Invest in audio hardware, such as mixing desk, and you are immediately limited by what you can afford and have to resign yourself to the fact that in a year or less there will be something far more impressive available for the same price. This is true in many walks of life, but if you’re involved in music production, a software based solution is one that can be cheaper, more powerful and extendable.
n-Track Studio 7 is great for all types of recording and it enables you to process inputs in a very versatile way. If you want to try out a few sounds, you can opt to record an instrument in its natural form, perhaps adding live effects as a test, and you can then run the instrument through virtual pedals without the need to play the track again. With the ability to work with an almost unlimited number of tracks, this is an app that is suitable for even the most complicated of music projects.
There are a number of handy special effects built in – including Reverb, Compression and Pitch shift – and individual tracks can be separately edited before being mixed down into a single, flat wave file. One slightly unusual, and pleasing, thing about n-Track Studio 7 is that it is available for both Mac and PC. This is great for mixed platform environments as it means that everyone involved in the production process is able to use their preferred system – there is even an iOS app available.
If you want more advanced features such as the ability to record and mix 5.1 surround sound, take advantage of 64-bit mixing and add support for hardware faders and control surfaces, you’ll need to look at n-Track Studio EX. While this tool is a little more expensive (€89 instead of €49) it still represents great value for money and is something that musicians of all types could benefit from.