MixCraft 3.0 just dropped down a notch in the GarageBand for Windows challenge. I just got a MIDI cable and was planning to test out MixCraft and discovered that MIDI support isn’t there.
To be fair to MixCraft, they don’t say that it has MIDI. I was making an incorrect assumption.
I checked out GarageBand’s site on Apple, and they certainly support MIDI.
MixCraft 3.0 cannot be a full replacement for GarageBand if you need MIDI support.
(Acid from Sony appears to support MIDI. I’ll try that next.)
Wow! I tried the download for Mixcraft by Acoustica and I’m blown away. I gave it to my daughter and she was mixing up clips and changing their tempo and overlapping them all all with remarkable results. She seemed to know what she was doing right away. I asked how, and she said it’s pretty similar to GarageBand, except for some of the key stroke commands.
Quick Screenshot (from Acoustica’s site):
My son immediately wanted a turn with mixing up songs. Same thing. Seemed like using Mixcraft was second nature to him.
My turn. I decided to play with the loops. With this, you can pick various loops for different instruments and drop them onto a track. From there you can control various aspects of the loop. I found it very addicting to have the ability to tweak and adjust and control all the drums, bass, etc.. Again, it was very intuitive. I did have the advantage of watching my kids play with it, but they weren’t playing with the loops.
Best part, it’s a download. You get 7 days to try it out with no limitations. After 7 days, I don’t think you can burn CD’s, and something else is limited too.
Here’s the direct download link: Download Mixcraft
Here’s a link to the purchase page from Acoustica:
More Info… From there you can bounce around the site.
Next thing, I need to figure out how to connect a keyboard to test the midi part.
I might be doing something wrong, but I could not get Audacity to work properly for me. It seems to have the proper options for working with music, but when I pulled in an MP3 file, almost all of the useful menu items were grayed out.
One of the things that my kids wanted to do was to speed up some songs and mash them together. I can see how to mash them together, but the option to change tempo wasn’t available.
Again, maybe I’m doing something wrong. So far, this will not work as a GarageBand for Windows.
Update: This deal is gone….
Found an advertisement for Acid in the Best Buy Sunday (10/21/2007) newspaper ads. Go to Best Buy
and search for ACID Music Studio 7. They have it reduced $30 from $69.99 to $39.99.
Seems like a good deal for my GarageBand for Windows project.
Had a chance to do some searching for some products that may work for my GarageBand for Windows requirements . I found the following products that may fit the bill:
- Audacity – mentioned most of the time.
- Mixcraft – seems to be the latest favorite.
- Session by M-Audio – comes with some hardware purchase of around $100.
- Acid – Also mentioned most of the time. Some products claim to support Acid loops.
- FruityLoops – Seems like it was an early free favorite, but I get the sense that it is aging.
I’m going to check out Audacity, Mixcraft, and Acid first. I’m not really interested in purchasing hardward currently, so Session is not of interest. I’ll check out FruityLoops if I don’t find what I need with the first three. With any luck I’ll find that perfect GarageBand for Windows for what I need.
If you have any experience with any of these products, let me know in the comments.
I was given the challenge to find GarageBand for Windows by my daughter. She had used GarageBand on a Apple at her school. I’m also hoping to use a product like this for working on my music (piano and drums). So this is my journey. Hopefully this will help you too if you have the same challenge.
- Take existing songs and mix them together.
- Take short clips from songs
- Adjust the tempo as needed
- overlap songs
- Create new songs with a variety of inputs
- Midi input from Keyboard
- Midi input from Electronic drums
- vocal input from mic
- other existing songs (like the mix above)
- other input from mic
- Easy to use
- Variety of output choices
- Works on Windows XP with 512meg of Ram
Please add some comments if you have any suggestions.