Filmstro Pro

How many times have you searched and searched for music for a project, then when you finally find the song you like, it doesn't quite fit? Having the right soundtrack to match the feeling of your video is no easy task. Short of having a composer at your fingertips, Filmstro Pro might be just what you need. Filmstro Pro allows you to customize the momentum, depth and power of songs from their library with the simple control of three faders. If you have ever needed a rich score for your video, then you should consider Filmstro Pro.

How it works

Filmstro Pro is very simple and easy to use. First you import your video, then start looking for music. Browsing the music in Filmstro’s library is built right into the program. As you audition each track, you can manipulate the three faders to see what range the song has. Once you have chosen a song, you can drag it into the built in timeline and begin to manipulate it to fit your story. You are able to either add keyframes where you want the music to change, or you can make changes in real time as your video plays. Once you have made the adjustments you require, export the track. That’s it.

Filmstro Pro has over 60 albums to choose from.

Filmstro Pro has over 60 albums to choose from. That’s an impressive library — not the largest, but big enough you won't quickly use up the good stuff. They will even let you audition their full library for free, if you want to try them out. Overall the music is high quality. Quality melodies that fit themselves easily into a story. We didn't find looking for music to be difficult either. The library is easy to browse.

In Practice

The most common edit for us here at Videomaker is a super cut — nothing more than footage cut to the beat of a song to show off test footage. When doing a video montage, the right song is key. However, typically this kind of edit starts with the song. It’s hard to anticipate beats to cut on, if there is no music yet. For this type of use, Fimstro Pro isn't the best fit. The way to achieve this type of edit is to choose a song up front, then modify it after the cut has been made. Not a big deal, but depending on your workflow, it could be easy or it could be a different order of steps than you're used to.

After experiencing a different process than we were used to, we moved on to a different kind of edit — one connected to story. The story had a narration, and the cut was based on the tempo of the narration. Then when the cut was done, we brought it into to Filmstro Pro and choose some music. We didn't struggle to find a few songs that fit as we auditioned them to the video. This is where Filmstro shined. The faders were easy to adjust. Momentum, depth and power are somewhat subjective parameters, but the way they adjust is very intuitive.

Although you can set keyframes and draw in how much of each control you want, we found it worked best if operating in real time as the song played. This allowed us to build crescendos into the score. Typically when using a pre-made soundtrack to your video, you can get lucky and the music has a natural build up where you need it. Being able to dial it in to exactly how you want is very cool. The most accurate process we experienced was to control one fader at a time, watching your video three times to write each parameter — very cool.

Price Structure

The price varies greatly depending on who you are and how you plan to use the music. Get complete access to the full library and all functions of Filmstro Pro for as little as ten dollars. However, that is if you are an individual and intend on only using the music for non-monetized YouTube & Vimeo videos, and other video platforms if not paid advertising. It can be used on Social media and on your website and showreel excluding wedding videos. It can be used for submission and screening for film festivals, but excludes distribution. Lastly, it can be included on free podcasts, tutorials, games, apps and crowd funding videos.

If you need different distribution or are larger than an individual, the tier of usage can be modified. The most expensive option is for profit organizations used for branded content; it costs 300 dollars per month if you pay month to month. They have a pricing tab on their website to help understand what type of licensing you need. If you’re considering Filmstro Pro, check it out; it will simplify things for you.

Marketplace

Music catalogs for production range greatly. On top of that, most have a different practice on how they do transactions. Some services like Premium Beat will sell you an individual song for 49 dollars, and songs can be used for anything. But that won’t work for producers that need more than a song here or there. If your demand requires it, a subscription based program like MegaTrax could be your best bet. Some libraries will allow you to negotiate your price and require a yearly or more contract, so keep that in mind. No matter what option you choose, make sure you understand how you are allowed to distribute the video you create with it. This is typically the biggest factor on what they will charge you. 

Conclusion and Recommendation

Filmstro Pro is easy to use. Browsing their library is also simple. We don’t think it is suited for all production music needs, but it is a unique product that can give some great results. The Filmstro Pro library of 60 albums is a decent size, and should make finding good music somewhat painless. The subscription based pricing for Filmstro Pro will be the biggest sticking point for some, mostly based on how you distribute your work and how many people are part of your organization.

Filmstro
ww.Filmstro.com

PRICE: $10 to $300 per month

STRENGTHS:

  • Easy to use interface
  • High quality music

WEAKNESSES:

  • Not suited for all types of edits

SUMMARY:

  • Filmstro Pro is a monthly subscription software for production music. Its unique mood controls allow the user to customize their full 60 album library. Depending on your useage, it can be affordable to moderately expensive.

RECOMMENDED USERS:

  • Anyone

TECH SPECS:

Requirements: 10GB disk space, 4GB RAM, decent processor

Chris Monlux loves to play and write music. He is also Videomaker’s Multimedia Editor.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. 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.

  2. 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 http://www.artlist.io and http://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.

    • 1. They have integrated plugins for Adobe Premiere, Adobe Final Cut and have plugins for Unity (Game Engine) and are building an integration for Unreal (Game Engine).
      2. The library is bigger now
      3. They now have integrated endings (released in July 2020).