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Important facts about Software

This category includes all programs and plug-ins for computer-based production, recording and mixing.


If you want to get into the subject matter, you first need to get to grips with the topic of DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). Factors such as compatibility with hardware, ease of use, the required complexity, and the features of course, but also upgrade options or the genre you want to work with, should all be taken into account in this decision. Often the chosen DAW will accompany you for years and a change of direction is usually associated with a longer period of adjustment! Most DAWs come with a wealth of proprietary software instruments and effect plug-ins, which the potential buyer should also preview and listen to.

Common DAWs include:

Software Instruments and Samples

In order to be able to generate audio signals in the DAW, software instruments are required that work either with a pre-programmed virtual sound generator or a collection of finished sound recordings (sample library) that they play back at the desired pitch. Which form of synthesis is used depends mainly on the type of sound to be achieved: strings, drums or guitar, for example, are usually played back sample-based (e.g. in the libraries of EastWest), but especially the piano can now also be virtually calculated in high quality. Due to their partly immense detail resolution sample libraries need a considerable amount of memory. If you like, you can also record your own sounds and have them played back at any pitch by a suitable sampling plug-in.

The popular products of the EZdummer or EZkeys series from Toontrack can be extended with a variety of quite affordable sounds of different colours. Please note that these extensions are only compatible with the respective software instruments.

In contrast, synthesizer sounds are usually calculated directly by a plug-in. If the instrument is based on a certain hardware device, the copy is usually very convincing! Often used are for example Massive from Native Instruments or the plug-ins from Arturia. In this field there is an unmanageable mass of software for every purpose and for every taste!

Popular products include:

Updates, Upgrades & EDU-Versions

Most manufacturers offer their products in different versions for different setups. If you already own an older version of a programme, you can get a full licence of the newer version at a reduced price with an update. If you own a less extensive version of a program and want to change to the full version, you can look for an upgrade for your current version. If you want to change to an equivalent programme from another manufacturer, there are cross-grades for this purpose, which allow you to change at a comparatively low price.

Are you a teacher, pupil, student or run an educational institution or a non-profit organisation? Then visit our EDU category! Here you can enjoy generous discounts if you meet the manufacturer's requirements: Sometimes it is sufficient to present a certificate of affiliation, but sometimes you also have to prove that you have a subject-related activity. Companies such as Magix also grant EDU discounts for associations or NGOs that have no connection to music or film!