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Old February 28th, 2009, 01:49 AM   #16
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I would second Ken's comments about Digital Juice Stacktacks, and Sonic Fire's strata series. I have not gone as far as he has, but the ability to render each instrument set layer and play with them gives you more flexibility than simply using a one layer track from somewhere else. Sony Cinescore is also not bad, but has much less music to offer and at a higher price. (Pricewise DJ is lowest, SonicFire next and Sony highest).

I often find myself going first to Digital Juice, then Sonic Fire then to other selections in my small but growing library. I would add that SONY will now allow individual track download/purchases for $10, which is a step forward. I just wish they had a bigger library.

ps. I just listened to Vasco's recommendation and was impressed.
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Old February 28th, 2009, 11:58 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Swanberg View Post
ps. I just listened to Vasco's recommendation and was impressed.
So was I, Chris, the first time I landed on their website, four years ago.
Then, looking for cheaper stuff, I've spent quite some time exploring
other RFM sites - and kept going back to stockmusic.net.
I'd be glad to have somebody suggest other sites offering the same quality...

Best

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Old February 28th, 2009, 01:21 PM   #18
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Vasco, if by quality you mean real instruments (instead of synthesizer stuff) a good sample rate and nice scores, I think the ones I mentioned can provide quality stuff - I don't like ALL of their offerings (and there is some of that synth music here and there) but overall there is some stuff that easily meets THAT definition of "quality".

The opening score in this little clip posted for the UWOL challenge uses SonicFire and has gotten favorable response:

Glacier Park Film Project Early Trailer on Vimeo
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Old February 28th, 2009, 02:29 PM   #19
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There is another source: local bands. Many will give you rights to their song in return for a credit. And there are many modern "composers" who can score stuff for cheap. Just ask in the Sonar and Cubase forums.

The only problem I have with complete scores is flexibility. For example, if someone is speaking I tend to like to take out all the mid range instruments that clash with the voice and often just leave the drums and bass at a lower volume. That's where these multi-track libraries come in handy, and especially SonicFirePro which can export also the individual sections within those single tracks. With little knowledge of Sony Acid or Reaper, scoring becomes much more powerful.
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Old February 28th, 2009, 08:56 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Swanberg View Post
Vasco, if by quality you mean real instruments (instead of synthesizer stuff) a good sample rate and nice scores, I think the ones I mentioned can provide quality stuff - I don't like ALL of their offerings (and there is some of that synth music here and there) but overall there is some stuff that easily meets THAT definition of "quality".
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Chris, "after careful reviewing"..., well: you sold me on Digital Juice and/or SonicFire.
Thanks for the very useful suggestion!
(lesson learned: never let a graphically off-putting website - Digital Juice - put you off...).
But I'd like to have your opinion on the following: the Sonicfire Pro software seems to give you extra flexibility, but their scores are pricier; the Digital Juice tracks sound very good and are cheaper, but the Jucier seems to have limited capabilities... Does that (if true) really make a difference? If you had to pick one (so as to profit from bundling), which way would you go first: Digital Juice or SonicFire?

All the best

Vasco
PS: greetings to the Big Austrian fellow over there :-)
(we proudly managed to get rid of those Austrians back in 1291...)
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Old March 1st, 2009, 12:13 AM   #21
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Vasco..

Let's start by saying that in the imperfect world of Royalty Free "canned music" some of the important things to look for are real instruments, on separately renderable tracks and some ability to manipulate track length to a custom length. There are other criteria and I am only picking a few of my most important ones.

Using those criteria and looking at SonicFire Pro (SF or SFP) versus Digital Juice (DJ), Sonic Fire Pro wins. Why? Because they will assemble a cut on a song to a desired final time length, and Digital Juice won't do that. You can stretch a DJ piece a little, but you more or less are locked in to the length. Sonic Fire Pro also offers a neat little feature that will allow you to easily overlay a musical "crescendo" at any selected point in a track ("Add HIT") that I find useful in assembly editing with a soundtrack. They also offer a "mood" selector as well as a "variation" selector that will subtly alter the music, increasing the number of available renditions of any particular piece - again on Strata series only.When you have the right music in Sonic Fire you can easily make it fit in many different variations. An easily customizable program for music dummies like me.

Now... pluses for Digital Juice. First off, more of their stuff is layered. They have about 50 or so stacktracks albums out and all but a few are layered. Sonic Fire has a lot of offerings but not that many are layered (the so-called Strata series). Sonic Fire's price is also about twice the price of DJ's offerings and their "sales" are mainly non-layered stuff they seem to be trying to unload.

The good news is that you can "test drive" all of either's offerings before you buy. I'd only caution you to be sure that if you are listening to a SF cut you like and think you want to buy, know if it is multiple layered or not before you buy, many of their still are not.

I've only used Sony Cinescore a little, mainly because I like the ease of use and selection in DJ and SonicFire more, and I also think that SONY's music selections are overpriced compared to DJ and SF and also they do not offer much of a range of music *I* would find useable.

The Richard Band series in Sonic Fire is very nice, rich sounding music to my 'tin" ear. If you listened to that score for my "placeholder" clip, that was Richard Band Scoring Series 7 - "Heartland Americana".. I recently did a 30 second commercial where a DJ 30 second clip was perfect, really exactly perfect, and mainly due to the BIG selection they offer was I able to find such a nice fit of music to the idea. The :30 length was a no-brainer and so changing the length was not so important as in other situations. Ability to change the musical sound by using varying tracks was.

So for me, I have both, like both, use both. DJ is easier on the pocketbook though.

Hope this helps.

Chris

ps. If I could ONLY have ONE, and only had $100 to spend, I'd *start* with Digital juice.
pps. As I make longer movies I find the ability to customize a SFP score into many variations and use more of it in the main soundtrack is a plus.

Last edited by Chris Swanberg; March 1st, 2009 at 02:41 AM.
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Old March 1st, 2009, 04:20 PM   #22
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Thank you so much, Chris!
As soon as I'm done with Uncle Sam's paperwork
(and I have my "State of the Wallet" assessment ready)
I'll go for either one of'em
(or maybe both, courtesy of the aforementioned?)

Best regards

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Old March 3rd, 2009, 07:06 AM   #23
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Vasco,

I have to second Chris' endorsement of Sonic Fire Pro and SmartSound music. The "Richard Band" series is incredibly rich sounding music, even his single layer stuff. I was lucky enough to catch that volume 7 "Scoring Suite" on a half price sale when they first introduced it for a week and so far have used that same track Chris used in two projects.

If I didn't have it I would pay full price for it today, it is that good.

Sonic Fire Pro 5 comes in two versions, the Express Tracks version often comes free with a single disk music purchase, but the Scoring Edition (which also includes the Express Tracks) is well worth the upgrade price.

I use two NLE's that use a SmartSound plug in so the music score can be laid in right in the video editor and that is convenient if you don't need to work with multi layered versions of the score, but having used the Scoring Edition as a "stand alone" I cannot imagine being without it. You can time the sequence to be scored in the NLE, go to SFP and mark the timeline. If you would like video to reference you can render a low res version of that portion and have SFP Scoring Edition show it in a small window while the score variation is being test played.

Incredible.
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Old March 5th, 2009, 07:03 PM   #24
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Thank you so much, Bruce!

best

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Old March 5th, 2009, 11:07 PM   #25
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After my last post, comparing Sonic Fire Pro and DJ, I got to feeling like I might have been a little unfair to SONY Cinescore - I mean while I disclaimed much experience, a re-reading of that post sounded like I was dissing it more than a little. That got me thinking, and with a little time on my hands I decided to jump headfirst into Cinescore and see what I had been missing. My timing worked out perfectly because SONY has a 35% off sale going, and also you can now "cherry pick" their entire music selection library for Cinescore and download any single song for roughtly $6.50..

So having spent a good long evening running through SONY's excellent tutorials and playing with Cinescore for a while, and then the next night picking up 8 really nice pieces of Cinescore music that are to my taste, I can perhaps bring a bit more "fairness" to the prior, mostly DJ and SFP focused discussion.

The final pps in that thread talked about being able to score longer pieces for longer films, and mentioned the benefits of SFP for that task. Well, SONY is as good, no wait, probably even better, than SFP in that regard. Let me give an example.

When I had a better sense of Cinescore, I was still plagued by the notion that a lot of their music failed to "grab" me. When I saw the sale and realized I could pick up individual titles from larger (and expensive) collections, I listened to darn near each and every one and selected 8 out of what were probably over 100 or so possible selections. (Maybe even more.) One of them was "Sun Stone". Let's use it as an example.

Sun Stone is a generalized musical theme. It has however, 19 (YES 19!) available variations, from "real flamenco" to and including "easy listening", "flutes intro" and 16 others.
Each can blend into the others, the musical theme is the same. Now if that isn't enough, there are 8 selectable "moods". In this case from "exotic" to "full band" to "guitar version" and 5 others. So far the permutations and combinations are already well over 100!

Each piece has a number of "sections" which you can further arrange to customize the piece even more. Finally you can adjust the tempo and intensity.

Now a lot of this is a lot like SFP, but to be honest it offers more variations and variety than SFP.

With the ability to purchase individual tracks (and especially on sale through this month) I'd have to add Cinescore as a very worthy contender for anyone needing true scoring software. It is more expensive than SFP but on sale not by much, especially considering what it has to offer.

After cherry picking SONY's Cinescore Music library, I now have some stuff I really like (but didn't want to buy a whole theme kit for one song before) and I will definitely be using it more in the future.

If SONY would reduce the price full time to the current levels and offer even more choices for their music, this one could become a staple in any film-makers arsenal.

If you are making 15 plus minute short films, or longer, SFP and Cinescore deserve a good look see as a departure point for your musical scoring needs. I have to admit that the extra $$ for Cinescore, even at the sale price levels, can be justified with the greater variations available to the filmmaker wanting a truly unique and custom score.

ps. I would point out though, that while SFP does not offer the variations that SONY does, SONY does not offer control over each instrumental channel like SFP does. SONY generally chooses certain instruments for you and lets you chose from their selected groupings. I encourage interested folks to visit both websites and indulge their curiosity. Both have excellent sites with a lot of hands on possibilities.
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Old March 12th, 2009, 11:52 PM   #26
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SmartSound special thru Mar 15th - 5 disk bundles!

The "deal of the week" 3 bundles of 5 disks per bundle. $99.95.

Bundle #1 would be one I would go for if I didn't already have the 2 Richard Band volumes offered in this one. Action and Dramatic between them have some very good cinematic scores. Click on the "listen" link to hear samples of the tracks on each volume.

Here is a link to the offer, and SonicFire Pro 5 "Express Tracks" is free with any of these bundles.

SmartSound Specials
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Old March 13th, 2009, 01:09 AM   #27
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Bruce... Thanks. I got their email earlier in the week and have been pondering maybe picking up one of their 3 selections of music... Mind you, it is not the end of the world that none of these is multi-layered, BUT... this is an example of what I said about their sales not including the multi layered stuff. NONE of the sale pieces are ML, and some of it is their earlier stuff. Good prices though if it fits your needs.

Nevertheless a heads up for the sale was A GOOD IDEA... thanks !

CHRIS

ps. The number 1 offering was my choice too. The Richard Band series is really good stuff.
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Old March 17th, 2009, 03:18 PM   #28
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New Smartsound sale.... $49.95 for strata series (multi-layered) including new releases. or 6 for $250.
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Old March 24th, 2009, 12:24 PM   #29
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Best Music

Very good music at: Triple Scoop Music : Award-winning music for professional photographers and videographers! they have both vocal and intrumentals.
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Old March 26th, 2009, 10:03 PM   #30
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And a new (and finally decent) sale from SmartSound. This is a good priced sale with lots of multilayered stuff.

SmartSound Specials
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