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Old February 19th, 2004, 02:21 AM   #1
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Which Music Libraries & Downloads - Help!

I've done a ton of research on this but am not in a decisive place now! Between the choices of SonicFire Pro, Quicktracks for Premiere Pro, leasing libraries, and buyout royalty-free music - CDs or web downloads - I urgent needing to make a decision on what to get, and need some help!

We are new in the business. We have many video projects to score, corporates, sports/ kids/ high action type productions, short films, etc. The difficulty in saying what our production needs will be is because we've just started and it's hard to define whether we'll be needing enough music to justify over $700 a year for a license with leasing library, or whether we should pay as we go, which may end up costing us a lot more.

A couple of leasing libraries like Omni Music look really good, but are too pricey to make a committment on, as they have high annual charges. The upside is that you have full access to thousands of tracks and you don't have to pay any more download charges. I looked at some buyout CD libraries, but they mostly sound canned. Not what I'd prefer to use, for the most part. Also you have to buy a ton of CDs that you may never use.

The advantage of those you just download from is that you get exactly what you select and you preview before hand. Those also seem expensive - some are pay per drop and some are like, $40 per track. I wouldn't mind paying for great music but it's just so hard to find anything that doesn't sound predictable and average!

I was thinking about getting either SonicFire Pro or Quicktracks. We use mostly Avid Xpress Pro, but also have Adobe Premiere Pro (which is what Quicktracks is made for) so we don't know what would make more sense. SonicFire has more features than Quicktracks. It's also $200 more. And Premiere Pro users have said to get Quicktracks. But would this limit our music scoring capabilities without Sonic Fire's added features?? Smartsound also allows you to search their database for tracks and download them at $20 each.

Is one of the Smartsound programs a good and worthwhile buy, or should I go by way of the music libraries? Leasing? Or download on a per track basis?

Most importantly, where can I find GOOD music?? Thanks for reading this long rambling message!
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Old February 19th, 2004, 06:14 AM   #2
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I don't have the answers to your questions, but I can point you
to two other threads that might be of interest to you:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=21137
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=21365

Good luck on your search.
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Old February 19th, 2004, 08:40 AM   #3
 
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There really isn't a good "one answer" to your question. The two questions that come up are;
1. Do you like the music that you are hearing in the download/stock libraries? If yes.....Can you afford it? Then buy it.

2. Do you want to spend time creating tracks?


SonicFire is a great tool, but eventually, it all sounds the same. ACID is great, but it takes a while to learn to compose unless you have a music background, and even then it still takes time to compose.
Stock libraries are great, but you run a high risk of hearing your music on someone else' project if you are broadcasting. Exceptionally good and narrowly distributed music is expensive. Hiring some one is even more expensive.
It comes down to your ear and your budget.
That's not much help, but there it is.
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Old February 19th, 2004, 03:26 PM   #4
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Jay Rose's articles on dv.com goes through these issues pretty well.

As for which music libraries are good, he has reviews on his website. www.dplay.com
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Old February 19th, 2004, 04:10 PM   #5
 
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>>>>As for which music libraries are good, he has reviews on his website.<<<<

This is where I have to take issue with Jay or anyone else who might make these sorts of comments.... It's a subjective opinion, for example, I thought the score to "Vagina Monologues" was absolutely incredible. From a musicians point of view, it definitely was. From a producer's point of view, I would still think so. Reviewers hated it. They didn't get it.

Acidplanet is full of music, music that some like, others think is trash. While the higher prices for some libraries is warranted by the players, it doesn't mean it's 'better' music, it just means it might have cost more to produce.
Granted, I'm probably preaching to the choir, but it's all about what YOU want, what the client wants, and the budget you have to achieve it. But it's also pretty critical to have a library in hand before you start editing, because the library will have a large impact on your editing technique, or with most concienscious editors it will.
There are lots of great libraries. But libraries are like musician CD's. There might be one good cut and 20 crappy ones, or 20 that I love and 1 that you hate....
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Old February 21st, 2004, 12:32 AM   #6
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As a total amateur who owns and uses Sonic Fire Pro, and intends to keep on doing so, I have to agree that in the end it all sounds alike. Even classical pieces (or the variants produced) start to sound "tinny" if you listen to them long enough. I used some Xmas songs for one family event video - there were barely enough tracks available, because, in order to keep from being made totally impatient with the music, I had to keep each selection very short. I'm glad I have the software, and if I were doing corporate work I would certainly use some of it, but as a possible consumer of someone else's video (amateur or professional), I hope not to hear most of these tracks and most definitely not at any length.
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Old February 21st, 2004, 01:29 AM   #7
 
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Here's a cool trick if you own ACID pro and Sonic Fire Pro....
Render the finished song in Sonic Fire Pro, drop it into ACID, and use their Beatmapper. It will detect the tempo of the Sonic Fire song, and map it. Then you can drop Acid loops all over the Sonic Fire song, and that sucker will liven right up. And will be totally different. No musical skills needed at all....
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Old February 21st, 2004, 07:00 PM   #8
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Still, with SonicFire and the ability to buy one cut off of a CD for $20, it isn't all that bad for short applications. Some of their latest CDs are pretty good. My customers are pretty happy with the results.

Running any tune for more than a few minutes or so is bound to get repetitive. SonicFire especially.

I like the idea of plopping it down in Acid and adding to it. Will that be covered in your seminars, Douglass?
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Old February 21st, 2004, 07:59 PM   #9
 
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Yup. We'll be covering Beatmapper and Chopper in Acid, which will let you take most any song and remix it quickly and easily...Great way to repurpose old libraries, too.
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Old February 22nd, 2004, 01:39 PM   #10
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Wow, I LIKE those ideas! "Repurposing" library music...thanks, DSE (I hope you don't mind initials).
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Old February 22nd, 2004, 02:08 PM   #11
 
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DSE or Spot, no one calls me by my given name. :-)
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Old February 22nd, 2004, 02:57 PM   #12
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Okay...DSE! :)
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Old February 22nd, 2004, 05:27 PM   #13
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Even though I probably wouldn't go this way given the level of stuff I'm doing, I did check out the Acid site. It seems to be for Windows users only. Is there anything similar for Mac users that would beef up Sonic Fire tracks in the same way?
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Old February 22nd, 2004, 05:46 PM   #14
 
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Soundtrack is much like ACID, but it doesn't have the BeatMapper feature that ACID has. GarageBand also has some ACID-like behaviors, for 50.00 you can't go wrong.
Soundtrack has a far superior search function to ACID's loop search/location function, GarageBand's tool is next to useless for finding loops.
So, in a way...you can indeed repurpose existing libraries with Soundtrack, remixing old songs, etc. But it's a lot more challenging.
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