Fri, 28 May 2010 Guitar Pro 6 review
Whether writing your own music or transcribing the works of your heroes, Guitar Pro helps notate tunes easily
- Manufacturer: Guitar Pro
- Pros: Automatic score creation from tablature; supports alternate tunings, drums and bass
- Cons: No export for popular Power Tab format: cheesy example files
- Price: £52.90
- Star rating:
Guitarists have had disadvantages in the digital world, but the divide is closing. With MIDI Guitar controllers tracking faster than before and a range of guitar-to-computer interfaces appearing, it’s easier than ever to record guitar. The one hole left to patch is in the easy creation of tablature. That’s music notation specific to the guitar. Guitar Pro fills that gap very effectively.
Now in version 6, but new to us, Guitar Pro is a mature application that runs on Windows and Linux as well as Macs. We were impressed by the range of features and ease of use. The core function, entering guitar tablature, is the most intuitive we’ve encountered. Having used and abandoned several tablature programs in the past, including the ubiquitous Power Tab Editor, we were surprised at how quickly we were able to pick up keyboard shortcuts for adding and editing notes.
One genius idea that initially tripped us up – Guitar Pro automatically detects the end of bars as you input notes. However, when you go back to edit a bar, it does so non-destructively, preserving the notation after that point. Other score writing apps tend to update in real time, which we’ve often found confusing.
Notation’s only part of the program though. There’s built-in soft synth with realistic guitar, bass and drum sounds. With MIDI import, you can use it accompany you as you play – or arrange a song for your band with audio preview. There are even built-in effects and amp emulation to better match the sound you’re after.