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DAW Updates and News from NAMM 2014

This year at NAMM 2014, there were several cool announcements and updates in the realm of DAWs and plugins.  While I’m sure I’ll miss someone’s favorite DAW, here are a few takeaways that I’m excited about.

Presonus Studio One (version 2.6.2)

Studio One just received an update to what is now version 2.6.2.  The latest version of Studio One has better integration with hardware and publishing options, including a seamless workflow when using StudioLive series mixers and auto-publishing to Nimbit and Soundcloud.  

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While Waves introduced several new plugins, the one I’m most excited about is Abbey Road Reel ADT (artificial double track).  Created in conjunction with Abbey Road Studios, this classic effect double tracks your signal and then adds an adjustable oscillation warble to your second track.  On playback, this creates the illusion of multiple takes.  This concept was originally contrived in the studio by engineer Ken Townsend and was used on many tracks by the Beatles.  

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Bitwig Studio

Bigwig announced the release of their new DAW, which is being touted as a solution for both studio and live applications.  The new DAW comes with an extensive library of sounds, and will be heavily focused on EDM creation.  Bitwig Studio will be available in March.

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I mention Garageband since it seems to be a popular DAW among DOD users.  There weren't any software specific updates at NAMM; Apple pushed major Garageband updates to both Mac and iOS back in October.  Fender announced a new Stratocaster Plus that can connect directly to your iOS device through the lightning cable.  This allows you to record directly into Garageband.  From the demos, this looks like a very cool solution for recording, no matter where you may be.

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Cubase 7.5 was introduced at NAMM.  The coolest new feature they announced will allow contributing musicians to record directly to your timeline through the internet.  I’m a little leery about latency issues, but they assured me that it works great.  I was also impressed with their new feature track version, which allows you to quickly swap in and out different takes on the same track.  This new feature makes auditioning takes within your mix incredibly easy.

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Pro Tools 11, another DOD fan favorite, received a few new plugins.  The most notable is the updated version of Massenburg Design Work’s parametric EQ.  The previous versions of MDWEQ are renowned for their accuracy and ease of use, and based on what I heard, the update is fantastic.

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