Acid Pro

ACID Pro 6 software is a professional music workstation for composing, recording, mixing, and arranging audio and MIDI tracks.

ACID Pro 6 isn't for the casual musician. It's full-featured for those who know their way around a mixing console, but can be overwhelming for newbies.

The latest update features full multitrack and MIDI support, two long-standing strikes against earlier versions. It's hard to understate the usefulness of the clean interface, given the overwhelming number of options available. The hot keys for accessing the major option windows have been coded as ALT plus an ascending number, making them easy to remember.

More than 1,000 loops are included so you don't have to record your own before beginning to mix it up. ACID Pro has got chops, too: proprietary looping technology, video integration, and even plug-in support, assuming you need to do something that isn't included.

Beginners and even intermediates should give this a pass because of the complexity. Knowing the real-world analogues of the features is a big help; otherwise, it's like giving a six-year-old a Stradivarius. You can't opt out of installing the Microsoft MySQL database manager, and registering for the trial version is also required. The price tag of $375 sounds high, but not compared to similar programs. Free upgrades are not included.

Assuming you've got the chops, ACID Pro will make your music-editing experience a smooth, pain-free trip.

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