MOTU Digital Performer 11

    Digital Performer 11 announced

    MOTU announce major DAW update

    Major update to MOTU's DAW adds MPE support, Apple Silicon compatibility, and Nanosampler 2.0.

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    Pro Tools 2021.6

    Pro Tools 2021.6 now available

    Hybrid Engine comes to HDX systems

    Huge update brings the Hybrid Engine to all HDX systems, and doubles Voice and mixer channel count for both DSP and CPU-based Pro Tools users.

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    Deskew Technologies Gig Performer 4.0

    Gig Performer 4.0 released

    Live VST host gets major update

    Slimline live VST host boasts expanded MIDI features and a new Global Rackspace.



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