You can now take complete control over your film score with this one-of-a-kind app.
The most frustrating part about stock music is that it just doesn't fit your movie. It may too "sad," too "happy," or it may not hit your edits. You should be able to edit to picture instead of having to edit to accommodate your stock music, right? Enter Filmstro.
Unlike Musicbed, PremiumBeat, and AudioJungle, you can do more with Filmstro than simply buy copyrighted music from an online catalogue. For the first time ever, Filmstro gives you the creative control to adapt and re-compose stock music to fit your edits.
Goodbye, static music! Control your soundtrack
What if you had the power to choose a stock song, and then edit the way the melody rises and falls? Pumping up the strings at a certain intense moment, or gradually toning down the atmosphere until only one instrument remains?
That would be nearly impossible to do without the help of a composer, but that's where Filmstro comes in. The downloadable desktop app allows you to adjust the tracks in a timeline very similar to that of video editing suites. You can now adapt and re-compose music to fit the edits of your film. With Filmstro, you can edit music like you edit video. There is nothing else on the current market that gives users this level of control.
Be your own composer
It's true; mutli-hyphenates are all the rage these days, but there still aren't very many writer-producer-director-composers out there. Don't limit yourself to having to choose between a composer and stock music when there's a clear middle ground. Sure, it would be great to get a composer to score your edit once it's ready—but if it's not in the budget, it's not in the budget. Plus, sometimes, it's just too hard to communicate your scene's mood. You don't have the "composer language." What is supposed to be a useful collaboration turns into an increasingly drawn out process of rounds and rounds of feedback, going nowhere.
The difference between a major and a minor chord, or a sad orchestral and a massively epic piece, could end up setting the tone for many different aspects of a scene. Filmstro gives you the reigns to that dynamic range in between. As a filmmaker, you're a storyteller and you know the emotional content for your scene; you should also be empowered to make that distinction. But how do you make it possible for filmmakers to have total control over the music of a scene if we have no actual musical background? We are visual people, not aural.
How to use Fimstro
Filmstro emulates editing programs. The result is an incredibly simple timeline, with three sliders that allow you to adjust "momentum," "depth," and "power"—the three basic fundamentals of music—and a real-time graph editor that allows you to choose the peaks and troughs of the score within your scene. Why three sliders? In creating the software, Sebastian Jaeger distilled music down to its fundamentals. "All music—regardless of genre—only changes in three ways: it's either fast or slow (momentum), high or low (depth), or soft or strong (power)," he said.
Once you've found the piece you want to use in Filmstro's Music Library, you can just drag it into the timeline and begin experimenting. The three sliders are fun to play around with and you can watch in real-time as they set the mood for your scene. As you slide them up, more instruments and complex phrases pop up, and you can gradually fade up into them with the help of keyframes exactly like the ones you'd find in traditional NLEs.
It's difficult to compare Filmstro's library to any other when discussing its volume. That's because a lot of libraries offer music with a variable production value and just look to fill out their catalog with random—sometimes not so great—music. Alternatively, Filmstro's library features music which contains variations within itself, so one song could suddenly become 1,000 songs depending on how you choose to set the sliders and graph. With two new themes added a week, the possibilities of different pieces of music become virtually unlimited.
The entry-level personal subscription starts at $9.99 per month for full access to the library and all new music releases and software updates. (Filmstro plans to offer a student discount in the near future.) You can download the desktop app for free here. It works for both Windows and Mac.
July 13, 2016 at 7:27AM, Edited July 13, 7:27AM
Smartsound has been doing this with SonicFire for years.
July 13, 2016 at 10:49AM
Hi Darryl. We've just taken a look at the latest Sonic Fire Pro to check it out. You had us worried there for a moment! ;)
Their tech is very different in a few key areas: 1. You can't manipulate sound in real time. 2. The software alone costs $199 before purchasing various music bundles. 3. You can't 'see' the music and it isn't editable with keyframes in a graph editor like Filmstro.
Anyway, please give Filmstro Pro a try. You can access the full App and library for free with promo code NOFILMSCHOOL to check it out. Let us know what you think...
July 15, 2016 at 8:43AM
Great for projects that already use stock tracks, but I would NOT call this "FILMstro". It's great for temp tracks or for no-budget projects, but for a final product on a film? No way. This should be marketed more like extreme stock music, not as a film scoring tool. It discourages hard-working composers and encourages lazy filmmakers who don't truly value original music in their projects. Plus, it creates a sense of "sameness" across films and projects.
If you're just starting out and have no talent to write a score yourself or any friends who'd help out for free then sure, give this a shot in order to help you create. However, professional filmmakers should not be using this for anything more than Temp. In temp it could be an amazing tool. Instead of throwing in things from other film scores that don't quite convey what you want to a composer, you can get so much closer with this as an editor / director.
I want to add that I totally get the appeal for something like this. I plan to use it for temp. Even those who do need to use it for final music when they're just starting out. No shame in that. I have to use sampled instruments in my scores because there are only a handful of instruments I have access to that I can record live (Piano for instance). My worry is that this will be abused by those who don't NEED this for their final FILM projects and simply don't want to go through the effort for original work.
July 13, 2016 at 1:14PM, Edited July 13, 1:27PM
I downloaded a took it for a test drive. It's a cool idea, but it's only going to be useful for cinematic type projects. The selection of tracks is pretty limited. I was hoping they had a big library of styles that could be used on commercial/promo videos.
July 14, 2016 at 4:54AM
Hey Aaron. Thanks for the feedback. We're currently growing our library with new tracks being added every week. We did concentrate on cinematic to begin with as we wanted to set the bar high and satisfy out TV documentary clients. Do feel free to ask for specific music that you'd like to see inside Filmstro soon by emailing to: requests at Filmstro dot com. Cheers!
July 14, 2016 at 10:21AM
I've used this type of thing before Adrew Kramer's Pro Scores. But the thing that seemed to be lacking and the type of thinge I always found myself have to create myself was the subtle ambient stuff. There's alway a load of big dramatic stuff in these collections. The idea in and of itself is good but the collections need to include the understated score as well, not just the big orchestral stuff that you hear in blockbusters. Sometime you just want a drone with little flecks of colour now and then to build tention. It's very rare I want the big orchestra with the massive strings and brass because I just don't have the budget to make a movie that would be able to accomodate that kind of score.
July 15, 2016 at 1:27AM, Edited July 15, 1:28AM
Hey John. All of our themes are changeable to make them as mellow as you like. Feel free to try it for a month free using the coupon code GOCREATE. Make the sliders go all the way to the left and you'll be left with gorgeous ambiences that you can add little rises to as you see fit by simply moving the Depth, Power or Momentum slider slightly. Good luck....
July 15, 2016 at 5:43AM
Unfortunately it's more suited to commercial/promo videos than for a cinematic feature.
July 14, 2016 at 1:33PM
Thanks for your feedback Taylor. I'm going to have to let you thrash it out with Aaron above who thinks the opposite. 'Tell you what, we'll take the best bits of both opinions... so that would mean Filmstro is good for cinematic and commercial/promo stuff! ;)
July 14, 2016 at 2:37PM
Don't get me wrong. Love the idea and it's potential use for certain applications. I just don't think stock music is very cinematic (specifically in features/shorts), no matter how customizable it might be. Could be useful in temp scoring, but beyond that I can't see using this in anything other than Ads, Commercials, Trailers, etc. Possibly documentaries, but I'll stick to original music for my Shorts / Features.
July 15, 2016 at 9:41AM, Edited July 15, 9:43AM
Thanks Taylor... I agree. It's going to be a while yet before Filmstro is used for a cinematic feature.
It's been used for a Feature Film trailer and, as you point out, documentary is fertile land for this App due to the possibility of creating 'light and shade' for dialogue and action so easily while maintaining thematic consistency.
I would really love it if you tried it and gave us some more feedback. First month free with promo code NOFILMSCHOOL. Thanks!
July 15, 2016 at 11:10AM
I'll absolutely give it a try. I've actually suggested it to my boss (We're a marketing facility)
July 17, 2016 at 9:55AM, Edited July 17, 9:56AM
Fantastic....thanks Taylor....we really appreciate that! You guys can get company wide access for free by the way. Apply via our landing page. That way you can create temp scores and share rough cuts with clients or collaborate in house. Only when you actually commercially exploit the music will you need to come back and get the right license...
July 18, 2016 at 10:48AM
Hello everyone. The first month of Filmstro Pro is FREE with promo code NOFILMSCHOOL
Enjoy! The Filmstro Team :)
July 15, 2016 at 8:38AM
P.S. This Free month is for the PERSONAL License only! Thanks...
The Filmstro Team :)
July 15, 2016 at 11:41AM
How can they say "The World's First Soundtrack Creation Studio"? It simply isn't the case, it's a duplicitous statement which should be removed. We first had Sony Cinescore all the way back in 2004, as well as others.
July 16, 2016 at 3:25PM
Hi Sebastian .... Please see our comment higher up in this section where we point out the differences between Filmstro and Sonic Fire Pro. The same applies with the (now discontinued) Sony cine score. Those programs simply don't allow for visual representation of music nor an intuitive hands on experience of creating music in real time. Have you tried our App? If not, I would thoroughly recommend it so you can appreciate why we claim to be the world's first Soundtrack creation studio. First month free with code NOFILMSCHOOL. Cheers :)
July 17, 2016 at 12:24AM
Nothing beats custom made REAL music.
Stock audio makes your films always weaker and all the compositions are generic.
I do understand that some of you find this inconvenient but I know what a process of 7 years in depth studying composition, orchestration and sound-design makes the difference between a good composer and a the average songwriter.
If one really want to stand out, just take the effort to find/hire a composer to your taste. It will tell your story one many more levels than without one.
Arnold Veeman | composer | www.arnoldveeman.com
July 22, 2016 at 1:54PM
'Couldn't agree more. Of course a composer is often the ideal solution for film music. The music within the Filmstro library is of course also produced by experienced composers. So, when the budget doesn't allow for a composer, our solution at least lets filmmakers get closer to their edit by giving them the reigns to one of our themes, rather than having to cut to a static stock track.
Also - and I know this is hard to hear for some composers - let's include in this narrative of 'stock vs. composed' the fact that there is actually a lot of fantastic stock music out there, and some less than good composers. Therefore the categorical statement that composed music is always better for a film simply isn't true. Just sayin' like! ;)
July 23, 2016 at 11:31AM, Edited July 23, 11:34AM
While there are lots of great stock music out there, nothing will ever beat a custom theme that no one else will ever have or get to use, nothing will ever beat a cue that is beat for beat made for your project and scene. That is %100 the best way to go if you want a film score.
However, I do see the appeal of having something for those less fortunate or connected to use that is more customizable than a general stock music site. I just think it should be encouraged that...if you DO have the budget and the time for original music...do it.
July 25, 2016 at 9:03AM
Hello again Taylor... absolutely!
Also, here's an idea (something we're working on actually): What if the filmmaker could commission a composer to write a bespoke score for a scene for example, but then deliver that in our filmstro format?
That way the filmmaker could make some more subtle changes according to his / her subjective taste and bridge the gap in the communication about music if it wasn't 100% clear in terms of direction.
Does that make sense? A kind of win-win situation for both sides maybe? Let us know your thoughts...
July 28, 2016 at 11:52AM