Magix has rejigged their range of Music Maker DAW software and made the original version completely free. The “Plus”, “Live” and “Premium” versions will all give you more for your money but let’s see what this free version can offer.
It’s an 8 track recording studio with 8 effects and 3 software instruments. It comes with 425 sounds and loops and 1 “Soundpool”. A Soundpool is a pack of loops designed to be used together to make easy composition and music production. There’s a whole load available across multiple genres and you get to choose one for free. The rest you can buy later if you wish. It’s a very drag-n-drop affair. Drag in a loop from the Soundpool, drag in some more covering different instruments. Drag on some effects and drag your loops around to build a song.
Virtual instruments and effects
The 3 software instruments consist of the nicely named Revolta 2. It’s a decent virtual analogue synth with filters, effects and an integrated step sequencer. The Concert Grand is a piano with “impressive depth of sound and tremendous momentum”, which makes you wonder if it’s rolling down a hill. And finally, there’s the Vita 2 sample player with some drum library. You’ll find a lot more presets, different pianos and more sound library in the other Music Maker versions along with a wider range of instruments.
To integrate the instruments into your loop-laden project you have a regular piano roll editor. There’s an on-screen keyboard which can show regular notes or a chosen scale making it very easy to keep in key.
On the effect side there are all the usual suspects of chorus, delay, flange, wah, all of “studio quality”. There’s also a neat virtual guitar amplifier for a bit of guitar action.
You can, of course, simply plug in a microphone and start recording your voice or other instruments.
It’s easy to turn your nose up at free stuff. But there are some decent tools in here that will get you messing about and making music in no time. There are no reasons why Music Maker couldn’t be a sketch pad or and ideas recorder that’s quick and easy to use. And if you are coming into music making for the first time then you’ll find it accessible and fun to use with lots of room for expansion for a very small investment.
More information on the Magix website.