Most people don’t even use this term at all. They use the term music software and some people might use music production software.
The use of these digital audio workstations has brought the music production process so simple and made it possible for anyone to access and use.
Lets answer the question,
DAW stands for Digital audio workstation, a piece of software tool that helps the user to make, edit music and publish it to streaming platforms.
People are making music in their bedrooms because of the introduction of digital audio workstations. This shift in music producers making amazing music in their living rooms would have never been possible if digital audio workstations are never invented.
Even though there are so many digital audio workstations, some of them out perform others. There are even fan groups for some of these music production software’s and I am not joking they will come for your life if you tell them that “their digital audio workstation sucks”.
In this article let’s look at what is a digital audio workstation, what it can do and what are the different types of digital audio workstation available as well. Let’s get in to it.
Intro to digital audio workstation
digital audio workstaions are used for three main purposes,
- to make music
- to process music
- to perform music
digital audio workstaions also called as music production softwares are used to make music by putting together the picesec In a song as an arrangement in the software.
Usually the overdubbing which was used previously was completely replaced by the use of digital audio workstations.
Nowdays digital audio wtokstaions are used as synths to create sounds and even process them in various ways using plugins which were usally done by hardware synths and hardware equipments.
Live perfromances were usually done using workstaions, and arranger keyboards for a long period of time. It was completely shifted to using midi keyboards as the emergence of Ableton and other amazing workstaions have showed their strength in live perfromances.
What DAW’s can do
in this section lets look at the different sections in a Digtial audio workstation, I will take Ableton as an example to explain what you can do wtith tthem,
browser view allows you to add all the required plugins, sounds and all the projects that you might have worked on previously.you can save your racks and chains, which are nothing but audio/midi tracks and effects rack.
The arrangement view in A DAW helps you to arrange the song, edit the song, move the song along the timeline and make sufficient changes as you need. Midi editing and audio tracks editing are usually done in the arranfement view
The session view which is very unique to Ableton as its not available in other digital audio wotkstaions allows you to perfrom live and note down your ideas easily in the software.
The device view in the digital audio wotkstaion is where you will add your plugins and othe devices in the software.
Audio editor and midi editor windows can be used to manipulate, trim, stretch, and to customize the audio and midi files that are imported or recorded in the software.
Types of DAW’s available
- FL studio
- Logic pro x
- Studio one
- Pro tools
These are some of the digital audio workstations available in the market as music rpodpuction software.
If I have to pick an all around software I would always suggest you to go with Ableton because of the functionality to be used as a live perfromaing software.
Fl studio is amazing for beginners and can be used to make beats very easily
Logic pro x has been the iconic prideful boastworthy software for apple music producers.
Studio one has proven itself as its amazing for audio recordings
Pro tools is being used by a lot of industry professionals as 95 percent of studio hardware and recording tools work well with pro tools.
Reaper and cubase are two other piece of softwares known well for recording vocals.
We have only scratched the surface there are so many other digital audio wotkstaions that are available as well.
There are free versions like LMMS available.
Where to start music production
If you look through my website, you will find so many articles on starting music production and how to grow as a music producer as well.
The first step to start music production is to have a long term goal as where you want to be and what you want to do.
if you want to start a business as a music producer, you can even invest money into music production from the start.
If this is your hobby, you can start slow and go at your own pace.
Even if you don’t know music theory or how to play piano, you don’t have to worry at all.
Check my article on how music producers can make music without music theory.
I believe that everyone should learn music production if they have the time and the money for it.its an awesome skill to have and if you are business savvy you can make money as well.
If you have ever heard about passive income, then I just want to inform you that music production has more ways to earn passive income than any other job and business that’s out there.
digital audio workstations have literally changed the dynamics of how the music production and publishing world works.
Once upon a time you will get only one album per year from an artist. Nowadays with the help of these softwares if you are talented you can crank multiple albums in a single year.
Digital audio workstations are also efficient in handling the sound processing better than aanalog gear.
If you are interested you can check my article on will music production be outdated?