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.
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.