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Was DAWless a Corona Phenomenon? Some thoughts.


Those who followed my journey know that I've been a big fan of music hardware for years and swear by the many advantages these machines can give.


A few days ago I wrote in another blog post about wanting my DAW back for different reasons I made during my latest projects. I thought this was my own little luxury problem only, but surprisingly, I'm seeing more and more musicians leading towards the same direction and a general desire to get back to DAW and setup hybrid constructions including both hardware AND software.


I often read that during Corona lockdown a lot of new hardware got purchased, apparently because there were enough savings due to the lack of travel and leisure activities. Now those restrictions have largely been lifted and artists are realizing that they simply bought too much stuff that they might never really master, and I notice that many musicians want to go back to the computer and combine some hardware with the advantages of software.


An interesting development in my opinion. I noticed this also during talks with musicians in my direct environment, as well as with myself, and I hear similar statements: "It's refreshing to work with the DAW again", "Very inspiring setup", "I completely forgot the possibilities of Software" and so on.


In addition to the financial aspect, which also played a role for myself, it's also certainly the case that many musicians could not perform due to years of Corona restrictions. Thus, the thought of portable setups did not arise at all.


Will DAWless stay?


I think there will still be a huge community of musicians who work with pure hardware setups, but I notice a slight flattening of pure DAWless productions. Maybe my perception is different than yours in that regard? Leave your opinion in the comments below. I love to hear others on this topics.


But I still find this development absolutely exciting. Because at the core it always leads to the same question: Namely, that creators have fun with their music, regardless how they make it.


I myself have the feeling that hardware has taught me a lot that I would not have been able to do with software alone. Actually, I only started working with music in a serious way because of Hardware that I purchased during Corona. That was when the Digitakt came into the game. The HW fever had grabbed me, I added more and more machines after a short time and I wanted to create partout no more with the DAW. I think I have developed a kind of "tunneled view", for whatever reason. The main thing was to produce "DAWless".


A setup should reflect the artistical goals


The reason for my first hardware acquisition was that I wasn't happy with my DAW produced tracks anymore. I wanted to make music that I could perform and shape with my hands, that contained mistakes, I wanted to move away from plugin orgies, play in front of an audience and connect with people at some point, and that thus had to be reproducible music.


That's why I decided at a point to try it with hardware. From today's perspective, this process was very helpful, because it taught me a lot with regard to these goals and brought me much closer to them then a computer could ever do.


And don't get me wrong, I will always use hardware cos I still think it's different to transform my emotions into sounds with direct access to a synthesizer. And the evolving sound of an analogue Vermona Perfourmer will never be replaced by a VST. But it totally makes sense to open up and take advantage of both worlds - smaller setups, less travel stress, cheaper, more flexibility.


I'm going to downsize my equipment park in the near future and sell some of the machines I haven't used lately. Don't worry, the Elektrons aren't among with them :) Even though I'm currently focusing on a small hybrid setup for travelling which doesn't involve Digitakt and Analog Rytm, they remain my favorite machines. For the latter, by the way, I'm developing a new video course to launch in late fall.


Build your own setup


If you got lost in MIDI, routing and synths, if you need someone to give track feedbacks, or help building your own setup, be it hardware, hybrid or software based - I offer individual coaching lessons. Book a free trial session now and we can discuss your needs!




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