After almost a decade in the wilderness, the original loop‑based sequencer is back. But is Acid still the best?
In all walks of commercial life, brands and products come and go, particularly when economic times are challenging. Music technology is not exempt from these harsh realities. We have, for example, just witnessed the apparent death of Cakewalk’s Sonar only to see it resuscitated by BandLab Technologies. Not all such stories have happy endings.
There’s another Windows‑based music production platform whose users might have had more than the occasional moment of doubt over the last few years: Acid Pro, originally developed by Sonic Foundry and later by Sony Creative Software. I’m a long‑term Acid user, and have reviewed various releases of the program for SOS over the years. However, the most recent of those reviews appeared back in the April 2009 issue when Acid Pro 7 was released. Apart from a few maintenance updates, that’s remained the current version — until now.
A further change in Acid Pro’s ownership took place in 2016, when Magix acquired the former Sonic Foundry product range from Sony. Sound Forge and Vegas have already received major updates under Magix’s ownership, and now Acid Pro has received the same treatment. Some 20 years after it was first released, and nearly 10 years since the last major update, Acid Pro 8 is here. Of course, the world of DAWs, sequencers and other music production tools has not stood still over the last decade, so where does Acid now stand in what is a very crowded music production software market?
For those with somewhat fewer music technology miles on their clock, it might be difficult to imagine the stir that Acid made when it first appeared. Its unique selling point was its ability to match the tempo and pitch of pre‑recorded audio loops, in real time — at a time when mainstream sequencers such as Logic and Cubase had only recently added audio recording to their core MIDI feature sets. Acid brought...
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