Choosing and using a digital audio sequencer (DAS) is not a one-size-fits-all process. Type of music, studio setup, budget, level of experience, and a host of other factors weigh into the decision, and the most hyped product is not always the best choice. EM's editors are constantly monitoring the field, evaluating new offerings, and searching for creative ways to solve old and new problems.
In this month's first pick, Kevin Smith walks you through evaluating your needs, your computer, and your budget when selecting a DAS. He also covers computer upgrades you may need and how to deal with tech-support without shooting yourself in the foot. In the next pick, I survey six popular all-in-one software studios. All six choices (from 2003) have been significantly upgraded since the article appeared, but the basics still apply. These packages don't include all the bells and whistles of a dedicated DAS, but they're typically easier to use and are often sufficient. Finally, Larry the O gives you the skinny on making the best use of the keyboard shortcuts available for your DAS.
Conquering the DAW
Choosing a DAS that matches your computer, your needs, and your budget.
Jun 1, 2004, Electronic Musician, By Kevin Smith
San Francisco-based musician and studio consultant Kevin Smith helps you cut through the hype surrounding digital audio sequencers to ensure that you get what you need and need what you get. Check out the helpful sidebars on evaluating and upgrading your computer and getting the best from technical support.
An all-in-one software studio is often a viable alternative to a full-featured DAS.
Mar 1, 2003, Electronic Musician, By Len Sasso
This EM survey gives you the rundown on six popular all-in-one software studios: Image-Line FruityLoops (Win), Synapse Audio Software Orion (Win), Propellerhead Reason (Mac/Win) and Rebirth (Mac/Win), Arturia Storm (Mac/Win), and Virsyn Tera (Mac/Win).
Shortcuts to Success
Use the right shortcuts to get more work done with less effort.
Jul 1, 2000, Electronic Musician, Larry The O
EM's inimitable Larry the O takes you through the whys and wherefores of creating and using keyboard shortcuts. His coverage includes a survey of Mac and PC utilities for creating keyboard shortcut macros.