Recently we had the opportunity to get a copy of Mixcraft 9 Pro Studio (many thanks to the Acoustica team for making this review possible) and tested the new features of the application. Mixcraft is not something entirely new to me. Over time I had the opportunity to test older versions (Check here Mixcraft 8 Review). If you do not know or heard about this program I will give you a short presentation. Mixcraft is developed by Acoustica INC and is only available for Windows at this time, in two versions: Mixcraft 9 Recording Studio and Mixcraft 9 Pro Studio.
Starting from the question “What is the best DAW for music production?”, I will answer as I have done on other occasions: “The best program is the one you know best”. Mixcraft 9 Pro is a complex program suitable for any studio job, so it definitely can be the best choice for any music producer, it all depends on your readiness to learn how to use it and take advantage of everything that this program offers.
“From its slick, modern interface to its powerful new effects, instruments, and features, we’ve upgraded nearly every aspect of Mixcraft, with new visuals, new sounds, and more power than ever.” – Acoustica Team
What’s New In Mixcraft 9
At first, something has changed optically. Mixcraft 9, therefore, looks more modern than its predecessor. The transport and the panels can now be moved freely on the screen where you need them and get an improved workflow. In addition, the fonts are now larger with better contrast. The track icons and the mouse cursor have been redesigned. The virtual wooden side parts of the mixer section were removed and now it looks more modern.
Automation has been improved and is now possible to automate the pitch or the main project tempo, to slow down or accelerate the whole mix wherever you want.. But plug-ins now also benefit from automation and control via MIDI, LFOs synchronized to the tempo or side-training with audio signals. Also, the piano roll now allows the step recording feature.
The parameter automation is no longer restricted to a purely linear curve, but can now actually take on various exponential and logarithmic curve shapes. Drawing and changing correspondingly complex modulations works in a similar way to that in a graphics program and this can only be a very useful and professional approach to draw automation compared with other DAWs.
Vocoder tracks enable vocoder sounds on any track with one click. The vocoder is not the only new plug-in. They come from the Acoustica company itself, but also from Cherry Audio and Toneboosters. Pro Studio users will find MultiFX, TB Reverb, TB Parametric Equalizer, TB BusCompressor, TB Barricade, TB De-Esser, TB Compressor, and the Acoustica Vocoder just mentioned.
The Pro Studio version also includes the Voltage Modular Ignite Synth from Cherry Audio. 45 modules allow synthesis as you know it from the popular Eurorack format. The individual modules can be arranged one after the other in the lower, empty slots. A Cherry Audio account is required to install the software.
You can call up one or more modulators in each plug-in window, the control panels of which are then displayed directly above the respective GUI. The various modulators are color-coded for better clarity: audio controls are red, MIDI controls are green and the new LFOs added in MIXCRAFT 9 are blue.
Simplified automation options for MIDI CCs using various graphic tools and pre-defined LFO waveforms can also be found in the editor tab for editing MIDI events. By applying these waveforms to the volume (MIDI-CC 7), you can easily achieve the popular tempo-synchronized ducking and gate effects without the use of additional plugins. In addition, a step recording option is now available in the MIDI editor. Individual notes and whole chords can be easily entered one after the other into an adjustable grid using the MIDI keyboard.
Also, now you can convert monophonic audio clips into a MIDI track with the help of Melodyne. You can right-click on the audio track and click on the “Audio to MIDI” function, a MIDI track is created from the audio track right below. Converting audio to MIDI requires Mixcraft 9 Pro Studio
Videos can also be set to music in Mixcraft. This is not a new function in version 9 but is already included in the previous versions. You can load the video in different formats such as AVI and Windows Video File. If you want to process other formats, you have to install the corresponding codecs beforehand. Codec packs are available free of charge on the Internet.
The mixer panel is also updated and brings panels for gain, drive, the parametric EQ, compressor, oscilloscope, and spectrum analyzer. I noticed that the mixer looks much cleaner, and the channels used are now easier to view.
Each track now has its own built-in gain, compressor, and drive. What has attracted most of my attention is the handy “one-knob” compressor for taming transients. At lower settings, it works especially well for vocals, guitars, and bass, and great crushing drum loops at higher settings.
Mixcraft DAW can now be purchased at promo prices directly from the company’s website: Mixcraft 9 Recording Studio
$99 $75 or Mixcraft 9 Pro Studio $199 $149. Given these prices and the offer available at this moment, Mixcraft is one of the most accessible programs on the market, so do not miss the offer from Acoustica.
To run the program, however, you need a few minimum requirements such as Windows 7 SP2 or any newer version, at least 8 GB Ram, a minimum 1.8 GHz Dual Core processor (more cores better), at least 1,2 GB free space, and a dedicated sound card and a Internet connection or Voltage Modular Ignite and Melodyne activation (available with Mixcraft Pro Studio version). Mixcraft accepts any 3rd Party plugin in VST format. It is recommended to use 64-bit versions for the best efficiency.
Download Demo / Buy Link: Acoustica Mixcraft