Steinberg Sequel 3: VST support plus new drum and performance features

Steinberg Sequel 3: now with plug-in support.
Steinberg Sequel 3: now with plug-in support.

Steinberg has released Sequel 3, a new version of its entry-level music making software.

The package sits underneath the Cubase range, offering a friendlier interface and an easier workflow. However, version 3 adds several features that look set to make Sequel significantly more flexible.

First up, Steinberg has finally added VST support, opening the door to the use of third-party plug-ins. Its omission in past versions has always been something of a mystery, but at least it's finally here. UPDATE: It seems that only VST 3 plug-ins are supported, which does limit compatibility somewhat.

What's more, Steinberg's own HALion Sonic SE workstation and VST Amp Rack SE come included.

Other new features include the Beat Page, which is powered by the Groove Agent One 'drum station' and is designed to help you with your beat creation, and a performance mode that assigns different sections of your song to trigger pads.

Finally, Sequel now detects the tempo of imported MP3 files, making it easier for you to go about the process of reworking them.

Sequel 3 is available now from the Steinberg online shop and costs £67.76. The update from Sequel 2 costs £25.40. Read on for the official press release.

Steinberg Sequel 3 press release

Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH today released Sequel 3. Designed to meet the needs of entry-level computer music enthusiasts, Sequel 3 is an easy-to-use music software application for recording, editing and mixing. Its instruments and effects, plus the included arranging and performance features, turn Windows and Mac computers into streamlined production studios that cater ideally to the user's degree of sophistication.

For anyone interested in getting to know the ropes of computer music production, Sequel 3 is the ideal tool to start out on this endeavor. Providing versatility through its feature set and high-quality content as well as intuitiveness owing to its one-window design make Sequel 3 the all-in-one solution for songwriters, composers and producers of different music styles.

"With Sequel 3, we're providing a powerful audio and MIDI sequencer that makes creating music an intuitive and enjoyable experience. Offered at a price point affordable for everyone, Sequel 3 adds many editing tools, effects and content to both its timeline-based recording and pattern-based performance modes. Plugging into Sequel with your keyboard, mic or guitar lets you start jamming within minutes," commented Matthias Quellmann, Steinberg's product marketing manager for Sequel.

Sequel 3 includes more than 5,000 high-quality loops and sounds of various music styles, which are easily accessible through Steinberg's acclaimed MediaBay media management tool. With an additional 500+ workstation sounds, the HALion Sonic SE plug-in nicely rounds out the quality content included in Sequel.

The Performance Mode turns Sequel 3 into a live tool for creating impromptu arrangements and live mixes by triggering the 24 live performance pads with song sections and variations.

Sequel's one-click tempo detection is a great tool when it comes to working with rhythms of varying tempos. In Performance Mode, this feature can be used for creating remixes.

Another highlight is the VST Amp Rack SE virtual effect board in Sequel 3. Its more than 120 presets comprise combinations of amps, speaker cabinets and effects pedals, delivering a collection of various guitar sounds.

With the enhanced Controller Learn feature, it's possible to connect virtually any MIDI controller to Sequel 3, making MIDI setups easier and less time consuming.

AudioWarp includes the acclaimed élastique Pro engine by zplane for high-quality time-stretching and pitch-shifting to adjust tempo and tone in stunning audio quality.

In its third incarnation, Sequel is now featuring multi-take recording. MIDI and audio can be recorded over and over again. The best take is picked from the list of recorded takes when in Take Mode.

Another new feature is the Step Envelopes Editor which allows the user to add effects to selected parts of the audio material. Reverse, decay or pitch effects are only a few of the many adjustments users can easily make to their productions.

Sequel's Beat Page is a dedicated area for creating intricate rhythmical patterns. Here the users find Groove Agent ONE, a powerful drum sampler with over 60 drum kits, and the step sequencing Beat Designer tool.

Sequel 3 supports VST 3, the third version of Steinberg's Virtual Studio Technology. This allows third-party effect and instrument plug-ins to be integrated easily into Sequel 3.

Availability and pricing

Sequel 3 is available immediately as download version and boxed version through the Steinberg Online Shop. The exact time of availability of Sequel 3 at certified Steinberg dealers is subject to regional variations.

A trial version of Sequel 3 is available through the Steinberg website.

Sequel 3 is available in Germany at the suggested retail price of EUR 79.99 including VAT. The update from Sequel 2 is EUR 29.99 including VAT. In the United Kingdom, Sequel 3 is available at the suggested retail price of GBP 67.76 including VAT. The update from Sequel 2 is GBP 25.40 including VAT. Pricing may vary in other countries.

Features at a glance

• More than 5,000 high-quality loops and sounds
• MediaBay media management tool
• HALion Sonic SE with over 500 workstation sounds
• Performance Mode with 24 live performance pads
• One-click tempo detection
• VST Amp Rack SE amp simulator
• Controller Learn editor
• Multi-take recording
• AudioWarp with élastique Pro
• Step Envelopes
• Beat Page with Groove Agent ONE and Beat Designer
• VST 3 support and cross-platform compatibility with Windows and Mac OS X

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. 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, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.