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                        REVIEW: MAKIN' MUSIC CD-ROM
                            By:  Jason Compton 

CD Exchange showed up last year, tossed a general-interest CD32-aimed
compilation on the market, and then went quiet.

Now they're back, with an audio "fest" designed to, well, to sell lots of
copies, but to provide a comprehensive, one-stop resource for Amiga audio
hobbyists and professionals.

To that end, they've brought together utilities by the dozen, including
sound and .mod players, rippers, and converters, along with commercial
demos, including Octa-MED V6.  In addition, a healthy collection of MODs,
MEDs, and MIDI files is included, as well as a number of free trackers with
which to compose or edit them.

The item of the CD that the most attention is drawn to is the AKAI sample
library, an IFF and WAV collection of a large collection of (originally
16-bit) sound bites.  The quality is quite impressive, as the sampling rate
is rather high-not quite the sort of material you'll find in the average
MOD, at least not without having been reduced through any one of the many
sampling software packages included on the disc.

There is no interface as such to the CD, but there is an AmigaGuide index,
with some descriptions, for all files contained.  Most work will by
necessity be done with some sort of directory utility, and to that end,
DirWork 1.62 is included on the CD.  In fact, a complete suite of all
necessary tools (including MUI, XIcon, and DMS) are available for automatic
installation, as some programs require their services.

The concept of an "Audio Amiga CD" is not a new one, but unlike the "mod
collection" CDs I have encountered, Makin' Music has a decidedly
professional slant to it-more concerned with high-quality orchestral
strings than cartoon character samplings from TV.

It's not hard to take a decent theme and implement a compilation badly, and
it's particularly easy to make a mediocre music collection.  Many aging
bands do it all the time.  But the blend of enjoyable, pre-composed music,
genuinely useful musical tools (the mere inclusion of AmiSOX and other
format-conversion programs is a significant boost to its usefulness) and
"springboard" samples turns Makin Music into a successful product.
Convenience is part of the game, and the CD puts just about everything
within close reach.

(Note-Makin Music is not autobooting.  In addition, non-Amiga versions do
exist, offering the AKAI library and a different set of utilities.)

CD Exchange
Hi-Tech House
125 Kingswood, Norwich
United Kingdom

Phone: +44 1603 261060