Review: Mix your own beats with StageLight

Make music with this easy-to-learn software.

Create your own tunes with help from StageLight's easy-to-follow lessons, preconfigured templates, and intuitive methods. You can try StageLight free for 30 days. Recent updates include the latest Artist Sound Pack -- the Timbaland Pack.

StageLight opens with a fullscreen display with links to SongBuilder Lessons, Demo Lessons, Fresh Start Project, and the Store. Registered users can download free extras at the store, such as the Loop Pack and Core Pack, and buy Artist Sound Packs like the Linkin Park Pack. Experienced music makers should have no trouble starting with a new project, but we clicked SongBuilder Lessons and chose Dubstep from a list that also offered Hip Hop, House, Pop, Country, and Rock. StageLight loaded a Dubstar track, which we could start and stop by pressing the spacebar. The wizard-like lesson walked us through each step of the Track Selection page, starting with the Drum Track. Double-clicking the track opened the Drum Machine with sample drum tracks (Snare, Tom, Hat, etc.) in Lanes. Clicking a Lane opened massive options. After that came the Bass Track (with Note Editor) and then Synth, Synth Lead, and so on. The user interface is stylish and easy to navigate, but its widescreen configuration made it difficult to access some controls (such as the Lesson's Next button) on narrower displays. Sound quality was top-notch.

StageLight is only $9.99, which makes it far less expensive than similar programs. OpenLabs describes StageLight as "the easy way to create music," and we'd have to agree. Aspiring musicians should give this one a try.

Editors' note: This is a review of the full version of StageLight 1.2.0.4241. The trial version is limited to 30 days.

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