21 May 2021

Beat reviews IK’s Total Studio 3 MAX

“The whole thing is optimized for uncomplicated musical use!”

Recently, Beat magazine reviewed Total Studio 3 MAX, giving IK's popular software suite for music creation a score of 5.5 out of 6.

The Beat article discusses the operation and performance of the virtual instruments, the processors and effects, and the room correction system that all come with Total Studio 3 MAX. Here's a summary of the review:

On the virtual instruments

"SampleTank 4 is a proven beginner-friendly workstation for all imaginable bread-and-butter sounds, but thanks to the included expansions such as Hitmaker: EDM, Reggaeton, Synthwave and Trap, it is also suitable for more modern music styles when it needs to be fast and uncomplicated. Syntronik Deluxe offers a collection of analog and digital synthesizer classics.

"In addition, there is a virtual rock band with Hammond B-3X, MODO DRUM and MODO BASS. The two MODO instruments are currently among the most convincing replicas of acoustic drums and electric bass to our ears. For the classical and cinematic elements, Miroslav Philharmonik 2 has been integrated into the bundle."

MixBox is a good example of the concept of all plug-ins from the bundle: clear and simple operation and many presets lead even beginners quickly to usable results.


About effects

"Lots of effects are also included, also with a certain focus on typical rock/ pop production. In this respect, Total Studio 3 Max is also quite distinct from NI Komplete, which focuses more on electronic productions with a certain amount of twiddling and experimentation factor and less on typical mastering chains for conventional applications.

"As a pioneer of virtual guitar amps, AmpliTube 5 is, of course, a must. The MAX version of the counterpart to NI Guitar Rig offers a whopping 400 amps and effects, as well as 2,500 presets from guitar virtuosos including Brian May and Joe Satriani."

T-RackS also includes studio reverb and tape machine emulations, making it even more of an all-rounder for editing your tracks.


Simplified operation

"Complementing this is the newer MixBox, in which various 500-style effects can be assembled into an effects rack. Since these effects carry the genes of the T-RackS 5 system, they sound excellent. And the Mixbox concept allows you to find a suitable combination without much effort or technical background and adjust it with a handful of knobs.

"Here, too, the different approach of Total Studio 3 Max compared to NI Komplete becomes apparent. It is less about tinkering and exploring new sound possibilities, but rather about the efficient editing of single, bus and master tracks.

"This principle is also found in instruments such as SampleTank 4 and Syntronik Deluxe. Instead of programming a sound from scratch, here you have access to many presets in the form of high-quality multisamples of various sounds from well-known synthesizers and other instruments."

Room correction

"The Studio also includes the ARC System 3 room measurement software, which can improve the overall sound especially in project studios that are not acoustically optimized. In a bundle with the iLoud MTM monitors, which are highly recommended for smaller studios, you also get the matching measurement microphone."

SoftBeat verdict

"Total Studio 3 Max is primarily recommended for conventional rock and pop productions and offers an impressive package of high-quality multisamples of classic electronic and acoustic instruments, excellent virtual replicas of drums and bass, as well as plenty of good-sounding effects for electric guitars and mastering."

The whole thing is optimized for fast and uncomplicated musical use and does not require much training time or in-depth technical background from the user.


Total Studio 3 MAX features

  • Uncomplicated operation
  • Large preset collection
  • Realistic drums/bass
  • Mastering and amp effects
  • Room correction ARC3

Total Studio 3 MAX score

  • Sound: 5.5/6
  • Operation: 5.5/6
  • Price/Perf: 5/6
  • Total: 5.5/6

Learn more on Total Studio 3 MAX


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