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New To DAW and Digital Music/Need Help

Ian Miller


Hey everybody,

I'm completely new when it comes to working a DAW and making digital music. I have no idea what are the necessesary components to make this all work or not. I know how to use a lot of the Adobe Suite of softwares (like premiere, photoshop, illustrator, etc. but DAWs are a completely different animal. I decided to use Cakewalk because it seemed somewhat easy for a newcomer; however, I am having several problems and questions as I start trying to use Cakewalk:

1. Do I need an input device? I am only planning on making instrumental beats using midi or sampled sounds. I see on every online tutorial to link an input device, which seems unnecessary to me as I am willing to just use the digital akeyboard displayed inside Cakewalk. Any guidance on this subject would be appreciated.

2. Do I need an audio interface? All tutorials seem to talk about an audio interface and I am unaware of its importance to what I specifically want to do with Cakewalk. I would prefer to not have to buy a 100 dollar interface, especially since I am just starting out. 

3. What driver mode should I be in? I keep hearing that ASIO is the way to go, so should I download ASIO4All and switch over from MME (32 bit)?

4. I receive an error saying 'Silent Buses Detected' followed by 'master'. What do I do? Again, I have no familiarity with the common lingo of DAWs, so I have no idea what this error message wants me to do, nor do I understand what's wrong.

Any help or insight would be appreciated. This whole setup has been incredibly confusing and I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do. Thank you!

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1. No but a MIDI keyboard can be handy for data entry maybe start saving one now.

2. Not immediately (maybe not ever) unless you plan on recording audio but you may eventually get one so it can't hurt to save up for one while saving for a MIDI keyboard.

3. If running Win10 use one of the WASAPI modes (probably WASAPI shared). ASIO4All is not a driver, it wraps the WDM driver and presents it as an ASIO driver. Cakewalk can use WDM or WASAPI drivers without an ASIO wrapper.

4. The master needs to be routed to your audio interface (in this case the PC sound chip).


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The Piano Roll View is disabled until there is an instrument or MIDI track in the project.

If you are just messing around use the Add Track menu to insert TTS-1 into the project. Read the To create Instrument tracks in the link.

While your at it disable the MS GS Wavetable synth in preferences (there should be no MIDI devices selected because you don;t have any) and get used to using TTS-1 for GM sounds.


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