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    Native Instruments FM8 - Amazing complex synth, unique!

    by cuboid
    09-15-2014 03:31
    I had no compatibility issues setting up FM8. The installation and set up process is very simple and straightforward. However, the software itself is very complex and hard to understand at first. To the new user, FM8 will probably be overwhelming. To understand what's going on you need to know oscillator routing, enveloping, and have a good understanding of the way synthesizers work. You can easily look through the presets and fidget around to find out what certain parameters in the software does, but it will teach you a lot about synthesis and routing. Once you understand the structure of FM8, it is very straightforward and actually not that complicated at all. The interface is just a bit daunting at first.

    Ableton Live 9 Suite - Amazing, Versatile, Beautiful

    by cuboid
    09-15-2014 03:11
    Ableton 9 is an extremely beautiful, unique, and versatile piece of music software. I have been producing music for over 5 years and have used many digital audio workstations, but none of them even compare with Ableton. It is compatible with just about all operating systems, very easy to install, and it comes with some great examples to help teach new users the basics of the software. One of the main reasons I believe Ableton is superior to other music software out there is the layout. The layout of Ableton is so straightforward and easy to understand. The minimalistic layout allows for a much better and faster workflow. Not to mention, it's more organized and easy to look at.

    Novation Launchkey 49 - Useable but feels too cheap...

    by aswilliams
    09-15-2014 00:50
    I purchased the Launchkey 49 after enjoying Novation's Launchpad S controller for a few months. I really like the Launchpad S and thought the idea of a keyboard controller with its own pads would be a wonderful device. I imagined that having the pads and keys all on one controller would make for a quick workflow and would be more convenient to transport around with only my iPad as a sound module using the supported apps. The positioning of the knobs, sliders, pads, and pitch/mod wheels also looked very pleasing to me. Some midi controllers don't have a great layout and things can be difficult to access in a dark room on the fly. The layout of this controller is pretty convenient. The Launchkey has 9 sliders, 8 knobs, 16 lighted pads, transport controls, octave +/-, pitch and mod wheels, a sustain pedal input, and USB output.

    Waves Gold Native Bundle - A lot of bang for your buck

    by Sikosis
    09-13-2014 09:41
    Touted by Waves as the industry’s most popular plugin bundle, Gold certainly has a lot of bang for your buck. With 35 plugins to help you with producing, mixing and mastering your tracks, this bundle is a pretty good starting point for anyone wanting to mix in the box.

    Spectrasonics Trilogy

    by julian_r7
    11-09-2014 03:35
    Trilogy was introduced in 2002 by Spectrasonics and, since then, it has become the tool of choice of many musicians when it comes to sampled bass guitars. I first found it in 2010 and since then I have been unable to find any other tool that gives me as many choices and possibilities and Trilogy does. I have never found compatibility issues, and that's a lot to say since I've used trilogy on six different hardware setups and for many different endeavors. There are no unnecessary steps when it comes to installation: you just place th 3gb samples file wherever you choose and run the software. The only issue is that the program comes, originally, in a set of CDs, so installation may take a while. The simple interface and ready-to-go general quality of the software makes up for it, though.

    PropellerHead Reason 6 - Reason 6 Will Positively Change Your Workflow!

    by nin1
    10-08-2014 23:29
    The team of Propellerhead always tries to impress the users of Reason with every new version and you can use a few new plugins and instruments in Reason 6, which will help in the process of expressing yourself musically. The Pulverises and the Echo are some of the new features, but one of the best it has to be the ability to record your audio. It is a characteristic that has changed the progress of Propellerhead Reason because you weren’t able to make a proper recording in the previous versions. I love the ability to record mu own sounds and I was wondering when they will put this feature since many DAW already have it. Also, Reason 6 can be used in 64bit, which is a characteristic that many people will be glad to know it. When you start the software and see the worksheet, you will see a few drastic changes that I didn’t like at the beginning. This is a DAW that people shouldn’t compare it to the others since it has its own style and workflow unlike any other. You either love it, or not. If Reason 6 is your first Propellerhead product, you should know that Reason doesn’t support VST instruments and you will work with the default instruments this DAW has to offer, and they are pretty great!

    Focusrite Saffire Pro 14 - Focusrite hit the target with the Saffire Pro 14

    by S2D
    09-09-2014 00:07
    I first purchased this interface back in March, 2nd hand for a discounted price of £60, it came with a broken firewire chip as my laptop couldn't detect it being inserted and all the correct software etc was downloaded from the Focusrite website etc, so after a lot of calls to Focusrite and Apple i eventually took it to a local electronics expert in Glasgow and he replaced the firewire chip for £60 within a few days, so after all of that i pretty much paid the same price for buying a broken one 2nd hand as i would if i had bought it brand new. Doh! The Saffire pro 14 comes with 2 Neutrik inputs that allow both XLR input connections for microphones and jack inputs for guitar cables and keyboards etc. These are located conveniently on the front of the interface, along with 2 input gain knobs for each of the inputs, a red O/L light for each channel to tell you before or during recording when the input levels are peaking past 0 and a green 'Sig' light to show when your signal is reach -12db which is what you should be aiming to keep it nearer to rather than the red light. Also on the front is a 48v phantom power switch for using most condenser microphones for example, a monitor knob to control how loud the output volume to your speakers is from 1-10 and a headphone input jack with a separate volume adjustment for that, so switching between monitor volume and headphone volume is very easy to do unlike some other interfaces i have used previously. My setup with the pro 14 is a Macbook pro from 2009 with 4GB RAM, 2.1 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo on OSX 10.6.8 and works perfectly ALMOST all of the time. Around the back of the interface are 4 line inputs for things like speaker cables and 2 more line inputs, along with a MIDI in and MIDI out section, an external power supply input and S/PDIF connection points. Personally i just use the firewire connection to power the interface (also located on the back along with a handy diagram on which way to connect the firewire) it also has the capability of being connected to newer 'thunderbolt' inputs but you will need a special adaptor to allow this, i use the firewire myself. The benefit of firewire over usb 2.0 is that it transfers data faster and free's up a USB slot on your computer that can be used for other things like external hard drives etc and is more stable in my experience. The pro 14 basically has all the home recording studio needs in mind.

    SoundToys Decapitator - Heads will roll

    by S2D
    09-08-2014 21:17
    There has never been such a suitably named plugin as the Soundtoys Decapitator, it really will take your head off with some of the sounds it can give to your tracks. Beginning with the installation, which is quite straight forward as most Soundtoys plugins are, no compatibility issues with Logic Pro 9 at all and when loaded up it is a very clear and engaging interface. The manual is always there for plugins of this nature but for this Soundtoys product i would recommend you just dive straight in and start playing around with the features. The Decapitator has an intuitive GUI and clearly labelled controls apart from the letters along the bottom but we'll get to that part later.

    M-Audio Keystation 88es

    by ejmitra25
    03-08-2014 22:18
    I chose this product because of its color black grey and white it matched the color theme of my Macbookpro and my audio interface Steinberg UR44. This unit is very simple. It has 88 semi-weighted keys, which will give you more like playing an acoustic piano and it has a midi ins/out similar to other controller but i use the USB connection because the cable is much more cheaper I use the m-audio sustain (sp1) and its compatible

    Steinberg UR44 - Professional studio Everywhere

    by ejmitra25
    03-08-2014 21:33
    What motivate me to buy this product are the following: -Cubase was my DAW of choice; the reason is because it is very compatible with the audio interface UR44. Steinberg created them both so there is no reason for compatibility issues -6 inputs, sufficient for recording basic drum set up -I’m planning to buy my first electronic drums (Roland V-drums) the midi input in this hardware will help me hook the electric drums via MIDI for recording -2 headphone outputs, good ( 1 for the artist and 1 for the producer) - the grey and the black color and metal casing matches the color of my MacbookPro and its very professional looking - Ipad Compatibility; Record anywhere you like

    Steinberg Cubase 7 - A great audio software for all level

    by ejmitra25
    03-08-2014 19:12
    Choosing between pro tools and Cubase was the first challenge to me. These are the most powerful software I think exist today. They were used by the professionals when composing and producing audio. After watching/ reading all the reviews, I decided to buy Cubase 7 in Singapore. The box contains the installers and the Dongle (it’s like a key of a car, it won’t run without it). And lots of free additional synth and instrument but it is all for trial period only (60 days) Installed it on my mac and it took me 2-5 hours including the download of all the drivers and the new update of Cubase 7.5. The installation was very easy because the instruction in the manual was very clear and detailed When I run Cubase for the first time the first menu that it will show you is the free tutorial videos. The tutorials did guide me on how to use their new features like the all new designed mixer. I am not new in Cubase because I’ve been using since Cubase 5. And I see a lots of new changes like the color and added features like the A/B comparison which you can compare 2 different settings of any plugin like the reverb So far I have not experiencing any compatibility issues with my mac mid 2013 running osx 10.9

    iZotope RX 2 - The Swiss army knife of audio restoration

    by ejmitra25
    02-09-2014 10:58
    When I started recording and producing my own music, the first thing of my concern was removing the “shhhh” sounding background or which we call the noise. The first remedy that I did when I was starting was using an parametric EQ. Cutting down the high frequency and affecting the whole audio part. I didn’t know about sound restoration and I don’t have any background knowledge on removing noise. My curiosity walk me through this product. I surfed the net for the solution of my problem which was the noise FIRST IMPRESSION (9/10) When I saw this on the internet , it was like “ wow” I didn’t knew that removing so much noise is possible with this product. So I decided it for a try. On that day I was using a HP computer ( 3.0 dual core with 2 gig of RAM) I used it as a standalone. It run smooth but the loading at the start up is not that fast. Its interface was very organized and you can see very clearly at the right side the tools that you can use for noise restoration. There where 14 features to choose from, some of my favorites are De- clicking and De-Noise. There is also a big display of the actual audio waveform for you too see where the noise or the clipping happened. COMPATIBILITY (10/10) I run them both in Mac and Pc It didn’t give me any headache when running them on stand-alone. I will show the comparison -PC( HP computer 3.0 dual core 2 gig of ram) Slower to load at start up using the stand alone , rendering is fine (not slow, not fast). same as when it is on plugin mode but crashes when 3 or more plugin is running -MacBook pro (mid 2012) (quad core 4 gig of ram) it run more faster at start up. Smoother and the rendering was 20-30% faster than the pc. I tried to run it as a plugin using Cubase 7 it run smooth for the first 2 plugins. Adding 3 or more will affect the playback of the audio I think it run faster because of its multi core support FUNCTIONALITY (7/10) At first, knowing what tools you will be using might confuse you because there is a overflowing tools that this software will give you. But after researching and watching tutorials, It will be much easier for you to use this software and it will increase your speed when it comes to production. This software consists of Manual and Automatic functions to tackle the noise. But I still prefer the manual mode because the noise reduction is more effective in this mode. What I like also is the freehand section, lasso tool and the magic wand its like removing a scar/pimple on a Photoshop You have to experiment and try to use the different faders and buttons to know really their function OVERALL (8/10) This software is for semi professional producers who have a little background in noise reduction. When you are a beginner I suggest using the Adobe Audition because there is a plugin there for noise reduction and its much more easier Cons - The price is very expensive, better hire a professional freelancer if you will only clean a few audio file (if your not into production) - lacks tutorial on their website Pros - Very powerful software for cleaning and restoring audio file ( you just need to be very patient - Lots of tools to be used to tackle the noise, clippings and unnecessary frequency

    iZotope RX 3 Advanced - Audio restoration at it's finest

    by S2D
    02-09-2014 04:39
    The Izotope RX3 advanced suite is pretty much everything you will ever need when it comes to audio restoration. It really does leave no stone unturned. It comes with additional features not included in the normal RX 3 edition such as a Dereverb module, Dialogue Denoiser module and plugin, advanced options for the Denoise/Declip/Spectral Repair /Declick and Decrackle modes plus the insight meter system and a time and pitch control module. It can be quite tricky to get to grips with at first, especially for people new to the concept of audio restoration and how it works it can be overwhelming. So what i would personally recommend is watching some of Izotope's own short but insightful youtube videos on how each module within RX3 works and what situations to use it in, then there is always the manual if you get stuck with anything afterwards. Here is a link to one the videos - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJTy2wi0pFg There is a module for practically any type of audio cleanup you need to do. The Dereverb module does exactly what it sounds like it does (as do most of the modules) and gets rid of any noticeable room space or echo from recordings - i personally have not had to use this module yet but it's good to know it's there if i ever need it. The Izotope Dereverb video on their youtube channel demonstrates exactly how and when to use it. The Denoise module is likely to be the one most people will use the most. If you ever have too much hiss in one of your recordings or consistent background noise, then simply select denoise, highlight a section of the audio file with only background noise (no speaking) that is over 1 second long and press the 'Learn' button, then go to the beginning of your file (or wherever the background noise you need rid of begins) and click 'Process' then listen to the magic happen. You can further tweak how much the noise is reduced by using the 2 faders to the right of the frequency spectrum to control the threshold and the gain in Decibels that it is reduced by. What you might notice in particular instances is that some of the vocal frequencies disappear in an obvious way, this is quite normal because often background noise can clash with the same frequencies of the voice, in these circumstances the best thing to do is try turning the gain that is reduced down so that the noise level goes up again slightly but those important vocal frequencies are given back. It's all about compromise with audio restoration and using the RX3 advanced. It can work miracles but not 100% of the time, as long as you know this going in then you won't have any disappointments. The advanced version included an addition to the denoise module called 'Dialogue denoiser' and this is a welcome alternate to the standard denoiser in some cases as it more straight forward, but not as powerful as the standard denoiser. The Declipper is a very useful module if audio has been recorded too loud and the result is a lot of clipped peaks and distortion. There are useful presets along the top, but the process is quite straight forward you set the threshold on the lefthand side to where you the de-clipping to begin (for obvious results set the threshold to -1.5 or more and quality to high) then listen back to a cleaner, less distorted result most of the time. The Declick and Decrackle modules are excellent at removing digital clicks that can occur when using a cheap or faulty usb interface for recording, or for old crackly tape recordings you need to restore. The declick is very transparent and most of the time leaves no footprints, if you are using this plugin within a DAW such as logic pro then the multiband mode can result in some latency which should be noted. I would always recommend using RX3 as a standalone program rather than within a DAW unless absolutely necessary. Spectral repair is available for more 'harder-to-reach' areas of audio cleanup that the others might not be able to do, and there are tools along the middle just below the frequency spectrum that you can use to clear up sections shown on the spectrum yourself manually. The only gripe about RX3 advanced when using it is that it does take a while to process some of the modules, for example if you are working on a long audio file that's about an hour long, you can expect to wait about 45 minutes for your denoising to complete. If the denoising is only needed for 5 minutes of a 1 hour file for example then the best option is to highlight that full area on the frequency spectrum and hit process on that section, that way it will process the denoising in that area and leave the rest of the file untouched and take much less time. However if the full file needs denoised then you might as well get yourself a cup of tea and a biscuit while you wait... The price is also quite steep for the casual audio hobbyist, so this product is definitely for the hardcore audio enthusiasts and professionals. The normal RX3 version will be more than good enough for people who would only need to use it once in a while to clean up videos they might have taken or recordings on their phone etc etc. Overall the RX3 is expensive but extensive in it's features and sits proudly at the top of the ever growing audio restoration tree of products on the market today in 2014.

    Steinberg Nuendo 4 - Excellent if you have the patience to learn it

    by julian_r7
    01-09-2014 10:56
    Nuendo 4 was my first DAW, and even though I've tried other options (some of them excellent, such as Reaper) I've always returned to it. While initial installation and setup are fairly simple, getting the most out of Nuendo requires a lot of time. Not because it's complicated, but because of the sheer amount of options the software offers to best suit your working style and workflow. Once you get the hang of the basic controls and hotkeys, which should not take long, you are ready to explore complex edition possibilities. I never had any issues with any sound board (and I tried Nuendo on at least seven or eight different hardware configs) and while I've encountered my share of bugs and crashes, I've always found quick solutions all over the internet.


    by HalfSquid
    01-09-2014 06:58
    The AKAI MPK mini is a 2 octave midi controller with a size that is perfect for you to take everywhere with you. But although it has a small size it still pack a BIG punch, containing 8 pads in 2 banks for a total of 16 programable pads as well as 8 programmable knobs. What really drove me to this purchase though, was the integrated arpeggiator within the controller which is great for live performances. Also, since it is connected via mini-USB you can be sure that it won't be taking up much power. GREAT PURCHASE!

    Drum Drops 1965 Ludwig Super Classic Kit - Kontakt Version - Unmistakably the Real Thing!

    by tommy.zai.1420
    08-29-2014 07:23
    Easy online purchase, download, and installation.

    iZotope Ozone 5 - In the zone

    by S2D
    08-27-2014 23:50
    Being previously familiar with Ozone 4, i knew roughly what to expect from Ozone 5 going in. The setup was much the same and easily done by inputting the serial number when prompted, followed by relaunching the DAW (which in my case is Logic Pro 9) which then enables the plugin for use. When first opening Ozone 5 you will be hit by a series of preset options, ranging from genre type settings such as 'Hip-hop master - dirty bass' and 'House master - enhance stereo image' to more individual track or bus settings like 'Piano - brighten and compress'. Whatever the duty, Ozone 5 likely has a preset to cover it. There are a lot of menus and submenus within Ozone 5 that it is easy to get lost or overwhelmed by everything, so the manual may be your new best friend to help you figure it all out, or even pop onto youtube and look at some of Izotope's own videos for Ozone 5, or else you could just dive right in head first and see what this beast of a plugin can do for yourself.

    Synapse Audio Dune 2 - Excellent! I fully recomend it.

    by nicolaizen
    08-27-2014 16:09
    Downloaded and installed without any troubles or compatibility issues.

    Apple iPad Air

    by niconel
    08-20-2014 06:30
    IPad Air 32 Gb, A7 processor, OS7,wifi. 10h battery life Lightning connection. The retina display is what seduced me straight away. It is extremely light.

    Slate Digital VCC Virtual Console Collection - It has become indispensable

    by 12monkeysonthemoon
    08-20-2014 00:10
    No installation problems, as always with Slate Digital. Clear and comprehensive manual available for download. Simple setup.

    Roland A-800PRO-R - Very good for a master keyboard

    by J.k.dick
    08-19-2014 17:18
    The Roland keyboard, the seriousness of the mechanism (I have never had contact problems, etc., and I've had plenty of pianos (W 30, XP 50, XP80, Fantom X)

    MOTU MicroBook II - I wouldn't take it for anything in the world

    by nofuturenocore
    08-19-2014 00:41
    Which technical specifications motivated your choice? Small, portable, MOTU, Enough for a beginning. What do you use it for? To record condenser MICs, analog and modular synthezisers and DAW. What's your setup (motherboard, CPU, RAM, hard drive,...)? I have a badass monster I put together and optimized myself, I work with computers... Do you use it with other instruments or systems (mixing console, preamp, DtD, ...) and what's your setup? ... Focal monitors, Cordial cable, DJTT USB cable.

    RME Audio Fireface UC - A German sedan

    by kopas
    08-18-2014 21:34
    Which technical specifications motivated your choice? The good converters for recording, a good clock. Do you use it with other instruments or systems (mixing console, preamp, DtD, ...) and what's your setup? ... Preamp into an XLR, MPC into a jack. What do you use it for? What's your setup (motherboard, CPU, RAM, hard drive,...)? For everything! To record vocals and separate tracks of the MPC, composing/mixing. Setup: PC 4GB RAM, Windows 7 32 bits.

    Native Instruments Guitar Rig 5 Pro - Average

    by azertyvince
    08-18-2014 20:04
    Nothing to add.

    Alesis iO|2 Express - Easy,small, effective

    by Xinferno
    08-18-2014 05:06
    With its simple yet compact design, the Alesis IO2 is indeed very small and thus very easy to transport. Thanks to the XLR + guitar/line inputs you can connect mics, guitar, bass, and even a piano without problems. The built-in phantom power allows it to easily handle overhead-type mics, as well as any other condenser mic.

    Steinberg UR22 - Worked really well - Then died....

    by yiwuaussie
    08-17-2014 09:30
    UR 22 Steinberg/YAMAHA Read all the posts and reviews and found value of money with recording quality Ran very well with Cuebase and Audacity. Perfect sound zero detectable noise on Vox and instruments

    Korg microKEY 37 - "Your best travel midi companion"

    by livewidmusic
    01-08-2014 12:41
    The Korg MicroKey is a USB - bus powered midi keyboard that comes in 3 different key - options. 1) Original 37 key model. 2) 25 key model. 3) 5 octave 61 key model. The keys are extremely velocity and touch sensitive, which is one of the main attractions of this keyboard that pushed me to get this one. The 61 key model is essential for live keyboard performance, having a pitch and modulation wheel knob along with the octave UP/DOWN buttons (+3/-3). The 37 key model also has the previously mentioned wheel knobs with octave shifts up-to +4/-4. The 25 key model is a smaller version of the 37 key version, but has a joystick that acts as the modulation/pitch-bend along with the sustain and arpeggiator function, having an octave shift of +4/-4. The MicroKey is designed to replicate a natural touch performance similar to the microKORG XL and the microARRANGER. The 2 extra usb ports (Type A) available in the 37 key version was one another reason why I purchased this midi keyboard. You can connect any of your other Korg midi devices (for e.g, the NanoKey or NanoPad) to the MicroKey and expand your production setup a step further. Plug your MicroKey into your Mac (From OS X 10.5 and onwards) or PC and start playing. No driver needs to be installed or any additional software needs to run to use this. Plug and Play! This weighs around 1 kg only and is a very light weighted device (Have to feel it and experience yourself). Another feature that caught me was that you can now connect the MicroKey to an iPad (At-least iOS 5.0) with any core MIDI supported application and start playing and recording. This is very helpful for mobile musicians who are always on the go. Using the Korg Kontrol Editor software (provided with the purchase and also available for download), customise the MicroKEY for your personal taste. Choose from eight velocity curves and/or fixed velocity, specify the control change number of the modulation wheel or joystick and specify their maximum and minimum values.

    iZotope Ozone 5 - A must-have mastering suite

    by julian_r7
    07-31-2014 12:28
    Ozone 5 is a mastering tool that you can use as a plugin with a number of DAWs. I've tried it in both Sonar and Nuendo with excellent results. The installation is completed in the blink of an eye (I didn't experience any compatibility issues on Windows 7 x64 or Windows Vista) and the best part is that Nuendo automatically recognizes the plugin, requiring no intial setup or tedious folder searching. The manual is quite straightforward. But what I feel is the strongest point of Ozone 5 is the intuitive quality of the interface: it is all about generating a nice, understandable visual feedback of every little adjustment you can make. Every tool gets its own separate tab, making for a very straightforward and organized overview. The general layout of the tools and meters has been improved from Ozone 4: the Dynamics Tool (compressors, limiters, etc) shows a more graphical interface that won't take any parameter away from you, but will let you fully concentrate on the audio -if you wish to do so. Every other tool has been refined in terms of graphic accessibility. The snapshot tool (as well as the matching) in the EQ tab are now easier to access.

    Avid Pro Tools 10 - Good upgrade, but too expensive for the features you get.

    by Pjones9
    07-31-2014 05:52
    Simply put, Pro Tools is a must have for any serious music producer or/and audio engineer. It has been the standard software for audio productions around the world for more than a decade now. It's compatible with Windows XP, Mac Os,and many more, so compatibility issues are practically inexistent. The manual is detailed and straightforward, it comes with detailed description on the specifications and usage. You can make any kind of music with Pro Tools, and it includes a useful selection of virtual instruments plus more than 60 effect processors. It also has good MIDI and notation-editing features. Edition is simple and fast thanks to the Grid, Slip, Spot and shuffle edition modes. New features not included in previous Pro Tools versions: -Track counts have been upped for v10, which will play back up to 96 tracks at 44.1/48kHz and can record up to 32 tracks simultaneously. -64 virtual instrument tracks, 512 MIDI tracks, 160 aux tracks, 256 busses and one video track. -Clip Gain: Every clip has its own gain fader and the waveform will look bigger or smaller when you raise or lower the gain, which is great visual feedback. -It also runs faster than the previous versions; sessions open faster, fades are calculated in real time and general work flow runs smoother. This all new features may seem impressive, however Pro Tools 10 is not much of an upgrade, and some new features for this DAW were included before in other DAWs. I feel that for the price you're paying, the upgrade for this version is not really worth the fee. However don't get me wrong, Pro Tools is still a really useful and valuable DAW , easy to use, reliable (at least more than many other DAW's out there, like Logic, which crashes all the time) and has great compatibility with external hardware. This upgrade would be more suitable for experienced producers who always need to work faster. But if you have the previous Pro Tools version I'd say you should buy one of the next upgrades which will have probably more valuable features for the price.

    Avid Sibelius 7

    by julian_r7
    07-30-2014 06:31
    As an arranger and composer I've been faced multiple times with the task of choosing a writing software, and time after time I've chosen Sibelius. The seventh version was a little hard to get used to, though, as major changes were introduced in the interface. To begin with, it is fairly easy to install, though it requires more than 40 GB of space (that could be easily avoided if one could choose not to install the sample libraries). I found no compatibility issues with Win 7 (either version) or with my M-Audio Fast Track. If you come from previous versions you'll find yourself a little lost for a while. But the new interface (employing 'ribbons' of tools instead of menus) is actually more practical once you get the hang of it. The new placement of the utilities makes it easier to perform complex functions (like voice swappings, etc.) because now it takes two clicks at the most and everything is sorted out by category. Learning the ropes is really easy: I never had to resort to tutorials, as most functions are very intuitive. Also, the search bar (that allows you to find any function or tool) is an invaluable time saver. The Magnetic Layouts and Dynamic Parts are also awesome features (especially the last one, that automatically generates the parts for the general score you've written).
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