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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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    Magix Samplitude Pro X

    Digital Audio Workstation Software

    Can its new look and feel, 64-bit code base and killer feature-set help Magix's heavyweight DAW muscle its way to a bigger market share?

    Reviews Apr 2012
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    Spotlight: DAWs

    Digital Audio Workstations

    At the heart of most modern studios is a computer running a Digital Audio Workstation, or DAW. The choice of DAWs available has increased significantly over the last few years...

    Reviews Apr 2012
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    Avid Pro Tools 10

    Digital Audio Workstation Software

    With Pro Tools now catering for such a wide range of users, can the latest version provide both value and satisfaction for everyone?

    Reviews Mar 2012
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    Presonus Studio One 2.0

    Recording, Mixing & Mastering Software [Mac/PC]

    Version 2 of Studio One offers unprecedented levels of integration with third-party software — or, in other words, built-in Melodyne!

    Reviews Dec 2011
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    Propellerhead Reason 6

    Music Creation Software

    By merging their flagship application with its sibling, Record, Propellerhead have created something users have demanded for years: Reason with built-in audio recording.

    Reviews Nov 2011
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    Cockos Reaper 4

    Digital Audio Workstation Software

    Cockos’ affordable DAW is now more customisable than ever, and there are valuable new features for media management, MIDI editing and surround mixing too.

    Reviews Oct 2011
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    Adobe Audition CS5.5

    Post-production DAW & Wave Editor

    Adobe’s audio editing package has been fully rewritten, ported to Mac OS and integrated into their Creative Suite. Does it have everything you need for audio post‑production?

    Reviews Aug 2011
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    Steinberg Cubase 6

    Digital Audio Workstation

    Cubase 6 pushes the boundaries of expressive sequencing, while adding polish and new editing functionality to keep existing users happy. Is it all too good to be true?

    Reviews Apr 2011
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    Cakewalk Sonar X1

    Digital Audio Workstation Software

    Can Cakewalk's radical rethink of the DAW user interface tempt users of competing products into the Sonar fold — without alienating existing fans?

    Reviews Apr 2011
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    Grass Valley Edius 6

    Non-linear Editor For Windows

    Grass Valley's Edius has always been a capable and versatile NLE. Can version 6 bring it the popularity it deserves?

    Reviews Jan 2011
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    Avid Pro Tools 9

    Digital Audio Workstation Software

    For the first time ever, Avid have made the full Pro Tools feature set available on native systems — and you don't even need one of their interfaces to run it!

    Reviews Jan 2011
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    Prism Sound SADiE 6

    Digital Audio Workstation

    One of the world's best high-end audio editing and mixing packages has undergone a radical overhaul, and now works with any third-party audio hardware. Its name? SADiE...

    Reviews Jan 2011
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    Steinberg Nuendo 5

    DAW Software For Mac & PC

    With Steinberg continuing to focus on features for audio post-production, is Nuendo still a relevant option for those working strictly in music?

    Reviews Oct 2010
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    Propellerhead Reason 5

    Audio Production Software For Mac & PC

    The latest version of Reason incorporates new arrangement tools and two powerful new instruments, and even lets you record samples. Meanwhile, sister application Record continues to develop too...

    Reviews Oct 2010
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    Magix Samplitude Pro 11

    DAW Software[Windows]

    With the latest version of their unique object oriented DAW, Magix are targeting both mastering and recording engineers.

    Reviews Oct 2010
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    Acoustica Mixcraft 5

    DAW For Windows

    Acoustica's affordable DAW has acquired some significant new features, including video support, score editing and a fully fledged mixer. But has it retained its trademark ease of use?

    Reviews Sep 2010
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    Harrison Mixbus

    DAW Software [Mac OS X]

    Does the pro audio market need another digital audio workstation program? Harrison Consoles and Ardour believe the answer is yes...

    Reviews May 2010
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    Presonus Studio One Pro

    Digital Audio Workstation Software[Mac & PC]

    Most of us are already committed to a DAW package. But if we were offered an alternative that was affordable, simple to use and ultra-reliable, would we switch? Presonus certainly hope so...

    Reviews Apr 2010
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    MOTU Digital Performer 7

    Digital Audio Workstation Software For Mac OS

    The latest version of MOTUs Mac sequencer has guitarists firmly in its sights, but there are plenty of general improvements too.

    Reviews Mar 2010
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    Image Line FL Studio 9

    DAW Software For Windows

    Image Lines popular sequencing package has evolved from a specialist tool into a DAW application with universal appeal.

    Reviews Mar 2010
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    Cakewalk Sonar 8.5

    DAW Software For Windows

    Its not touted as version 9, but the list of improvements certainly makes this years upgrade to Cakewalks Sonar DAW a big deal.

    Reviews Jan 2010

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