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Best entry-level music software (PC)

August 8, 2006

It’s perhaps a bit unfair including this as Mackie’s Tracktion (£109) software is hardly beginner in terms of power but its price puts it right up there as one of the most affordable packages you can buy and it is very easy to use. The developers programmed it to be as simple and as clear as possible so that pretty much all you need to see is on one screen (unlike some other packages where endless options and menus require the use of two screens!). There’s less in the way of instrumentation than in other packages but what you do get is logical and powerful.Acid 6Sony’s Acid software is another cheap way of producing music very quickly. It is now at Acid Pro v5 (£199) but is still essentially the same loop-based software that has found fans across the world. Using audio loops you can build up songs track by track with the software keeping time. The latest version allows includes effects and allows expansion via VST instruments and also has sophisticated 5.1 mixing features.

Cakewalk’s Home Studio (£79) is the entry level software from the SONAR family and features a surprisingly powerful array of tools including three instruments, 24 effects, 64 tracks of recording and the ability to add extra VST instruments.

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