What is a DAW?

For a long time music was recorded under one roof. The singers, the composers, the musicians used to be present in the studio and used to record songs all in a single take. However, now the vocals can be recorded form New Orleans, brass from Nashville, and the composers can tune the song all the way from California. 

All you need is an audio engineer and a digital audio workstation (DAW) to bring all of it together and give people an amazing song. In this pandemic DAW lets people record, compose, and mix songs from the comfort of their rooms or individual music studios. If you want to know what a DAW is, check out our article for all the information.

What does a DAW do?

DAW is the short form of Digital Audio Workstation. It is a software tool that helps musicians around the world create their own music. DAW has helped many people and gave them access to musical instruments and their editing tools and is getting more powerful as days pass. DAW helps people to make music, record music, edit it, mix, manipulate the tones however they like, and MIDI. 

It can help to mix multiple sounds together in a grid that is time-based. To make it simple just like there are tools to edit photos DAW is a tool to create music. There are many other DAWs of different brands and companies and they all serve the same purpose.

Main Functions of DAW in making music

DAW is the short form of Digital Audio Workstation. It is a software tool that helps musicians around the world create their own music. DAW has helped many people and gave them access to musical instruments and their editing tools and is getting more powerful as days pass. DAW helps people to make music, record music, edit it, mix, manipulate the tones however they like, and MIDI. 

It can help to mix multiple sounds together in a grid that is time-based. To make it simple just like there are tools to edit photos DAW is a tool to create music. There are many other DAWs of different brands and companies and they all serve the same purpose.

Before the existence of DAW all these functions were carried out separately. Different programs were used to run these programs but now they are all packaged together into a DAW. The main functions of DAW are:-

They help to digitally process audio. This includes recording, editing, and mixing both vocals and music together. 

Helps to sequence MIDI and mix MIDI notes.

It contains digital instruments that receives information from MIDI and translates it to sounds from various instruments.

It is used to turn digital notes into readable and printable musical sheets.

DAW is the short form of Digital Audio Workstation. It is a software tool that helps musicians around the world create their own music. DAW has helped many people and gave them access to musical instruments and their editing tools and is getting more powerful as days pass. DAW helps people to make music, record music, edit it, mix, manipulate the tones however they like, and MIDI. 

It can help to mix multiple sounds together in a grid that is time-based. To make it simple just like there are tools to edit photos DAW is a tool to create music. There are many other DAWs of different brands and companies and they all serve the same purpose.

How to Record a Live Audio or an Instrument

You need to use additional audio interface besides your DAW to record a song with love instruments. For instance, if you want to record your piano playing or your acoustic guitar you need to set the mic first.

The mic goes connects through your audio interface and then records your songs and music. You can also plug your musical instrument directly with a cable into a DAW. 

You can also use channels to record your music. You can record with two channels together. For that case, you need to an audio interface with four to five inputs. In this way you can connect many instruments together and record your music.

Recording Musical Instruments Virtually

If you didn’t know this before virtual instruments are the same as live instruments but a digital version. This makes it much easier for people who do not have that specific instrument in their studio.

For instance, if you want to make a piano cover or add a piece of violin in your music you can get the digital version of that instrument. And if you are stressing over the fact you cannot play a violin, drums, or any other instrument, do not worry you can easily download a plugin of that instrument and play it virtually. 

While recording musical notes virtually you can carry this out using DAW in different ways. You can record your music piece using musical typing.

This allows your laptop or computer’s keyboard to correspond with the notes of your desired musical instrument. You can play it however you want, add tunes too. Many people also use MIDI controllers, these are keyboards that people connect to their computers and play the instrument virtually. 

The easiest and the most convenient method is to add sounds and notes directly using your mouse. You need to click manually and add the notes, or drag them to where you want to add them using the DAW. Most of the recent DAWs have built-in instruments.

You need to use additional audio interface besides your DAW to record a song with love instruments. For instance, if you want to record your piano playing or your acoustic guitar you need to set the mic first.

The mic goes connects through your audio interface and then records your songs and music. You can also plug your musical instrument directly with a cable into a DAW. 

You can also use channels to record your music. You can record with two channels together. For that case, you need to an audio interface with four to five inputs. In this way you can connect many instruments together and record your music.

All Audio Effects using DAW

1. Audio Looping

You can loop your music using DAW. The idea of audio looping came after the emergence of virtual instruments. DAWs like GarageBand and few others include a library of audio loops. Loops include drums, horns, strings, and many other tunes. These loops in libraries are MIDI files that can be manipulated. 

You can start with a piano loop in your music, edit it, and fit it in your audio. If you have a chord progression that you have covered or played using your instrument you can upload that, highlight it a section, and paste it in your song as many times you want.

2. Audio Editing

Using DAW you can cut a piece of a song or music and then move it around and snap the piece to the place you want it to play. You can also crossfade the piece as well. This ability of DAW allows people to make crucial and high-quality music. You can choose any single piece and copy paste it to whichever part you like. 

3. Audio Mixing

Mixing audio means you can arrange your tunes anyway you want to. You can add effects to your music, overlap one tune over another, and mix. In this stage you can EQ all your tracks, compress them to make them sound amazing and of high-quality. Most of the recent DAW comes with built-in EQ and plugins for compressors. This reduces the cost for an audio mixing engineer.

Photo by: Vania Shows

Trial DAW Versions

There are two versions of every DAW, either a trial free demo version or a paid version. You will find some DAWs in trial full versions too. You can pick some DAWs that interest you, download them and check them out.

In this way, you can pick which DAW you like best and whether you want to upgrade to a paid version or not. Paid versions allow users to get access to other advanced and handy features. ‘GarageBand’ and ‘Audacity’ are two of the most popular free trail DAWs that offers users access to a lot of features.

‘Cockos Reaper’ also allows users to get access to a heap of facilities but they have few limitations on their free versions.

The Best Paid DAW’s for Beginners

Ableton Live

This software was initially used as a tool for live performances. Now it has been transformed into one of the best packages for recording audio. It has a simple UI and a streamlined workflow.

FL Studio

FL studio was previously known by the name Fruity Loops. FL studio is one of the most popular and widely used DAW by people around the world. Both beginner and intermediate producers prefer FL studio for its amazing audio mixing features. Its biggest drawback is that it is not compatible with MAC. FL studio is used to create hi hip, rap, EDM, and used by DJs for producing remixes and mashups.

Cubase

Cubase is one of the most traditional DAWs to exist. It underwent modifications several times and several versions of it exist. The latest version of Cubase contains all the features for audio editing, mixing, and MIDI editing tools.

However, the only downside of Cubase is that it requires a dongle to use it. If you are looking for an older version of DAW, with a hint of conventional design and layout, you will like Cubase. 

Reason

The most popular and notable features of this DAW is because of its extraordinary ‘Rack Style’. Reason is another fine DAW that is used by many musicians to create music and mix audios. It has a modular nature, you can use multiple plugins and connect instruments to one another. Reason is used mainly in studios that have instruments near them.

Logic Pro

Logic Pro is an excellent DAW and is very well reputed. It has been developed and launched by Apple. It is considered one of the finest DAWs and a stable software for all music producers and composers around the world. Logic Pro gas a simple interface that is mixed and combined with a collection of sounds and presents.

It also contains a large variety of applications, to help you get your work done. It also has a large number of plugins in stock and available for use. Calvin Harris, Disclosure, David Guetta, Swedish House Mafia, and many other artists use Logic Pro to create music.

What is a DAW

Photo by: Andrew Welch

We hope after reading our article you will have a complete idea about what a DAW is. If you want to make music DAW is the best tool you can use to mix, edit, and create something unique. Download the free trial versions and check it out.

You can also read about Benefits of 432 Hz

Leave a Comment