Someone asked me this morning if I could talk a bit about Mixcraft recording software (technically a DAW - digital audio workstation) by Acoustica. Since I am always going on about Reaper (my favorite DAW - digital audio workstation), which is my go-to recording program, he wanted to know if I could sort of compare and contrast the two.
Recording Magazine has a blurb in the FASTFORWARD section of the September 2012 issue telling us that Acoustica has shipped the new version of Mixcraft - Mixcraft 6 and Mixcraft Pro Studio 6. Like Reaper, Mixcraft 6 is in that category of affordable audio software that delivers professional recording capability. Both would be terrific for any home recording studio. In looking at the description of Mixcraft features, I didn't see any that Reaper didn't have except for the loop library you get with Mixcraft with 6,000 loops. If you plan on using loops a lot, this might be a tick in the Mixcraft column.
The two versions of Mixcraft are priced at $75 and $150, respectively. Some of the things they heralded as new features are things Reaper has done from the start, like support for VST instruments (Lesson 11 in our new Reaper course, BTW;)), EQ effect, multi-band compressor, loop recording with multiple takes, and automated punch in/out.
The Mixcraft Pro Studio 6 version adds what Recording Magazine describes as "16 high-quality effects plug-ins" (they didn't say what those were), and 3 virtual instruments (including the Pianissimo grand piano), as well as the very cool iZotope Mastering Essentials and 3 Mid-Side processing tools, tape emulation and 2 parametric EQs. I'm familiar with iZotope through their Ozone mastering suite and their T-Pain Effect Plugin. But I digress. Other additions in the Pro version of Mixcraft 6 are 3 Mid-Side (the stereo effect) processing tools, a tape emulation tool and 2 parametric EQ effects.
Reaper comes with over 200 effect plugins. It's capability is vast and it's programming is light, meaning it loads fast, has an installer that is only a couple of MBs and is portable on a USB drive! Updates come fast and often. There is Mac and Windows version, a 64-bit and 32-bit version. And the pricing model is unheard of. There is only one single version of Reaper, from the 30-day trial (that won't stop working after 30 days if you need longer to evaluate!), to the "discount license" price of $60 to the "commercial license" of $225. It's all the same. And who decides if you get the discount or the commercial license? You do! It's an honor system. Their guideline (you can read all about this here: http://www.cockos.com/reaper/purchase.php) is that if you make $20,000 US dollars a year using Reaper, you should pay for the commercial license. Unbelievable. Plus the user community is like no other with an amazingly active forum. Can you tell I'm a fan?
However, like I said earlier, both programs offer a lot of audio recording capability for an incredible price.
To learn more about Mixcraft 6, click here.