Finding a sequencer that my grandfather can use.
December 27, 2006 5:35 PM   Subscribe

I need to find a Windows based sequencer or music making program that my grandad can understand.

My grandad has a midi equipped keyboard and a pc computer, and he's looking for a program that he can play around with, something that can record audio and also contain midi channels, preferably with built in sounds. An ideal solution would be Garageband, but I can't afford to get him a mac right now, so i'm looking for the next best thing available on Windows. I've looked around a bit, but I haven't found anything that fits the description yet.
posted by svenni to Technology (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'd say consider starting with a beginner program like Magix Music Maker.

It may have got more complicated over time, but back in 1995, it was a simple enough introduction to digital music production:
posted by rc55 at 6:02 PM on December 27, 2006

If you're looking for something GarageBand-esque, I heartily recommend Acid PRO, which is now a Sony product, although originally by Sonic Foundry. It's not that hard to learn the basics, but there's enough there that you can get deeper and deeper into it if you want. A used copy of a slightly older version can usually be found on eBay for a low price; just make sure you're not buying counterfeit software.

If Acid is too expensive for you, try Modplug for free, although the learning curve is a little steeper.

If it's notation software he wants, I recommend Sibelius over Finale; the user interface is MUCH more intuitive. Or, if you're on a budget, Noteworthy Composer is cheap and robust.
posted by fvox13 at 7:32 PM on December 27, 2006

Oh, and if you want really hardcore, expensive music production capabilities, there's Cakewalk SONAR, but the user interface is so complex it might give him and you a heart attack!
posted by fvox13 at 7:34 PM on December 27, 2006

posted by afx114 at 12:31 AM on December 28, 2006

Two very enthusiastic thumbs down to FruityLoops - an interface so arcane/insane it makes my head hurt just remembering it.

Acid PRO is a good choice, but it's several hundred dollars. There's a lower-end version (Acid Music Studio, I think?) - but seriously, GarageBand is SO good, it would be worth finding a used Mac Mini (which can use your existing peripherals, perhaps excluding the midi interface, which you can replace for a few bucks).
posted by jbickers at 3:13 AM on December 28, 2006

I think Tracktion is the answer.

Its a really simple to use, but advanced, sequencer.

You can get Tracktion 2 pretty cheap with the Mackie Spike hardware, or Tracktion 1 (which isn't that different tbh) second hand even cheaper.

If you get Tracktion 2, I'd recommend the version with the Final Mix plugin, its fantastic.
posted by chrispy108 at 10:17 AM on December 28, 2006

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