Creating music using a digital audio workstation, or DAW for short, revolutionised how we make music in the digital age. From the invention of MIDI, to the creation of Virtual Studio Technology, the fundamentals of a DAW have remained almost unchanged. But what is a DAW? It’s simply an electronic device or application software used for recording, editing and producing audio files.
As the requirements of music producers are vast and often extremely specific, it’s not possible to include every music production tool within one package. The beauty of MIDI VST technology is the ability to spec a DAW with exactly the right tools for the job.
Let’s consider Logic Pro X. It’s one of the most popular DAWs on the market. This is because it makes light work of almost any music production task. However, if we wanted to create a particular warmth or sound with vocal compression, we wouldn’t necessarily reach straight for Logic’s stock compressor. Instead, we might choose a compressor normally utilized specifically for that task. In this specific situation, a Fairchild 670 compressor would be a fantastic choice. This is because of its exceptional results when used on vocals.
Fairchild UAD Compressor
Music production and songwriting in general should be a fun process. Often the “magic” which makes a song successful happens in a moment. This makes it super-important to be able to capture these moments with ease. Tools which offer live playability and ease of further production will help ensure a fast workflow, and this is key to turning ideas into great music.
DAWs don’t necessarily offer in-depth song writing functionality, they are more geared towards production and mixing. Ableton Live’s strengths, for example, are its ability to time-warp samples with ease, plus offer DJs and live electronic artists a flexible platform. On the contrary, you might find Country artists opting for Pro Tools. This is because Pro Tools’ fundamentals lie in recording, tracking and mixing live instruments.
Captain Plugins was designed to aid music composition to a level in which no DAW, or MIDI VST plugin has achieved. Captain Plugins allows you to use your favourite DAW as the foundation of your studio set up. You can then add purpose-built plugins, such as Captain Chords, to create MIDI chord progressions, melodies, basslines and beats. These musical creations can then be dragged and dropped directly within your DAW for further production.
This gives you the best of both worlds, a DAW you are comfortable working within – which includes the regular tools required for production – and the specific power of MIDI VST plugins designed to aid music composition.
Find the full list of supported Digital Audio Workstations here in our FAQ section.