Friday, 7 April 2017

MAGIX MUSIC MAKER 2017 PLATINUM SYNAPSE CIRCUIT REVIEW

SYNAPSE CIRCUIT 

Reviews... MAGIX MUSIC MAKER 2017 PLATINUM

£89.99

#MAGIX #Music #Maker #Platinum #MusicMaker #VST #Soundpool #ComputerMusic
MAGIX is on a mission; it's an unrelenting multimedia machine that has no off switch. It has just acquired Sony's dying video and music applications, Vegas and ACID respectively and breathed​ new life into them. Reviews coming soon… The question has to be asked: Has the MAGIX staple, Music Maker (Premium) suffered as a result? Well, let's take a look at the 2017 version of Music Maker Premium.

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WHAT'S NEW?
Like MAGIX, the Music Maker Premium interface has gotten yet another thoughtful interface makeover. So far, so good! Sample loops and instruments are now flushed to the right for easy access and it takes one click to move it out of the way so that you're left with just the tracks. You can get rid of the bottom half of the interface containing the virtual keyboard, templates and inspector just as easily.


The result is an uncluttered and solid workspace, it was long overdue! The interface has always been good but a little problematic at times. The residual interface pixel phenomenon is no more. In other words, part of the interface no longer replicates inexplicably on the screen when introducing instruments on the track timeline and hang there (on the screen) when the application is minimized. At last! That was so annoying! Residual pixels up on the screen is an irritating distraction; I'm glad it's no more!


GONE!
I was a little shocked to see that the mainstay “object” virtual instruments, BeatBox, Robota, LiViD, Atmos, and Loop Designer are gone! What??? It's hard to stomach! Okay, Robota and LiViD were not perfect and I won't miss them… … Well, to be fair, Robota had some awesome Electronic music presets that serves the genres of Techno and Industrial exceptionally well!


I loved the BeatBox as the drum machine grid made creating drum/percussion patterns easy and fun. And I must say that the Loop Designer was pretty good at rearranging beat loops; it was a little flawed but used creatively, it could make for some very inspirational beats.
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Above: Sugar Bytes Looperator in action with Music Maker 2017 Platinum. Looperator can take the place of the now defunct Loop Designer. Just in case it is not clear: Looperator does not come with Music Maker Premium. Looperator, like all the external instruments and effects used in this review, can be purchased from the Sugar Bytes website.

The main issue with the Loop Designer was that it was extremely fussy about accepting sample loops; it worked mainly with MAGIX's own “Soundpool” loops that came with Music Maker Premium by default. Thankfully, with regards to replacing the Loop Designer, you'll be pleased to know that MAGIX Music Maker Premium 2017 works with advanced VST instruments and effects such as the Looperator by Sugar Bytes. The Looperator is, if you like, the evolution of the Loop Designer.


I do think that MAGIX could've hybridized the BeatBox and Robota drum machines​. Yes, the Drum Engine virtual instrument takes over all drum/percussion duties but the BeatBox had its place! The 2016 version contains all the drum/percussion instruments mentioned above plus Urban Drums which is an awesome beat machine aimed at Hip-hop and Dubstep containing some nice effects on it. With the 2017, you have to buy the Urban Drums along with some other instruments.


You can purchase and download more instruments (and sound loops) from within Music Maker Premium at the cost of £25 each. It does not appear that these additional instruments are compatible with other DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). I did try to see if I could use the instruments found in the 2016 to no avail.

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Above: Cyclop by Sugar Bytes. It is a great synth for wobble basslines!

IN USE
I've always appreciated the Music Maker ease of use ethos and it remains very user-friendly. You drag 'n’ drop loops and instruments - even video - upon the tracks to create professional sounding compositions.


The Mastering Suite remains easy to add polish to the overall finished tracks. There some good templates but you're not going to get lost in getting the sound you want for your music.


Music composition remains transparent; fuss free in this latest Music Maker Premium!

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Above: Egoist by, yes, you’ve guessed it, Sugar Bytes.

PROFESSIONALISM
It has gotten to a point where the Digital Audio Workstation has reached the pinnacle in terms of what is deemed as “professional” features on a base level. It has been long established that masses of hardware isn't necessary to create a home music studio. You just need a decent PC, a microphone, USB keyboard, and Music Maker Premium.


Music Maker Premium is a very capable DAW that utilizes VST instruments and effects just like other DAW costing considerably more! If you are in the process of building a studio you might want to check out MAGIX Samplitude Pro X3! Review coming soon!


GLITCHES
I did notice that Music Maker Premium had some difficulty in finding some VST instruments. I'm not too sure why but I found that I reinstalling the VST instruments did the trick!


I was a little concerned with Music Maker Premium crashing for no logical reason during the test, however, after downloading an update the stability was restored.

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Above: The new Mastering Suite that makes it easy to add a professional sheen to the finished track!
CONCLUSION
Music Maker Premium 2017 has evolved into an outstanding professional music production suite. It's great as a level entry application and it's got more than enough attributes for more experienced users.


I would like to see a return of “object” instruments as that aspect reminds me of the way in which FL Studio works, what with it's pattern based input. I feel that FL Studio has a certain predefined sound that's hard to get away from whereas Music Maker Premium allows me to add color - so to speak - to whatever music I'm making.


Now that Synapse Audio (no relation) Orion Studio has bit the digital dust, I will state MAGIX Music Maker Premium is the best budget and most easy to use DAW out there!

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Above: You can purchase sound loops in the form of “Soundpools” and instruments from within the application.
FINAL THOUGHTS & OBSERVATIONS
I look at the amount of newly released Digital Audio Workstations such as Bitwig, Studio One, and Sequel wondering what it is these applications are trying to achieve. It appears to me that these newcomers are trying to emulate Music Maker Premium for ease of use and be a self-contained solution to budding music producers (with accessibility to external VST instruments and effects). But the prices of these new DAW doesn't add up to something worthwhile - in my humble opinion.


Music Maker Premium is unsurpassed for ease of use, features and value for money! Plus it looks great too! Let's look at the Reason application in comparison…


Reason is closed off and can't be extended with VST instruments and effects. It costs £320 to Music Maker Premium at £90. With the £230 you've saved you can put it towards some phenomenal VST instruments and effects!


Add a USB audio interface and you've got a decent home studio. In theory, it's possible to use that £230 to purchase both a USB audio interface and a decent VST instrument/effect.


I would invest in MAGIX Music Maker Premium any day of the week.

OH! ONE MORE THING!
The reason (no pun intended) why I featured Sugar Bytes instruments and effects in this review is because they are some of the most sophisticated VST instruments and effects available! Music Maker 2017 Premium can handle the aforementioned instruments and effects without crashing! Hook up a USB keyboard and Music Maker 2017 Premium and other versions will find it, no problem.

What can cause crashes are the freely downloadable VSTs out there. I may do another review solely based upon use with these free VSTs. Sometimes the programming of these free instruments and effects can cause any DAW to crash. The ones that I used did not present any problems.


MAGIX Music Maker Premium scores a Synapse Circuit Platinum!
Start making music today!


Thank you for reading!


Synapse Circuit/Blue Gene