I got to try out Sony Creative Software’s new updates on their home studio products. Imagination Studio 4 holds four pieces of software for the home media creation enthusiast: Sound Forge Audio Studio 10, ACID Music Studio 9, Movie Studio Platinum 12 and DVD Architect Studio 5.
I was curious – would the average home user be able to use these pieces of software just using the
tutorials, with no prior professional knowledge? I enlisted the help of my 11-year-old daughter, Eva, to take the helm and work with these programs to make a music video, with limited help from me.
In the last article, we took a look at Sound Forge Studio 10. This time, we’re going to dabble in Acid Music Studio 9.
Let’s jump in.
Acid Music Studio 9 is a program for music creation. You do this by plugging instruments into your sound card to record, plug in a midi-capable keyboard or other instrument, rip sound from CDs, or download pre-made loops. Take your loops and add them to individual tracks, fix here, adjust there, and export as one of 10 audio formats. Or upload your new song to ACIDplanet.com for the world to hear.
Acid Music Studio 9 features timestretching, EQ, reverb, delay, chorus, flange, phase, distortion, and echo. VST effects and instruments are supported. TruePianos Amber Lite, a VST piano plug-in, is included with the program. So is Studio Devil British Valve Custom, a VST plug-in that emulates Marshall amp stacks.
Acid Music Studio 9 gives users envelope control of VST and MIDI parameters. It features the Beatmapper tool, which finds a loop’s tempo. Tempo curves can be added into the project to change tempo setting either quickly or gradually. If you’re scoring a project, you can add video to the project and watch the video as you playback the composition.
The software comes with a one year Indaba Pro membership and 5gbs of cloud storage space. Indabamusic.com lets musicians meet online and collaborate on projects via the web. The software also comes with a code for a free loop library from Sony. Sony’s loop libraries go from electronica to movie soundtrack elements. The ones I explored all seemed to be royalty-free WAV files.
I’m not a professional musician, but I did have a good time working with Acid Music Studio 9. I could see, given the right set of loops, making soundtracks for video projects. I could also see sequencing foley with it on a project. If I played an instrument, i.e. did more than mess around with some rhythm guitar, I could easily see using Acid Music Studio 9 to put together music projects. But what about my cohort, the eleven-year-old average home user?
We downloaded the software, ran the installer, registered and activated. Then we opened it. Eva read through the basic tutorials, and gave me a confused look.
“I don’t get it,” she said.
“What don’t you get?” I asked.
“Any of it.”
I explained the timeline was like sheet music, the staff broken up into measures based on a time signature. Then I explained what a sequencer was. But I wasn’t sure if she got it, so I opened the demo file included with Acid Music Studio 9 and hit play.
She grinned and reached for the mouse. “Okay, got it.”
She used the explorer to find her final Beethoven recording. She dumped that in. I got on ACIDplanet.com and downloaded the 8pack, a group of free loops given out weekly on the site. We ended up with some new-age sounding music loops, some drum loops and some bass loops. Enough for her, and me, to play with.
She spent the next couple of hours moving audio, playing loops, experimenting with timing, and basically mangling Ludwig Van with technobeats and new age flourishes. Some of it we laughed about. Some of it she got very serious about. Did this sound right? Did that hit at the right time, or was it off? I listened, made a couple of observations, and she adjusted it.
We played with the program for about two hours before I looked at the clock and realized how much time had passed.
“Bedtime,” said I.
She made some grumbling sounds and headed for bed.
“Can we do this again sometime?” she asked.
“Sure,” I said, “Whenever you want.”
Next time, Eva and I will sit down with Movie Studio Platinum 12 to edit her music video. Until then, happy cutting.