Sony Acid Music Studio 8.0
Acid Music Studio 8.0 is the latest music editing release from Sony and it's packed with useful and usable features
Ratings BreakdownEditor's Rating:
- Value for money:
HD space: 200MB
Number of users: 1
OS: Windows XP/Vista/7
Sony Acid Music Studio is a name synonymous with easy-to-use software when it comes to music editing. To anchor its reputation and keep the competition at bay, Sony releases new versions every so often with the latest being version 8.
The latest version has many of its features drawn from the venerable Acid Pro 7. As a result you get added sharing effects with the mixing console. The mixing console itself offers all of its functions in one place and allows for four submix busses for multi channel processing into a single combined effect. The mixer supports four auxiliary sends (as most modern mixers do), which allows each channel to send a signal to an effects processor.
Another addition is a new timeline algorithm that allows you to stretch effects and modify pitch. It's worth noting however that Sony Acid Music Studio 8 does not choose the optimal settings for the user, instead everything must be configured by the user. So if you don't know exactly what you're doing you're in for quite a struggle. The software has support for tempo curves and the new ‘Plug-In Manager' can be quite helpful. All third party plug-ins are sorted by this into type which is a welcome plus. However, one downfall is that recordings and mixes are in 16-bit, which provides lower sound quality compared to almost all other sound studio software solutions, which work at 24-bit as standard.
There are a few new plug-ins and VST instruments too; the ‘Studio Devil British Valve Custom' is a great guitar simulator which only has one amp model. This isn't too much of a problem as it's a plug-in and doesn't take away from the overall usability of Sony Acid Music Studio 8. The only problem here is if you're a guitarist, then the software doesn't give you a chance to monitor live input with the effects in place, which is disappointing.
With the latest release Acid Music Studio 8 takes a step closer to Sony's own flagship Acid Pro, which is designed with absolute professionals in mind. The upgrade however has caused Acid Music Studio 8 to lose some of its ease-of-use, so while there are parts of the interface that are easy to navigate and are very well defined, you also come across areas that will give you nightmares. It doesn't help that the software's included tutorials don't shed enough light on topics if you're a novice or casual user.
Acid Music 8 then is best positioned as an option for semi-professional users who know exactly what they're doing but are price sensitive. However, one must note that it lacks the umpteen features and finesse of the more expensive Acid Pro, so depending on what you want to do with the software and your overall level of expertise you might want to splurge on its more expensive counterpart.