November 22, 2005

Whether you’re a novice at computer-based audio production, or need powerful, inexpensive recording software without all of the expensive bells and whistles, you might find just what you need in Steinberg’s Cubase SE3 ($149). If you outgrow the program’s limit of 48 audio tracks and unlimited MIDI tracks, Steinberg offers an upgrade path to Cubase SL and the flagship Cubase SX, and any project created in SE3 can be opened in its higher-ticket siblings. Each channel can hold up to five Insert effects and eight Send effects, and SE3 bundles a batch of VST effects and virtual instruments to get you started. Check out SE3 for Mac or Windows at

If you’re tired of doing a Fred Astaire routine with multiple footswitches, look into the Amp Gizmo ($299) from RJM Music Technology. This gadget lets you assign MIDI messages to up to eight functions, including amp selection, channel switching, and effects-program selection. Practically any gadget controlled with a footswitch is fair game, and you can even use non-standard connector types. You can generate commands with your MIDI guitar, a MIDI keyboard, or a MIDI footpedal. The box can even supply phantom power to 7-pin-equipped MIDI controllers. Get more details and download a PDF manual at

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