Don't like clutter? Neither does Harmony Central's Craig Anderton. Total Studio 2 MAX music production software bundle subscribes to the same philosophy. Find out more about this "really solid collection of programs that you'll find useful throughout the entire production process" in Harmony Central's Expert Review.
In his Harmony Central Expert Review of Total Studio 2 MAX, Craig Anderton takes you from installation through the production process using all of the included music production software tools that "complement each other" per IK's design philosophy.
Installation & Tracking Your Music:
Learn how easy it is to install even such a massive set of music production software tools, and then buckle up for a ride through tracking and instruments using the sounds from SampleTank 3 (a tool Craig has recommended as a songwriting tool for well over a decade), the enhanced expressiveness of Miroslav Philharmonik 2's emotional orchestral sounds, legendary synths from Syntronik (which Craig calls a "vintage synth museum"), and creating "uncannily accurate bass parts" with the incredibly realistic and playable physically-modeled electric basses from MODO BASS.
It is no secret that Craig Anderton has been using AmpliTube for years. Craig states that "AmpliTube 4’s standout feature as its ability to emulate the smooth breakup from clean to distorted, instead of 'switching' from one to the other" and how it is "a deeper processor than it appears". In this Expert Review, Craig not only covers the basics of amp modeling and tracking with AmpliTube but also notes how you can use it for mixing!
Mixing & Mastering:
Speaking of mixing, Total Studio 2 MAX "isn't just about loops, orchestral, synth and ROMpler type sounds" (in the words of Phil O'Keefe in his second opinion - more on that later). Craig also explains how T-RackS 5 processors in Total Studio 2 MAX can provide "the right tool for the right job" for mixing and mastering as well as "add musical, useful colors to your mix that you rarely find with stock plug-ins". He even calls the T-RackS processors "the unsung heroes of the package".
When it comes to mastering, though, Craig calls Lurssen Mastering Console "the star of this show"! According to Craig's expert opinion, Lurssen Mastering Console "works like a real mastering engineer" and calls it "a head-turner". That's no small praise from such an industry icon.
A Second Opinion:
Craig needed what he labels a "sanity check" and asked colleague Phil O'Keefe for his opinion. Phil called Total Studio 2 MAX "quite an impressive bundle overall" and had some more to say about "a product of this magnitude":
"No matter what style of music you're into, you'll find tons of useful sounds here. I was really impressed with not only the wide variety, but the quality."
"AmpliTube 4, T-RackS 5 and the Lurssen Mastering Console provide guitar amps and effects, as well as an impressive bundle of processors and effects for mixing and mastering. I was also impressed with how authentically MODO Bass’s physical modeling could replicate a wide variety of electric bass tones—it's almost like having a closet full of different basses that you can call upon whenever you need them."
"While you get a ton of stuff, there's no bloatware—Total Studio 2 Max is a really solid collection of programs that you'll find useful throughout the entire production process. Whether you're writing and arranging a song, working on a commercial or soundtrack, tracking bass, guitar, synth, orchestral and keyboard parts for your next album or mixing and mastering it, the Total Studio 2 MAX bundle has a lot of very useful tools that will help you get the job done, and done well. It’s all easy and fast to use, and most importantly, the components work well together and sound great—and that makes Total Studio 2 Max a great value."