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
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.
Review: Razer's Hammerhead True Wireless Pro deliver THX and ANC for gamers
If you're looking for really good wireless earbuds and also happen to like mobile gaming, the new Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Pro is what you need. Featuring THX audio, ANC, low-latency streaming, and excellent comfort, there's a lot to like. Here's what we think of them after a week of using them with iOS and Android.
The Razer Tomahawk is small in stature, but mighty in power
Razer has a new gaming PC on the scene, and this time it's a compact desktop. The Razer Tomahawk Gaming Desktop uses a variation of the Tomahawk case to bring a modular, powerful PC that's designed to take up very little of your desk space.
Found out when Cyberpunk 2077 releases in your area on PC and console
Cyberpunk 2077 is really almost here, and CD Projekt RED has revealed the exact release times for local areas on PC and console, as well as pre-load information.
Make the most of your Surface Pen and Slim Pen with these awesome apps
To really maximize the ability of the Surface Pen and Slim Pen, there are some essential apps you should check out. We've rounded up the best right here for a variety of purposes.