PC music mixer excels

March 13, 2000|By James Coates | James Coates,Chicago Tribune

Any garage band or music buff would go ga-ga over Magix Entertainment's Music Maker Generation 5, a program for making, mixing, remixing and dubbing sound tracks on a personal computer.

The software's ultimate purpose is to produce finished musical compositions using the computer to handle such recording-studio tasks as equalizing sounds, adapting beats and synchronizing rhythms from singers or instruments to a piece's core rhythms.

This mixer software, for $50, takes in live performances, recorded CDs, MP3 files, .wav files and computer-generated MIDI sound. You can sing or play along, then save the output as an MP3 file.

A beat box acts as a drum machine, with hundreds of sequences preprogrammed. You can point and click to create riffs that the software will integrate automatically into the piece under construction. The software allows substantial tweaking, such as resampling chords to shift pitch or draw out or shorten them.

The audio-recording feature lets performers lay tracks directly onto a PC hard drive.

This is not software to load and learn in a half-hour. Give it half a day, though, and you'll be stunned at what you can do.

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