In the Studio: Smartsound Sonicfire Pro 5

sfp5.jpgEventDV by Jan Ozer

I first used SmartSound music in 2003 in the consumer editor Pinnacle Studio 8. I immediately fell in love with the vast selection of professionally scored tunes, the ability to drag and drop them to a customizable length, and the fact that I could use them royalty-free. Since I’m not a musician or even a musical wannabe, I also appreciated the ease of use: specifically, the fact that you could choose songs without having to build them out of loops. After you made your choice, Sonicfire Pro did the rest, fashioning a complete piece of music with a beginning, middle, and end to fit the duration of the associated video clip—something you have to do manually with loops. Loop-based music definitely has its place but not on my hard drive.

Later, when I started editing with professional tools, I progressed to Sonicfire Pro 3, which was, at that time, the most current version of SmartSound’s stand-alone application. The ability to sample and select music was great, even though true audio editing or music-customizing tools were modest, probably because SmartSound correctly assumed that most users would prefer to perform the final mix in their video or audio editor. So you could adjust duration and volume in Sonicfire Pro, but you could do little else.

Then, in Sonicfire Pro version 4, SmartSound added a feature called “Mood Mapping,” which let you change the instruments used at various segments of the mix. read more..

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