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I had exactly the same thing happen, losing the core ideas by the time I wired up the synth I wanted. So I dropped the DAW entirely. Now I create most of my music using Loopy[0] to layer the parts that I sing (or occasionally play). It's been fantastic for my creativity.

I'm starting to hit its limits for my workflow though. One of the really nice things about how easy it's getting to write software these days is that I can now fire up, say, a Swift playground, and after getting the fiddly basics of "how to record and loop audio buffers" with AudioKit, there are very few limits on what kind of idiosyncratic workflow tool I can design for myself. The UI looks and acts how I want it to, and since over the years I've trained myself to act like a human synthesizer, I can[1] compose a whole song without even worrying about having an instrument nearby.

[0]Loopy - Multitrack audio looping with very simple and expressive control https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/loopy/id300257824?mt=8

[1]The "can" is theoretical. This is my next big hobby project, and I'm still in the fiddly phase.

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