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eJay Dance 6 reloaded review

eJay Dance 6 Reloaded
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £20
inc VAT

Rough round the edges, but the basics are sound and it’s very good value

Dance 6 reloaded is billed as an inexpensive and easy way to create dance tracks. It’s certainly good value. Your £20 buys you a full-featured sample-based sequencing package with a huge sample library – the application is a 1.7GB download, so check you won’t go over your broadband data limit.

The program has a good-looking interface with an animated background. The main window shows your track, while icons at the top switch between the sample arranger, mixing program and video creator, as well as extras such as bassline editor, drum loop creator and voice sampler. All the icons have tooltip text to help you remember which is which – a good thing, as the included help file is minimalist.

eJay Dance 6 Reloaded

After a few teething troubles – the package refused to play anything but bass notes until we replaced our PC’s built-in soundcard with a USB Creative Blaster X-Fi – we started creating our own track. The easiest way to do this is to select samples from the vast archive and drag them onto one of the 48 tracks in the Arranger. The samples in the Archive are split into categories such as Beats, Bass, Keys (cheesy dance syth riffs), Spheres (atmospheric trance interludes) and generic male and female dance vocals.

There’s no search function and few clues in the samples’ names, so finding which you like is a case of trial and error – there are various ways to change the samples’ sort order, but we found this didn’t really help. You can right-click on a sample and save it to a favourites collection, though. It’s also tricky to create long strings of samples once you’ve dropped them onto the Arranger – you can’t just click and drag to span a sample over several bars as in Garageband, so have to go through a laborious copy and paste process to take your dirty bassline all the way to the breakdown.

Despite this limitation, the clear Arranger display makes it simple to lay samples over one another to create some uplifting trance, and it’s easy to trim each sample once you’ve dropped it into your song. The mixer app gives fine control over fading samples in and out; you can change volume as many times as you like over the course of the track by creating a waveform-like volume line.

We soon had our first track, and exported it to MP3 in a few clicks. We found MP3s sounded compressed even at 320kb/s, but were fine when saved as an uncompressed WAV file. We’d recommend exporting as WAV and encoding as MP3 with a different program, such as winLAME. We also couldn’t get the social media functions to work – we tried uploading our song to Facebook, but just hit an error every time.

We liked our sample-based sequencing results, but were less impressed with the original sound production tools. The Voice Generator uses text-to-speech to turn what you type into robotic/spaceman/low-fi telephone voices, but there was no obvious way to save the sample we created. Likewise, although it was easy to generate our own drum loops and basslines with the Bass and Groove Generators and add them to the dedicated Bass and Groove tracks in the Arranger, samples made in the more detailed Mophonix Synth II and Supa Bass modules refused to open in the FX Studio sample editor for fine tuning.

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Price £20
Rating ****

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