Magix Music Maker: An inexpensive digital audio workstation

For a US$50, entry-level DAW, Magix Music Maker is surprisingly powerful--though it lacks audio editing.

I was impressed with Magix's Music Maker 16 digital audio workstation. It's a relatively simple program compared to, say, Digidesign's Pro Tools or PreSonus's Studio One, and lacks true audio editing, but it's far more powerful a DAW than I expected for $50--supporting both pro-level ASIO audio drivers and VST virtual instruments.

Music Maker is nothing if not easy to use. Tracks for recording audio, MIDI, or placing video objects stretch across the top of the main window. Various palettes reside below it, including the soundpool (pre-recorded loops that you may combine to produce music right away). There's also a rack for synths, an FX pool, and a nice onscreen keyboard for entering notes. Robota, a drum sequencer/module, is included in the download demo. Just about everything in Music Maker is drag and drop. You drag audio loops and midi patterns onto tracks, drag FX onto audio objects to implement them, etc. You can even drop video object into the track layout and preview it in the lower right-hand corner of the program.

More serious musicians, including those that can actually play an instrument will be happy that Music Maker also allows you to record audio and MIDI, and the MIDI step/drum/list editor is first rate. Alas, they won't be too happy with the lack of a wave editor: There is no way to edit audio clips other than apply FX or changing their length in the track window. The Premium version of Music Maker includes an external wave editor, but this basic version does not. Playback was quite tight, and the overall sound emanating from my EMU 0404 soundcard was excellent.

If you're just starting out, you could do a lot worse than Magix Music Maker. You'd face a far steeper learning curve with the aforementioned programs or a product such as Cakewalk's Sonar or Steinberg's Cubase. However, the lack of real audio editing is deal-killer for more hands-on types.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jon L. Jacobi

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?