Samplitude 11.5 Producer is the one-stop package for all your music production needs, from recording, editing, sound processing and mixing to mastering your finished CDs.

You might get started with the integrated MR-64 multi-track recorder, for instance. It's packed with top quality effects, which can be applied with a click, or direct from the powerful mixer (you get 4 slots for VST and DirectX effects per track).

Need more instruments? Samplitude 11.5 Producer includes the very convincing Clean Electric Guitar; Power Chords for some very realistic distortion guitars; the excellent Vandal guitar and bass amp sim; a soundtrack percussion set; and, new to this version, a high quality saxophone, a Jazz Drums collection, and a range of different pianos.

The new Automatic Accompaniment can then add an accompaniment in the style of your choice, perfect if you need an extra instrument or two in a band recording. And if that's not enough then you can further spice up your track with help from the BeatBox 2 step-sequencing drum machine, and the very versatile Revolta 2 soft synth.

And the feature list stretches on into the distance. Auto Jam Session provides automated backing from a virtual band while you play a solo; the Vintage Effects Suite gives your music a warmly nostalgic feel with classic effects like chorus, flanger, delay, distortion and more; Elastic Audio makes it easy to tune solo instruments and vocals, right down to individual syllables; and the integrated mastering suite combines a parametric 4-band equalizer, StereoFX module, and multiband compressor/ limiter to produce the polished and professional sound you need.

And while the interface is still on the complex side, a range of usability improvements make it significantly easier to find your way around. If you're looking for a particular effect, for instance, there's no longer any need to go browsing the menus. Just type its name into the Search box, Samplitude will display any matches, and you can jump straight to the relevant dialog box in a click.

Verdict

It's complex and occasionally quirky, but Samplitude 11.5 Producer's powerful features, excellent effects and impressive instruments still deliver the versatility and sound quality that your musical projects need