1. The Price Point
Acid Pro, where shall I start? Let’s see, it’s available in three different versions in as many prices, or lack of price; it literally has something for everyone, even the poor and/or cheapskates (no hard feelings, penny pinchers, we still love you).
The 100%, bonafide, FREE version, Acid XPress 7, is just that, free, but it’s severely limited. The next move in this progression takes us to Acid Music Studio 10 for $59.95, opening up your options a lot more.The most “expensive” version, haha jk, the not-very-pricey-at-all version is Acid Pro 7 for a pretty meager $149.95; Not too harsh for the full program. Additionally, a 30 day free trial has been made available on Magix website.
2. Capabilities and Features
Although it hasn’t been updated since 2010, Pro 7 still offers some really great features. Acidization of a loop, first introduced by ACID from its inception, originally served as the cornerstone and chief operating feature of the program. It proved to be so cutting edge, DAW’s like Cubase and Cakewalk were upgraded with their own variations, rebranded as “Audio Warp” and “Groove Clips,” respectively. The term acidization refers to dropping an Acid loop file into a song followed by the loop automatically adjusting its tempo and key with no loss in sonic quality. This is made possible because the file contains information on transients, lengths and the key of each sample, making it easy for the DAW to manipulate the audio.
Let’s begin with Acid Pro XPress 7. This variation of the two other paid versions also let’s you create music using loops and samples and is capable of recording, editing and mixing. In addition, can host VST plug-ins. However, you’re restricted to 10 tracks you can work with and after Sony sold their rights for the Acid product line to Magix, it’s no longer available for download off their website; you’ll have to search elsewhere to get it.
Acid Music Studio 10 happens to be quite a purveyor of useful options. Even at it’s ultra-low cost, you’re given enough room to create without obstruction. When putting it up against the full version, I was surprised to find Studio 10 had about 90% of the same features.
- Here is a breakdown of what you’ll get with both Studio 10 and Pro 7:
- Unlimited number of tracks to work with
- Recording, Editing, Automation, Mixing, Remixing and Mastering
- A bit depth/sample rate of 24-bit/192 kHz
- Customizable keyboard mapping
- Enhanced Beatmapping for tracks with tempo changes
- Normalize, Invert Phase, and Lock
- MIDI track freeze, MIDI file import/export
- VSTi and VST effect support
- 90 Virtual Instruments included
- ASIO driver support
- FLAC and AAC format support
- WAV, MP3, WMA, WMV, RM, WAV, AIF, PCA, und AC3 supported file types
- Windows Media audio support
Furthering the case for Acid Pro, we find it offers more than expected in terms of price. In addition to the above bullet points, you’ll get a few more features that can make a world of difference depending on your needs:
- External control surface channel tracking
- Real-time rendering
- 5.1 surround mixing
- Bus-to-bus routing
- Rewire mixer and device support
- AC-3 Studio and MPEG-2 format support
One of its noteworthy limitations would be that it has only been formatted to run on Windows 7-10, so unless you have that installed on your Mac, you’re out of luck. Those looking to sync audio and music to video will also need to look elsewhere since Acid doesn’t support this function in any edition.
3. What Sets It Apart
Ever heard of a little company called iZotope? The one that has been producing top-tier plug-ins for mixing and mastering engineers for 16 years… Yea, that iZotope. Well, they teamed up with Sony to create the Acid Pro Effects Rack which covers everything and more than you need to treat and modify your recordings, samples, loops, etc. The Effects Rack bundle covers everything from flangers, phasers, analog delay and reverb and dynamics processing like compression and limiting. With iZotope running the effects suite portion, it’s like having their high quality aftermarket plug-ins made stock for Acid without having to upgrade.
Is Acid Pro 7 an antiquated piece of software at this point, sure, but so is some of the best sounding vintage gear. Regardless of age, it’s still a fully functioning DAW capable of completing a song start to finish.