Nearly 10 years ago, iZotope released a product called Trash, an audio plugin that gave users a wide array of tools to distort and mangle audio. It has been heavily used by bands such as Nine Inch Nails, Garbage, and Sigur Ros and has served the music and film industry well over the years. Just a few months ago, iZotope released the rebirth of this classic plugin now called Trash 2, and it’s better than ever. Whether you are a sound designer mangling sound effects or a filmmaker looking to add some grit to some background music in your next short film, Trash 2 has an application for everyone in the music and film industry.
Alloy 2 gives filmmakers and sound designers seven stellar tools to shape and form audio, arguably one of the most important and yet most ignored parts of a film. Assuming a basic knowledge of mixing, users will love Alloy’s user-friendly interface, wallet-friendly price tag and reliable performance. If you take Alloy 2 for a test run, be sure to pair it with a trial of Ozone 5 and let these products speak for themselves.
When Propellerhead announced the release of Balance, I knew this audio interface would push the bounds of innovation, and, indeed, they have created a noteworthy and easy-to-use product with some vital features like Clip Safe. As you do your research on your next audio interface, give Balance some attention, understanding that the extra money you will pay over and above the competition goes towards special features like Clip Safe and the reliability associated with Propellerhead.
Hailing from Sweden, Reason 6.5 is a music creation program for the Mac and PC. Reason supplies users with everything necessary to create film scores and sound effects from scratch—everything from synthesizers and sampled pianos to drum kits and orchestral strings. Unlike SonicFire Pro, the ability to write music is a prerequisite for this program, and those familiar with playing a musical instrument (preferably the piano) will find this program much easier to navigate. The quality of the sampled instruments is quite good for the price, and the possibilities to create new sounds with digital synthesizers are endless.
One of Adobe’s established programs has become even easier to navigate, giving novice and advanced users alike the ability to create the marketing pieces they need to professionally sell their products. At first glance, InDesign may seem like a program only for creating print pieces such as flyers, magazines and books. But InDesign CS6 is so much more.
Dreamweaver CS6 is another solid, stable and innovative release from Adobe. While there certainly isn’t a major jump in new features when upgrading from Dreamweaver CS5.5 to CS6, fluid grid layouts and the ability to integrate PhoneGap and Business Catalyst will be enough from some viewers to spend the money on the upgrade. If you have never purchased Dreamweaver, now is as good of a time as ever to enter the world of web design and app development (Dreamweaver has now made these two creative endeavors one in the same).
Hollywood Brass, EastWest’s second installment of their Hollywood series, is a stellar release. Many companies have attempted to make sound libraries like this collection, but EastWest’s brass samples are second to none for the price. With dozens of articulations and instrument choices, this should be a go-to orchestral library for filmmakers on your next project. If you can spare the hard drive space and the time required to begin to master skills of virtual instruments, consider looking into purchasing Hollywood Brass.
Nothing evokes emotion like a string orchestra. The rich sustain and powerful swells of these instruments have been resonating in the human soul for centuries. And strings have been the bedrock of motion picture films for decades—regardless of a film’s budget. In fact, the presence and placement of these instruments have a direct result on whether or not the filmmaker is successfully able to tell his or her story.
A modern twist on classic mixing, Alloy 2 takes the traditional channel strip and brings it into the future with powerful sound-shaping tools, exceptional sound quality, and a streamlined workflow. Thoughtfully designed for mixing purposes across the music, audio, post and broadcast industries, Alloy 2 is perfect for engineers, musicians, and producers looking to sculpt their sound while addressing common mix issues.
Stutter Edit will appeal to filmmakers of all backgrounds. The intricacies of the plugin will entertain the music enthusiast for hours upon hours while the presets will give the filmmaker with little to no musical background the tools needed to create a mood, emphasize a key moment, or produce highly creative Foley in the background. While the specific nature of this plugin may prevent some from purchasing it immediately, this plugin is a great value for filmmakers and sound engineers alike!
Cambridge, MA—April 17, 2012 – iZotope, Inc., a leading innovator in digital audio signal processing, has released iZotope Iris™, a … Read the rest of this story…
Ozone 5 gives filmmakers access to mastering tools once available only to mastering engineers. Arguably, iZotope Ozone has single-handedly opened musicians, sound engineers, and filmmakers to the world of mastering due to its affordable price tag. And the program continues to become more professional with every new release. Ozone 5 sports seven mastering effects filmmakers can apply to their film audio: Equalizer, Reverb, Harmonic Exciter, Dynamics, Stereo Imaging, Post Equalizer, and Maximizer. Each mastering effect has been revamped, reworked, and redesigned to make it even easier for you to make your films sound better.
iZotope Ozone is a killer mastering plug-in, and the value of six mastering effects in one plug-in continues to amaze me. It would be well worth your money to buy this program just for the presets, especially if you simply cannot afford to pay an audio engineer to master your film. Simply using the presets with minimal tweaking will place your film in front of so many other independent films. This plug-in would benefit any filmmaker looking to make their work a step above of the rest.
As if dominating the market with Photoshop, Illustrator, and Dreamweaver (just to name a few) weren’t enough, Adobe has stepped into the realm of digital publishing with some amazing tools for both designers and filmmakers. Adobe Digital Publishing Suite gives creative folks with little to no experience programming software the ability to publish interactive apps for tablet devices such as the iPad, Android, and BlackBerry Playbook.
Finding a program that will make your film audio sound better does not have to be a confusing process. Most companies sell audio effects separately. You can buy this EQ for 100 dollars or that compressor for 200 dollars. But wouldn’t it be nice to have all of your basic audio processing tools in one intuitive program? Wouldn’t it be even nicer to buy all of these tools together for a reasonable price? This is where iZotope Alloy comes in.
For both the amateur and the novice, Practical Art of Motion Picture Sound is a great resource to add to a film producer’s library. Weaving stories with practical insights, Yewdall gives both producers and sound engineers a glimpse into the world of motion picture sound. Yewdall also offers pages upon pages of insights for keeping a film audio budget low, making this book an especially important read for the micro-cinema filmmaker. As if that wasn’t enough, the DVD of sound effects included will save you hours of recording sound effects on your own time. If you want instruction, encouragement, and practical insights into motion picture sound, be sure to consider Practical Art of Motion Picture Sound.
Nectar’s ability to offer users access to several audio effects in one plug-in truly sets this plug-in above the rest. If that wasn’t enough, Nectar also gives you access to realistic pitch correction of vocals, which is very useful in adjusting the presence of an actor. Let’s dive into the heart of Nectar to see if this could be a plug-in you use on your next project.
Adobe Dreamweaver has stayed on the cutting edge for years, and CS5.5 does not disappoint. If you are new to web design, you will probably want to read a bit about the basics of web coding, but the beauty of Dreamweaver is the ability to create a website without having to write any coding by hand. Whether you want to insert a picture, a link, or a menu bar, Dreamweaver makes it easy with tools built right into the program. And if you are already familiar with Dreamweaver, CS5.5 offers some fun new features, which we will look at in the ‘Depths of Options’ section.