Sequel 1.0.1 seeks to appeal to both entry-level musicians and pros frustrated by the daunting interfaces found in most high-end music software.

Sequel 1.0.1 encourages a loop-based style of composition that lets you drag-and-drop audio and MIDI loops into a single window - everything is automatically adjusted for key and time signature.

Sequel 1.0.1 includes more than 4,500 loops (plus another 500 when you register the software) and more than 600 instruments covering a variety of musical genres, including dance, metal, electronic and world music.

You don't have to be a musician to make professional-sounding music with Sequel 1.0.1. In fact, DJs will find that it excels at creating the kind of dance music you'd hear in a Berlin club.

Everything - recording, arranging, editing and mixing - takes place in a single Sequel 1.0.1 window. The layout is logical and follows typical sequencer conventions. Most functions are available by clicking on icons rather than scrolling through lengthy menus.

At the top is the Pilot Zone, which includes transport controls like those found on a tape recorder, along with a display indicating tempo, key and song position. Below this is the Arrange Zone, Sequel 1.0.1's track view, which shows linear tracks along a timeline. Tracks have basic volume and pan controls, and each track can be easily muted or soloed.

Sequel 1.0.1 excels at streamlining common sequencer functions. For example, the SmartTool cursor, which changes its function depending on where you place it, provides access to most common editing functions (mute, repeat, resize, split) without requiring a trip to the menus.

Creating a song is as easy as dragging in audio and MIDI files from the Media Bay browser in the Multi-Zone (more on that later) or by directly recording audio or MIDI into tracks.

The Sequel 1.0.1 Media Bay lets you search and filter loops by instrument, genre and musical attributes, making it easy to zero in on the one you want. Steinberg has even gone to the trouble of organising them for you. You can filter by family to find loops that are practically guaranteed to sound good together.

At the bottom of the window is the Multi-Zone, which provides basic sample and MIDI editing, along with the ability to apply high-quality effects such as reverb, delay, chorus and EQ on either a track or global basis.

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