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Cakewalk Music Creator 5: the best-value PC DAW?

Music Creator is now easier to use and more powerful.
Music Creator is now easier to use and more powerful.

Music Creator 5 represents Cakewalk's latest attempt to create a truly entry-level DAW and, on first inspection, it looks like a pretty good one.

Crucially, the interface has been redesigned since the last version, so Music Creator now looks more like a PC version of GarageBand (which, after all, is what a lot of Windows users really want).

Equally impressive-looking is the spec sheet - the list of new features from Cakewalk's press release is as follows:

- New, simplified user interface
- Integrated Loop Explorer - now with support for MIDI Loops
- Cakewalk Sound Center - an easy-to-use tool that combines the best sounds from our award-winning professional instruments - exclusive to Music Creator 5
- Active Controller Technology (ACT), to make it easy to control your effects, instruments, and mix from a MIDI keyboard
- Studio Instruments' Drums allows users to make backing tracks fast with a realistic animated interface that looks just like a drum set
- MIDI editing right in the Track View - no need to open separate views
- New Assistants help you create parts and create effects busses for mixing
- IK Multimedia's AmpliTube X-GEAR - a built-in virtual guitar amp, plug directly in to your computer for great sounding guitar parts
- Integrated EQ with an easy-to-understand visual display of settings
- Burn CDs with Music Creator's integrated CD Burner and share your music online with Cakewalk Publisher

That's not a bad set of tools for a product that will retail for just $40 - especially when you bear in mind that Music Creator 5 is also plug-in- and ReWire-compatible, allows you to use 32 audio and 128 MIDI tracks and supports 24-bit recording.

Find out more on the Cakewalk website.