WHAT IS A DAW IN MUSIC?
The abbreviation for DAW is “digital audio workstation. They’re many different versions of these workstations. People could say they have a DAW, but one might have a program installed on their computer, while another might have a larger setup featuring software, mixers, and other audio components. Software can range from simple too complex. DAW’s can turn a tedious process involving a bunch of gear and headaches into a one-click, plug-and-play experience. Usually they’re used alongside an audio interface, mixing desk, or other bits of external gear. Some are only available on certain operating systems too – whether that’s Windows or Mac.
HISTORY BEHIND DAWs
Origins of DAW’s can be traced back to the late ’70s and early ’80s. Soundstream are attributed with kickstarting the functionality of the DAW as we know it today. The musical landscape looked very different back then. Computers where just starting to become a viable option for making music. An introduction of MIDI was a revolution when it came to controlling synths, drum machines and samplers. For example, an idea of recording or editing digital audio on a computer was still a long way off. Even the earliest music programs offered new options that had never existed before. Over the course of the history of DAWs their use and purpose has changed and evolved. They started being used to create music firsthand. Today, EDM or Electronic Dance Music genre is created entirely within DAWs. Although some artists prefer to create their own sounds by recording and sampling “organic sounds.”
On January 20, 1989 Sound Tools was unveiled by Digidesign at the National Association of Music Merchandisers show. Pro Tools processed four tracks and sold at $6,000 per copy. It crept into studios, not as a replacement for analog gear but as an additional production tool. This is to say, the first US number 1 single produced in Pro Tools was Ricky Martin’s 1999 song “Livin La Vida Loca.” Also in the mid to late 90s Steinberg’s Cubase matured at a fast pace. To clarify, In 1996 Cubase released VST 3.0 which introduced one of the most important technologies in modern day DAWs; Virtual Studio Technology (VST). By the end of the 90s DAWs were being used as the center piece of some studios to control and host hardware instead of just being used as supplementary tools