TAKE IT FROM THE TOP

Magix Music MakerWe’re going to try our hand at songwriting, and we have just the thing. It’s called Magix Music Maker and it’s got the beat.

This is a British program that has traveled well. We’ve seen several music composition programs over the years but never one quite as easy to use. Magix has great video tutorials but you could just make some guesses and figure out how to use it. Basically, you drag blocks of music into place, then hit “play” to hear how it sounds, then “save” to keep it on your computer. It’s hard to go wrong. And whether it sounds any good or not is kind of up to you.

Start by choosing the style you want. Styles are always open to debate but there’s no point in quibbling over names. We started with “movie theme” music and dragged an introductory selection called “feisty drums” into a place at the top of our screen. We then added “combative strings,” “brusque violins” and “epic oboe.” It sounded great. We moved on to “rock,” “ambient,” and blues. There are many categories, like “electro pop,” hip hop and “techno trance.” Click the “record” button to sing along with your creation. If you’re proud of it, upload it to YouTube, Facebook, or SoundCloud, burn it to CD, or export it as an MP3 file.

The only downside was how long it took to download and install thousands of music clips. It seemed to go on all afternoon and we had to quit other programs during each installation of a collection. If you can live through the world’s longest install sequences, you’ll love the program. Magix Music Maker Premium is $100 from Magix.com. There’s a free trial.

 

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