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Composition Software
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Budding singers, musicians, songwriters and karaoke lovers who want more from their software than just a karaoke player/editor should take a look at programs that allow the user to create, play and manipulate music files. Be Warned! Music composition software is not for the faint-hearted! Their use requires musical and computer know how plus a decent computer to operate effectively.

Absolute Minimum System Requirements
* Pentium Processor 133 MHz / 32 MB RAM
* 1.19GB Hard Drive
* Windows 95 or Windows 98
* Minimum 256 Colors @ 800 x 600 pixels
* Sound card and MIDI interface required
* Speakers

Recommended Minimum
* Pentium Processor 166 MHz / 64 MB RAM
* As Much Hard-drive space as you can afford!
* Soundblaster or compatible card with WaveTable
* CD-Writer or CD-Rewriter

Some of the programs listed below, are recommended for experienced musicians/computer users, others are relatively easy to learn / operate (like Nero). All are suitable for Windows 98/2000/Me/XP unless stated otherwise. (Mac and Atari programs are also listed). Check the full details at the affiliate site for updated versions, reviews and special offers.

A Cubase for Everyone.
Cubase is not just one program. It has features to match the differing needs of musicians. The scaling of these features adds functionality through the range. Steinberg does not arbitrarily strip, or mindlessly limit features to disable our smaller programs. We add whole new spheres of functionality, for those who need it, as we climb through the range. The core functionality and power remains the same.
Steinberg Products at Amazon UK
Steinberg Products at Amazon USA

Cakewalk Music Creator 6
Music Creator 6 turns your computer into your own personal recording studio and includes everything you need to create, edit, and mix professional recordings. Whether it's a cover of your favorite tune or an original composition, turn a simple idea into a finished song with Music Creator's powerful suite of tools, loops, instruments, and effects. And when you're ready to share your music with the world, you can burn a CD or use SoundCloud to post your music on Facebook and Twitter
Cakewalk Music Creator 6 at Amazon UK
Cakewalk Music Creator 6 at Amazon USA

Music Lab
This company has a bundle of useful programs / plugins for use with Cubase, Cakewalk and other music creation software which are great timesavers for programming musicians and beginners alike including RealLPC virtual guitar, Real Guitar, Real Strat,MIDIoverLAN, Garage Drummer and DrumTools.
Visit Music Lab for full details.

cover Top of the Pops Mix Factory 2
If you fancy yourself as a bit of a composer of pop tunes, then TOTP Mix Factory 2 could be what you need. It is a complete 12-track mixer designed to make it as easy as possible for you to pull samples together into real tunes. The 1,600 free samples included are grouped into Chart, Club and Dance collections. To get them onto the 16 tracks is simply a matter of dragging samples from the main display onto the track list. You can edit samples to get their sounds precisely as you want them, or even record your own if what you want is not already present. Creating a video to go with your music track is again a matter of dragging elements from a library into the frame--this time you have foreground and background to consider. You can import your own images into the vision mixer if those that are provided don't suit. Once completed, you can put your creations into a playlist and sit back and enjoy them and swap tracks with friends. It's great fun.--Sandra Vogel
Mix Factory Amazon UK
Mix Factory 2 at Amazon UK

Band in a Box
Composition software with automatic accompaniment. Band-In-A-Box Pro 2013 Edition: Best selling intelligent accompaniment software that just got better with a host of NEW features including automatic chord recognition and chord generation from a single line melody. Type in the chords for any song, using standard chord notation, choose the style, and Band-in-a-Box generates backing tracks. Unlike backing CD's you get to choose the tempo - and any song you like. 2013 features include RealBand, RealTracks, MultiStyles, MIDI SuperTracks, enhancements to the popular Audio Chord Wizard, RealDrums style changes, and much more. For Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7
Band-in-a-Box and RealBand 2013 Music Software for Windows at Amazon UK

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