If there’s one thing that ties solo musicians into knots more than anything else, it is the disease of DAW obsession. If you don’t believe me, go visit gearslutz.com and hang around there for a few minutes.
DAW obsession is what happens when we elevate our digital audio workstation (DAW) to the realm of demi-god — the thing that will make — or won’t make — our music sound glorious.
Some people swear by Pro Tools. Others by Logic Pro or Digital Performer. Still more by Sonar or Cubase. Did I mention Studio One? Don’t want to upset that crowd.
If it sounds bad, it’s the DAW’s fault
It’s compelling to see your DAW as the sole reason why your music sounds the way it does.
That’s because it’s playing your music back to you. If it sounds bad, it’s the DAW’s fault. We learn that to be true at an ‘early age’ in our music production development.
And, so, the corollary of that is, when the music coming out of our DAW starts sounding decent, then it must be because NOT only have we got a handle on our DAW — but our DAW is the superior one on the market.
Our DAW is the champion DAW.
And, yes, it is. But the thing is: ANY DAW would have been the DAW to make your music sound good if you had spent the time to learn how to record and mix on it.
A DAW helps your creativity — that’s all
I have long thought that audio signal flow is the foundation of recording and mixing — not because I think it’s a sexy subject (signal flow — seriously?).
No, it’s because by learning signal flow, you can pick up any DAW or work on ANY physical mixing board.
DAWs? Meh. They’re there for no other reason than for us to express our creativity on. They’re a blank slate — NOT filled with magical qualities. Pro Tools. Logic … They’re all the same.
Sure, they have some differences, and you might FEEL more comfortable in one than any other. But at the end of a recording session, your DAW is nothing more exciting or special than the tape they once used to record and mix on.
A DAW is nothing more than a (virtual) inanimate object.
So, please, if you have a DAW obsession — or you think you could develop one — I implore you to get over it.
Because it’s NOT your DAW that makes you sound good. Nor is it any special DAW keystrokes or techniques.
It’s the music that resides in you.