Make your own music

Make your own music
– here's how!

Want to create music yourself using your PC? Music Maker makes it simple.

  1. Download the free version of Music Maker, install the program and start a new project.
  2. All the included Soundpool loops for your production can be found on the right. Drag & drop a few loops onto the tracks and arrange them into a new song or backing accompaniment for your own live recordings. You can drag any of the loops onto the tracks and combine them any way you want. The easiest way to start and stop playback is to use the spacebar. Simply click to move the play cursor to the position you want in the timeline. The yellow bar above the first track shows the current playback range. You can move, extend, or shorten this using the mouse.
  3. To play the VST instruments, use either a MIDI keyboard or the on-screen keyboard. If you don't have a MIDI keyboard, click on the keyboard button below the tracks to access the on-screen keyboard. Click once in the keyboard to activate it. You can now play it using your computer keyboard. The default instrument sound is a piano.
  4. To record your VST instrument, you can use any free track. The top track labeled "Piano VSTi" is ready for piano recording. For other tracks, first click the + icon on the far left to open the VST instrument menu. Here, choose a VST instrument that you want to play and record. Then switch the red "REC" button on the track to "MIDI REC". This will arm the track (i.e. make it ready) for MIDI recording. To finish, click on the red record button in the transport control to begin an audio recording. Play your instrument and then click stop in the transport control.
  5. To record your own vocals (if you want to produce a song, for instance) or a live instrument, switch the red record button in the track header to AUDIO REC. Then click on the red "Record" button in the transport controls. During your recording, the accompanying arrangement will be played back. Use headphones so that the accompaniment is not picked up by the microphone during recording. Play your instrument or sing into the mic and then click stop in the transport control.
  6. You can then apply high-quality effects as needed. Click on the FX icon for the object effects and on the mixer icon in the toolbar for additional track and mastering effects in the mixer.
  7. To finish, export your intro music via the "File" menu, for example as a WAV, MP3 or OGG file. In the export dialog, you can define whether the complete project or only the current playback range should be exported.
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Simply create music: The new Music Maker

  • MAGIX Soundpools: Make your own beats – quick and easy. No matter whether electro, Latin vibes, trap, pop, movie scores or reggae – arrange all your loops and samples using drag & drop. All loops are available in 7 different pitches and can be automatically adjusted to your project's pitch.
  • Virtual instruments: All you need is your mouse or a standard or MIDI keyboard to record captivating melodies full of feeling. Easily control software instruments such as strings, bass, guitars, synthesizers and lots more.
  • Recording: Easily record vocals, rap lines or instruments. No matter whether it's a mic, USB keyboard, drum pad controller or guitar – just connect it and get started!
  • Mixing & mastering: Without any previous production experience, achieve real studio sound with intuitive professional effects - simply using drag & drop: Learn how to fine-tune your final sound.

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Make your own music using a mouse, computer keyboard or MIDI keyboard

Learning how to play an instrument is difficult. Even if you can play one, it's highly unlikely you'll be able to master all instruments. You can move a considerable step closer to this goal, however, by using Music Maker. The VST instruments in the program can all be played in the same, simple way: either using your computer's keyboard or with a MIDI keyboard. The VST instruments sound as natural as real instruments, because they are not based on high-quality, 24-bit original recordings, not on simulated sounds. 

The VST instruments in Music Maker offer the complete musical spectrum – as well as a ton of electronic instruments for techno beats or synth sounds, you can access "real" pianos, organs, woodwind instruments such as flute, bassoon or oboe, brass (including trumpet, trombone, saxophone and tuba), strings (including violin, viola and cello), acoustic or electric guitars, basses and percussion instruments.

The included loops in the Soundpools offer an alternative method for producing music. Instead of playing them note for note like a software instrument, you simply drag & drop to arrange them like building blocks. It's almost impossible to get anything wrong, because all the Loops automatically fit together.

Both production methods – instrumental performance and loop-based music production – can be combined and work seamlessly together. For getting started with music production, you don't need any previous experience and it won't cost you anything: the most basic version of Music Maker is free and offers unlimited use. There are unlimited ways to make a song yourself using a mouse and keyboard or MIDI keyboard – try it out! If you're having fun, you can always upgrade your Music Maker version later by purchasing additional Soundpools, VST instruments or program functions from the program's in-app Store.

3 easy steps is all it takes:

  • Download the free software.
  • Double-click the installation file to install the program.
  • Start the program and create a new project.

Then, you're ready to go.

Select and import soundpool loops via drag and drop

Make your own music using Soundpool loops

The first thing we'll do is build our own first piece of music using the Soundpool loops provided. This is the easiest and fastest way to create music yourself.

You can produce your own songs entirely using Soundpool loops, or simply arrange a few loops into a harmonic framework for instrumental recordings or vocals.

All the Soundpool loops available for your production can be found on the right.

  • Make sure that the Loops tab is open above right if you want to use Soundpool loops.

Only the Soundpool "Feel Good" will be shown in the Soundpool list in the beginning. This Soundpool is installed with the free basic version, Music Maker Free. If you install additional Soundpools in other genres later, they can be selected here too.

On the right, the list of instruments can be found. Here's where you can find the instruments in the Soundpool: "Bass", "Drums", "FX" etc.

Select bass loops

You can select the loops in the area below. In the "Bass" category, for example, the choices include "Right Bass" (in the variations A-C), "Right Sub Bass" (in the variations A and B), etc.

  • Click on a loop to begin listening to a preview.
  • Drag and drop the loops you want to use to the left into the arranger. You can also just press the Enter key to do this. This can even be done live during playback.
  • Play back the arrangement with the drum loop by pressing the spacebar. Press it a second time to stop playback.

You'll see the marker move from far left to right during playback, playing the loops in the tracks as it moves across them. Nothing is heard when the marker moves across an empty area.

Above track 1, you can see the playback range in the form of a yellow bar. The default length is 16 bars long and it will be played as an endless loop. This means that as soon as the playback marker reaches the end of bar 16, it automatically jumps back to the beginning and starts playing from there again.

It all works like a musical puzzle: You drag matching loops onto the tracks to make your own music.

You should keep a few things in mind, though:

  • It's probably best to start with a drum track.

Select a drum loop on the right and drag & drop it to the arranger on the left. In general, a drum loop can be positioned anywhere. But to make life easier, we recommend you always place all instruments on the same track, i.e. all drum loops on one drum track, all basses on one bass track, and so on.

  • To add variation to the drum track, take a second drum loop and drop it behind the first loop.

Each loop is designed in a way that it can be played it over and over again without the listener realizing that it is the same recording. If you move the mouse to the back edge of a loop, the mouse pointer will turn into a double arrow. You can now click and hold the double arrow to drag out the section on the track as long as you wish. It will then continue to play as a loop. You can also use the same method to trim part of the loop in order to make its beginning or end shorter.

  • Drag the drum loops out to the length of the playback range (for 16 bars, for example, this would be twice the length of 8 bars).
  • Create a bass track. Select a bass loop in the Media Pool and drop it onto track 3.
  • You can create additional empty tracks for other instruments by clicking the button far left in the transport control.

Drums & bass provide the musical backbone for most songs. Tonally-based loops can be set to seven different pitches. You can change the pitch by clicking one of the seven pitch buttons for the loop on the right before loading it into your project. (This can't be done with drum loops, since drum sounds do not have a specific pitch.)

Now that you the basics of making your own music on the PC under your belt, you can add loops from other instrument categories.

  • If you need more space, zoom out using the function in the lower left corner of the track window so that more bars are visible.
  • The playback bar can be dragged and dropped to move it or stretched or compressed at its ends.
Add tracks + BPM icons in transport control

You can also modify song tempo using the BPM field in the transport control.

  • Click in the BPM field and change the playback tempo, for example from 125 to 90.
  • m

Listen back to your first short arrangement slowed down. A completely different, more relaxed groove emerges that might work well with a hip-hop track.

Of course, this doesn't result in a perfect song right away. It takes a bit of experience to create great music yourself using Soundpool loops. Take a look at the structure of the demo projects to get an idea of how to arrange and produce your own song.

Play screen keyboard with computer keyboard

Make your own music with VST instruments

Another option for making music with a computer is to play the VST instruments provided by the program. These instruments are based on short musical samples and are played using the computer keyboard or, if you prefer, by playing a MIDI keyboard in the same way as any keyboard instrument. Alternatively, melodies or chords can be programmed by clicking the mouse to draw notes in the MIDI editor or corrected there after recording.

At the bottom of the interface, you'll see a virtual piano keyboard. This controls the VST instruments. A piano sound is set as default.

  • If the keyboard is not visible, open it by clicking the "Keyboard" button.
  • Click once on the keyboard to activate it.

Letters and symbols will now appear on some of the keys. These keys can be played using the corresponding keys on the computer keyboard. You can also press several keys simultaneously to create a chord.

You can play the normal C major scale using the top row of your computer's keyboard (starting on the left with the letter "Q" and ending on the right with the "[" symbol). It is the easiest to use this row of keys to play melodies when starting out. Through trial and error as well as a little practice, you'll learn to play instruments dynamically and accurately on the computer keyboard.

Prepare track for MIDI recording

To record your playing, you'll need an "armed" MIDI track. On the track with the piano symbol, everything has been set up properly for the piano. This is indicated by the instrument icon and by the red MIDI REC button on the left side of the track header.

  • Click on the red "Record" button in the transport controls.

Recording will start on the track. During the recording, a sound block will be created that will become increasingly longer as the recording continues.

If you click the "Record" button again, the playback marker will jump back to the position where it started. The recording will start again from the beginning and the previous take will be overwritten.

  • Play a piano melody on the computer keyboard.
Recorded MIDI notes

If you play a wrong note, just click the record button to start therecording again. You can also just let recording continue and correct anymistakes later in the MIDI editor (see below).<o:p></o:p>

  • When you're finished, stop the recording by clicking the "Stop" button in the transport controls.

Now you'll be able to see yourrecording in the track and play it as usual.

Let the VST instrument "Revolta" play the recorded MIDI track

Make your own music: Edit MIDI recordings

So you've just made your first MIDI recording with a piano sound using a VST instrument. Want to hear how your melody would sound on a different instrument? You don't have to play it again to do that. To change the instrument, simply click on the instrument icon on the far left of the track and select a different instrument there.

In addition to the Concert Grand, there are two other instruments to choose from: Revolta and Vita LE. Revolta is a classic synthesizer with many settings for typical synth sounds, while Vita LE offers an acoustic drum kit.

  • Open Revolta to try it out.

A dialog with an independent user interface will appear, which offers a number of different possibilities to modify the sound.

  • Press a few keys on the computer keyboard to preview the sound.
  • Open the Revolta drop-down menu and select another sound preset.

This changes the sound in an instant, so instead of a dirty bass synth, you'll now hear atmospheric electronic sounds (depending on the preset you've selected).

Any number of experimental sounds are possible using Revolta.

  • Choose a sound preset for playing with your MIDI recording.

You'll now hear the current Revolta sound instead of the recorded piano sound.

You can use this process to preview the same MIDI recording played by different VST instruments.

Correct or supplement recorded melodies in the MIDI editor

Additionally, any MIDI recording can be edited in various ways retrospectively. For example, you can add missing notes and change existing notes, correct their pitch or rhythm, or add brand new notes. Use the MIDI editor to do this.

  • Double-click on the MIDI file in the track to open the MIDI editor.

All the recorded notes can be found here. You can select and adjust any note in the grid.

  • Click on a note and move it horizontally to change the pitch, or vertically to change the time position.
  • A note's duration can also be shortened or lengthened by clicking on its ends.
  • Simply use the pen tool to insert additional MIDI notes into the note matrix.

Working with the MIDI editor and learning about all the available functions takes time. To begin with, it's enough to become familiar with the basics.

Audio recording track with accompaniment
Pinch audio along object edge

Make your own music with vocals or real instruments

With Music Maker you can of course also use your own voice or "real" instruments to make a song yourself. For this you'll need a microphone: either the computer's built-in mic or a higher quality one that you plug into the microphone input.

You can combine all the methods of making music– Soundpool loops, VST instruments and microphone recordings. So if you've got Soundpool loops and MIDI recordings with VST instruments on tracks 1-6, just use the next free track 8 for your microphone recording.

  • Activate recording mode on the track to record audio. Click on the red REC button on the left side of the interface in the track header until "AUDIO REC" appears.
  • Start the audio recording by clicking on the red record button in the transport control. 

During your reco

panying arrangement will be played back. It is advisable to use headphones while recording so that the accompaniment is not be recorded over the mic too.

To cut your recording afterwards, use the editing functions offered by Music Maker. You can trim the beginning and end of a track by simply dragging the edges inward as described above, which cuts away the corresponding ranges of the recording. 

If you want to get rid of a section in the middle, place the playback marker just before the section and press the "T" key. This will split the object at this position. Repeat at the end of the section you want to remove and then delete the cut passage by pressing the Del key on the project. This method can be used to get rid of annoying noise, for example.

Apply effects to selected objects

Make your own music: Effects and mastering

Once you have finished producing your song, you can start working on the final mix. You have the option of adding effects to change the sound of individual instruments as well as the overall sound.

Effects may be applied at three levels: To individual objects, to complete tracks and to the master mix.

  • Click on the FX button in the upper toolbar to open the object effects

Compressor, 10-band equalizer, reverb and echo can be used to edit Soundpool loops or your own recordings made using a microphone. Tons of other great effects can be purchased from the Store – we'll get to that below.

Virtual mixer with track effects and mastering

Note that these object effects cannot be applied to MIDI recordings used with VST instruments. You can, however, use the track effects in the mixer for this.

  • Open the mixer by clicking on the mixer button in the toolbar (or simply pressing the M key).

Here, you can find a volume control and a stereo pan control for each track. You can also use the FX buttons to apply track effects, which will then also influence VST instruments.

On the right in the mixer, you'll find the mastering section for controlling the overall sound. There is an FX button here too with additional master effects, which affect the overall sound after the object and track effects.

Export your own music in WAV or OGG format

Export your own music production

Music Maker is not a musical computer game, but music making software that enables you to create music yourself and publish it outside of the program. Share the songs you've produced with friends and invite them to work together with you on your next production!

Export your productions as audio files, e.g. as WAV files or in the compressed format OGG, which you can be easily shared and played on any playback device.

  • Select File > Export from the menu.

Here, you can find all export formats available in Music Maker. Additional export options, such as burning directly to CD, can be found in the Store.

During export, all tracks in the arranger are mixed down together with all effects and mixer settings into one "proper" audio file. The final result will sound exactly the same as when played back in Music Maker.

Install additional VST instruments or soundpools in the store

Expand your creative possibilities in the Store

So far, you've learned about many of the essential features in Music Maker. But there's still more to discover. MAGIX offers lots of other VST instruments, Soundpools and program modules that can be purchased via the in-app Store.

  • Top right, click on "Store".
  • Click on an item for more information.
  • Click on the price and follow the instructions provided.

It's a good idea to at least install the free VST instruments and Soundpools available in the Store. They're just what you need to start producing music, since they offer a wide range of creative possibilities. You can have the items sorted by price to display the free offers at the very top. You will not be charged for free items during the purchase process. All you have to do is register as a MAGIX customer.

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  • NEW! Customizable interface for a streamlined workflow
  • NEW! Create songs faster: In-app tutorials
  • Freely selectable: 3 Soundpools & 1 Soundpool Collection of your choice
  • coreFX Delay, AM|Track, Vintage FX Filtox, Orange Vocoder ME
  • DN-e1, Bass Machine, Analog Synths (VITA instruments)
  • Tiny Percussion Shaker (Tiny instrument)
  • Multicore audio engine with 64-bit support
  • VST bridge for 32-bit plug-in support
  • SOUND FORGE Audio Studio 12

* Music Maker Store credit from older versions (version number 28 or older) cannot be redeemed in Music Maker 2022 (version number 30).