I recently had the privilege of beta-testing the newest editions of MAGIX Music Maker Premium and Live. Communicating closely with Torsten Heise, Product Owner of Music Maker at MAGIX in Berlin, Germany, I provided detailed input on my findings and conclusions. Mr. Heise and his team take their work very seriously, as there are numerous other DAW packages in the marketplace competing within the same product class.
Initial Impressions of New Features
The Music Maker Premium beta demonstrated a brisk startup time, with demo projects loading equally as fast. At first observation, this beta version exceeded the project loading time of its predecessor, even with complex, MIDI-based tracks containing effects. This updated software boasted a bold, new redesigned user interface with color-coding, replacing the prior version that was rooted in the bottom of the screen which provided a rather dated appearance and could be cumbersome to navigate. Instead, we now have a more mature, up-to-date console that still caters to users within its entry-level software class, but can provide the flexibility and space for full-screen editing with resizable windows. A tabbed menu system consisting of Loops, Instruments, and a File Manager is now available to keep production elements organized and at the ready to insert into project track
The color-coding of loops, based on Soundpool selection, comes in handy in conjunction with the large selection area below the primary menu, allowing users to not only select specific loops at a particular pitch, but they can also easily click the “star” next to the loop to add it to their favorites list. A search bar above the Soundpool list made it easy to search for specific entries, and if multiple Soundpools were selected at once using the Shift key, the corresponding, color-coded selection area would display the total number of loops available to the user. The Instruments tab was also well-defined and visually listed all Vita Instrument plugins available in the system, making selections much easier than in the past. A large “preview” button was available to listen to the instrument being considered for use, and a selection arrow was available to assign the instrument to an empty track. Additionally, the File Manager was equally as easy to access, allowing users to drag and drop selections into corresponding tracks.
The bottom section of the screen, where the well-known “media pool” area used to be, now contains just the Keyboard, Templates, and Inspector area for precise editing and application of effects on objects or tracks. Two toggle switches in the upper-right hand corner of the screen turn both the bottom and right-hand side context menu areas on and off to provide ample room for full-screen editing. When running Music Maker Live, the “Live” button to open and control live pads can be found next to the familiar mute button to load either presets or custom-programmed loops. Music Maker Premium will now also contain this very same live pad mode, in addition to providing users with 30 Live Sets to choose from, with an additional 2,000 loops.
Make your own impression and download the trial version for free.
The new release of MAGIX Music Maker Premium and Live will provide users with not only a noticeable improvement in processing speed and use of resources on dual-core systems, but will also provide a more intuitive pathway for new and existing users to better manage their resources and workflow. The new color-coded and tabbed system is a refreshing breath of air for many who became accustomed to the classic “media pool” interface design, which felt constricted and static in comparison to the now logical (and dynamic) color-coded system. I highly recommend independent artists and beat producers to be on the lookout for this new upgrade and to give the MAGIX Music Maker series a second chance if there were functionality issues that dissuaded them from an earlier commitment to the product line. Mr. Heise and his team are demonstrating their commitment to existing and future MAGIX users by implementing long-overdue changes that will bring this entry-level DAW up to speed with its numerous competitors within the same software class.
Derek started down an IT, multimedia, and music pathway at a very young age, taking in nine years of private training in classical piano performance and composition. He worked and trained as a PC hardware technician, worked in broadcast as an editor, graphics specialist, and videographer, and possesses over 20 years of experience in computing technology. Derek earned a Bachelor of Arts in business and communications from Marylhurst University and a Master of Science in Organizational Psychology from Capella University. Along with Derek’s long-time entrepreneurial spirit, he is the former owner of DAW Studio Systems, a small, private custom audio workstation provider that integrated the MAGIX product lineup. Derek still works very closely with MAGIX and supports their organizational goals through product testing, reviews, collaboration, and by real-world application of specific MAGIX titles.
Currently, Derek is the Director of Digital Services for Visual Thinking Inc., a global organizational training and consulting firm in Portland, Oregon where you can find him writing code, working on media projects, and maintaining the company’s digital infrastructure. Derek incorporates the use of MAGIX audio and video products in his daily workflow.