Allow me to preface this review by directing your attention to the above image. Notice anything peculiar? I'll give you a hint... IT'S RUNNING ON A LAPTOP. It's not even a good laptop! It looks like the hand-me-down you got from your half-baked cousin for $20... Dope.
As a highly mobile producer, it's nice to have a low-impact program that won't completely dominate my laptop's ability to perform basic functions (cough... Pro Tools.)
Anyway, Cakewalk just announced the arrival of its Music Creator software, a simple but powerful DAW on the cheap! While Cakewalk is generally considered to be the Jump Start: 1st Grade of digital audio workstations, their new software promises low-impact CPU usage, powerful synths, presets, and effects, versatile plug-in settings, Cakewalk's classic noob-friendly interface, to name but a few highlights of the lengthy list of features. Besides coming equipped with an advanced on-screen midi controller (with touchscreen capabilities...SICK!), it can host 8 MIDI inputs at once and they've finally added a functional piano roll to their roster of tools! Despite Music Creator 7's impressive list of features, the program costs less than any other worth it's cajones.
List of features
- Award-winning Skylight user interface to create, record, edit, and mix your tracks
- (NEW)Access all your most important controls using the Hi-Def Control Bar with more harmonious spacing, labeling, and dynamic resizing
- (NEW) (IMAGE BELOW) Create your own MIDI parts with the new virtual onscreen MIDI controller with touch support, or your QWERTY keyboard—great for mobile music making
- Get creative with 32 audio tracks and 8 instrument tracks, and 128 MIDI tracks
- (NEW) Support for 8 inputs and 8 outputs simultaneously
- (NEW) Support for the latest VST3 instruments and effects
- A complete backing band with 6 virtual instruments (including the entire Studio Instruments Suite)
- (NEW) Mix like a pro with the integrated MixStrip, which includes Curve EQ and new Style Dial FX for one knob access to commonly used effects
- Mix with all the must-have effects including reverb, EQ, and more
- Plug in your guitar and rock out with Overloud’s TH2 Creator guitar amp simulator
- (NEW) Enhanced MIDI editing includes a new Piano Roll View and time-saving Pattern tool for painting MIDI parts
- (NEW) Create the perfect performance from multiple takes using the new comp tool
- Create beats and drum tracks with the integrated Step Sequencer
- Trigger audio and MIDI loops for real-time performance and remixing with the Matrix View
- (NEW) Custom modern loops designed by Loopmasters
- Easily drag and drop loops, instruments, effects, and project templates from the built-in Browser
- Use any Windows 8 touch-enabled device to control the software with your fingers
While that's all good and well, where's the juice? First of all... IT'S $50! By upgrading to the Music Creator Bundle for $150, you're still paying less than would for last Saturday night's bar tab (hopefully...).
Anyone who's used Cakewalk in the past knows it's not the most technical or intuitive platform for creativity, but as they continue to pile on features like step sequencing, Matrix View, Piano Roll, Pattern Paint tools, you'll begin to hear Cakewalk mentioned in the same conversation as ProTools or Logic. (Did I mention it's only $50?)
TL;DR - Get the straight dope from Cakewalk by clicking HERE.