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Topic: DAW? or ...Die?!

  1. #1

    DAW? or ...Die?!

    No such thing. I sometimes read "I am now on a new system and after several weeks I finally got my DAW ready" or something similar. I know what DAW means, but what do you mean by installing or having ready the DAW? What does it involve? Which components? Please tell me more....

    I am not sure I have DAW, but when you tell me maybe it daws upon me.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Steve_Karl's Avatar
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    May 2004
    Pittsburgh, PA 15206 USA

    Re: DAW? or ...Die?!

    DAW = Digital Audio Workstation ... so you have it if you've got all your "stuff" working.

  3. #3

    Re: DAW? or ...Die?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve_Karl View Post
    DAW = Digital Audio Workstation ... so you have it if you've got all your "stuff" working.
    My "stuff" is working ok, but which stuff?

  4. #4

    Re: DAW? or ...Die?!

    I think most people who use the term "DAW" actually refer to software for a computer that includes midi sequencing and audio mixing/editing tools.

    Notation software is aimed more at producing printed scores of music. Notation is not usually referred to as a DAW for the simple reason it is not designed around audio. Notation software is incorporating more midi features that allow the user to produce a more realistic sounding recording from the notated score.

    Most DAW software is horrible for producing a professional score.


  5. #5

    Re: DAW? or ...Die?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond62 View Post
    My "stuff" is working ok, but which stuff?
    Good explanation Dan.

    I have often seen on the Sonar forums people asking for advice or recommendations on building a DAW often listing the specs for comment. In this case they are referring to building a computer that is capable of comfortably running sequencers and audio mixing and editing software (Sonar, Cubase etc) as Dan mentioned.

    I agree also that most, if not all, DAW software is limiting in producing professional scores. I have often read grumbles that Sonar or Cubase etc has not-so-good notation facilities and, equally, that Finale or Sibelius etc has not-so-good recording and MIDI editing facilities. Personally speaking, I need a good notation editor so I have Finale. I need a good audio recording and MIDI editing application so I use Sonar. It is a very simple matter of sharing a MIDI file between them so I have the best of both worlds. I agree this has cost implications and may not be possible for some.

    So my understanding of a full Digital Audio Workstation is a computer designed and built with audio in mind and meeting such criteria as quiet if not near silent running and high quality or professional audio sound card or interface amongst other considerations regarding processor, RAM and storage. As already stated the DAW will be equipped with audio recording and MIDI editing software and instrument libraries and/or synthesizers. Ohh .. and, of course, it will manage the other functions such as word processing, internet and images with one SATA lead tied behind its video card
    Patience is a virtue, sensitivity is a gift

  6. #6

    Re: DAW? or ...Die?!

    Also, on some forums, I've seen people refer to DAW meaning only their digital recording software, like Ableton Live, Cubase, Sonar, Logic, etc... but the quote you wrote it seems it means more the stuff Michael_uk and DPDAN wrote about, the whole system in general.

    But there's a small error in the quote: DAW is never ready.

  7. #7

    Re: DAW? or ...Die?!

    People use the term "DAW" for the hardware, the software, and the combination of the two. Whenever you see the term, you should take a moment and try to figure out what the writer is actually talking about.

    To me, it only makes sense to use the term if you've done something to optimize your computer for audio/MIDI. If you're just running a commercial sequencer program on a retail Dell computer, it seems a bit pretentious to call it a DAW.
    "An artist is someone who produces things that people don't need to have, but that he - for some reason - thinks it would be a good idea to give them."

    - Andy Warhol

  8. #8

  9. #9

    Thumbs up Re: DAW? or ...Die?!

    Good evening Raymond!
    A good question and as you can see you will get different answers from everyone. Personally I think a DAW consists of both the audio/MIDI software (Digital Performer, Logic, etc.) and the hardware combined. The hardware includes the computer itself, the audio card and any extra DSP cards (UAD, Powercore, etc.) that you have on the system. Why? Because they are all so dependent on each other. Try to use a UAD-1 card with the wrong motherboard/chipset and life will be miserable. Cubase had a time when a Pentium CPU logic flaw effected the program. The list goes on and on.

    This probably sounds overwhelming, but it is not. The first and easiest thing is to buy a Mac. If you prefer Windows, then just make sure your computer is going to work with any DSP cards you have. I don't know of any real issues between sequencer apps and motherboards these days. Checking compatability is easy, just check the website or call the DSP card's support. Done!

    Last of all, both Mac and Windows can be optimized for running your audio software. If you don't have any performance issues then you don't need to do anything. However, if you do start having glitches than sites like www.musicxp.net can show you ways to optimize Windows for DAW use. This usually means things like turning off automatic updates and other services that you don't need with an audio oriented PC.

    That is about it. I want to emphasize if nothing is broken there is nothing to fix! However if you are having issues, the above mentioned items may help along with help from the friendly folks on this board.

    I hope this helps!

    We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams …
    24" 2.4 Ghz iMac, OSX 10.4.10, MOTU 828 MKII, 2 Glyph 250 Gig external drives, Logic 9, Finale 2008 GPO, JABB, Strad, Gro, Reason 4, EWQL Storm Drum, Adrenaline, Symphonic Choirs, SO Gold,All Arturia Synths, Many NI Synths, Spectrasonics Synths, KH Strings, VEPro on a Windows 7 4x 2.8 Ghz 12 gig of RAM

  10. #10

    Re: DAW? or ...Die?!

    Nothing is broken and the adagio is always: not broken? don't repair it.
    But I was wondering why people call their system a DAW. Now I see that it is some cliché term for almost anything as long as music production is involved.

    I regret not having a Mac. I even regret that most of the programs and libs I have don't run (yet) on Linux. We will see what the future brings us. Gary is inventive, you know.

    Thanks for the replies,

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