M-Audio sweetens products with free music software

Avid' M-Audio unit is bundling a new free music software program with its audio and recording products.

Home-recording enthusiasts and consumers looking for a quick way to get into music creation on their PCs have yet another application to check out: Session, from Avid Technology's M-Audio unit.

Starting Monday, M-Audio is offering the software free, bundled with its FastTrack USB, a device that lets PC users record guitars and vocals. FastTrack is sold at retail for $US99.00 and the company hopes M-Audio will encourage its sales and use. The company is working on a plan to offer the software as a stand-alone product, according to Robb Mason, M-audio's director of consumer sales. The software also will be included free of charge with other, to-be-announced M-Audio products.

Session allows users to piece together tunes by selecting from a 2G-byte library of sound loops, which are prerecorded snippets of music that range from one-beat drum hits to riffs from a wide variety of instruments. Session also lets users record vocals and instruments, though to do this, a separate external device, such as FastTrack, is needed.

Session functions much in the same way as other loop-based products, such as Apple Computer's GarageBand, and Magix's Music Maker. Loops can be pieced together by clicking on samples, and dragging and dropping them to appropriate tracks in a song.

Like other loop-based consumer music software, Session also offers a variety of tools such as tempo and pitch adjustment, as well as more sophisticated controls for experienced musicians and advanced users. Controls include 20 real-time effects such as reverb and distortion. Users can apply up to five simultaneous effects per track, plus several effects that can be applied to an entire song.

Multiple live tracks also can be recorded simultaneously, Mason said. M-Audio built Session from the ground up with ease of use for recording novices in mind. The software also has enough functionality to interest more advanced musicians who are looking to get into home recording, he said.

"GarageBand was one of the best things to happen to the music industry in 15 years," Mason said. But GarageBand is Mac-only, he noted.

However, there are a number of loop-based music tools on the market for PCs, such as Music Maker, Sony Media Software's Acid, and Twelve Tone Systems's Cakewalk.

Session will be available in Australia in 6-8 weeks.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Marc Ferranti

IDG News Service

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?