This is the second music authoring software program I reviewed. While I had
heard of Voyetra, I was unfamiliar with Cakewalk. I figured though, that
this review might be a little easier, this being the second application
tested. I mean, they should be similar, right? If I have an idea on how
to use one, using another should be a piece of cake.
System requirements are similar, but differ slightly in important areas.
Operating system is Windows 98/ME/2K/XP, but will not work with NT.
The processor is 300MHz. Memory is 32MB. Hard drive space is 100 MB free
space. Display is 800 x 600 at 256 colors. CD-ROM. MIDI interface or Windows
compatible sound card. You see the requirements are similar to MusicWrite.
Again, inserting the CD in the player and closing it starts autorun,
bringing up a menu. Problem number one came up right off the start. The
installer complained I was not running DirectX 8, and would have to install
it before I could install the application. Since I am not much on games,
at least the blow ‘em up types, I have little need for the latest Microsoft
plug-ins. DirectX can be problematic, and is, as is most software from
MS, bloated. This consumes some 65MB of drive space, and unless you run
things like games, or an app like this, is of no other use to me. Oh well.
I do want to try this app, so I take a chill pill (chocolate chip cookie),
and let it continue. Interestingly, the installation of Music Creator was
only about 10MB more than DirectX 8. Oink. I let the default install run,
but be sure to check out the options menus as there are many items to choose
from, and you may not want all of them.
Music Creator can create MP3, Wave, RealAudio, Windows Media Format,
and use ACIDized wave files to create remixes. Music Creator is used for
creating music, while MusicWrite is used for actually writing music. The
difference is, with ‘Write, you can pass the music to anyone able to read
music, and do it in printed form. With Creator you use the actual music.
The included manual is pretty thorough, and relatively easy to follow.
There is a series of tutorials that you access by selecting File, Open,
and then Tutorial. They are numbered, and you use the manual along with
them, creating simple projects to learn how to use the software. You can
also work with video, but when I tried, I had a problem. I opened the Help
menu, and selected Readme.rtf, and looked at the section on video. My video
card on the machine I installed this on uses an S3 chipset, and this was
the source of the problem. I changed the driver, and this fixed the problem.
I am using ‘98, and the drivers for this are old. If you use a newer version
of Windows, you probably have the newer drivers, eliminating this potential
problem. If you do have audio/video problems, look at this file. The online
help brought out another problem for my system; you must have Internet
Explorer installed in order to use the online help. I do not use IE, and
did not even have it installed. There are too many issues involved with
it to go into here, so I’ll just say I do not use it. I use Mozilla, but
installed IE in order to use the online help. Now, if I continue to use
Music Creator, I’m apparently stuck with leaving this bloated MS app on
my machine, or don’t use the otherwise useful online help. Since most people
use MS across the board, the majority of them will not have to deal with
Believe it or not, I also had a problem with my sound card. On this
machine, I use an older Creative Sound Blaster. There was some noise I
could not track down, so I checked this rtf file again, and sure enough,
there was a similar problem listed here. I swapped the card with an ESS
card, reset the options, and the noise problem disappeared. You need to
remember that I installed this on an older machine, running Windows 98.
It exceeds the requirements for Music Creator, but the components are older
than this application, and I am running an older version of Windows that
was not very good to start. This machine is the one I generally use to
test software, hopefully avoiding creating problems on my main machine.
If I can get it to work on this machine, it should work on my newer machine.
Note that this is a frequent issue with software, i.e. apparently meeting
the listed requirements on the box, but finding problems like the above
AFTER buying it. It occurs with a lot of applications, and I am unsure
of a solution. How do you list problems on the packaging, or elsewhere,
for the buyer to check out these problems BEFORE it is purchased? ‘Nother
problem for ‘nother day.
The program worked great after I cleared up these glitches. This review
is due like right now to meet the deadline, so I cannot go into details
about what I am working on. I will say I am playing with creating mp3 files
to listen to on the computer, and it is almost as entertaining to create
them as to listen to the music.
Music Creator is a useful and fun application, and a good buy for anyone
looking for this type of program. The few problems I had are easily overcome,
and if you are running newer stuff, probably won’t even come up.
You can generally find Music Creator locally available for purchase,
or can but it online from Cakewalk, for $39.00.
51 Melcher Street
Boston, MA 02210