DAW or not DAW - list of concrete features

tjatja
edited April 23 in General App Discussion

I tried to write down what i would expect from something that is called a „Digital Audio Workstation“ (DAW), trying to find a definition and requirements:

  • [ ] Host IAA Apps and effects
  • [ ] Host AU Apps and effects

#

  • [ ] Record MIDI
  • [ ] Edit MIDI
  • [ ] Arrange and handle MIDI Patterns / Clips
  • [ ] MIDI Tracks on a timeline
  • [ ] Import and Export MIDI files
  • [ ] Live MIDI In and Out
  • [ ] Freezing MIDI to Audio
  • [ ] MIDI Learn
  • [ ] Support for all types of MIDI messages
  • [ ] MIDI feedback to controllers (knobs, faders, ...)

#

  • [ ] Record Audio
  • [ ] Edit Audio, incl. Timestretch
  • [ ] Arrange and handle Audio Patterns / Clips
  • [ ] Audio Tracks on a timeline
  • [ ] Import and Export Audio files and mixdown
  • [ ] Mix audio tracks
  • [ ] Master audio tracks
  • [ ] Support a wide range of Sample Rates and Bit Rates for Audio
  • [ ] Support for Bluetooth devices / controllers

  • [ ] Grouping / Subgrouping tracks for mixing / mastering (no hard requirement)

  • [ ] Tempo Track, Time Signature Track (no hard requirement)

#

  • [ ] Record Automation
  • [ ] Edit Automation

#

  • [ ] MIDI-Sync Master (at best also slave)
  • [ ] IAA-Sync Master
  • [ ] Ableton Link

I thought about things like „triggering MIDI or audio patterns“, but left this out.

What is missing?

«1

Comments

  • Good start.

    The ability to sub-group channels is a pretty important feature imho, especially for compressing drums.

    Also freezing/bouncing to audio - and preset management

  • @tk32 said:
    Good start.

    The ability to sub-group channels is a pretty important feature imho, especially for compressing drums.

    Also freezing/bouncing to audio - and preset management

    Edited above, but in other words.

    Did not understand preset management.
    What exactly are you referring to?

  • edited April 22

    Route/print audio or MIDI from track to track.

  • @BroCoast said:
    Route/print audio or MIDI from track to track.

    You mean, recording MIDI from some track into another track?
    And the same for audio.

    Not sure that i saw that already.
    Which DAW can do this on iOS?

  • By preset management, I meant being able to load and save plugin states (synth presets, EQ settings, etc) and perhaps even whole effect stacks.

    Preset support for plugins on iOS is a little patchy at the moment - which is why the best developers build it into their own plugin UIs

  • OT: That's a good list to make Music for Work = Produce Finished Goods.

    I think many are making a form of Live Playing or just Playing as an activity
    and they drop many of the stop/freeze/convert/final mix steps of the production line
    and use DAP's = Digital Audion Playgrounds. I guess a similar list for a great DAP might make
    a good thread.

    It's so instructive when you watch a master craftsman demonstrate a Live Session and
    how the tools are used for that experience. There's a knowledge of User Interface that involves Buttons, Knobs, Sliders, Pads, keyboard controllers, mixers, loopers, Apps and Live instrumental audio all centered around the iPad for power, flexibility, low cost and
    (wait for it) "travel-ability". Low a low-cost Akai Force which is probably the current best
    Hardware DAP.

    I respect work but I'd rather be playing. Having someone pay you to play is as good as it gets. The fact that's it Live is usually the attraction. Any obvious recording is "Karaoke" to the masses. Looping at least shows that you made the recording just a few seconds ago.

    Can of worms? New thread? a-DAP't or get back to work. Demo a Live session with a real DAW and it can be called a DAWP. Who let the DAWP's out?

  • I'd say, stretching audio. I use it all the time in Cubasis...

  • @lasselu said:
    I'd say, stretching audio. I use it all the time in Cubasis...

    I think it’s defined in Edit feature

  • Full midi implementation . Midi learn for everything, including views, actions ....
    And midi feedback for some controllers.

  • @Korakios said:
    Full midi implementation . Midi learn for everything, including views, actions ....
    And midi feedback for some controllers.

    Please try to be more concrete :smile:
    What is a „full MIDI implementation“?
    Or do you mean „MIDI Learn“ with this?

    Going to add „MIDI Learn“ above ...

    Also, i don‘t understand what you mean with „MIDI feedback“.
    Do we have this already in an iOS DAW?

  • @Korakios said:

    @lasselu said:
    I'd say, stretching audio. I use it all the time in Cubasis...

    I think it’s defined in Edit feature

    Added it above.

  • @tja said:

    @Korakios said:
    Full midi implementation . Midi learn for everything, including views, actions ....
    And midi feedback for some controllers.

    Please try to be more concrete :smile:
    What is a „full MIDI implementation“?
    Or do you mean „MIDI Learn“ with this?

    Going to add „MIDI Learn“ above ...

    Also, i don‘t understand what you mean with „MIDI feedback“.
    Do we have this already in an iOS DAW?

    With full midi implementation, I mean midi learn :) But could be used beside solo,mute,sends, transport , for changing the view (Mixer, track, edit, scene) or editing (insert marker, nudge, normalize, change length etc...)
    Also all midi messages should be supported , including relative midi CC, N/RPNs....

    With midi feedback I mean that the DAW should send to a controller, information about the mixer status (channels that might be in mute,solo state, the sends and level status etc)
    Useful for controllers with leds ...

  • edited April 22

    render wav, aif, mp3
    support any samplerate
    BT midi
    freeze audio & midi tracks to save cpu
    MPE
    timeline & clip based ...
    positive & negative track delay
    plugin latency compensation !!!
    UI for all apple AUs

  • MIDI feedback for controllers

    There's two way communication between the DAW app and the hardware controller so that if you update a MIDI controlled parameter in the DAW it’s reflected in the hardware MIDI controller and vice versa (e.g. via a screen on the MIDI hardware). For example, some controllers have endless rotary knobs and the two way communication feedback allows you to know where the parameter is on the hardware versus non-feedback MIDI control where you only know once you adjust the controller again. With non-endless knobs, the position of the knob gives an indication of where the parameter is.

    Some functionality I would like:

    MIDI

    1. MIDI-CI
    2. MIDI MPE
    3. MIDI PC
    4. support for various resolutions of MIDI CC control (e.g. 7 bit, 14 bit).
    5. MIDI filters
    6. An ability to create MIDI busses within the DAW.

    AUv3

    1. AUv3 automation control and recording.
    2. MIDI effect apps option to record their MIDI
    3. Configure MIDI routing between apps, hardware, and tracks.
    4. Save MIDI configuration setups as presets.
    5. Save AUv3 presets within the DAW app with a user controllable directory structure.

    Support Sample Instruments

    1. SFZ
    2. SF2
    3. EXS24

    File Storage

    1. A directory with user created directories.
    2. User directories accessible in the Files app.
    3. Export/Import zip files for media supported by the DAW
    4. Export/Import via the Files app.

    Tags

    1. Use a tagging system for various presets, projects, and files.
    2. Factory tags
    3. User tags

    Audiobus 3 and IAA

    1. The ability to load IAA apps with Audiobus 3 support so they have similar support features within the DAW. For example state savings.
    2. Load as an IAA app inside an IAA host. E.g. inside Audiobus 3, AUM, or apeMatrix.
    3. Route audio to or from DAW via IAA host app.
    4. Route MIDI to or from DAW via IAA host app.

    Audio Format Support

    1. All Apple standards
    2. Rex Files
    3. Acidized files
    4. Ableton Live Set Import/Export including MIDI.

    Audio Editor

    1. Sample accurate with display in samples available
    2. Transient detection slicing
    3. Detect BPM
    4. Detect root note
    5. Slice set lengths
    6. Slice based on thresholds
    7. Mono to stereo conversion and vice versa.
    8. Conversion between various formats
    9. Support for various sample rates

    Scopes

    1. Amplitude over time
    2. Frequency distributions
    3. Resource usage of various components in a setup
    4. Configurable meters displays for various parameters. E.g. RMS, LUFF

    DAW Configuration

    1. Determine which sets of features and functions are available and active.
    2. Save feature and function setups as presets.
    3. Least common denominator detection. Will identify which aspect of a particular setup is limiting. E.g. latency, sample rate, or an apps I/O.
    4. Support legacy protocol modes. E.g. an app hasn’t been updated to the latest Link protocol, you could designate a specific Link version to run. These legacy support settings can be saved as presets.
    5. Look Ahead Update System iOS developers, Beta testers, and first iOS update responders will send feedback to a knowledge base which notifies the user of the effects of updating apps or iOS will have on their intended update actions.
    6. A configurable automated system of user set warning levels will set the alerts and actions which will effect how the DAW’s Look Ahead Update System will interact or automatically function for the user. There will be factory and user presets for this.
    7. An ability to share presets between iOS devices, different OSes for DAW, and different users.
    8. An ability to set which features, functions, and project assets are available when sharing or collaborating on a project including user accounts with associated protocols and passwords.
    9. Support WiFi and internet based collaborative control.
    10. Support SIRI command and controls which are configurable.
    11. Integration and support for the Shortcuts app.

    Filters

    1. The usual filters: low pass, high pass, band pass, notch, comb, ladder, . . .
    2. An ability for developers to create built in custom filters using the DAW’s filter API.

    Modular Language Support

    1. Pd
    2. Max
    3. OSC
    4. Web MIDI

    Tutorials

    1. Built-In Help system
    2. Searchable Help
    3. Automated Help which will take you to a specific location in the DAW in response to a help query.
    4. Configurable Help Settings with presets.
    5. An AI system that responds to my interaction with the DAW help system to customize my user experience.
    6. With in app videos which can be opened up anywhere you are in the app.
  • edited April 22

    @InfoCheck
    Ableton Live Set Import
    I don't think there is an api for that ...
    and you need to clone every single live device
    forget this ;)
    only Ableton would be able to do this
    (export just renders audioclips to work around this - missing plugin thing)

  • McDMcD
    edited April 22

    @InfoCheck wrote:
    A Glittering Gem of a List

    You have the precision of a diamond cutter when you get out your tools.
    (The same tools we all have but with less clarity in the resulting cuts).

  • @tja said:

    @BroCoast said:
    Route/print audio or MIDI from track to track.

    You mean, recording MIDI from some track into another track?
    And the same for audio.

    Not sure that i saw that already.
    Which DAW can do this on iOS?

    BM3 is the only one I know can do it. Perhaps Auria can? I don't have it anymore.

  • @Max23 said:
    @InfoCheck
    Ableton Live Set Import
    I don't think there is an api for that ...
    and you need to clone every single live device
    forget this ;)
    only Ableton would be able to do this
    (export just renders audioclips to work around this - missing plugin thing)

    What I was thinking of was being able to import the Ableton Live sets created by various iOS apps and have the DAW be able to import these in a useful way.

    Your take would require an iOS version of Ableton which I believe many people would welcome too.

  • wimwim
    edited April 23

    @BroCoast said:

    @tja said:

    @BroCoast said:
    Route/print audio or MIDI from track to track.

    You mean, recording MIDI from some track into another track?
    And the same for audio.

    Not sure that i saw that already.
    Which DAW can do this on iOS?

    BM3 is the only one I know can do it. Perhaps Auria can? I don't have it anymore.

    Auria Pro can now.

    There are still some problems with AUv3 plugins, but these are apparently just about sorted out in beta.

  • @wim said:

    @BroCoast said:

    @tja said:

    @BroCoast said:
    Route/print audio or MIDI from track to track.

    You mean, recording MIDI from some track into another track?
    And the same for audio.

    Not sure that i saw that already.
    Which DAW can do this on iOS?

    BM3 is the only one I know can do it. Perhaps Auria can? I don't have it anymore.

    Auria Pro can now.

    There are still some problems with AUv3 plugins, but these are apparently just about sorted out in beta.

    I figured it could now. Seems like it's gained quite a few features since I last used it!

  • @Max23 said:
    render wav, aif, mp3

    I am not sure. WAV would suffice for me, the conversion can be done with other Apps.
    So is this really part of the definition for a DAW?

    support any samplerate

    Right, that was missing, i think.

    BT midi

    Okkkkkk

    freeze audio & midi tracks to save cpu

    Already listed

    MPE

    Not needed for the definition of a DAW, i feel. Esp. as this is not yet a real standard?!?

    timeline & clip based ...

    I used the term pattern above, but will enhance this

    positive & negative track

    Not realy understand. Also, a requirement for any DAW?

    plugin latency compensation !!!

    Do we have something like this already?

    UI for all apple AUs

    ?

  • @InfoCheck You are completely overwhelming me :) :D, :o

    I short terms, what should I add above - for a proper definition of a DAW, not including "nice to haves" but "what is required"?

  • edited April 23

    tempo track and time signature track - very basic festures in most desktop DAWs

    Grouping / Subgrouping tracks for mixing / mastering

    but his basically makes Cubasis or Gadget "not DAW" :))

  • tjatja
    edited April 23

    @dendy said:
    tempo track and time signature track - very basic festures in most desktop DAWs

    Grouping / Subgrouping tracks for mixing / mastering

    but his basically makes Cubasis or Gadget "not DAW" :))

    Do all desktop DAWS have subgrouping?
    I am not sure that this is a hard requirement for a DAW.

    But same with tempo track and time signature track, still going to add for now.

    Gadget has no timeline anyway, it is a Beat Box or something, or not?

    (Edited above)

    Thanks!

  • edited April 23

    Do all desktop DAWS have subgrouping?

    Cubase, Logic, Studio One, Reaper... it's pretty much essential thing.. i'm still wondering Steinberg didn't added it yet into Cubasis

  • @tja said:

    positive & negative track

    Not realy understand. Also, a requirement for any DAW?

    Its the easy ticket to groove ...

    plugin latency compensation !!!

    Do we have something like this already?

    good question ?

    UI for all apple AUs

    ?

    there are many apple AUs in the system of iOS but there is no UI to use them

    AUBandpassFilter
    AUDynamicsProcessor
    AUDelay
    AUDistortion
    AUHighPassFilter
    AUHighShelfFilter
    AUPodEQ
    AULowPassFilter
    AULowShelfFilter
    AUBandEQ
    AUNewPitch
    AUParametricEQ
    AUReverb2
    AUSampleDelay
    AUMIDISynth
    AUSampler

  • @tja said:
    @InfoCheck You are completely overwhelming me :) :D, :o

    I short terms, what should I add above - for a proper definition of a DAW, not including "nice to haves" but "what is required"?

    What is required depends on what you want to do and how you want to do it. It also matters if you’re going to do all of the mixing and mastering your self as well as where you intend on distributing it.

    I really don’t believe there is any such thing as a proper definition of a DAW outside of the context of a specific musician’s workflow and goals. This is a much more subjective question than even one like what is the perfect guitar or piano.

    Fundamentally a DAW is a tool a musician uses to create music. I firmly believe the tool should serve the musician rather than having the musician conform to the requirements or limitations of the tool. Of course the musician may not always be able to have the tools they would like for any number of reasons nor should this prevent them from trying to create music although it can certainly limit what sorts of music they decide to create with a specific DAW. I think this helps to explain why not every DAW is like every other DAW nor is there any consensus on which DAW is the best.

    My list is what I would like and certainly other people will not have the same preferences or needs in a DAW.

    Yes, MIDI MPE is an official MIDI standard.

  • @InfoCheck said:

    What I was thinking of was being able to import the Ableton Live sets created by various iOS apps and have the DAW be able to import these in a useful way.

    I like the idea of this, if DAW’s had import + export, would be a good way of sharing projects from iOS Daw to Daw which is often wanted too.

  • @Carnbot said:

    @InfoCheck said:

    What I was thinking of was being able to import the Ableton Live sets created by various iOS apps and have the DAW be able to import these in a useful way.

    I like the idea of this, if DAW’s had import + export, would be a good way of sharing projects from iOS Daw to Daw which is often wanted too.

    I think a universal iOS import/export for DAW apps would be a good idea especially if you could use the same files via a shared document space rather than have to make copies of them to use in various DAWs. You’d be able to leverage the unique features of a particular DAW so that you can freely work on your project in various DAWs accordingly. This would facilitate collaboration without filling up your iOS device and backing up project files would be more straightforward. In addition, DAW developers would be enabled to focus on a more coherent approach without needing to feel pressured to check all of the feature boxes in order to be relevant.

    Perhaps the question @tja originally asked could be more appropriately asked at this level. What functions and features should be part of such a DAW import/export standard?

    Clearly one of the big issues would be if there are DAW specific MIDI generated synth sounds or effects are specific to that DAW (e.g. Obsidian in Nanostudio 2) and only work inside that DAW. These parts of a project would need to be rendered to audio to be audible in another DAW. This would point to plug-ins as the way forward as they work in any DAW that supports the plug-in standard.

    I for one would welcome AUv3 versions of Obsidian, the Korg apps, and Gadgets so that I can use them in my iOS DAWs of choice with state savings rather than being restricted to using them in their current format. Conceivably there could still be baked in synths for a DAW and the AUv3 version of the DAW could be a separate purchase or bundled with purchasing the DAW to facilitate being able to use multiple DAWs or enable someone to stay with a main DAW and not have to pay for AUv3 versions of its synths or effects. apeMatrix already has some AUv3 apps it comes with that are not for sale individually but can be used in other apps, especially Audiobus 3, to enhance their functionality.

  • @Max23 said:

    there are many apple AUs in the system of iOS but there is no UI to use them

    AUBandpassFilter
    AUDynamicsProcessor
    AUDelay
    AUDistortion
    AUHighPassFilter
    AUHighShelfFilter
    AUPodEQ
    AULowPassFilter
    AULowShelfFilter
    AUBandEQ
    AUNewPitch
    AUParametricEQ
    AUReverb2
    AUSampleDelay
    AUMIDISynth
    AUSampler

    GarageBand has a 'basic' UI for most of them and that would in most cases be 'enough'.
    Don't know how hard it would be to make a basic wrapper that covered all of them?

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