Yesterday we looked at getting music without a composer from SoundCloud and Artlist. These were all websites that had music made by composers, either given to us for free or at a fee. One of the major struggles you face with that is the music might not always be on cue with your film and at times you cannot edit the sequence and make it on cue. That is when we turned to Filmstro.
Filmstro is a software with which you can dynamically change the music to make it go along with the film. They have a standalone software for this as well as add-ons that plug right into Adobe’s Premiere Pro and Apple’s Final Cut Pro. We used the standalone software as we were working on DaVinci Resolve.
For an introduction on what you can do with Filmstro, check this video by the YouTube channel Film Riot.
All music you create during the time you have the subscription is licensed to you in perpetuity just like with Artlist. Though they do not have a ready to download license agreement, they promptly sent us one when we emailed them. It was a blanket approval for all their music.
For feature films you would need the Pro Plus package. It costs $499 or around ₹35,500 for a year. Unlike Artlist, they do have a monthly subscription package, which costs $150 or around ₹10,500 for a project.
We suggest taking the monthly package. Be sure to have your edit almost locked, and as much music found from elsewhere, before taking this package. You will need time later to fine tune the music and maybe even reedit some parts of the film.
Though it is fun to have such dynamically adjustable music, it does get tiring on the ears. It is after all music played in loops. Even though the volume, depth and momentum can all be changing, it is still the same melody that you are hearing over and over. In the hands of someone like Thomas Newman repeated melody is soothing and beautiful to hear. But not so much when it is done by a software.
Alternatives to Filmstro
I am not aware of any alternative softwares that can help you create dynamic music without a composer that is in sync with your film. But there are softwares coming up that uses Artificial Intelligence to create new music.
One such website that I recently tried was aviva.ai. Though it intrigues me as an engineer, the music was far from satisfying. But give it a try.
How is the Final Music?
As you already know, 80-90% of all music you hear in Munnariv is from Artlist and the remaining from Filmstro. I asked almost everyone who saw Munnariv what they thought about the music. They all felt it was apt and nobody said anything particularly bad. One person even told me that they loved the music!
One out of a hundred might not be much, but I have heard bad feedback on my choice of royalty free music in my previous short films. Considering that we seem to have done a fairly acceptable job.
But let me not forever dissuade you from getting music composed for your film. Now that you know you can have music without a composer, I will tomorrow tell you what we lost in not having a composer.