viernes, 26 de agosto de 2011


A digital audio workstation (DAW) is an electronic system designed solely or primarily for recording, editing and playing back digital audio. DAWs were originally tape-less, microprocessor-based systems such as the Synclavier and Fairlight CMI. Modern DAWs are software running on computers with audio interface hardware.

An integrated DAW consists of a mixing console, control surface, audio converter, and data storage in one device. Integrated DAWs were more popular before personal computers became powerful enough to run DAW software. As computer power increased and price decreased, the popularity of the costly integrated systems with console automation dropped. However, systems such as the Orban Audicy once flourished at radio stations and television station. Today, some systems still offer computerless arranging and recording features with a full graphical user interface (GUI).


A computer-based DAW has four basic components: a computer, an ADC-DAC (also called a sound card, audio interface, etc.), a digital audio editor software, and at least one input device for adding or modifying musical note data (this could be as simple as a mouse, and as sophisticated as a MIDI controller keyboard, or an automated fader board for mixing track volumes, etc.). The computer acts as a host for the sound card and software and provides processing power for audio editing. The sound card (if used) or external audio interface typically converts analog audio signals into digital form, and for playback converting digital to analog audio; it may also assist in further processing the audio. The software controls all related hardware components and provides a user interface to allow for recording, editing, and playback. Most computer-based DAWs have extensive MIDI recording, editing, and playback capabilities, and some even have minor video-related features.

Simple smartphone-based DAWs, called Mobile Audio Workstation (MAWs), are also available, used for example by journalists for recording and editing on location.

Common functionality

As software systems, DAWs could be designed with any user interface, but generally they are based on a multitrack tape recorder metaphor, making it easier for recording engineers and musicians already familiar with using tape recorders to become familiar with the new systems. Therefore, computer-based DAWs tend to have a standard layout which includes transport controls (play, rewind, record, etc.), track controls and/or a mixer, and a waveform display. In single-track DAWs, only one (mono or stereo form) sound is displayed at a time.

Multitrack DAWs support operations on multiple tracks at once. Like a mixing console, each track typically has controls that allow the user to adjust the overall volume and stereo balance (pan) of the sound on each track. In a traditional recording studio additional processing is physically plugged in to the audio signal path, a DAW however can also route in software or uses software plugins to process the sound on a track.

DAWs are capable of many of the same functions as a traditional tape-based studio setup, and in recent years have almost completely replaced them. Modern advanced recording studios may have multiple types of DAWs in them and it is not uncommon for a sound engineer and/or musician to travel with a portable laptop-based DAW, although interoperability between different DAWs is poor.

Perhaps the most significant feature available from a DAW that is not available in analogue recording is the ability to 'undo' a previous action. Undo makes it much easier to avoid accidentally permanently erasing or recording over a previous recording. If a mistake is made, the undo command is used to conveniently revert the changed data to a previous state. Cut, Copy, Paste, and Undo are familiar and common computer commands and usually available in DAWs in some form.

Commonly DAWs feature some form of automation, often performed through "envelopes". Envelopes are procedural line segment-based or curve-based interactive graphs. The lines and curves of the automation graph are joined by or comprise adjustable points. By creating and adjusting multiple points along a waveform or control events, the user can specify parameters of the output over time (e.g., volume or pan). Automation data may also be directly derived from human gestures recorded by a control surface or controller. MIDI is a common data protocol used for transferring such gestures to the DAW.

MIDI recording, editing, and playback is increasingly incorporated into modern DAWs of all types, as is Synchronization with other audio and/or video tools.

1 comentario:

  1. Thank you for an informative blog which gives helpful information.i love music and i am seeking this kind of information.thanks for sharing.
    Jimi Petulla