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Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)

What is a DAW?

A DAW is an acronym for "Digital Audio Workstation." A DAW is a software program used to record and modify digital audio and MIDI recordings. This program allows you to record, edit, and mix audio all within one single program.

What is digital audio?

Digital audio is a format of sound that can be stored on a computer. A vinyl record is considered "analog audio" and an MP3 is considered "digital audio".

What is MIDI?

MIDI is a format of stored instrument data. MIDI does not make any sound on it's own and is simply used to trigger or modify sounds. A musician can use a MIDI Keyboard or Piano Roll View to create or play music using virtual instruments.

Is a DAW used for recording vocals and instruments?

Yes, just about every Digital Audio Workstation has the ability to record audio from a microphone and then convert it into digital audio.

Do I need a keyboard to compose music in a DAW?

No. Digital Audio Workstations often come with audio loops, midi patterns, step sequencers, piano roll views, and even music notation which can be used to compose music.

Do I need to be a professional musician to use a DAW?

No, a DAW can be used by anyone who has a musical idea and a willingness to learn. If you have no background there are many free resources available to help you learn.

Can I sell music I make in a DAW?

Yes, any music that you create within a DAW can be sold as your own unless you infringe on the copyrights of another musician's music and/or sample music you do not own. There are many royalty free loops and content that can be used to create and sell music.

Do I need other hardware or software to run a DAW?

Yes, you will need a computer. Additional hardware such as an audio interface can be used with a DAW. This offers better audio quality with lower latency than the soundcard that comes stock on most computers. Most DAW’s do not require any additional software, however you can add additional audio effects and virtual instruments.

Can a DAW playback my music creations or do I need a special player?

A DAW can playback the music that you create within it. This is a core function of a DAW. You can also export your creations in various formats like WAV.

Can I create an MP3 with a DAW?

Yes, an MP3 can be created with most DAWs. Some DAWs include the MP3 encoder and then others require that you purchase the encoder.

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