August 22, 2006

Not In the Mood for Mood Mapping?

I have to chuckle to myself when folks tell me they just don't have time to get the best music for their productions. Sometimes in the same breath they make mention of some of the many "self editing" music software applications available.
Let's face it, people love a gimmick. They will spend $300 or more for a software application that "magically" assembles music to "fit" their picture even though it often takes just as long or longer to choose from the choices the software spits out for their review. Now the new gimmick is mood mapping, the latest incarnation of multi-track library music. Historically, this concept has not fared well. Why, afterall it is a slick idea? Because it requires time (lots of time) and a certain amount of expertise on the part of the user. In the case of the latest version of self editing music allowing manipulation of up to 8 tracks, the enduser must purchase a fairly expensive piece of software. The dirty little secret is that most audio editing software today allows for quick, efficient professional sounding crossfades which are far faster and smooth than any self editing alternative, with or without so called mood mapping. Let's face it, production music has never been cheaper to buy. Why waste your time and money on self-editing when for far less money you can be knee deep in great fully orchestrated tracks. If you don't like a piece of music? Go to another. That's real efficiency. Unless you're a composer, musician or high end sound designer, why put your ego on the line with your clientele? And be honest now, is the client going to pay you to play with your new music editing toy? No, probably not. He or she wants the best quality at the lowest possible price. Unfortunately, time is money. Your money (and ultimately the client's money) is better spent on giving the client more real choices not just those conjured up by a computer program. If you want real cost (and time) efficiency, I suggest you check out UltraEdit LE from CSS Music. 11,000 tracks in the palm of your hand. On board seach and play. 275 CDs worth with no CD clutter. UltraEdit LE is being discontinued though and replaced by an improved model, UltraEdit II. This is REAL music effciency-- REAL ASSET MANAGEMENT in the palm of your hand. Faster, better searches ( including search the search). Enhanced playlist creation, import/export, auto fill and file cue sheets and much, much more. The downside is the price is going up from $1995 to $2495. BUT, while supplies last, UltraEdit LE will still be available at $1995. So, just a suggestion. Invest in client enhanced choice (read: satisifaction) and real efficiency (read: bottom line profits) and get an UltraEdit LE while they last. And remember, when you buy an UltraEdit you may be able to take a Section 179 write off on your taxes (talk to your tax advisor).