Product Review: Page (1) of 2 - 09/17/08 Email this story to a friend. email article Print this page (Article printing at page facebook

Abaltat Muse 2.0

By Kevin McAuliffe

As producers and editors know, the one thing that can completely tank your promo, show or short film is a bad piece of music. The problem is that having a piece of music composed for your show can be expensive, and picking a piece of music out of a stock library can be hit and miss. You could find an awesome track, and then go home and hear the exact same piece of music on the new "Burger Joint" commercial. What we need is a program that will let us design our own music so that we can have an original, fresh and unique soundtrack for every piece we work on. Enter Abaltat Muse 2.0. Advertised as "The world's first video-driven soundtrack composer," let's see if Muse will be the answer to all our music needs.

With a download size coming in at just below a staggering 2GB, Muse is a very, very large audio program to download. I was told by Abaltat that the reason for this is the inclusion of seven bands, which is not a bad thing, but if you are looking for a small tease of what Muse can do, you can always download the Muse 2 Demo version, which gives you access to two bands, as opposed to the seven in the full version. Either way, once you have Muse downloaded, the install is quick and easy and you should be up and running in no time.

What you get and how it works
At its core, Abaltat Muse (AM) is a music creation program with a bit of a twist. Most editors are familiar with the concept of editing their piece in Final Cut Pro (or in this case FCP, or Avid Media Composer or Premiere Pro 3), exporting a QT file, importing it into a music creation program, and telling the program to create a piece of music based on a series of parameters that you determine. AM takes things one step further, and now adds the ability to have the colors of your edited segment determine changes to your soundtrack. It might sound a bit far fetched, but when you see how it's done, you will be quite impressed, so let's take a look at the overall process. First, you need an edited piece from the editing application of your choice. Mine happens to be Final Cut Pro, and what I have done is purposely pick shots that have very distinct colors in them, so I can have AM pick up on them, and adjust the sound track to my liking. AM understands any type of QT codec that is supported on your specific Mac (AM is OS X only right now, with plans for a Windows version at a later date) at any frame rate. Once launched, AM might seem exceptionally baron, as the only thing that you see is the AM tool bar at the top of your screen.

Navigating to FILE>OPEN will let you import your video clip. Once you have found it on your hard drive, and have selected it, AM will take a few seconds (it took about 10 seconds for a 45 second DV clip) to analyze the clip's color information, and then the main timeline window will appear. Keep in mind that assuming you save your piece, you won't have to re-analyze the clip each time you launch your project.

At this point, creating a piece of music for your piece is actually quite easy. Simply click on the COMPOSE button in the lower right hand corner of the timeline window.

With the BASIC settings selected, you can simply select a band, and a preset, and AM will compose a piece of music for your piece.

After a few seconds of AM's band creation process, you are all set to press play, and hear what your piece sounds like.


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Related Keywords:soundtrack creation software, video driven sound track composer

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