Smartsound Sonicfire Pro 5
Quickly find high-quality music for your production or broadcast, and customize it for each project
The recording quality and composition is extremely gorgeous and still features all the composer information, BPM (beats-per-minute) and what instruments were used, whether it is a studio orchestra or a solo guitarist, etc. It’s all right there in the window. If you aren’t quite sure what genre of music you want, but you know the pace or speed of your scene, you can use the "tap" button to click out the tempo you are looking for, and it will "smartly" find a range of selections and genres that might work for your scene or presentation. This could even surprise you and inspire you to try something new or explore a genre you aren’t familiar with! Clever things like that make this software one of the best of its kind and extremely forward thinking.
I am a composer and love to score projects myself with notation/sequencing software to print for a live orchestra. Not everyone can afford the time or money it takes to work with a live orchestra or ensemble. This software is a time saver and a money saver; you’ll see a return on your investment right away from your first project. I can assure you if I wasn’t a composer, I would LOVE to use this software and know that my filmmaking friends who can’t necessarily afford to staff a full-time composer on the project use it often. No matter what project someone would throw at me, there’s music to meed the need, whether it’s a corporate identity piece, or a comedy, a TV drama or a very sad documentary or upbeat TV show. The tools and markers available to me are nearly perfect.
The "Add Mood" markers are so useful for quickly lining up the pace/mood of a scene with the composition that was chosen, and this software makes those transitions impeccably. The "Add Hit" markers are great for creating transitions or smooth or abrupt stops on sequences or scenes. In my project, I added some cymbal splashes to close up scenes. There are also heavy hits, impacts, swooshes, Hollywood FX and highlights available instantly upon clicking (dings, harps, deep rumbles, stomps, etc.). I can’t say enough how great it is to have this kind of specific control for hits and markers. To top it off, the software installs incredibly easy, updates perfectly and fast, and runs right away. Even if you’ve never used it before, it will seem intuitive, and you’ll just "get it." Because the software gets to the point, it’s not bloated, and knows what it is.
In conclusion, there really is no hype here. The software does what it says it will do, and is probably the most extensively compatible software out there. It either has built-in or plug-in support for various Mac and PC applications such as PowerDirector, MoviePlus, VideoStudio, Avid Media Composer, Pinnacle Studio, Easy Media Creator, Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro, etc. The SmartSound royalty-free libraries have such great control and flexibility that at times it does feel like you were right there with the composer, calling the shots. Other interesting features include multi-user network support (allowing several editors access to a network drive with the content) and a spotting feature that lets the software recommend music to fit the rhythm keep it working for you.
There are a couple flexible purchasing options, such as discounted subscription options and the ability to download and purchase individual songs or even full albums/collections of music, from the software or company site. If that’s not enough, and you feel you are stuck, they will answer your calls immediately and give you unlimited free technical support via phone and e-mail. That is worth the price alone! This is truly software deserving of the hot rating that I’m giving it. It really couldn’t get any simpler.
Justin Lassen is a composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist and remixer who has worked in the film, video games and music industries.