Review: Filmstro Pro Offers Unique Control Over Your Video's Soundtrack

Filmstro Pro

Comments

Filmstro vs Sonicfire Pro 6

Tony P's picture

I have both of these programs. Since I am retired and do video for either myself (friends and family) or my church, I have the lowest priced yearly version of Filmstro. For the price, you can say it's almost a steal. Having been a dedicated Smartsound user for well over a decade, I have compiled a decent library of music. The major advantage of Smartsound is that it is integrated into my editor. This makes adding music extremely easy since you can adjust the music on the editing timeline. Filmstro makes you export your video (and it has to be in MPG4 format) and bring into Filmstro for scoring. You can do the same with Sonicfire Pro too. This can work, but after editing everything from within the video editor, these extra steps seem limiting to my personal creative workflow. Also, in Filmstro, you can not decide the length of the music clip and export it to bring into your editor. You have to import a video clip into the program to work with first. Then you can export just the music.
I was an early adopter of Filmstro. I love the music and the way you can customize it. I have suggested that we should have the ability to just create a music score set to a particular length and be able to export it. Maybe in the future this will happen. I have renewed my yearly subscription.
At the lowest subscription cost, again, it's a steal compared to Smartsound. But for shear versatility, and the ability to edit within the video editor timeline (Premiere, Sony, Pinnacle), makes Smartsound a joy to use and work with. It's been a part of my video workflow for 15 years. I can't see editing without it.

Filmstro Verus Other Solutions

I too was an early adopter of Filmstro, in the hope that they would expand their library dramatically over the first 12 months. This sadly has not happened to the extent I would have preferred. Other problems I have come across with Filmstro is the lack of endings for many of the tracks. In a perfect world, I should be able to set the duration of the section I need music for, and Filmstro will create a piece with a definite ending. It does not. I always have to create a longer duration, export it, and re-edit it to fit, or add extra elements to it to give it a definite ending. Does anyone remember Sony's Cinescore??? THAT was a good bit of software. I was hoping Filmstro would be something that offered that level of timing control, but it does not. It's also crashed Premiere Pro a few times when working with a more complex edit.
Add to this the very high cost of it's licensing structure, I believe it's not a cost effective solution for the small, professional operator, especially given the extra post production work that needs to be done to make the tracks fit to a certain timing. I have renewed my subscription for one more year in the hope that they will implement the ability to add different starts and endings to the music, and control the tempo and timing, but I am doubtful this will happen this year. I'm finding that I'm not really using it. Given the amount of post editing I need to do with their music, and the high licensing costs to use it within a TV ad (we make local, regional TV ads with very low budgets) I am using yearly subscription sites such as www.artlist.io and www.audioblocks.com for most of my music. Don't get me wrong...Filmstro is a great concept, it just needs more music, and better functionality and control over what it outputs.