Magix Mu­sic Maker

Add ef­fects to your recorded mu­sic, con­nect in­stru­ments to your PC, use a vir­tual amp and fix dis­torted record­ings

Computer Active (UK) - - Contents -

Add ef­fects to your mu­si­cal com­po­si­tions

Magix’s free mu­sic-pro­duc­tion pro­gram Mu­sic Maker ( mu­sic-maker) is a great vir­tual studio that lets you record and mix your own mu­sic on your PC. One of its best fea­tures is the abil­ity to add ef­fects like re­verb, echo and dis­tor­tion so you can give your com­po­si­tions a more pro­fes­sional feel.

To try these ef­fects, first se­lect the bars within your com­po­si­tion that you want to add ef­fects to (click the first bar, then hold the Ctrl key down and click the last bar). Next, click the In­spec­tor tab (see screen­shot be­low) above the pi­ano keys to see a list of ef­fects, such as Com­pres­sor and ‘10-band equal­izer’. Click an ef­fect, then ad­just the knobs or drag the white cir­cle to change its in­ten­sity (see screen­shot be­low). Play your track as you do this to hear how your mu­sic changes with each tweak. The only ef­fect that is con­trolled dif­fer­ently is the ‘10-band equal­izer’. It splits your track into 10 fre­quency bands and lets you ad­just each one sep­a­rately. For more info, click ‘10-band equal­izer’, then the ques­tion-mark icon to the right of ‘Graphic equal­izer’.

Iden­tify and fix dis­torted sec­tions

If you hear pops and crack­les when you play back your com­po­si­tion, you can use Mu­sic Maker’s Peak Meter to reveal the prob­lem bars. Click View, ‘Video mon­i­tor’, ‘Show video mon­i­tor’, then click the Peak Meter tab. Play your track and you’ll see a vis­ual rep­re­sen­ta­tion of it. Look out for any red graph­ics at the high deci­bel (db) range – these in­di­cate heavy dis­tor­tion.

To fix dis­tor­tion you need to lower the af­fected sec­tion’s vol­ume. To se­lect the en­tire dis­torted sec­tion, click its open­ing bar and then, with the Con­trol key held down, click its end bar. The sec­tion you’ve se­lected will be high­lighted or­ange. Right-click it, then click Vol­ume, ‘Set vol­ume’ and choose any of the neg­a­tive db ‘Set vol­ume to’ op­tions (see screen­shot above). Ex­per­i­ment with the vol­ume set­tings un­til you re­duce the lev­els from red to or­ange in the Peak Meter when you play it back. If you’re un­sure where to start, you could try the ‘Au­to­matic vol­ume re­duc­tion’ op­tion – right-click the se­lec­tion, then click Vol­ume to see it.

Play through a vir­tual amp

If you have a Usb-to-au­dio jack ca­ble (see box) you can con­nect your elec­tric gui­tar (and other ana­logue in­stru­ments) to your PC and use it as an amp. You can then use Mu­sic Maker’s vir­tual amp (Van­dal) to tweak your in­stru­ment’s out­put.

To ac­cess the Van­dal amp, click Ef­fects (in the bar at the top), Au­dio, Au­dio Ef­fects, then Van­dal SE. Any­one who has ever used a phys­i­cal amp will recog­nise the gain, voic­ing and equal­iza­tion knobs that let you change the sound. To ap­ply pre­set ef­fects – such as ‘60s Twang’ and Blues Solo – click Pro­grams at the top of Van­dal’s win­dow, then se­lect a pre­set.

Re­fer to Mu­sic Maker’s man­ual

If you get stuck, you can ac­cess Mu­sic Maker’s man­ual by click­ing Help, Doc­u­men­ta­tion, then ‘Ta­ble of con­tents’. Click the search tab to search for spe­cific words.

Lower a dis­torted sec­tion’s vol­ume to re­duce pops and crack­les on your record­ing

Add ef­fects to your mu­sic us­ing Mu­sic Maker’s In­spec­tor con­trol

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