MusicbedDV

MusicbedDV is a product that I loved the thought of, didn’t really get to grips with initially, but grew to really enjoy. At $249 I guess that is a good thing!musicbed_dv_icon_01.jpg

“Musicbed DV is the revolutionary tool that generates professional music soundtracks to match the mood and timing needs of your video or audio projects.

Sculpt stock music with unique musical style and texture controls. Adjust music intensity, complexity, dynamics, and much more, all in real-time.

Punctuate and underscore your project with innovative and easy-to-use musical style and texture automation curves.

Create custom music soundtracks with easy-to-use software that delivers professional results.

All customizable stock music available as stereo mixes, instrument submixes, and surround music at any custom duration.”

The music is royalty free so you can use it as much as you like and there is an extensive library for you to use.

Without doubt you need to watch the screencast to see exactly what this application can do, and how easily it does it.

Installation is simple, and despite the fact that it requires 18 GB of available disc space for the application and content, the DVD is only 2.8 GB in size. This is because the library is encoded from over 28 GB of audio data, so when you first run the application it does a cache run. It said this would take 120 minutes, but actually only took 90 minutes on my PowerBook G4*. You don’t actually need the 18 GB to run the application i.e. it doesn’t take up 18 GB of your drive so don’t panic although you will need to have it available for the installation.

The application has too many features to list them all here, but don’t let that worry you. The real joy, and benefit, of this application is that all these features work behind the scenes in effect, providing a very easy and intuitive experience. It was this that took me a while to get my mind around – I felt that the features meant that I should be “doing more” with the application and sort of got a little disinterested for a while, but I watched the screencast again and realized just how smart this application is.

Fundamentally the application allows you to add music to your video projects, and edit them. It does this via two main windows, the Browse and Edit windows:

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Populating the application with your video and selecting audio is really easy.

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You don’t need to be an ‘expert’ with music, but an advanced knowledge helps. I don’t have much of a clue, so struggled a little with the ‘Abstract-Real’, ‘Background-Foreground’, ‘Melodic-Percussive’, and ‘Sparse-Dense’ options. It wasn’t that I couldn’t understand them, or use them, I just couldn’t really tell that much of a difference! Pretty much everything sounded OK to me. Well I exaggerate a little, some was pretty bad, but my point is that for really specific fine tuning I think an advanced awareness would be a benefit.

Editing is as simple as any Mac application, so if you have the core basics in place you will be fine. For the more advanced user it is possible to export the finished track to the more advanced applications like Soundtrack, Logic, and Final Cut. Those are beyond the scope of this review, and in all reality this reviewer, but it is good to know that as your skills develop the application will still have value.

If, like me, you like the idea of putting some professional quality audio to your home movies, this is a great application. Very well put together, great documentation and a lot of fun to play around with.

* The application requires a Mac with PowerPC G4, G5, Intel or better (G5 or Intel recommended). Display with 1024×768 or higher (1280×1024 recommended). Mac OS X v10.4, QuickTime 7 and 512 MB of RAM.

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