Stagelight provides a digital array of tracks and instruments that you can use to make loops, beats, tunes, and entire tracks.
It takes full advantage of your PC's touchscreen to make music. The interface is tricky to learn, but once you have it down you can create all sorts of tunes and beats.
The app is free to download, but to unlock features you'll have to pay extra. Stagelight's pricing is more complicated than most apps so there's a breakdown later in the review.
Stagelight is a digital mixing board designed to help you make the different components of music. You can create loops, beats, and entire songs. The interface is complicated, but when you first open the app there's a very helpful tutorial. You can create songs by building separate parts and elements or within a musical timeline. There's a large number of instruments to pick from, and you can layer multiples of the same instrument (your song will be so great with four electric basses). When you're creating music you can use the touch screen to make beats or play music on digital instruments such as a keyboard.
The app can also do MIDI recordings. When you're done making your creation you can export them or share them directly to SoundCloud.
Feature set aside, this app is just fun to use. I felt like Beca in Pitch Perfect mixing music as I tapped on my PC to create a drum beat or play the synthetic keyboard. I grew with music being a big part of my life, but I personally only play one instrument. Stagelight allows me to take my musical knowledge and turn it into songs with digital versions of instruments I've never played.
Generally, pricing for an app can just be listed in the introduction, but Stagelight has a pricing system that is almost needlessly complicated. The app itself is free — to unlock features you have to pay extra. For $9.99 you can unlock a large number of instruments on any Windows PC you use. If you want to go cross platform you have to spend $29.99.
Further complicating the pricing is that you don't just purchase the packs through the Microsoft Store. Instead, you shop within the app and add things to your cart. Then you pay through the store interface.
Even more tricky is that the pricing isn't realistically representative of what you'll pay. You can earn credits in the app that can be used to make purchases. For example, I earned $6 by entering my name and details. I then had to purchase a $4.99 credit which I had to use for a $10 purchase, leaving about $1 wasted.
This pricing system is the biggest drawback of the app and it just seems odd. Users end up using two stores, purchasing credits, earning credits, and having unspent money. It's a jarring experience compared to other apps in the Microsoft Store and a reminder of why it's so nice to just use the Microsoft Store to make purchases.
Stagelight is a great way to get into creating digital music. It has tutorials to walk you through the basics and the app allows you to show your creativity using a variety of instruments and sounds. The interface and pricing setup are overly complicated, but still functional.
If you want get into creating digital music, Stagelight gives you the flexibility to start with the basics and expand to making more advanced creations.
- Has a number of instruments available
- Helpful tutorials
- Fun to use
- Complicated interface
- Confusing pricing structure
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org.