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Steinberg Sequel 3 review

Ben Pitt
9 Jan 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
59
inc VAT

A classy recording package that's packed with ready-made sounds but also offers sophisticated recording and mixing tools

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Specifications

Low cost music software generally falls into two camps: consumer packages such as the eJay series and stripped-down versions of professional software, such as Steinberg Cubase Elements 6.

Steinberg Sequel sits somewhere between the two. Its interface is highly graphical, with the bare minimum of menus and no complicated toolbox or right-click menus to contend with. However, there's an attention to detail that's rare among consumer packages, and it doesn't shy away from advanced functions and concepts that are vital for producing high quality recordings.

Sequel Mix

Sequel's ties with Cubase show in the new AmpSimulator guitar amp plug-in

It supports up to 48 audio tracks and 24 virtual instrument tracks per project, with EQ and three insert effects on each track. A limitation of just two auxiliary effects per project is rather stingy and we missed the ability to crossfade audio objects, especially when recording live instruments. Otherwise, though, Sequel is surprisingly well equipped to handle ambitious recording projects. Virtually any parameter can be automated, either by drawing curves or by recording changes in real time. This version introduces support for tempo changes too. There's a new Performance mode, whereby the arrangement is carved up into blocks that are triggered using onscreen buttons or a MIDI controller. The new time-stretch and pitch-shift algorithm allows samples and audio recordings to be manipulated with much less audible artefacts than before.

We're surprised to find support for VST plug-ins in this update, as one of the key attractions of Sequel was its fully self-contained design. However, only VST3 plug-ins are supported, which rules out a large number of third-party plug-ins.

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