I’ve been using various audio production and music creation programs since the late nineties and have dealt with a wide range of advantages and disadvantages. In general, I like my software streamlined, understandable, and intuitive. It doesn’t seem like a lot to ask, but for some reason a lot of your larger and more well known companies like to flood their software with gigabytes worth of fluff that you’ll either never need, use, or even be aware of its existence. Initially, I assumed the Samplitude Music Studio, from a company I’d never heard of, would be full of fluff. Bells, whistles, horns, harps, and who knows what, all trying to stand out. I was wrong.
After a quick restart, the install was simple. “Okay”, “I agree”, “Continue”. While installing, it ran off a list of options and add-ons and extras (including a small selection of tutorial videos which I declined installing because men don’t stop to ask for directions). There were available soundpacks for virtual instruments which in themselves seemed to take an age to download, but they were free, and if you have ever had to create your own music, then you know that an at-hand soundbank can come in remarkably handy.
After installation, I was able to finally see what the ol’ girl looked like. The interface was surprisingly more similar to video editing programs like Vegas than previous audio software I had used. All of the effects banks and loop banks were all fully on display in the lower section of the screen, which while not a bad idea, was uncommon although a background with video editing helped me move past it fairly quickly.
I began importing audio I already had on my computer and cutting it up, adding effects, and attempting to get it to a place I could hear in my head. Some of the virtual dials didn’t quite work as I would have liked, with these x/y axis’ being a bit temperamental it was difficult to quickly find the amount of filter or e.q. I was looking for, and when I am in the moment, speed and accuracy is incredibly important. Especially if I was to use the midi settings in a live environment. Because of this that is not an option I would choose to use unless there was a patch solving the issue. However, if I were to only be recording loops with the midi capabilities, and I had an afternoon to kill, it wouldn’t be as much of an issue.
Mixing, cutting, editing all worked splendidly and exactly as I had hoped. Clean, fast, and without any hitches. There is nothing negative I could say about those aspects, and they are so simple and easy I believe anyone with any computer background and a little intuition could handle it smoothly.
There were many options and effects that I unfortunately did not have time to get to use. The drum sounds, the world percussion, the vocal stripping. Although I have seen use of them on Youtube and have been quite impressed. I look forward to giving them a proper shot.
All in all, after a few days of playing with Samplitude Music Studio 2013, and seriously trying to break it somehow just to say I could, I really can’t say enough about it. It is a smooth, efficient, and powerful program that, for at least the basics, will do everything you want an $800 dollar program to do, for $99, and without all of the gigabytes upon gigabytes of fluff. I see it as becoming my primary audio editor and production tool.
Processor: 1.5 GHz or higher
RAM: 1 GB
Graphics card: Onboard graphics card with a screen resolution of at least 1024 x 768
Sound card: Internal sound card (ASIO-enabled sound card recommended)
Hard disk memory:1 GB free disk space for program installation
Optical drive: DVD drive (only for installation of the box version)
Burn: Burn CDs/DVDs with CD/DVD+/-R(W) recorder
MP3 export: with Windows Media Player 10 or higher
Supported file formats:
Import/Export: WAV with codec, MP3, CD-A, OGG Vorbis, AIFF, FLAC
Import: MIDI standard formats (MID, GM, GS, XG), WAV (24- & 32-bit)
Export: MIDI standard formats (MID), WAV (24-bit)
Review submitted by Asa Morris (https://soundcloud.com/asamorris)