Midi Sequencers Or Audio Sequencers? Everything You Need Before Choosing The Right Sequencer In 2021


A sequencer is the core of your Music Production Studio. So when choosing which sequencer you want to use, you want to make sure you make the right decision. With Midi Sequencer and Audio Sequencers ranging anywhere from $99 to $3500 US, you want to make sure that your decision is a good one. You don’t want to pay for features you don’t want, and you don’t not want to have features you need.

What we have done is separate the possible sequencers into three main categories. Professional, all-in-one sequencer, and loop-based software. Depending on your previous experience and your projected future musical goals, we should be able to suit you up with your appropriate DAW.

Professional Solutions

Pro Tools

Pro Tools – By most Pro Tools is considered the most professional and advanced sequencer on the market. Pro Tools come in three forms. Pro Tools HD, Pro Tools LE, and Pro Tools Free. Yes, you heard the word free. Digidesign the authors of Pro Tools offer a stripped-down free version of their software, in order to let users demo it. Fortunately, if your sequencer need is quite minimal then you may be able to get it by using this product. Although Pro Tools is both a midi and audio sequencer, its strength is really in its audio recording – stable as a rock. Pro Tools is not VST comparable and uses its own plug-in format called RTAS(software adapters are available). Usually associated with higher quality and a higher price tag, RTAS plug-ins are becoming more and more prevalent on the market today, but are still not as widely available as VST’s.

If you purchase an HD or LE system, the product comes with a Pro Tools compatible hardware set up which you need in order to run the program. These pieces of hardware will depend on which product you order and how big your studio is. For instance, Pro Tools offers a laptop solution with their LD set called the MBox which is a simple USB breakout box. On the other end of the spectrum, Pro Tools HD can come with rackmount pieces of hardware that have as many as 10 ins and 10 outs. What you need will greatly be depended on what hardware you need to connect to your sequencer.

  • So Who Needs Pro Tools?

Pro Tools HD is recommended if you are dealing with a lot of hardware including keyboards, drum machines, and effects units. If your setup is primarily software-based then the expensive price tag that accompanies Pro Tools HD might not be such a smart sequencer solution The Pro Tools LD package can be purchased for as little as $500 US with their MBox product. This is a great mobile product that you can use where ever you go on the road. All of the Pro Tools systems are comparable with Windows and Mac but it seems that a majority of people who are using Pro Tools have their set up on a Mac

Cubase

Cubase is the oldest of the big three sequencers, dating back to the days of the Atari. A lot has changed since then though. Cubase has established itself as a true multi-purpose sequencer production suit. With Cubase VST, Steinberg, the producers of Cubase, gave music producers the possibility of using virtual instruments in replace of hardware. The VST type of plug-in is now the most widely used of all the plug-in formats. Therefore one defiantly has the most choice as to which products he wishes to incorporate with the sequencer package. Although Cubase SX and SL do come with a few VST instruments and some stock plug-in effects, these are not as good as the Pro Tools or Logic plug-ins. So you will most likely need to buy some supplementary products. Cubase truly incorporates audio and midi sequencing together, and its audio engine is very sophisticated.

Cubase offers a variety of different sequencer packages. Based on Cubase SX and SL, there are many different packages that will suit your budget. Cubase SL is essentially a stripped-down version of Cubase SX, but for most users is a very attractive option. Steinberg offers a Cubase sequencer package for as low as $99 US, called Cubase SE. This entry-level sequencer is based on the base engine and can be a great place to start, especially since it is upgradeable to SL and SX.

  • So Why Cubase?

Cubase is definitely the most integrated sequencer with regards to virtual instruments. If you use a lot of VST plug-ins as well as audio recording and hardware, Cubase is the sequencer. The choice between all their different sequencer packages can be confusing but we will always take care of you. So…

Logic Audio

Emagic, the original developers of Logic Audio recently sold their company to Apple. From that day on Logic Audio was no longer supported on Windows. So if you are a windows user you can stop reading cause Logic is not available on PC. If you are a Mac user Logic is a truly great sequencer to use. With many similar features to the other true professional sequencers, Logic Audio is a truly classy product. With a slightly different way of organ zing their arrangement the learning curve can be fairly steep, but once you get it, the program is extremely smooth and it becomes a very efficient way of producing music. Logic also does not support VST and their primary new plug-in format is Audio Units which were developed by apple for OSX. The included plug-ins are actually very good, with regards to both sound quality and design. Logic is quickly becoming a standard sequencer for intermediate to professional producers

Logic comes in two packages Logic Pro and Logic Express. Like all of the other sequencer packages which offer different pricing structure, the difference between the two products is less included plugins and a limitation on the number of audio and midi tracks which are available.

  • Why Logic Audio

If you are producing music on a Mac and are interested in self-contained or loop-based production suites, then you should seriously consider Logic Pro or Logic Express for your production needs

Self-Contained Production Programs

So What is meant by self-contained production programs? Primarily this means that there is no need to and buy extra hardware or extra plug-ins in order to produce the music you wish to. In these production suites, everything you need comes straight out of the box.

Reason 2.5

Reason has turned a lot of heads since it came onto the market over 3 years ago. Since then they have added 3 major upgrades and currently have the release of Reason 2.5. What reason does is create simplicity. Instead of having a shell for your sequencer and then adding third-party products to create your music, Reason offers instruments, effects, and a sequencer in one package that resembles the look of ones’ rack mount hardware. Inside Reason, you will find, two synthesizers, a drum machine, a sampler, a mixing unit, and a whole gamma of effects units. Furthermore, Reason can be controlled with a wide selection of midi controllers, including keyboards or buttons, or knobs. Although Reason supports no plug-in formats, most of the major sequencers have re-wire installed, which lets on patch reason through your other sequencer totally in sync. This is a great feature if you wish to use Reasons instruments and plug-ins but don’t want to use the sequencer functions.

The reason currently has Reason 2.5 and Reason Adapted, which is a scaled-down version. Unfortunately, Reason adapted is only bundled when with other products and can not be purchased individually. Currently, if you buy DigiDesign’s Pro Tools it comes bundled with a version of Reason Adapted. Not such a bad deal eh?

  • Why Reason

Reason has evolved as a serious production tool, and although it is an all-in-one production suite, with the ability to use Reason Rewire it can also be used as an effective sound synthesis tool. Probably Reasons most important feature is its simplicity. There is very little programming or setting up, letting you spend more time making music.

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