Anvil Studio is a free MIDI editor that will let you create and edit songs while being perfectly integrated with your instruments. The free version comes with some limitations that can be lifted via the purchase of additional but optional components.
Installation & Requirements
The setup should complete very fast due to the small size and requirements of the application. You will be asked to create shortcuts and provide an installation folder during the setup. The supported operating systems are Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8.
Although the program’s interface looks a bit outdated, you will immediately notice that all the features make up for it. Each time you open the program you will have a large tutorial at the bottom of the screen. Here you can learn how to create new songs, how to edit existing ones, how to edit your track lists, how to connect your instruments and more.
When you create a new song, a new bar will appear and the tutorial in the bottom will shrink. You can either connect your instruments to the application or use your keyboard as a piano. You can even click on the notes if you want in order to play them and compose. This is incredibly useful for people that would otherwise be unable to play but still want to create new songs. The toolbar at the top of the window will let you edit the songs directly and the track list will help you edit the various parts of the track as well as the type of instrument you want to play.
Sometimes you will choose an option that is not supported by the free version. If that happens, the application will inform you about the component that you need to buy in order to access that option and will give you a link for it. Most of the limitations in the free version are fairly reasonable but if you want a lot of advanced options then you will have to pay for them sooner or later.
Some of the already installed components are incredibly useful. All of these can be found from the top menu. Some of the highlights include the Chord Key Finder that you can use to find out information about the chord you are playing, a practice mode that will give you various exercises to practice on your instrument, the composer mode, the Piano Roll Editor and tons more. Most of these utilities can be found in the View menu but keep in mind that they will not open in a new tab. They will instead take place in the same interface. Of course your work is automatically saved but you simply cannot access more than one utility at once.
-Seamless integration with MIDI instruments
-A lot of useful utilities
-Very helpful user guide
-Barriers in the free version
Anvil Studio is a very nice application that has a lot of useful utilities for amateur players in the MIDI scene. The application’s various tools will let you practice and hone your skills while also letting you edit and create new songs from scratch with a very easy learning curve.