Learning and using a digital audio workstation can be overly complicated and very overwhelming for new musicians. There are so many musicians using DAWs to record and produce music, it is not surprising that a quick online search brings up many people looking for help.
Are Digital Audio Workstations Easy to Use? The main reason why DAWs are so complicated is that there are so many features, option, and buttons. This can easily overwhelm new musicians. The good news is, once you have started to use your DAW to produce music, the learning curve will dramatically decrease over time.
In fact, we have been there ourselves! The love of producing music and the ability to do so at a reasonable cost using computer software is an amazing opportunity, but the software can (at times) be frustratingly complicated. In this article, we will be going over the reasons why digital audio workstations are so complicated and how we can make it a little bit easier for ourselves when we are just starting out.
The Main Reason Why DAWS Are So Hard To Use
1) There are so many options it can be confusing and overwhelming
When you begin to use your digital audio workstation to produce music, you will be met with many tools and options that you may not immediately understand. Each aspect can play a vital role regarding the end result of your track.
When you are struggling you can read the software’s manual, or seek answers online. Youtube and Google are both great resources to turn to for help.
Trial and error is an essential part of learning to use DAW. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to figure it all out on your own.
2) Unknown terminology and jargon
We’ve all had those moments when we are trying to create a great track and we are faced with terminology that we haven’t even heard before.
Consider these moments as a guide into which areas you should learn more about, that strange unheard-of term might just become your music mixing best friend. Don’t overlook it just because it’s new.
3) Getting lost within the software
It becomes so easy to get hung up on options that are really not important and ignore the things that are.
Frustration can push us into areas where we do not help ourselves so it is important to take a breath and think about what we need to read up on or watch YouTube tutorials about to help us move forward.
4) Comparison kills your magic
It is so easy to begin producing something and then you compare your work to that of professionals only to become disheartened, frustrated and disappointed.
Absolutely use the work of others as inspiration but don’t let others work aggravate you. Everyone starts somewhere and the more you use the software the easier you are going to find it to use.
Learn the Basics First
In order to get the most out of your DAW software, you should start with the basics and build up. A step-by-step approach will eliminate the frustration felt when trying to operate your digital audio workstation.
Without learning the basics, you will find it incredibly difficult to create a solid track and you may miss out on some of the key essential elements when producing.
Remember that we all need to start somewhere, you aren’t expected to know your way around the whole DAW software on your first day.
However, you can help yourself by reading the manual – it sounds dull but it can be invaluable to flick through the manual when you get a chance, you may have overlooked some key information and what better place to get insider information than from those who created the software.
Youtube and Google are both great resources to turn to for help.
Practice Makes Perfect
The more you use your DAW software, the easier it will become.
Learning something new always has its ups and downs but with everything in life, the more time you put in and the more you practice the better you will become.
Regularly using the software will also help you to identify the areas you’re strongest in and the areas you need to work on and before long you will welcome the new challenges.
You will be able to notice your own progress and you should use this to inspire you to keep at it.
We completely understand how frustrating the software can be when you first start using it but we guarantee if you put the time in you will notice improvements and before you know it you’ll open up the software and understand it in its entirety!
Keep creating and you will get there.
Digital audio workstations are fantastic, versatile software that plays a major part in producing music in this modern age.
You can transform your laptop or computer into a recording studio bringing endless musical opportunities. However, there are plenty of times of frustration or confusion particularly when first learning to use DAW software.
Don’t let the difficulties stop you – the pros outweigh the cons and there’s no doubt that if you put the effort in it will pay off.
To make the most of the possibilities DAW brings:
- Take the time to learn about the software you’ve chosen (start with the basics!)
- Learn the terminology that you don’t understand
- Stay focused and create your ideas with minimal distraction
- Never stop practicing – you will get there!
If you’re really struggling with the particular software you are using don’t forget there are various programs available so maybe a different one will be a better option for you.
Consider your requirements and be sure to take advantage of trials and demos to help you find the DAW program that feels most natural for you to use.