Basics of Recording and Creating Music with Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs)
This page provides resources that the Consortium for Innovation and Transformation in Music Education at Arizona State University curates or creates to get started with basics of recording and creating music with Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs). What is a DAW?
A digital audio workstation (DAW) is an application that allows you to create and record music. You can record and manipulate acoustic and electric sounds and instruments by using digital audio aspects of a DAW. You can also record and manipulate MIDI information.
Why would I want to use a DAW?
A DAW provides people with an immediate way to record and create music. Free and inexpensive DAWs, some of which are web-based allow learners to explore endless possibilities with sound and music. The music literacies that people use with DAWs are not specific to or reliant on staff notation.
What are some DAWs I might want to use?
There are numerous DAWs available and people have their own preferences. It is not possible to include resources on every existing DAW so we will share some resources for DAWs that are more common in music learning and teaching settings as well as those that are low cost or have characteristics that make them well-suited for music learning.
You can start making choices by exploring some of the following DAWs
What do I need to use a DAW?
You can pretty much use any computer and in many cases a mobile device.
To use web-based DAWs you will need to create an account.
Other DAWs will require you to download the application.
If you want to record audio with decent quality, you will also need some type of microphone (and in some cases an audio interface). If you want the experience of playing instruments to create music with MIDI you will need some type of MIDI controller.
How do I record audio with a DAW?
- Using microphones to record audio in Bandlab
- Using direct input or audio interfaces to record audio in Bandlab
- Basic recording functions in Bandlab
Recording Audio with SoundTrap
Working with Audio in SoundTrap
Recording Audio in GarageBand
- Set Up Audio in Ableton
- Setup an Audio Interface with Ableton
- Import and Manipulate Audio in Ableton
- Use Audio clips in Ableton
- Recording Audio with Ableton Live
How do I create with MIDI in a DAW?
How do I export or download my music?
Download and share music from SoundTrap to Google Drive:
Exporting Audio From Ableton Live