Ashampoo Music Studio 9 is a module-based desktop audio editor and recorder with multiple delivery features, such as Cover Art and Mix Tapes, as well as fast CD ripping and burning. It's a convenient workstation with fancy organizational tools to help streamline workflows. It is only compatible with Windows, supports version 10 and recently updated support for 11. Does not support ARM processors.
Ashampoo Music Studio 9: prices and plans
- Lifetime license makes it a one-time purchase
Ashampoo Music Studio 9 costs €39.99 / €34.99 / AU$59.99 for the download version. An additional €4.95 / €3.95 / AU$7.95 gets you 2 years of premium support. To upgrade your existing copy of Music Studio, the price is €9.99 / €8.74 / AU €14.99.
But there is a big advantage here. This is not an ongoing subscription; it is a single fee. After purchase, you own the music creation software. If you're considering Adobe Audition but want to avoid Creative Cloud subscription plans, Ashampoo has a real Adobe Audition alternative here.
Ashampoo Music Studio 9: interfaceThe video to music feature effortlessly extracts audio and converts it to MP3 (Image credit: Ashampoo)
- Support 27 languages, video to music, color themes
For the initial outlay and upgrades, you get more than just a music editor, you get a sound and vision delivery engine that's available in 27 languages right on your audio PC or music production laptop. There's even a CD ripper, including "quick rip". Not only that, but you also get advanced file organization and cover designer.
Music Studio 9's interface deviates from most DAWS, aiming to simplify the production process by inviting users through its 8 main modules to perform specific tasks using "next" and "previous" . It's great for those with a lot of defined workflows, and you can simplify them with templates, which we found to be a huge time saver when creating builds.
The buttons sit right on the edge of the interface at the bottom of the screen and can be hidden by your computer's own taskbar, if it's set to its default position. When combined with the small size of the controls on a surface, this makes working with tablets pretty much impossible.
Cool features include video to music and many other file conversion options. This technology is also used in the ripping and burning options, where file conversion allows you to choose the formats, so your collections, dance tapes, etc. integrate seamlessly.
Updated features include a choice of color themes, found under the service button at the top right of the screen, flexible cover art search, improved music editing tools, grab and swipe workflows and elements, to rearrange tracks, allowing you to stay organized while enthusiastically converting, burning, and ripping.
Ashampoo Music Studio 9: recording and importAshampoo Music Studio 9 chooses quality based on format and system variables (Image credit: Ashampoo)
- Multiple input methods, divided by pause function, but recording interface could be clearer
The registration module is simple and effective. You can record directly into the app through your computer's microphone or a connected microphone. Alternatively, you can record what is playing on the computer. If you choose "via microphone" you'll have several recording devices to choose from, but there are no simple instructions to tell you which one to use or why, or what to do next if sound doesn't record on the test box.
The test signal columns show the signal as white, but are themselves white in each "subject". It makes it hard to see. Also, the boot test button next to it is only white when you turn it on, which is shocking with the hard-to-see white levels.
After receiving your signal, you can proceed to the next window where you choose your device type and file format and the program will tell you what sound parity you can aim for based on these options. You can also change the sample and bitrate here, and choose mono or stereo.
The other way to input sound is to load it from a file via the Edit module on the home page. In Edit, options appear: a music editor, a separate window for splitting files, and another for cutting a piece both at the beginning and at the end. You can also edit file tags, convert, parse and normalize files from here.
- Recording and import: 4/5
Ashampoo Music Studio 9: editing and organizationEffects like EQ are previewed when played through the effects window (Image credit: Ashampoo)
- Improved click-and-drag functionality, break-split feature, hotkeys for sound editing
Along with all the basic editing commands, there are basic versions of more advanced tools like the equalizer. You can change the tempo and key of tracks and apply time stretch effects. Another very useful feature for book recording and podcasting is the "split by break" button where the app will listen to the breaks and split the track into smaller ones, making it easier to edit long vocal tracks.
Clicking on a track allows you to drag it to a new position, producing an orange "ghost" track until you drop it at the new location, when it returns to a white track at that location.
Music Studio 9's clean and targeted workflows excel at mixing different settings and formats between tracks from different sources, a traditionally difficult problem. The all-important normalization tool ensures you an easy listening curve. The latest update brings useful support for new formats, including M4A.
It's great to be able to get into a specific "normalization zone", but maybe not so great to have to keep loading files in different windows that all look the same to perform fairly standard tasks. This is a very different interface to the ones that let you import files and then decide what you want to do with them, a little bit of this, a lot of that. Music Studio 9 is very geared and some musicians may find this approach less intuitive.
If you stick with the normalization window as an example, if you choose it and then change your mind, a box appears asking if you want to return to the main page. Well, that was the previous page, and you just hit "return", so obviously that's what you want. Why offer a back button and then have it move the cursor to click 'yes' again? And also don't think you can escape by clicking the "start" icon at the top, because the same thing will happen.
More hotkeys would certainly help this relatively slider-laden interface, and it's nice to see their introduction in the latest update, even though there are currently only four of them.
Another useful feature of Music Studio 9's sound editing tools is the simple "sound from video" extraction tool. Whether for indirect video editing or compiling purposes, Music Studio 9 will open an MP3 audio file of the audio and you can work on it directly and choose to export to CD or high quality.
- Editing and organization: 3.5/5
Ashampoo/Music Studio 9: LaunchTracks change color in transit when dragged (Image credit: Ashampoo)
- Full-featured cover art creator and editor, smart mix strips that sync tempos for smoother listening
Playlist builder can standardize the music formats you want to play together. You can even harmonize tracks by finely adjusting the tempo of tracks to match Mix DJ.
Music Studio 9 offers detailed organization panels where you can optimize titles and labels and add additional information, by template or custom fill. So no matter how much you save, extract, and burn, you'll know where the files are.
You can organize, convert, and move multiple files at once, but be careful when you go to "next" to heed the warning that the original file will be renamed and moved to the destination location. With so many conversions available, the lack of support for AIFF files is surprising, although the very helpful team says that this format is on the list.
Cover Art's image editing is perhaps more familiar than the innovative sound editing element. There is no need to invest in the best graphic design software or digital art tools. We are not talking about a simple copy and paste either. Cover Art takes up more than a third of the manual and includes the new cover search function, layout, object arrangement, and text, as well as a full palette of formatting, fonts, colors, circular text, and a wide variety of paper sizes for print, with very exact size measurements.
Music Studio 9's focus on the visual delivery of CDs, whether proprietary or customized for mixtapes, highlights the application's suitability for efficient small- to medium-scale sound production and delivery, although this can be daunting for those seeking specialize in music publishing.
Ashampoo/Music Studio 9: TabletopSwipe to scroll horizontally Row 0 - Cell 0 Row 0 - Cell 1 Row 0 - Cell 2 Pricing & Plans One stop shop, forever cleanup4 InterfaceWell designed, easy to navigate, can get tedious3.5Save and importMultiple input methods, some handy tools4Editing and organization Improved swipe and drop, shortcut keys supported 3.5 Output Good formatting support, includes cool cover creator4
I should buy?The mixtape module offers customization. (Image credit: Ashampoo)
Buy it if...
- You want a program that can guide you through every step of sound production and audio conversion.
- Do you want to design your own cover?
- you like to be organized
Don't buy if...
- Looking for fully professional editing tools and comprehensive flexible effects
- You don't want to be guided when working on audio.
For audio editing software similar to Ashampoo Music Studio 9, we recommend checking out WavePad, Ocenaudio, and CyberLink AudioDirector.