Sunday, June 26, 2011

Magix Music Maker 17

Magix Music Maker 17 box shot 

The first time we used Magix Music Maker, we quickly realized it had to be our top choice for audio editing software. No other application offers the user-oriented design, the visual audio graphics, and the advanced tools and features that we found in Magix Music Maker. This software offers a unique and intuitive design, fantastic visuals and intricate details you can use on your audio edits. With the number of tools that are available within the application and the efficient customer or technical support that Magix provides, it was an easy choice to give them the TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award for audio editing software. We highly recommend Magix Music Maker to anyone; it is well-rounded and provides easy-to-use tools considering its large, complex feature set.

Audio Editing:
We were thrilled when we began using Magix Music Maker and discovered that it offers nearly every editing tool and audio effect we were hoping to find. It gives you the ability to split, mix, swap or combine your left and right audio channels, increase or decrease the volume of specific frequencies, and speed up or slow down your audio playback speed. And before you save a new edit, the application allows you to preview your changes. There are several additional tools used for audio editing including cue points: a format converter, a frequency tuner, labels and markers, an audio mixer, signal analysis tools, the ability to edit multiple tracks at the same time and lastly, the ability to record or share your creation once it is complete.
The application comes with a built-in sound archive that has over 1,500 audio samples and loops for your creative enjoyment. While playing with the music samples we discovered files from nearly every genre. The audio editing software hardly leaves room for any user to feel like it doesn’t suit their needs or niche. Music Maker doesn’t stray too far from the traditional mixing and mastering interfaces common to most physical sound boards, but it does so clearly and concisely, offering a simplicity and presentation that many audio editing software programs lack.
You can add a number of filters to your audio, including a band pass, band stop, high pass, low pass, high shelf pass, high shelf stop, noise reduction, pop/plick, smoother, notch and a silence reducer. The filters were very reliable and allowed us to add get just the right sound from our audio. In terms of audio effects, Magix Music Maker can harmonize discordant sounds, fade in and out, add reverb, resample, stretch, trim, change pitch and add a feedback, echo, time warp effect. Though it does not include every possible effect, it has most of the just about everything you need to create any sound that’s missing.
Since Music Maker is more of a mixer than a simple audio editor, it provides a variety of options for adding sounds and genre effects, such as disco, hard house, hip hop and others. It also includes many simulated instruments; among them are guitars, bass, string instruments, electric piano, drums and other percussion instruments. There are plenty of options that allow you to add realistic instruments to any audio file. The latest version offers Vita Solo instruments called Vita Century Keys and Vita Saxophonia. These two tools add a realistic effect to your music that you can create and edit to your personal preference. As if we were truly playing on a grand piano in our recording studio, Magix let us add and edit the piano audio through using Vita Century Keys volume control, brightness control, lid angle control, color, room amount and room damping. There are plenty of great choices from every genre that will fit or blend into your music perfectly. The Vita Saxophonia adds a real-life saxophone effect to your music for those who want that irreplaceable bass in their audio. Through this special feature you can change the effect by altering the room amount, room dampening, timbre, color, wetness, time, feedback, depth, speed and age. You can also add MIDI recordings from your own instruments.

Music Maker audio editing software can import and record from a variety of audio sources and file formats, including sound cards, MIDI recordings, line-in and audio CDs. For publication, it can record to CDs and can easily export to portable devices, such as an iPod, iPhone or Creative Zen. You can also publish your projects directly to the internet. One of the fastest ways to market your music or share it with friends and family is through social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and MySpace; through Music Maker 17 you can upload it via SoundCloud and share it in one simple step. In addition to sharing your audio, Music Maker also makes it possible for you to upload and share your music videos by following the same basic steps. For both importing and exporting, Music Maker is compatible with most frequently-used audio file formats, including MP3, WAV, WMA, OGG, AIFF and MP4.

Ease of Use:
Music Maker audio editing software has an extremely attractive interface with easy-to-understand editing tools such. However, it did take us a bit to figure out how to add effects to specific sections of a track. It's also a bit tricky to select a specific piece of track; however, we were able to utilize the help section to figure out how to accomplish the task. Keep in mind though, this type of software is complex by nature and does take a bit of time and practice to figure out if you are not used to audio editing and mixing software. As you will see in our screenshots of the application, features, tools and effects are clearly labeled to assist in helping you find what you need quickly.

Help and Support:
Music Maker offers embedded support within the application, accessible through the Infobox link. Included in this support are tutorials, helpful images, and how-to's that are easy to search or reference. The interactive training course also helps you expand your knowledge of the program. When you have to export a file, for example, you don't need to worry about it being too complicated. Just click on the file link and read the simplified dialog on exporting a file. This helpful feature is one of many that make this application one of the most user-friendly choices available.
Users who register online also have access to a searchable knowledgebase and user forums. They can also contact technical support. The online Magix knowledgebase also offers online bonuses such as free music samples, online albums and a podcasting service. The product website provides you with contact information for the MAGIX customer support and technical support teams. The representatives we spoke to regarding the product were helpful and efficient. They were knowledgeable regarding the product and were able to address each of our inquiries in a direct and simplified manner.

Overall, we couldn’t be more pleased with the features and tools that Magix Music Maker offers. We were impressed with the previous versions of this software and feel that MAGIX is continually striving to offer more effects, tools and feature options to their users. The application will definitely provide you with more tools for truly meeting your individual expectation. A great tool for mixers and recorders, it is intuitive, well organized and clean, making it easy to use.
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