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Magix Music Maker 2015 Premium

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Read more about Magix Music Maker 2015 Premium at MusicRadar.com

It seems that Magix’ long-running Music Maker series is in it for the long haul, despite becoming less fit for purpose with each new generation.

Music Maker 2015 Premium is the worst version we’ve tried yet – Magix having seriously dropped the ball since we last reviewed it (read our Magix Music Maker MX Premium review) back in February 2012, where it scored 2.5 stars.

“Working with its buggy, old-fashioned interface is a frustrating experience that would infuriate a seasoned pro, never mind a beginner!”

While it may be intended as an entry-level DAW, the software does everything in its power to exasperate and punish the hapless user. The annoyances begin even before you’ve launched it for the first time, as the installer attempts to put a subscription-based registry cleaner – simpliclean – on your system. This kind of bundling is irritating enough with freeware products, but with a pricey commercial package such as this, it’s just astonishing!

While simpliclean can be opted out of, the “bonus” Magix software can’t. Magix Music Editor 3 (an audio editor and cleaning tool) is at least relevant to the subject at hand, but Magix Xtreme Print Studio is a patently unnecessary addition that simply wastes hard drive space. Slightly more usefully, the package also includes another DAW: Magix Music Studio 2015.

Once up and running, the first thing Music Maker does is auto-update, which caused our version to terminate, relaunch and then throw up an error message stating that two instances of the software were running.

Eventually we managed to cajole the update into working, but then we were hit with another hurdle as the software tried to scan our VST folder, crashing or stalling every time. Thankfully, though, upon restarting, successfully scanned instruments were available.

There are plenty of other bugs and issues to contend with, too, including MIDI notes being sent when switching to the virtual keyboard view, the virtual keyboard graphics not appearing, pauses before playback, jitters on playback, and the Audio FX Rack’s filter always outputting the dry signal in parallel with the wet.

Crash course

Features-wise, the software doesn’t seem to have changed much since we last saw it in 2012. There are a couple of new instruments (including the surprisingly decent World Flutes patches for the included ROMpler, Vita), and the soundbank has been expanded to more than 6000 samples, but the biggest additions are the aforementioned Vita Sampler and Vocal Tune 2.

Vita Sampler is a sample playback instrument that automatically chops up audio dragged into it and maps the slices randomly to its eight drum pads.

There’s a randomise button for reassigning the slices, but there doesn’t appear to be any way to manage the assignment yourself, and the manual doesn’t cover the instrument at all, apart from mentioning that it’s new. So, it’s pretty much useless, rather like Vocal Tune 2, which crashed the DAW every time we tried to use it.

On paper, Music Maker is a comprehensive music production solution, but in reality, working with its buggy, old-fashioned interface is a frustrating experience that would infuriate a seasoned pro, never mind a beginner!

And despite the all-round instability and lack of quality, the program has the audacity to require connection to the internet once a month to validate the user license. Unbelievable!

Magix Music Maker 2015 Premium is a flawed release that should be avoided at all costs.

Read more about Magix Music Maker 2015 Premium at MusicRadar.com


Here’s How To Connect the iPad’s Easiest Pattern Maker to Your Mac [Video Tutorial]

Saturday, March 7th, 2015


Remember the days of clicking laboriously to add notes to a piano roll editor? Well, that’s a bit silly nowadays if there’s a touchscreen sitting next to your desk. You probably want to make use of it — and maybe without stumbling around helper apps and wifi configuration.

We’ve already seen how Auxy, the iPad pattern editor, reduced a widely-known music process to its simplest elements. The recent addition of MIDI opens it up to external hardware.

But it also makes a nice example of what the new utility midimux can do: connecting this app to the wealth of sounds and production tools on your computer can make for a useful pair.

The first ingredient is midimux, which alongside the forthcoming audio companion audiomux, can link up apps and hardware on your iPad or iPhone to apps and hardware on your Mac, all the sync cable you already own:

Now, Across iOS and Mac, Everything is Musically Connected [Video]

Fab from ANR (audio news room) has already illustrated a specific example. He takes Auxy, the pattern editor, and then augments its sonic capabilities by adding in Apple’s own Logic Pro. And he’s made some nice video tutorials that make it all clearer. First, on the iPad:

Next, on the Mac side of things:

More sound samples:

One big caveat. I don’t mind paying for MIDI in Auxy — I bought that the day it came out. But there’s no sync support yet; I hope the In App Purchases support development of that. (You do want to implement it right, and it isn’t easy on iOS — trust me, have this conversation with developers all the time.)

Then again, this is just one example. Apple already makes controller tools for Logic in its own iOS Logic Remote app, but when you think of cool instruments like Sculpture, I can imagine a lot of other interesting sources to use. And we’re looking forward to the ModStep sequencer — which does, by the way, support sync. (You’ll see what I did there: subtle hints to the developers of ModStep. We’re really looking forward. Just … hugely excited. On our seat with anticipation. La, la, just can’t wait. Finish and submit that thing, darnit.)

Thanks to ANR for this one — good enough that it was, ahem, worth ripping off directly!

How-To: Auxy Meets Logic Via midimux – Video Tutorial

And more great reading there; just added this one to my feed in Reeder!


The post Here’s How To Connect the iPad’s Easiest Pattern Maker to Your Mac [Video Tutorial] appeared first on Create Digital Music.


Plug-in Maker Camel Audio is Deceased; Download Software Now

Thursday, January 8th, 2015


Camel Audio have long been a favorite name in plug-in instruments and effects, as makers of CamelSpace, CamelPhat, the Alchemy sample manipulation instrument. But their software hasn’t seen updates in some time, and today customers were greeted with a bare-bones site that presented only basic support options and a login.

Upon logging in, I read this:

January 8, 2015

We would like to thank you for the support we’ve received over the years in our efforts to create instruments and effects plug-ins and sound libraries.

Camel Audio’s plug-ins, Alchemy Mobile IAPs and sound libraries are no longer available for purchase. We will continue to provide downloads of your previous purchases and email support until July 7, 2015. We recommend you download all of your purchases and back them up so that you can continue to use them (Instructions: How to Download and Backup Your Products).

Those downloads are available now and it appears won’t be around forever.

There are two main scenarios here that would explain why all of these plug-ins didn’t just become free:
1. Licensing issues may prevent them from giving away the software. (Making it open source is often simply not an option; proprietary software often builds on proprietary libraries — or was simply never intended to be developed in an open environment.)
2. Assets may have been otherwise liquidated — as in, possibly sold to another developer.

Without any information, everything else is speculation.

The light of hope here, as noted in comments: sound designers were already working on Alchemy 2, meaning a new developer may take over the new synth.

The software business is tough — plain and simple. I’m very impressed by independent businesses making a go of it at all — see Audio Damage, for instance, who have built unique stuff with a liberal licensing scheme. But I know the numbers are very often right on the edge. And we have to remember that supporting those developers we love is what keeps them in business. Some day, they simply might not be there any more. I’m sad to see these folks go.

CDM asked Camel if they wish to comment; we’ll publish if we hear back from them.


The post Plug-in Maker Camel Audio is Deceased; Download Software Now appeared first on Create Digital Music.


Beautiful New Music from tehn, the Maker of the monome [Interview]

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014


Brian Crabtree, alongside partner Kelli Cain, nicely exemplifies a lot of this site’s raison d’être over the the past ten years. Artmaker and toolmaker are indistinct roles; they’re both flipsides of the act of making.

The monome, the invention for which Brian is best known, is at first blush nothing more than a box of buttons. It’s even lifeless until connected to a computer. But in its design is a statement that draws a thread from the design of tools to the design of music. Ideas about compositional technique are embodied in the software; notions of aesthetics are evident in every detail of construction, material, and sourcing. The same is true of its successors, arc and the ultra-limited aleph.

This is a tool that is also a sculpture — music made into an object. (The Museum of Modern Art and LA County Museum of Art each took notice. But maybe it’s more important than a community of musicians did.)

In other words, Brian has been doing what composers do. He’s been externalizing ideas about design and aesthetic, encoding messages about what beauty is.

In some ways, though, you need that musical soundtrack to fully decode the message. And so it’s significant to me that we have some of Brian’s first recorded music in a long time. (He’s been active in live performance, but hasn’t committed anything to an ‘album,’ as such.)

The results are beautiful, organic. Not one but two outings have debuted this summer. There’s skyclad, a four-track EP on The Leap, a label based in Boston and Santa Fe that pairs live events with releases and podcast. (It’s no stranger to the monome community.) And there’s eighteenth on Detroit Underground — a second EP.

skyclad by tehn

skyclad journeys effortlessly from natural landscape to fuzzy electronic waveforms, as if a set of synthesizers was captured, timelapse-fashion, growing out of a mossy forest floor. Rhythm and form are leisurely, informal — the one pulse (on “iii”) sounds as much like a heartbeat or excited gait, while other melodic parts wend in and out freely. Some sounds are literal, field recordings and birdsong. But by the time “iv” arrives, it seems just as logical to substitute the electronic for the aviary.

weathervane from kelli cain on Vimeo.

Skyclad is lovely, naive by design. Eighteenth is more sophisticated in its textures, not only more densely-layered but shifting more subtly. “weathervane” may come from cold, but warms like the inner glow from sitting next to a space heater — even if it was “written during two different spells of freezing weather. silver skies, found melodies, static wash, roofs collapsing.” Melodies are deconstructed into piled layers of buzzing fabric. Electric shapes gather in hives of activity, ambient spaces that are nonetheless full of perpetual motion.

“eighteenth” is more what you might expect of tehn, delicate sliced-up chimes. But if the slicing techniques and cosy pads are predictable, the result is transcendent, a mournful blanket of looped samples, bobbing slowly like the memory of a sea.

eighteenth from kelli cain on Vimeo.

Kelli Cain’s videos are somehow the perfect aesthetic frame for the music. (Kelli is, in monome circles, just as well known as Brian, an ever-present partner in the project’s unrelenting perfectionism.) The material is unremarkable out of context — it could be nicely-shot BBC footage of Earth — until you add the sound. Then, but they’re worthy objects of meditation, impossibly synced to the natural flow of the music.

As the quote goes:

and then the trees gathered
speaking slowly with shimmering intensity
all in perfect agreement

We’ve had no absence of tehn on this site, but it’s the first time we get to talk about a significant music release. Knowing how outspoken Brian could be, I was thrilled.

CDM: First — wow; this made me smile.
“geologic time, paper, artisanal computer code, irrational rhythm, collected grasses, magnetic tape, resistor-capacitor networks, the arch druid”
Nice turns of phrase.

Brian: yes. calling code “artisanal” makes me laugh and also pretty nauseous. i’m very wary of technical hand-waving as a way to validate or distract from actual substance. hold on while i make myself an artisanal peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

What’s the tool set here? (mlr [the sample-cutting Max patch popularized with monome] seems to make an appearance, of course, but specifically…)

mlr is the main instrument on only one track (eighteenth) which was recorded in 2008. these days i tend to use it more sparingly and as a processor, to create layered rhythms of harmonies over more deliberate instruments. it was almost 15 years ago i started exploring this form of live cutting– i’m actually a bit surprised i still find new methods and sounds coming out of it. though it’s certainly still indispensable while playing live.

the foundations of almost all of these recordings began with working out progressions and collections of notes on a piano, distilled onto scraps of paper which were typically impossible to decipher later. i feel this is a very important stage, giving solid direction when exploring different synthesis and processing.


Are they improvised, as such? What did it mean to “commit” them, as you say, to these recordings?

improvisation plays a role, certainly. but noodling with a computer is quite different from a trombone. skyclad ii is fully improvised in a sense, but it’s perhaps better described as generative. the application i made (meadowphysics) to create it is a form of precomposition, the notes and modulations carefully chosen, yet this was a live take where i was consciously modulating the rule set with the grid.

See meadowphysics in action here:

meadowphysics from tehn on Vimeo.

It’s been a while, of course… what made you decide to make this move back into committing recorded music now?

though i’ve been consistently trickling out single tracks and live recordings, it’s been about a decade since i released music as a full collection. improvisation had a lot to do with it. when the grid came into my practice i was suddenly able to rapidly produce immense variation on small musical thoughts– a tiny precomposed framework could be performed so many different ways that deciding on a single recording would be a bit paralyzing– how would i even know which was best? what does good even mean? discovery in performance, sharing, recognition?

time is very powerful– music making after taking a long break feels quite different. i was able to forget a lot of habits and let go of some previous obsessions. like somehow now i can work more deliberately.

Can you say anything about the distribution channels for this music? That’s been significant to the hardware you design, too. It was nice, for instance, for me to get the EP via Detroit Underground’s Drip.fm [a label-specific subscription service].

distribution, let alone the act of just getting heard remains a mystery to me. i’m grateful that we have people committed to promoting and sharing new music– most artists i know (myself included) are horrible at self-promotion.

Yes, guess that’s my job. How are you finding music?

i still tend to rely on recommendations from friends– though the ability to hear almost any music with a few clicks makes this a very different experience.

Returning to making music, what’s the significance of the tools you’ve made… or that others have made? (I know this matters a lot to me with our own MeeBlip… and also knowing and being neighbors here with Ableton, Native Instruments, Liine, MFB, TouchAble, etc.)

making tools for me is way to get more precise results, or to produce something otherwise difficult or impossible. the aleph distills many sound experiments into a playable instrument. rather than setting up a complex chain of software i can just turn it on and everything goes, which is important for trying to stay in a moment rather than shifting to engineer/programmer brain. often when a discontinuity like this happens i get preoccupied with redesigning the tool, and that’s not conducive to actually finishing music.

randy jones’ [Madrona Labs] aalto is used a few times– it’s the only soft synth i use these days. the sound is amazingly organic. the only other new-ish instrument used is the [Teenage Engineering] OP-1, which is really a sketching and idea-capture tool. it’s so tiny– fits under the bed or anywhere. the old reliable machines are on there of course– [Roland] juno 106, [KORG] ms-20, [Roland] space echo.

As far as the music, I love this sort of free-flowing feeling, even apart from the improvisation… there’s a relationship of noise to melodic elements, almost as if these note materials are themselves part of the soundscape. How do you conceive these different materials? Is there a compositional frame in mind?

in weathervane there’s a persistent field recording of our barn roof being disassembled. the scattered rhythms of cedar shakes hitting the ground get paired with pulsing synth polyrhythms and also stand in as a replacement for hi-hats. a synthesized static wash emulates parts of the same field recording. later the melodic and harmonic material gets woven throughout, creating an interplay but also making space.

also pertaining to nature/noise, on skyclad i the rhythmic foundation is a bunch of dry grasses getting shaken. a close listen reveals these super-granular slow-attack little clouds, which to me were far more interesting than some of the software-based rhythms i was trying to make.


Like me, you’ve come from some more traditional training in music. I find that preparation means something very different to me now with some distance from it, years after the composition lessons and so on, than it did when I was in the middle of it. What have you kept around? What have you discarded? What has resurfaced?

i feel fortunate to have been shown many different directions. school was less about rules and more about finding out what’s happening and what people have been exploring for decades. i think what’s stayed with me is a respect for the many people who have come before us, and constantly attempting to comprehend and appreciate these foundations that we’re all trying to build upon.

Thanks, Brian. Find this — and more music from tehn — here:

tehn – eighteenth @ Detroit Underground [digital/vinyl]

Skyclad on The Leap [Bandcamp digital]

http://nnnnnnnn.org — tehn site

The post Beautiful New Music from tehn, the Maker of the monome [Interview] appeared first on Create Digital Music.


Sonivox releases 3 DVI Instrument Collections for Mac and Win: Studio Percussion, Melody Maker and Studio Guitars

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Sonivox has introduced three new DVI collections featuring over $ 400 of virtual instruments in each collection priced at $ 149.99 each. Each collection features at-least six instruments from the Sonivo [Read More]

Avid, Maker of Pro Tools, Now Losing Money Faster and Delisted from NASDAQ

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014


Restructuring efforts at Avid maker Pro Tools seem to have accelerated losses, not slowed them.

Financial site The Street reports today on the state of the company’s stock. Most troubling, yesterday Avid received a letter from NASDAQ delisting the company from the stock exchange. As of today, trading of AVID was halted on NASDAQ. (This doesn’t mean you can’t still trade AVID stock; you have to do it via the Over-the-Counter market.)

The really significant issues here are cash flow and earnings — and losing NASDAQ trading will only exacerbate the problem. TheStreet Ratings Team cites issues in this quarter versus same quarter last year including:

Accelerated losses: -$ 7.55 million to -$ 17.39 million (year over year)

Negative cash flow: -$ 1.38 million “net operating cash flow,” a stunning year-over-year 1167.44% drop.

Why Avid (AVID) Is Falling Today [Shawn Ingram, The Street]

They also cite stock under-performance. But with accelerated losses combining with a negative cash flow, it seems AVID in its current state has limited options for a turnaround.

There will certainly be implications for Pro Tools, Sibelius, and other Avid products. These are about more than just the technical quality of the products themselves. Maintaining a successful relationship with customers is dependent on running a successful business, and being able to make the investments in support and development that requires. Earnings represent in part the health of that relationship and the growth of the customer base. This is sometimes easier said than done, which is why many, many music product makers are not publicly-traded companies. But, to state the obvious, Avid can only be successful offering the products it makes if it has a successful business behind them.

Pro Tools, the product, is in many ways healthy. Plug-in makers have successfully supported the AAX plug-in format, the product is still widely used, winning Grammy awards for its users and technical awards for itself.

And the music products industry itself continues to grow; one thing The Street observes is that the loss in earnings at Avid is out of pace with the rest of the electronic products business, and the same could be said in regards to some of Avid’s direct rivals in music.

For that reason, I would expect Pro Tools to have a future, perhaps as an acquisition. But some sort of business change seems coming at Avid the company. For loyal Pro Tools users, that change might be welcome sooner than later.

The post Avid, Maker of Pro Tools, Now Losing Money Faster and Delisted from NASDAQ appeared first on Create Digital Music.


HOFA-Plugins adds audio file export to DDP Player and DDP Player Maker

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

HOFA-Plugins has updated HOFA DDP Player and HOFA DDP Player Maker to Version 1.0.2. New Features: In both applications tracks can now be exported as audio files in .wav format. In DDP Player Maker yo [Read More]

HOFA releases “DDP Player” and “DDP Player Maker”

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Based on the CD authoring and DDP creation tool HOFA CD-Burn and DDP, HOFA has released two new products: HOFA DDP Player and HOFA DDP Player Maker. Most people will not be able to do a lot with a DDP [Read More]

Star-Studded Music DIY Projects, with Make Magazine’s Maker Camp

Thursday, August 8th, 2013
Whether fruit or robotics, electronics and music come together in delicious ways. Make features projects like this drum machine robot (above) and Makey Makey banana piano (below). Photos courtesy Make.

Whether fruit or robotics, electronics and music come together in delicious ways. Make features projects like this drum machine robot (above) and Makey Makey banana piano (below). Photos courtesy Make.

Musical instruments remain some of the best ways to learn about the wonders of electronics, physics, and more. Our friends at Make are showing that off with a week of DIY projects at what they’re calling Maker Camp 2013. Staged in Google+ Hangouts, so anyone can participate. Friday’s guests include some of our favorite electronic musicians: Zöe Keating and (CDM 2013 MusicMakers participant) Imogen Heap.

Here’s how it works: morning North American time, you see projects and materials, then watch a video hangout to get extra tips and communication. There’s another project for the weekend.

Next up: later today is a DIY taiko drum machine and roaming robot drum machine.

I’m really keen to hear what people do with this — especially because years ago you readers had bugged us to do things just like this, but online tools (and bandwidth at our venues) hadn’t quite caught up. (In fact, we even did some things with Make in the MusicMakers aka Handmade Music series!) So if you do follow along, I’d love feedback on what worked and what you’d like to see! We’re always in summer camp mode.

Join in by checking out the schedule:


And here are some of the videos so far…

A banana piano with Makey Makey (including creator Jay Silver) and OK Go’s Damian Kulash — Music on Plates:

Sound artist Jesse Seay’s circuit bending project, solar xylophone, and thumb piano:

A bow guitar and a ukelele made of recycled parts, plus” Walter Kitundu’s nature-powered hand-built record players, Krys Bobrowski’s kelp horns, [and] Zeke Leonard’s cigar box guitars”:

The post Star-Studded Music DIY Projects, with Make Magazine’s Maker Camp appeared first on Create Digital Music.


Break Free – Beat Maker – Instrumental Rap Beat [Free Beat Download]

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Download this beat (Break Free) for free on our Soundclick page: http://www.soundclick.com/sweetsweatproductions We also have beats for sale in different gen…