In a matter of "DAW" and by the way, yes, I learned this word recently, as it stands for Digital Audio Workstation, or "sequencer" as we were calling it in the old days ! ( lol ), it occurs to me, I always used Steinberg Cubase soft- wares, since they appeared in the late 80's. I even still have a venerable Atari 1040STF running with it, in a corner of my kitchen !
Oddly enough, I always had this visual construction in mind when it comes to schematize a song, timing from left to right, colorized instruments tracks up to down... Let me say, I was stunned when I discovered this famous track sheet below, from Mike Oldfield "Five Miles Out" 82' album, as it was exactly my in- ner vision of things !
Years later, Cubase has been the first software to realise these visual wishes ( plus, the name hap- pens to be stupidly funny in french, it's a bonus...), even- tually adding audio tracks to the MIDI stuff, earning this "DAW" etiquette...
So, how we do music nowadays ? Let's say you can put your mixing desk, your synths, your effects, etc, into a personal computer, the computer proces- sors indeeed doing all the work the elec- tronic stuff was doing anyway, in the previous "solid" hardware equipment.
For me, it all started, when I finally decided to get the virtual Emulator X on my computer, several years ago. I was thinking it would be a simple software installation, but I was wrong, it involved pluging PCI cards into the computer, and other several latency, drivers, and MIDI conflict issues.
These PCI cards allows audio inputs and outputs (including sampling ), MIDI in/out, they're also vir- tually linked to the Cubase DAW multi-tracks...
And, I had recently an irritating glitch about some VSTi in Cubase 4, opening only in very a small window, because of corrupted hidden file, deep inside Windows XP... And just before, Cubase 4 totally freezing, because of a new running version of Quicktime... I really wonder, how guys who get into music today don't get crazy.