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DAW stands for Digital Audio Workstation and is a general term used for modern recording software. Limiting the definition to ‘audio’ is slightly misleading – in reality, DAWs also feature MIDI, virtual instrument and effects and often advanced tools like score editing and video support as well. A DAW is a complete music production environment that can fulfil every step of the process from recording, editing and arrangement to mixing and mastering.
The DAW started life as a MIDI sequencer, triggering hardware that was in turn connected to a mixing desk. Over time, software has developed rapidly and gained more and more features. First came MIDI and then digital audio. Later, virtual instruments and effects were invented and most recently, tools like elastic audio and pitch correction mean that it’s possible to have everything you need on your computer. That’s not to say that hardware is redundant, but the majority of recording systems now feature computer-based recordings of one sort or another.
There are good reasons for this. DAWs have virtually unlimited track counts, are easily upgraded and expanded and replicate the functions of a wide range of hardware tools in a good value package. The increasing power of affordable computer systems in the last decade has meant the average musician now has the facility to achieve things that in the old days would have cost a small fortune.
Introductory DAW Software
Advanced DAW Software
Ableton Live 9 is a solid update to the company's "think different" DAW software that is particularly popular with electronic and beat making creators. Two GUI views include a traditional, vertical-track display with time moving from left to right (Arrangement View), while the Session View is a place for experimentation that provides room for improvising, playing and performing with musical ideas without the constraints of the timeline.
Aside from the particular way of presenting the creative process, the software also includes standard features such as unlimited multi-track recording with up to 32-bit/192 kHz resolution with nondestructive editing and unlimited undo. Essential automatic plug-in delay compensation is available, along with multiple automation lanes and track freezing for conserving DSP. Warping and real-time, time-stretch processing can be applied to any clips, and unlimited instruments, audio effects and MIDI effects can be utilized per project.
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Entry-Level DAW Software
Standard DAW Software
Professional DAW Software
From fantastic new features to a multitude of hidden tweaks, Cubase 8.5 bristles with additions that have only one aim: making it easier for you to make music. Sync and collaborate on projects in the cloud with the revolutionary VST Transit; quickly pull in tracks from other projects; store and recall all your Cubase preferences on any computer. And a whole host of features have been improved to make them more creative and productive, including the acclaimed Retrologue analog synth, the MIDI editors, Transport bar, Chord Pads, MixConsole and many more — all with added functions or redesigned interfaces that smooth your creative process.
VST Transit is Steinberg’s new cloud collaboration service. It’s our mission to bring together musicians and producers from all over the globe and to offer all the advantages of cloud-based music production. The possibilities are endless: upload your project to cloud storage, and download it from another location/computer; continue working or recording and synchronize the changes back to the cloud. Collaborate on shared projects or make your private songs accessible anywhere. Enjoy the built-in message system, helping to find new contributors to your project, and discuss your latest ideas with your friends and band members — all directly in Cubase! VST Transit comes with up to 500 MB free storage space on secure Amazon AWS servers and 1 GB free traffic per month. With a VST Transit premium account you can bump up the capacity up to 5 GB and a whopping 20 GB traffic per month, enough even for the most demanding projects!
Upgrade From v9 And Higher
Includes 12 Months Support & Upgrades
DAW Software With Upgrade Plan
Pro Tools® 12.3 gives you everything you need to compose, record, edit and mix great sounding music and film/TV soundtracks. Faster and more easily. That’s why more artists, producers and mixers use Pro Tools than any other DAW. And it keeps getting better. Upgrade to more creative power and speed - and get 12 months of future release under the Avid All Access plan.
Play and share sessions easily with Track Commit
Processor-hungry virtual instruments can impact system performance with plug-in heavy mixes. And collaboration or project delivery to a client may require that you all have the same plug-ins used in the session. But no more. With Track-Commit - a powerful and flexible precursor to the full Track Freeze workflow coming soon - you can render/flatten tracks to free up processing power and plug-in requirements. With tons of options that simplify the process for you.
Basic DAW Software
Upgrade From Earlier Versions of Pro
Studio One 3 gives you powerful tools for building killer layered signature sounds, including Multi Instrument and parallel processing, extended FX chains; the PresenceXT sampler with its 15GB sound library and EXS, Kontakt, and Giga support; the Mai Tai analog modeling polysynth; BitCrusher; and Rotor Native Effects. You'll enjoy improved sonics with Elastique 3.0 time stretch and pitch manipulation. Quickly find samples, loops - over 2,000 are included, and presets fast with the musical-search, keyword-driven Browser and integrated online PreSonus Shop.
PreSonus has been listening to its user base, and has incorporated the most-requested features into Studio One 3. These include a new on-the-fly Arranger Track with Scratch Pads that lets you freely experiment with musical or sonic ideas; NoteFX with Arpeggiator, Chorder, Repeater, and input Filter; and Step Recording for easy beat and track programming. It all adds up to a streamlined workflow that makes creativity more fluid than ever.
DAW Software Taken Further
SONAR is more than just a digital audio workstation - it's the most advanced music production environment available today. Choose the creative experience only SONAR offers: advanced technology, effortless workflow, and an inviting interface that amplifies inspiration. Capture pristine recordings in the award-winning, touch-enabled Skylight User Interface—then take advantage of the comprehensive editing, mixing, mastering, and publishing tools to craft your masterpiece.
The entire SONAR lineup includes powerful new technologies like Mix Recall, Onscreen Virtual Controller, and a New MIDI Engine. We've enhanced SONAR's industry leading integration with Melodyne ARA and ProChannel in SONAR Professional, plus added brand new integration like Drum Replacer and VocalSync in SONAR Platinum. Check out what's new in 2015.
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Educational DAW Software
Bitwig Studio is dynamic software for creation and performance of your musical ideas on stage or in the studio.
Discover the new standard in customized workflow. Bitwig Studio inspires you to take greater control of your music, giving you access to every aspect of your production. Streamline your creative process and quickly evolve your ideas into complete songs, tracks and compositions.
Record and arrange, improvise and perform, or do it all at once. Choose between several display profiles. Design your own sounds with dedicated container devices. Combine built-in instruments, effects, and VST plug-ins. Bitwig Studio’s unified mapping system allows you to modulate any device or VST parameter using macro controls and modulator devices.
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