How do I get started in choosing or creating a Digital Audio Workstation?

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Answered by: Numan, An Expert in the Music Recording Category
Creating a Digital Audio Workstation

In today’s world, computer music technology has come a long way. The digital audio workstation (DAW) has become the mainstay of the modern recording studio either at large studios or home studios. When selecting the right hardware and software, you can create or choose a machine that can record many tracks of audio depending on the amount of inputs mechanisms it can support. When choosing or creating a DAW you have the capabilities to record multiple tracks of audio information.You can design your own DAW to meet your own needs for recording.

When designing or creating a DAW you will need to select the adequate hardware and software components for your system. Each paragraph below will highlight crucial items you will need to creating or choosing DAW components which will start you on your way to recording.

First, you will need to choose your processor. Choose an Intel Pentium based dual-core or quad-core processor. The more processing power you have the more audio effects you will be able to use and your computer will perform better.

Next choose your motherboard. Select a motherboard that supports either IEEE 1394 Fire wire or High Speed USB 2.0 or 3.0. Many multi-track audio interfaces on the market support both USB and Fire wire. There are many multi-track audio interfaces options out there.

A dedicated video card is very important component when creating your DAW. This item goes hand in hand with your processor in supplying adequate processing speed for your system. You will need a graphics card with at least 512 MB of dedicated memory. This will ensure your DAW does not lag or have any drop outs during the recording process.

Choose a dedicated professional audio input device or audio interface. This is where all your instruments will plug into. Your outputs from the interface will connect to your computer via Fire wire or USB port. There are many different excellent choice manufacturers in the marketplace who create interfaces. Some example companies are Presonus, M-Audio, and MOTU.

You will need a large monitor with a widescreen platform. When viewing individual tracks on the screen you will need to see the audio wave files when playing clips in real-time. A monitor with a higher resolution is preferable rated at 1280 × 720 minimum. Higher pixels density is best. Higher resolutions are usually best because you can see the wave files more clearly. A monitor from 20 inches and up is best to choose. A 24 inch or larger monitor will be best when viewing the software controls on screen especially when recording session is in progress.

Lastly, you must choose the type of recording software you will want to use. There are many options out there and year after year more and more new companies are producing software. Some major brands are Pro Tools, Steinberg’s Cubase. Each software program has its own unique features, functions and applications.

In summary, if you start with these guidelines you are on your way to choosing the right components for your DAW and onto the next steps of audio recording.

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