What Is a DAW?
Before I copy the Wiki on this and give you a direct link, let me tell you what a DAW is. A Digital Audio Workstation most commonly references software applications used to record, edit, and mix audio. If you were to call your local Guitar Central and ask what DAW’s they had in stock, chances are 99% of the sales staff would rattle of a list of software applications for the computer. However, a keyboard with an onboard sequencer and record/mix capabilities could also be considered a DAW. Really, anything that allows you to work with audio in a digital format is a Digital Audio Workstation. Here is what Wiki has to say.
“A digital audio workstation (D.A.W.) is an electronic device or computer software application for recording, editing and producing audio files such as songs, musical pieces, human speech or sound effects. DAWs come in a wide variety of configurations from a single software program on a laptop, to an integrated stand-alone unit, all the way to a highly complex configuration of numerous components controlled by a central computer. Regardless of configuration, modern DAWs have a central interface that allows the user to alter and mix multiple recordings and tracks into a final produced piece.
DAWs are used for the production and recording of music, radio, television, podcasts, multimedia and nearly any other situation where complex recorded audio is needed.
The history of DAWs parallels advances in computer power with expensive-but-limited units becoming available in the 1970s, then more affordable PC-based systems in the late 1980s until the 2010s when a powerful system can be built relatively inexpensively, using open-source software and consumer audio equipment even as a market exists for professional high-end systems, essential in any 2010-era recording studio.”