I would suspect a large majority of composers for film/tv compose with DAWs (or at least know or have done so in the past). When we use electronic/software tools to create our music and then use 'samplers' to play our music, we are in complete control. By that I mean, no human being is involved in the process of generating our music. Every play through the sampler normally produces the same result (though some of our software will give us the variability that happens when a human performer plays it). By eliminating the human performer, we as composers also 'avoid' many of the issues that come with live performance. Some could be general and some could be very specific. For example, one of the guitar players I write for is older and has difficult seeing - if I don't generate a part for him that uses a very larger font, I know he will complain. When we compose for live performers, one of the first things we need to worry about is whether what we wrote is 'playable'. The first step/question is whether or not it is playable by any human performer at all. Certain sequences we play can be just too complicated for any human player. I once arranged a big band jazz piece of the famous top 40 hit "Topsie" (which you can watch here at https://www.stage32.com/media/644309202969309144). I took the organ solo from the record and created it for an alto sax. Perhaps it would have been playable by John Coltraine or Charlie Parker but what was already a complex organ/piano solo was way too difficult for the sax player and so he merely improvised something simpler he could play. What that taught/reminded me is that when scoring for live performance, the composers HAS TO consider the talent and abilities of his players. The target of / the customer of the sheet music is NOT the listeners - it is the performers. Now, in many cases, when we score for live or a combination of sequenced/live (i.e., an electronic version with the INTENT of someday using the score as is for live performance), we want the music to sound professional and so we score it to be played with the talent / abilities of a professional symphony orchestra. But as I mentioned that is not always the case OR we write music we want to be played by orchestral performers but as you know (at least outside of LA) unless you are a well connected (or academic) classical composer, the odds are low you will get a professional commercial symphony to play any of your pieces. So this suggests once again if you want to get your music heard by live performers, you will have to write for the performing abilities of your target musicians. Now if your music is played by a rock or country band or performer or you are writing lead sheets for a jazz group, you leave it up to the musicians with minimal guidance to perform your piece. But as I learned this past Thu night at a Jazz class, even lead sheets can be too complex if the chord progressions don't lead to simple improvisations or have too many changes in too few bars. So why do I write/blog about this here? Because there is a GROWTH opportunity for you as composers if you attempt to intentionally write for those with lesser abilities to play your music. It makes you think and consider more of the physical and actual playing issues involved in the performance of your music - the stuff you normally just ASSUME that is the responsibility of the performer. I went through this process recently. A friend/colleague of mine in Jazz class is the music teacher in the Katy, Texas school system and teaches in a middle school and asked me to adopt part of my recent "Mosaic Suite" (http://www.icompositions.com/music/song.php?sid=207453) for her middle school string orchestra. These are typically 10 or 11 year old students who play violin, viola, cello or bass at levels from simple beginner to perhaps intermediate. If you have a school age child, for the most part the performing is not a career move but one for education growth like any other extra-curricular activity (like Soccer). If you write / score the parts at the college or professional level it won't get played. Many considerations that you/I would normally not be concerned about become significant factors/issues. For example, string players have various 'positions' that they put their hands in, in order to play the notes. The beginning players have significant difficulty in playing notes while moving between 'positions'. So when I scored the piece, I had to write most of the parts assuming the players remained in 'first position' - this significantly limited what notes could be played. Other obvious issues involved the key - we needed to use C and limit the number of sharps and flats that were used. But this could sometimes cause issues - for example, violas and cellos use C as their bottom note but violins start at G. So sometimes, the note movement had to be changed by putting the notes an octave higher. Also beginning players have difficulties with large jumps in notes (i.e., large intervals) which again forced both melody and supporting notes to be changed to accommodate them. So as you can see, from a composing point of view - creating music for those who are not highly talented commercial symphonic performers introduces challenges and issues. And as composers, this becomes for us in my opinion a growth opportunity to actually better understand our performers who are our customers - all our performers, not just the younger introductory ones. The 'simplified' and shortened version of Mosaic is currently being rehearsed and will be performed at the end of the school year at a concert (along with other pieces) on May 8th. If you want to see what the students have received (the PDF score) or an approximation of what they will sound like, check out my personal web site at www.joelirwin.us/music.html P.S. - the piece was created as a cross between an actual film score and an academic exercise so each section gets an opportunity to play alone, there is one violin 'solo'ist, and various 'articulations' are intentionally used to help the students learn various ways to play (such as Pizzicato).