Canadian Musician - July/August 2017 - Page 22

ROAD TEST Acoustica Mixcraft 8 Pro Studio By Paul Lau W hether you’re a novice or seasoned pro when it comes to digital audio production, Acoustica’s Mixcraft 8 Pro Studio will have your musical creations sounding their best with ease. Through the years, I’ve reviewed earlier versions of Mixcraft and I am particularly excited about the new additions and enhancements Acoustica has incorporated into this latest version. In Use Mixcraft 8 Pro Studio has an awesome new streamlined layout that is very easy to navigate and very intuitive to the creative process. Though the program is PC-based, you can run it on your Mac by load- ing it though Bootcamp, which is relatively easy to do. There are two ways to record and manipulate the audio tracks in Mixcraft 8 Pro Studio. First, you can record in a linear fashion, which is what most are used to, and second, you can record with a loop-based configuration and continuous creation methodology. Using the latter method, which is more spontaneous, you can drop samples into the looping tracks (called Performance Panel grid locations) as well as MIDI clip grooves that sync automatically to the beat and groove while keep- ing the creative juices flowing. So after we’ve created tracks, whether it be a straightforward ar- ranged song or just a loop-based groove, we can begin some digital editing and sound manipulation. This is where the fun begins, and yet this stage can be overwhelming with all the included sounds and options. We’re talking about the included 7,500 loops, sound effects, and samples, and easy access to Freesound.org through the program browser to import over 325,000 additional sounds. Then there are the 56 available pro audio effects and 21 virtual instruments. Where to begin? My suggestion is just giving as many as you can a try to hear how they can enhance your tracks. For example, it can be as easy as adding reverb and delay to an acoustic guitar track, or as complex as adding multiple effects to a sound source like compression, filter, vacuum tube bass enhancer, and a vintage parametric EQ to, say, an electric bass track. There is also the added usage and compatibility of VST3 plug-ins and instruments, which means you are open to the big, big world of third-party tools – many of which are free. Auditioning all the sounds and patches of the 21 virtual instruments that are included with Mixcraft 8 Pro Studio would take a very long time. Simply put, they cover all the bases with the staples like piano (fashioned after a Steinway), organs (fashioned after Hammond B3s), electric piano (fashioned after the Rhodes and Wurlitzer), as well as drums and sample players like the new Omni Sampler 8. There are also vintage-style and programmable synths with an array of options that should cover all music genres past and present, especially for EDM and current pop music. There is also MP4 video support, so you can easily import from any recorded video source to edit, compile, and sync audio for your project. What’s more, it has unlimited tracks. For the MIDI enthusiasts, there is a notation editor, step-editor, and piano roll editor for those that are prone to mouse it as well as perform- ing via a controller. 22 • C A N A D I A N M U S I C I A N In a nutshell, the enhanced audio engine gives you high fidelity playback and very realistic sound, which gives users a true, pristine representation of ]^x&]HXܙY ][HX\\][BX[H[X\X˂[H[][ܙX\Y^X[]H܈][[۝[YBZ[Y[XYYXXX^[Z^\X\Hو\Kٙ\[ܙHYBXY[p[۝[[\[[Y[[\[[X][H\^[›ۈ[\\]\H\X[H[\\Y]H]ؘ[]]X][ۈXܙ[™X]\KX[[H\YۈX[H\[Y]\ZH[YH[\ܙX]H[]]X][ۈ[HX\[H[]ZXHBH[ []]X]\\]X[H[\\YYH\HH]][B[Yܘ]YY[[KX\HXY[YZ[܈[]Y] B[[Vx&\ޛۙH܈X[[[YX\\[ˈ\HYZ[\BY[HۜY\YHY[\\][[Y\ٝ[\HۂZ\ۋY]^HYH[YY]Z^ܘYY[˰][Y]Y\]]ۈۘ\]ܜX[ۈYZ[Y[[B\H\[[]\ ][[][ۈ][ZH[\[X›܈[H]\X[XH^][ ݙ\[ HYHܙX]^\Y[H]Z^ܘYY[ˈ][]\H[HYYXH[X^[]\X]X\K]8&\ZHX]]”][]H˂]\XX[X\њ[H\\RQKY][]Y[XX[\X[Y[\X܈و\]\XTXܙ ˔\]\XKJBY[X\وH\X[[]\M ˔]\M˘J