on April 14, 2003
Acid Pro 4 is Sonic Foundry's highest level loop and sample recording program and in this respect it is excellent. It's beat matching capabilities along with time stretching of samples without them sounding odd or losing the correct pitch is excellent. Indeed, this is a professional product.
There are dozens of Acid loop libraries, many exceptional, some aweful. But if you have a sound editing package you can pretty much make a library of your own sounds. This package comes with a light version of Sound Forge 6 which makes customizable Acid loops easily. You also get a modest library of samples to start out with.
For those who have never played an instrument or written a song, look, nothing will make you a fantastic arranger overnight but you will learn how to make good sounding music just by trying things out. This is a fairly new concept in music, the non-musician as composer and it's refreshing to see.
For the playing musician you can record tracks over the looped samples you've set up. You can also use VST instruments, for the uninitiated virtual instruments that run in computer memory. They range from free to [quite a bit highter] + but even the free VST instruments are of high quality and worth searching for. Some beat expensive commercial software in terms of flexibility and sound quality.
So, if you know how to play music and want to get things done in a quick way buy Acid Pro 4, start making your own loops, it becomes easy to hear others working with library samples, play over your loop based composition and even drag in virtual synths to polish off a mix.
Acid Pro 4 also allows Direct X processing and effects plugins which make it possible to go from Acid to CD. You get a good starter set of DX plugins but will still need mastering quality plugins if you want to go from Acid to CD.
The con, and it is highly dependent on your needs is the midi implementation and how it interacts with VST instruments. It is confusing and has not become any more intuitive since the upgrade was made available to 3.0 users.
In fact, but for the VSTi support there isn't much need to upgrade. If you are new to Acid Pro chances are you won't be dissapointed.
on January 1, 2004
I've tried FruityLoops, Sonar 3, And Cakewalk, and Acid Pro has the best mouse-driven interface of them all, for me at least. Laying down tracks, moving them around, tweaking envelopes, and chopping loops are incredibly easy. The right-click function puts all the major actions within easy reach. Also, changing pitch is just a matter of clicking on the loop and hitting the + or - key on the keyboard, and it happens in real-time. All the other sequencers I've tried put a ton of buttons on the interface, making for a relatively high learning curve, even if you're familiar with this type of product. Who wants to dig through the manual just to figure out how to split a loop at the cursor?
Also, there's acidplanet.com, where you can create a profile and upload your music to it, listen to other people's music, and rate them. There's tons of categories and charts to follow, and it's all free. I don't know how they pay for all that bandwidth, but they were recently acquired by Sony (which is why you'll see different box art for Acid depending on where you find it).
Unfortunately, MIDI instrument functionality is *not* intuitive. Acid seems to be more geared to WAV file loops, rather than incorporating your own original instrumentation, though it does support soft synths just fine. If you're an artist with MIDI hardware looking only to record your own stuff and sequence it, Sonar is a better choice, I think. But for those of us who like a little bit of both, Acid is great.
You can check out a demo version on their website, but it has more limitations than simply not letting you save a project. You can only listen to 2 minutes of sequence at a time, and rendered sound files have noise added to them, making them useless beyond personal evaluation--which is the point, I guess, but they should at least make that clear up front. (Note: I did not factor this into the Amazon rating, it's just a heads-up).
on January 8, 2004
Acid Pro 4.0 has a lot of functionality and I have enjoyed using what little portions of it I can. However, I give the product 1 star because it does not come with an adequate user's manual. It has an extremely light weight 10 page "guide" that isn't worth the paper it's written on. There was a guide published but Sony has discontinued it, and I can't seem to find one. If you've already used the program, you'll be ok. Otherwise, stick with Acid, the non-pro version. Having all the functionality and not being able to harness it stinks. :(
on November 21, 2002
If you have ever laid in bed at night and wished that you could produce and mix your own music, well you can with this program. I have an older version, and it's so easy! You will be making your own music so fast you wont belive that talent you just pulled out of nowhere! Buy it, you will love it!