Looking more and more like Apple’s Garage Band, Music Maker MX conceals a proper home-recording product with all the effects, instruments, loops, samples and support for professional-level plugins, such as VST instruments. This is all beneath a friendly interface that allows you to make music, without taking a music technology course.
Complete beginners should start with the Song Maker, which lets you choose instruments, styles and select a structure and then builds the song for you. Moving on from this, try creating something for yourself without playing a note, by just dragging, dropping and arranging samples from the thousands of included loops – in order to create an original song.
A real home studio
Once you’ve got some confidence, switch out of Easy mode and suddenly you’ve got access to a proper home recording studio with 64 tracks of audio, unlimited MIDI tracks, the ability to edit MIDI performances down to the note. This is via the piano roll, with a wide range of effects (with useful pre-sets) plenty of instruments like drum machines and synths and a built-in virtual guitar amp with customisable pedals.
This version adds VST plugin support, which means you can use MX with an enormous range of free and paid-for instruments and effects that are compatible with Steinberg’s widely used recording program. There are also 1500 new loops and sounds, with the ability to create your own using the new Loop Designer. This is coupled with the Drum Engine, for building drum tracks and a new Lead synthesiser for classic, fat lead lines; in addition, you can also put tracks straight onto Facebook courtesy of a dedicated uploader.
There are various more expensive flavours – Premium and Platinum, £89.99 and £269.99, respectively. These add more sounds, loops, instruments, effects, a mastering suite and support for ReWire so you can use them with Propellerhead’s Reason. However, for most home recording enthusiasts, the standard version reviewed here will do just fine.
Contact: 0203 318 9218
- Suitable for beginners and more knowledgeable enthusiasts alike.
- Dance music bias may put off some people.
Would-be amateur musicians who’ve struggled with music software in the past can buy Music Maker MX, with confidence. Those who know their way around music software will appreciate the quality of the instruments, the number of loops, VST instrument support, instant uploading to Facebook and more.