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So which music sequencer or software studio should you go for?

August 8, 2006

 Sequencers or software studios are the heart and soul of your computer music making set-up. If you learn how to use a sequencer well your music creation will become an efficient and effortless process. All of the packages we discuss below come packed with features and allow you to do pretty much anything you can musically imagine, but the best are almost ‘transparent’ in their actions, letting you get on with the business of making music with minimum fuss. They therefore act a bit like instruments themselves and you master them by getting to know their features and short cuts, almost like a musician gets to know their instrument.

Sequencers are also known as ‘host applications’ in that they can host other virtual instruments and effects produced by other companies. Many have a lot of instruments included when you buy them but it’s always good to have the flexibility to grow so you can build the ultimate virtual studio set-up around a sequencer that you are comfortable with.

So which sequencer or software studio should you go for?

Before we can answer that you need to decide what kind of a musician you are and what sort of music you want to make. Are you just starting out and want to create tunes by throwing some loops and other sounds together? If so check out the Best Entry Level category (below) and Ableton Live (also below). Do you want to add a lot of your own virtual instruments? If so you might like one of the more traditional package that let you add as many of these as you like depending on the power of the computer you are using. Are you a more high end user who wants to master existing audio or write music for films? If so check out some of the pro alternatives we’ve listed.

In short we’ve detailed all of the sequencers Dolphin Music sell under different buyer categories and also the platforms they run on so you can make your choice right here, right now. Pretty much every sequencer will have at least one way of doing what you want it to do and many have lots (stand up SONAR!) so that you can work with them in a way that suits you. But also remember to try out any software demos that you can to make sure that you are comfortable with them – these could be packages that stay with you for your entire musical life!

Let’s take a look at the different sorts of soft sequencer starting out with the more traditional and perhaps better-known packages…

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