MixCraft 8: Review

MixCraft 8 Home Studio
The Guitar Genius takes a look at Acoustica’s Mixcraft 8 Pro Studio.
Cost, Features, Usability? How does it do? Read our full review below!


System Requirements


Minimum:

OS: XP, Vista, Windows 7,8, 10 (32 or 64 bit)

Processor: 1.8 Ghz Dual Core

Memory: 2 GB RAM

Storage: 1310 MB

Sound Card: Internal, USB, or FireWire device


Recommended:

OS: XP, Vista, Windows 7,8, 10 (32 or 64 bit)

Processor: Quad Core or Higher

Memory: 4 GB RAM

Storage: 1310 MB

Sound Card: Internal, USB, or FireWire device


Get It Out There

There comes a time in every guitar player’s life when they realize that it’s probably a good idea to share, with other people, what they’ve created. There are a few ways to accomplish this:

1. You can play your music in front of people.
2. You can write your music down for someone else to play.
3. You can record your music into an audio or video file and share it with the world.

If options 1 and 2 just don’t “do it” for you, for any reason, then you’re going to want to go with option “3”.
But how do you go about recording yourself play? What tools are available for you out there? Especially if you’re just starting out?

What Other Choice Do You Have?

Well you could go with Pro Tools, but that’ll cost $600! What about Abelton Live? Shoot, that’ll set you back over $800!
…and what about usability? You don’t want anything too complicated or you’ll spend more time learning a new software than you will learning to play the guitar!

And what about the ability to record and edit video? (As I’ll get to later in this article, it’s very important to be able to record your playing in both audio AND video format so you can really work on your technique.)
It is truly a careful balance, indeed.

That’s where MixCraft comes in…

MixCraft 8 was created by musicians for musicians and it shows. I normally can’t stand music production because it feels like it slows down the process of actually, ya know, making music! But with this program, I can get a song from concept to completion in no time flat. Heck I created this song in under 18 hours. The whole thing. Created it, wrote it down, put it all into the computer in practically no time flat.

Now, I’m no expert with DAW’s, but that’s kind of the point. My website is called “The Guitar Genius” not the “Mixing and Mastering Genius”. With MixCraft, I didn’t need to be either. I just focused on what I was good at, and the easy to use tools and interface helped take me the rest of the way: to a completeted song.

Now, what you think of the track or my mixing skills is not really important in that previous example. What’s important is that a person like me with limited to no experience had a great experience that didn’t feel limiting at all! Here is another one of my songs created in under a day using the software (insert shameless plug). So you can focus on what really matters: making music.

So as far as usability is concerned, the program is amazing. I mean, you’re here to learn how to become a Guitar Genius, not a producer, so why would I recommend a product that takes away precious time you need to focus on your technique, theory, and song writing skills?

…But What ELSE Does It Do?

“Ok, Caleb, we get it: the thing is easy to use. But what about the features huh? What if I, or someone I know, IS a producer, mixer, or masterer? If I get this software, will they or I be able to use it to record and master my music?”

Great question dear reader! The answer to that is yes! While I admit that I’m not the best producer in the world, I know a tiny bit about it and I’ve read through the feature set of the product. And, boy, does it come with a ton of useful features for those of you who do know what you’re doing in the stuidio.

Since I’m not exactly the expert at using every last piece of audio software though, I’ll only talk, briefly about the feature I do know about and use. First off is the video editor. This thing is super important for two reasons:

1. You want to be able to make recordings of yourself so you can post your videos on YouTube!
2. You want to be able to make recordings of yourself so you can go over the ‘tapes’ and spot areas where you are doing well and areas of your playing that need imporvement!

A little more on that second one (since we all kind of intuitively understand the importance of posting our videos to YouTube). One of the greatest tricks to improving your playing technique is to play in front of a mirror, this is because it allows you to see yourself while you play and causes your body to relax.

This relaxation increases the more you practice this way and the benefits stack up over time, allowing you to play more with less energy. That is very important when it comes to reaching higher levels of skill as you don’t want to be flailing away while trying to nail a tough part of a solo, or run out of energy on intricate parts of a chorus or (God forbid) halfway through a show you’re playing!

So we can see how important it is to play in front of a mirror, but what about recording ourself play on video? What good does that do us? Well, you can’t really spend to much time critiqueing yourself while you’re practicing or you’ll lose focus on what you’re doing and end up not practicing so well.

No bueno. So, instead, record yourself while you’re practicing in front of a mirror and then you can focus on just practicing well: nail the fingering, holding a good posture, relaxing your muscles. Just let the camera record you in the back ground and pretend it’s not even there.

Once you’ve finished your practice routine, then it’s time to check the footage and see where you’re doing well and where you could use some imporvement. In this way, you become more efficient with your practice routine, save time, and improve even quicker!

So besides the video editor (which we now see can be super useful for a couple reasons) what else is offerred here that is noteworthy? (and that I am capable of writing about haha) Well, if you’re like me and can’t really sing all that well, but still want to include some vocals in your songs, MixCraft 8 (Pro version) comes with a software plug-in called “Melodyne” that is basically an auto-tuner.

This can be used to fix up vocals here and there or correct a bend that wasn’t “just right”. Very useful if you care more about getting a good song put together than you do about “authenticity” in your performance.

I’m not bashing it though, it’s a very powerful tool and similar ones might cost as much as this entire program does on it’s own.

Is It Worth It?

So, perhaps you’ve seen how easy it is to use and how many features it comes with and you’re wondering about the price of the product. Well, I’ll say this: it’s one of the least expensive DAW’s on the market!

The Pro version (the most feature rich one) goes back and forth between $100 – $200 which is an absolute steal when you factor in both the amount of features in the product and the price of competing products sold in this niche.

For and averge price of $150 you get a program that lets you record both video and audio as well as edit both and upload those projects directly into YouTube! (or a few other supported sites).

It is easy to use, feature rich, and low-cost. So yeah, you can be sure that I’m recommending it to all readers of The Guitar Genius. I use it myself and extremely happy with the quality of this product. It does what it should do: focuses on creating an engaging and simple user experience so can focus on what I do best: making music.

You can find the Home Studio version HERE.

You can find the Recording Studio version HERE.

You can find the Pro Studio version HERE.

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