Top positive review
8 of 8 people found this helpful
Good & Not So Good
on July 29, 2009
After buying a new Dell PC in early 2009, I decided it's time to try my songwriting/Home recording chops on MIDI. I had everything I needed-A keyboard with MIDI (Via USB)support, an internet at my fingertips that seemed to have tons of free VST effects and VSTI virtual instruments and now, a PC that could handle it.After getting my feet wet with Reaper, a friend told me about a program he had called Samplitude Music Studio 14. At the time, I was considering either this or Mixcraft 4.2. What attracted me to both was the library of virtual instruments in each for the price (below $100.00). I did alot of research into both programs and picked Samplitude.
As this was my first real excursion into MIDI, I had alot to learn. When I recieved the software I had a time installing it. After taking about 5 minutes installing all of the components, I got an error message which was vague explaining that the program couldn't start due to security reasons. I emailed their online support who sent me an Unlock code, which didn't work. So I joined their online support forum. Nice guys, but I suspect most are German and can't understand or communicate well in English. It just so happened that, fortunately my aforementioned friend was also a member of the forum and advised me to turn off my McAfee Security suite before installing, which finally allowed me to launch the program. Well, the first thing I started doing was playing with the sound library. There are many to choose from. Most contained in a module called VITA, created by Yellow Tools, but there's also a "trial" version of Sampletank which also has some decent sounds. Long story short, the "rock" sounds, ie drums, guitars,basses, keyboards and synths are GREAT!! In fact, there are so many synths that I really haven't scratched the surface of what I can do with them. Like their hardware counterparts, you can use factory presets or program your own sounds by manuipulating the virtual knobs and switches, which is really cool. These are mostly models of analogue synths. Naturally, it will except most free VSTs you can find online too, but the other sounds like horns and strings in this program don't pass the realistic test at all. The mixer is superior including the Vintage Effects Suite, which is a series of "footpedal" effects, but you can use them on anything you want and includes Flanger, Delay, Chorus, Phaser and Distortion. And again, you can use your own. Well, last May, I bought the other choice, Mixcraft, and the sound library on that is unreal. String sounds which are very realistic, horns and brass which are much better. But I'm not sorry I bought Samplitude because there are some features of that program that are better than Mixcraft, so I use them together in projects and so far it's worked quite well. I have three "Hybrid" projects where I import/export the sounds via wav files back and forth between programs. Hey, this is digital. No loss of fidelity. So I have two MIDI programs where one's insufficiencies are made up by the other, which is great. Best of both worlds with a total price tag of about $150.00, which isn't bad at all. I'm happy!