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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.

I’m the Group Content Manager for MusicRadar, specialising in all things tech. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 20 of which I’ve also spent writing about music technology.