Customer Review

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Actually quite powerful, 18 Oct. 2012
This review is from: MAGIX Music Maker 2013 (Anniversary Special incl. Music Studio) (DVD-ROM)
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With this package, you get two programs. There's Music Maker 2013, which is a sample-based music construction program, and there's Music Studio, which is a workflow-oriented music recording, editing and publishing program. They're both very good programs, but there are limitations. There's also a certain amount of overlap between them - they both cater for recording multiple tracks of audio and MIDI - and you can export your Music Maker song directly into Music Studio when you're ready to produce a final mix.

Magix Music Maker lets you record your own audio and MIDI tracks and combine them with prefabricated blocks of sound (typically 2- or 4-bar loops) that you can quickly put together to provide a convincing backdrop to your efforts. The loops are a bit limited in their choice of keys: you have C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am and B flat major - enough to give a fair number of combinations, but not quite the full arsenal. They're arranged in genre collections: 90's Eurodance Vol.1, Chillout Vol.7, Electric Jazz Vol.1, HipHop Vol.14, RockPop Vol.7 and TechHouse Vol.1. There's a button to open the Magix-owned Catooh website to let you buy more loop collections; the cost of buying these collections could quickly add up. Rather scarily, you can create a song just by pressing "w" on the keyboard - it's a bit like Mozart's musical dice, but the result is generally pretty dire (a combination of prefabricated construction techniques and a lack of planning control is never going to be good)! It's useful if you run out of ideas, I suppose. The MIDI editor (accessed by double-clicking a MIDI part) is pretty good, if a bit busy-looking, and the audio recording is straightforward.

The other program included in this package, Magix Music Studio, claims to be the "full version" on the box. It's actually a cut-down version of Samplitude Music Studio. The manual refers to Samplitude rather than Magix throughout, and incorrectly lists the features of the full version of Samplitude rather than the cut-down ones of this version, which is mildly irritating. Magix Music Studio is limited to 64 tracks; if you try to add a 65th track, a popup appears inviting you to upgrade to "the Big League" by buying the full Samplitude version (which allows up to 128 tracks). The Magix version may well have enough features and capacity to keep you happy, though.

The audio recorder in Music Studio has a few more features than the Music Maker equivalent. In particular, it has a "tuner" gadget that lets you tune your instrument before you record. The two featured MIDI instuments are a string ensemble and rock drums, but there are plenty of other instuments in the "Vita 2" MIDI player.

There's actually loads more stuff in these programs to play around with, especially if you turn off "easy" mode. It's not as clean as Pro Tools, but these two Magix programs together are actually quite powerful. However, integration between the programs could have been better.


- One not-so-nice thing about these programs is that they install without first asking another program called Simplicheck, which claims to be able to speed up your computer. Simplicheck then pops up a dialogue from time to time asking if it can check your computer. Best to uninstall it - I did.

- You can transfer a Music Maker song directly to Music Studio by selecting Share => Edit Arrangement in External Program. This normally worked OK, but I noticed that some of the samples failed to transfer, so were silent in Music Studio.

- Both programs are licensed for one PC at a time. You can install the licenses for both programs on a network server (or any Windows PC that is normally left running), and then install the programs on multiple PCs (using the /n switch - see the documentation on the disk). You can then use the programs on any one PC at a time. This is how I have them installed: it's a good way to timeshare each program between several people in the same house.
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Location: United Kingdom

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