Introduction to DAWs

DAW is short for ‘digital audio workstation’. DAWs are sequencers – eg Logic or Cubase. They’re useful if you are not confident with notation or can’t quite work out what you want to compose on an instrument.

Sequencing software can be used for creating compositions using MIDI or audio sounds. Music can be created by synthesising sound, ie created ‘artificially’ using electronic devices. The development of this approach, known as Elektronische Musik, has its origins in Germany in the early 1950s.

Clicking and dragging loops in DAWs

The simplest way of using a DAW is to make the most of its loop library. You can practise dragging loops into your music, looping them and adding effects to them. This will help you learn how a sequencer works. For GCSE Music - composition, you must create your own loops.

Creating your own loops

In all DAWs there is an option for you to create your own loops. You can play these into the software via a virtual keyboard within the software, or you can record them using a MIDI keyboard. You can also record your voice or instruments into the sequencer. Don’t forget - a sequencer helps you produce music, but you must come up with the music yourself.