Why choose Mixcraft Pro Studio 9 – the latest release of this DAW software that’s gaining popularity. Check the video below and find out the reasons that I decided on Mixcraft for my Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software. Certainly there are lots of choices, but for me, this one makes the most sense.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are ‘affiliate links’. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.
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Advanced Mixcraft Feature – Audio to MIDI Conversion
Eddie’s Song – Recorded in Mixcraft
The Chorus line “Cherish those around you,” came to me while taking a walk. I had just discovering that my former band mate, who I had met a year earlier for the first time in many years, had passed away. This song is not only a tribute to Eddie, but it’s a message to all that life is short and we should always strive to cherish those who we are with today.
Checkout the review of the Steinberg UR22 MkII USB Audio Interface. It works great with Mixcraft and also comes with Cubase versions for both PC, Mac and iPad. Find it on this page.
In the DAW world (Digital Audio Workstation) there are a lot of choices. Many of them are free. I’ll answer three questions:
- Why not FREE?
- What about Garage Band or One of the Big Names?
- Is Mixcraft really the best choice?
Why Not FREE?
Many audio interfaces, MIDI keyboards and other equipment comes with lite versions of high end DAW software. You may get versions of Pro-Tools, Ableton, Cubase.
Then, there is software like Audacity that I actually use for certain purposes. If you have a Mac, then there is Garage Band that comes free.
Years ago, I received a lite version of Cubase and spent many evenings trying to make it do what I wanted. Even the lite version was capable enough for what I wanted and I used it to record a 15 minute classical guitar CD (remember those?). So it was great…. at least when it was working!
What was the Problem?
The problem I had with it was that it didn’t always detect my interface, or some setting wasn’t working. When that happened, it was usually when I was inspired to record something. By the time I got it working, I was no longer inspired. In fact, I was either too tired, too angry and unable to record my best recording.
I had high hopes that I would get better at using Cubase and even considered buying an upgrade. But I decided to look for something more intuitive that could do the job. So I tried the Ableton and couldn’t past my frustration with that.
Then I looked at some of the free products. One of them was Reaper, and by all accounts it was full featured and had a happy following of users. You are supposed to pay for it after a trial. I never did. But I was able to make a recording or two, but then when I wanted to do multi-tracking I got frustrated and gave up. Perhaps if I had persisted I would have got used to it.
Then I tried Audacity. This is totally FREE and boasts lots of built in features. It operates a little differently from other softwares and although I find it great to sometimes use for voiceovers I can’t call myself an expert. Since it operates differently than the way other software does, I wasn’t able to do multitracking with it and I don’t have the patience to try.
Why not Garage Band?
I have used Garage Band. I like it because I was able to open it for the first time. It detected my interface and it just works the way that I expect. It’s simple and effective to get started although there are some things that I would need to study to be able to take advantage of it more.
Why don’t I use Garage Band?
Because I have a 2011 MacBook Air that my daughter has discarded. I like that computer but it has a weak battery and it likes to shut down.
I have been a PC user for over 40 years so I know how to do things on a PC. Also, for the most part, PC’s seem to be somewhat reliable these days. I am still confused with Mac, so I am not going to switch over. It’s hard to teach old dogs new tricks!
Why I Chose Mixcraft Pro
Over the years I have played in a number of church bands and at one time I used to practice on a Saturday afternoon.
One week I was playing around in the morning and I had an inspiration of an arrangement for a particular song. This was at a point when I didn’t have a DAW software that was working.
So, I knew that I only had a few hours to get something recorded to make an impression. My bandmates were a bunch of knuckleheads so I knew that I wouldn’t be able to convince them that I had something good without proof!
So I started searching for a trial program for some software that would be the easiest to use without getting a degree in acoustic engineering.
I had heard about Mixcraft being the GarageBand of the PC world, but I didn’t have time to mess around. I decided that I would give it one hour to prove itself. If I couldn’t get it to work then I would look at something else.
Here’s what happened:
1. The installation picked up my interface unit that was a PreSonus unit at that time. No setting required.
2. With a short introduction I was able to listen to headphones and record tracks.
3. I found that there were a number of built in drum grooves and I could drag and drop onto a track.
4. Within about 1 1/2 hours I added 2 guitar tracks and bass to a drum groove and was able to send out the recording.
A Sad Story
Here’s another story that’s a little sad, yet it highlights how Mixcraft helped me to do the impossible. My Mum passed away about 5 years ago and I had to return to England to meet my wife who was there. While dealing with this situation and after booking a flight immediately, I felt compelled to write some music that I wanted to be played at my Mum’s service.
I then downloaded the latest Mixcraft trial onto an old laptop. Since I didn’t have time to practice and learn this new music, I practiced short chunks of it and recorded each chunk. The laptop came with me on the plane and by just using the headphone jack on the laptop I was able to put together a few minutes of music that was played at the service. Any other software may not as easily switch between soundcards. I always found Mixcraft to be fairly easy in that respect.
After I returned I used the same track and added some fretless bass and background percussion as well as some midi and and electric guitar. If you click the link to my site, you can listen to what I created there.
Now to top all that, I had a friend who I used to play in a band with who died shortly after. For Eddie, I did something that I normally would not do: I wrote a song and actually sang it.
Fortunately, Mixcraft also has some pitch correction capabilities that I used that pretty heavily. You can hear that song too if you visit my site. Although it was a sad year for me, I was pretty happy how the music turned out and I think both my mum and Eddie heard what I made.
3 reasons why I made Mixcraft my choice DAW software:
1. It does a pretty good job at plug and play working with either internal or external sound devices.
2. It’s intuitive that someone like me who may goes months without using it can go in and just start recording.
3. It has enough advanced features and built in plugins to do a great job.
One great plugin is Melodyne which has allowed me to turn wave files into MIDI files. I’ve been able to successfully create music notation from a recording. That’s a really nice feature.
Check this other blog post about using Melodyne in Mixcraft.