A combined VST Host, Sequencer and Recorder as cool as the name suggests.
Pros & Cons:
DarkWave Studio is produced by Daniel Werner @ Experimental Scene.
A VST Plugin requires a VST host, just as a browser plugin requires a browser, and DarkWave Studio ticks that box very nicely: this application is a combined VST Host, Sequencer and Recorder. DarkWave Studio is actually every bit as cool as the name suggests. A very clever, minimalist GUI, neatly separated into three workstations and a recording bay. The first workstation is to dock and configure your plugins: this is the VST Host. The next is the pattern editor: this is where you create the components of your music. Finally, the sequencer, where you assemble the components of your music.
Ease of use: This software is so cleverly designed, it is virtually foolproof. It is a blank canvass on which to create one's masterpiece, not cluttered with a load of bells and whistles one can't even understand. The plugins, however, are as simple or as complex as you want them to be. The help file will get you started.
Functionality: Again, very clever, very easy to use. It did not take me long to figure the tao of DarkWave Studio, and it really is easy to set up and configure, allowing you to install virtual effects racks, keyboards, guitars, percussion: whatever you like. It's best to use a small number (4 or 5) plugins initially, as things can get a little confusing and cluttered, and run them through a virtual mixing desk. The pattern editor is easy to get on with, and even moving from one workstation to another is hassle free due to the tabbed toolbar.
Performance: Supports 64 bit OS but there are limited free 64 bit VST's. Requires a reasonably powerful system for best. I had to use the 32 bit app (for availability of plugins) on a 64 bit OS: The program was a little fragile on my laptop, but usable once the limit was found. This program should be run on a desktop pc with a reasonably good sound card (e.g Soundblaster Audigy): this will enable you to install Steinberg ASIO driver or equivalent, and once correctly configured, you may immerse yourself in the DarkWave Studio and live the dream. Or, you may choose to compose ringtones on your laptop, and since the recorder saves as wav, you can just convert it to .mp3 and away you go. Excellent Freeware. Nicely done.
Editor's Advisory Note: DarkWave Studio is now bundled with OpenCandy. See this article for more information.
DarkWave Studio was reviewed by Gizmos Freeware on based on version 3.8.7.