Music Recording Software – Sequencers, 5 of the BestNovember 12, 2008
A music sequencer (also MIDI sequencer or just sequencer) is software or hardware designed to create and manage computer-generated music. In other words its plays back a musical ‘Sequence’ that you the user has defined.
Although the term ‘sequencer’ is today used primarily for software, some hardware synthesizers and almost all music workstations include a built-in MIDI sequencer. Drum machines generally have a step sequencer built in. There are still also standalone hardware MIDI sequencers, though the market demand for those has diminished greatly in the last ten years.
This article is focusing on the software side of the fence, here is is our 5 best and most popular software sequencers.
Ableton LIVE 7
A very powerful program ideal for live applications and ‘real time’ manipulation.- One of the fastest growing programs we have.
Ableton Live 7 is your companion during every stage of the musical process, from creation to production to performance.
The Live Concept
Live offers two main views—the Session View and the Arrangement View—that interact in a powerful and unique way, allowing you to create, produce and perform your music all in a single application. Here is the principle behind each view:
Live’s unique Session View acts as a powerful musical sketch and launch pad, allowing you to try out new ideas easily and improvise freely. Each cell in the Session View grid can hold a recording, MIDI file, or any other musical idea. These ideas can be recorded on the fly or dragged in from the Browser and played in any order and at any time you wish.
The Arrangement View offers a timeline-based approach for traditional multitrack recording, MIDI sequencing and other music production tasks. You can even improvise in the Session View, and all of your actions will be recorded into the Arrangement View, where they can be edited whenever you like.
Steinberg’s entry level sequencer arms you with alot of tools to make music very fast.- A rethink of a classic format
Sequel turns you into a producer, and gives you your own fully-loaded music studio. You need HipHop beats for your latest track? Or want to surprise your friends at your next party with your own electro live-set? Sequel gives you everything you need to produce pro-quality tracks at home, on a plane, in the rehearsal room or even live at a club.
And best of all, Sequel is so easy to use that you can get creating your own music straight away.
Want to get them bangin’ their heads to NuMetal or chill out to Ambient? Produce your own tracks in any ‘now’ musical style with over 5000 outstanding loops and over 600 instruments. Just a few minutes will see you creating your own songs, even if you can’t play an instrument or don’t have any musical knowledge at all. Because Sequel stays in the right key automatically, and never gets thrown out of rhythm, leaving you to get creative with your own music.
More than 5000 Loops (2000 instrument loops, 3000 audio loops)
More than 600 instrument presets
More than 50 audio track presets
More than 150 effects presets
Recording format: Stereo WAV16-bit or 24-bit with 44.1 kHz sampling rate (CD quality)
Supported file formats (import, drag & drop): WAV, AIFF, MP3, WMA, WMA Pro, OggVorbis, Standard MIDI file (SMF)
Export: WAV, AIFC, AIFF, WAV64, OggVorbis
Export project to iTunes: one-step mixdown/export function opens iTunes with new track in destination format (iTunes converter, including MP3, AAC, and Apple Lossless)
Sony Media ACID Music Studio 7
ACID Music Studio is by far one of the easiest sequencers to get used to, ideal for beatmatching and remix’s as well as traditional multtracking, it also is one of our most affordable entry level sequencers. – Highly underrated program capable of things programs 10 times the price can do!!
If you’re serious about making your own music, ACID Music Studio software is the perfect tool for original song creation, multitrack audio and MIDI recording, and studio-quality mixing, and effects processing. Share your songs any way you want — burn your own CDs, upload to the web, prepare audio for podcasts, or export to your MP3 player. With built-in tutorials to guide you, you’ll be composing, mixing, and mastering like a pro in no time.
Your Music Studio
Easy Live Recording – Record vocals, guitars, keyboards, and other instruments with ACID Music Studio software. It’s easy – simply plug your microphone or instrument into your PC sound card and click Record to capture audio and MIDI.
Powerful Mixing – 3,000 ACIDized music loops, 1,000 MIDI files, built-in effects, and other tools. You can also import your own songs and MP3 files for beat-matching and mixing.
Share Anywhere – Burn your own music CDs, save the songs you create to popular formats for uploading to websites such as ACIDplanet.com, prepare audio for podcasts, or convert songs to MP3 format for playback on your portable music player.
Easy to Use and Learn – Even if you’ve never written a song or played an instrument, you can use ACID® Music Studio software to create original music, produce DJ-style remixes, add soundtracks to videos, and burn professional-quality CDs.
Steinberg Cubase Studio 4
If you ask anyone what a sequencer is they usually mention ‘Cubase’ first. Cubase Sudio 4 is a scaled down version giving you all the same features of the full version of Cubase without the studio based ‘bussing’ architechture. If that statement means nothing to you, you will not be needing them!
Cubase Studio 4 is the perfect music creation and production system for composers and producers. It comes with a brand-new VST3 plug-in set, integrated virtual instruments providing more than 600 sounds, and professional notation. The unique SoundFrame™ Universal Sound Manager organizes all your sounds from every instrument in your studio.
Top-10 New Features
SoundFrame™ – Universal Sound Manager
21 All-New VST3 Audio Effects Plug-ins
Built-in synth engine with hundreds of sounds
Professional score editing, layout and printing
Extended VST mixer
User Interface Redesign
Drag & Drop for Insert FX
Propellerhead Reason 4
Reason is the exception to these 5 sequencers, ie this is not for audio recording. This ONLY records (MIDI) information and is played back through one of the most impressive sampled sound banks on the planet. You want excellent pianos? Reason has them. You want vintage synthesizers?…Check! You want loops? Reason has it all.
Making music should be as easy as powering up a computer, loading up a powerful piece of music software, and getting down to business. And it is. Reason version 4 is a virtual studio rack with all the tools and instruments you need to turn your ideas into music. And it’s more than just a set of excellent synths and effects. It’s a complete music system. Step into the age of Reason.
Synthesizers, samplers, drum machine, REX file loop player, professional mastering tools, mixer, vocoder, world class effects, pattern sequencer and more. As many of each as your computer can handle. Reason is an infinitely expandable all-in-one music production environment, complete with its own realtime sequencer.
Use Reason the way you want to:
As a self-contained synth studio system – Everything you need is there, including a fast and flexible sequencer with powerful, dedicated event editors for each type of device.
As a sub-system synchronized to your audio sequencer – Process Reason’s audio output with plug-in effects and mix it with your hard disk tracks. With Reason in ReWire mode, its instruments are automatically patched into the mixer in any other ReWire compatible application. Seamless integration.
As a Workstation synth – Easily load up complex performance patches – instruments pre-routed through effects – in one single click. Perfect for live gigs and performances.
Other commercial sequencers