Filmstro – The Future of Licensing Quality Music for Your Films

filmstro-featured

Licensing quality music or having a composer create a powerful score is a key element to making your films and videos successful. Filmstro is an app that combines the two and shows us the future of music licensing today.

If you want quality music on your films you have the two options mentioned above: licensing quality music or hiring a capable composer to score your images. Both come with some advantages and disadvantages.

Musicbed for example has become a prime resource for quality licensed tracks. In their database it is easy to find music that matches certain moods and styles. Such licensed existing tracks can be an affordable route to quality music and they can inspire your edit, but they can also limit you when the track doesn’t perfectly fit your edit. I sometimes spend a whole day just searching for the right song and more often than not I can’t find it, because I have a too particular requirement.

On the other side a good composer can create perfect music that suits your project, but this can be costly and working with a composer means communicating your goals accurately which can also be a time-consuming task, let alone finding the right collaborator for your project.

Filmstro is a new app that puts you in the seat of the composer, to save time and get you quality music at affordable licensing rates. The idea is very simple. You download the app and a large database of sounds and with a simple and intuitive interface you can very easily and quickly create tracks that perfectly fit the mood and style of your edit. That’s the basic concept behind Filmstro Pro.

Testing Filmstro Pro

The makers of Filmstro let us use a beta version of their new app. I was immediately convinced by the concept and very positively surprised about the quality of music the app generates and the simplicity with which I could manipulate the songs.

filmstro-review

Right now Filmstro Pro is a standalone app that lets you import your finished film. You then need to apply one of numerous tracks, sorted by moods/genre. With the three sliders on the left hand side you can control momentum, depth and power of the song. While you play your film you can basically control these sliders in real-time and the music will change accordingly. You can later go back and change the timing and intensity manually.

Right now there’s an assortment of different moods like “slomo”, adventure, action, romance, thriller, documentary and several others. Many times I thought the music has a really professional, realistic sound and I really enjoyed the modern style. I can see myself using this app for many of my future projects, be it ads, corporate films or even scoring whole features.

For me as a filmmaker and media creator there is no question about it that this app has a bright future. I’ve never seen something like this before and I’m convinced it will change the way we think about using music on our films. The Filmstro app is still at the beginning with many more options to explore. For me the app could be more complex and I’d love to see even more sounds, variations and tracks integrated. For many though I think the simplicity will be exactly what they need right now.

Once this app will expand and become integrated directly into an editing suite (plugin is planned for 2016) I can see an endless potential here. Right now Filmstro is exporting as .m4a but will be switching to high quality .Wav after Christmas.

For me as a filmmaker sound and music is so important. What better could happen to run-and-gun full-production shooters than an app like Filmstro Pro?!

Cost?

Right now Filmstro can be download as a free beta version. Filmstro Pro offers more sounds and music and comes with a $19.99 monthly membership. This includes using any music from the app for your personal protional videos (like showreels) and NGO non-profit stuff. On commercial projects they have different licensing options ranging from $99 for corporate projects (per track) up to several thousand $ when you use the app to score a whole feature film. Check out their licensing plans in detail here.

Use coupon code: CINEMA5D to get 1 month free.
For more information on this app go to filmstro.com

If you try the app please come back here and let us know what you think in the comment section.

 

 

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 Dominik Hörner Reply
Dominik Hörner December 21, 2015

Haha, a complete rip off scheme :D they not only charge for monthly subscription, they also charge you for the content YOU create. That would be like Adobe charging people extra for every movie export out of Premiere or After Effects. No thanks.

Sebastian Wöber Reply
Sebastian Wöber December 21, 2015

Hey Dominik,
I think you misunderstood. It’s their tracks, nothing that “you create”, you just give directions, but it’s their sound library. Actually using their music is cheaper than licensing external tracks.

Reply
Chris Harless December 21, 2015

At best i would say that its another tool that helps you customize/mix pre-existing multi-track cuts of music. And that’s ok…good on them for making a practical piece of software to make things easier…..But the whole “Now we are all composers” just kind of made me cringe. Sliding a few bezier curves does not a composer make. No more than just owning a DSLR makes you a film-maker. And trust me i’ve seen plenty of that too.

 Seb Jaeger Reply
Seb Jaeger December 21, 2015

Thanks for the post Sebastian.
@chris Harless: thanks for the comment. We appreciate that our tagline is ambitious, but we genuinely believe that using filmstro will make you experience the pleasure of composing music, even if it doesn’t turn you into one. The audio engine plays back sophisticated combinations of over 100 discreet pieces of audio to allow users to musically change the music….so simple stems, or remixes this is not.
Please try it for yourself and give us some more feedback! ?

Leonel Macias Reply
Leonel Macias December 21, 2015

Thank you for this comment. It will help some people understand the system a bit better (including me)

Reply
Chris Harless December 21, 2015

I downloaded it played with it. It allows you to turn up/turn down pre-mixed track groupings….handy, as i usually cut music that i license to match my video edits and it’s always a challenge. In my opinion that is your real strength there…that you guys have production tracks that you allow the user to mix in order to match mood to picture. Im not sure what your sophisticated playback engine is doing…but from the outside it appears to be playing back about 4 tracks that you guys categorize. Good luck with it….i would use it. No problem with it at all. I just take issue with your tagline as i compose music (note by note, chord by chord) And that is not what your software does. :)

Reply
Chris Harless December 21, 2015

Let me correct/add one thing or be more detailed…not playing back just 4 instruments (tracks)…but playing back 4 sub mixed loops/arrangements.

 Seb Jaeger Reply
Seb Jaeger December 22, 2015

You’re totally right Chris. Our software doesn’t compose. I guess it’s more like a conductor, letting the user direct attention to different parts of the music (this actually gave us the idea for the name – from Maestro). :)

We’re all about providing something that’s a step up from standard production libraries. Not replacing composers. I’m a composer too and we want you guys on side. In fact we’re launching something for you next year.

Anyway, in the meantime, if you want to check out some more, please upgrade using this promo code: GOCREATE for the first month free…

Cheers -Seb

 Lane McCall Reply
Lane McCall December 22, 2015

Seb,

I like the idea here. Do you have plans to increase your music library? If so, at what pace? I could see this as a beneficial tool.

Thanks,
Lane

 Seb Jaeger Reply
Seb Jaeger December 22, 2015

Hey Lane,

We’ll be scaling in 2 main ways. One is simply to carry on with our excellent composers who will be submitting new music throughout 2016. We’ll be releasing 2 new themes every week from January minimum. Then from the Spring onwards we have an idea that could exponentially increase our offering. More info on that soon! Sorry to be mysterious ;)

Seb

 Lane McCall Reply
Lane McCall December 22, 2015

Thanks Seb! We’ll be actively checking this out over the next week for broadcast.

 Seb Jaeger Reply
Seb Jaeger December 22, 2015

Pleasure. Just be advised that we’re currently still in Beta and are re-launching the final Audio Engine over the coming days. To avoid disappointment or any tiny glitches, I can personally vouch for pristine audio and smiles all round from Jan 4th onwards. At the moment it will render out m4a’s but from January this will be flawless Wav at 48/24 quality…

If you email us direct at info@filmstro.com and mention this discussion, I’ll make sure we set up a free 12-month corporate account for you (and your colleagues) in the next 24 hours. If you provide a work email we can ensure that everybody sharing the same @blah_company email will have direct access to FilmstroPro without having to provide payment details etc.

But please dive in and get a feel for the software in the meantime!

Kind regards,
Seb

Reply
Chris Harless December 22, 2015

Thank you Seb! I would definitely say that this type of track/usage is a step up. I’ll check it out.

 Philip Fanovsky Reply
Philip Fanovsky December 23, 2015

“Discrete “means separate, “discree”t means repspecting confidentiality and/or avoiding being conspicuous.

Leonel Macias Reply
Leonel Macias December 21, 2015

Mac only though…not cool

 Lane McCall Reply
Lane McCall December 22, 2015

Wow. Yeah. Mac only. Bummer.

 Seb Jaeger Reply
Seb Jaeger December 22, 2015

Hey Guys,

Our top – and I mean that – priority right now is porting to PC. Our Audio Engine is platform agnostic and the rest of the App is over 60% neutral as well, so this is now a matter of weeks! (End of Feb is targeted). We went for Mac initially because we’re fashion victims (and I use a Mac!). I know…selfish, but we’re working as fast as we can!! :)

Leonel Macias Reply
Leonel Macias December 22, 2015

This is good news, thanks for letting us know. I’ll hold on using the free month until the PC version is out :)

I’m also platform agnostic, but when I need to do some heavy editing etc. I end up going to my windows workstation.

 Jonathan Moses Reply
Jonathan Moses December 22, 2015

If the service doesn’t offer countless versions of ukelele-glockenspiel-whistle music then it’s already a winner.

 Seb Jaeger Reply
Seb Jaeger December 22, 2015

Damn…I better delete those right away! ;)

We’ve concentrated on a lot of quite filmic music for our release library actually as we felt there was a gap for that. We hope short film makers and people doing quite long edits will appreciate these. More contemporary stuff coming, but we’ll burn the ukelele now! :)

Sebastian Wöber Reply
Sebastian Wöber December 22, 2015

Please don’t delete the Ukulele.
I think the need for a dedicated Ukulele slider just arose.

 Jonathan Moses Reply
Jonathan Moses December 28, 2015

Oh no! What have I done?!! Hehehehe. ?

 Andy Teel Reply
Andy Teel December 22, 2015

The fact that you are here in the discussion being active in the conversation says a lot to me! Can’t wait to try this out.

Cheers

 Seb Jaeger Reply
Seb Jaeger December 22, 2015

Hi Andy. Thanks for that kind comment. Really appreciate that! Well, as luck would have it I will now have to take a short break for Christmas, so I won’t be around much after today, but we have tech support online – they might be drunk over the festive period, but they’ll try and help if you run into any serious problems with FilmstroPro! ;)

Merry Christmas
Seb

 Jonathan Moses Reply
Jonathan Moses December 28, 2015

Hahaha. Thanks!

Reply
Julius Krenz December 22, 2015

after playing with the app for some time now, i can say that it really could be something very useful for every editor!!! searching for “the perfect match” in countless stockmusic libraries can be quite challenging at least. if this app keeps on releasing new themes continously, and if the promised plug-in versions do their job well, those before mentioned stockmusic-libraries should be frightened at least! it might never substitute a real composer, or be equal to “the perfect match” – but it seems to be getting pretty close. love it!

 Seb Jaeger Reply
Seb Jaeger December 23, 2015

Thanks Julius. We sincerely hope to deliver on all of those points!

Kind regards,
Seb

Reply
John Eleazar December 23, 2015

really interesting app, we usually spend countless hours searching scores for our projects. by the way, we are wedding cinematographers. wondering if your library has a good balance of “emotional-but-not-too-cheesy” stuff? looking forward to trying this out.

 Seb Jaeger Reply
Seb Jaeger December 23, 2015

Hi john,

If you sign up with the cinema5d promo code you can access our current library. There are several themes which might work, although to be honest we haven’t released any themes that were written specifically with weddings in mind, although we have got a couple coming in the new year, and of course you may find several that will work amongst what we have got. We’re currently creating more gentle, folky pieces with soft vocals which might work quite well. Anyway, just remember, in terms of exploiting these commercially, we’re very happy for you to sell on the video to the couples with the music on. Our basic $19.99 monthly membership has you covered for that…

Good luck!

Seb

Reply
John Eleazar December 23, 2015

hi seb,

we are looking for something with this feeling: https://vimeo.com/146569119
thanks for the heads up. we have a couple of ongoing corporate film projects which could benefit from this. will definitely check it out!

cheers,
john e.

 Seb Jaeger Reply
Seb Jaeger December 23, 2015

Nice. If you send me the edit without music, I’m happy to have a go to demonstrate which themes I might use to recreate a similar feel emotionally….I’m pretty sure you’ll find something suitable but if you want to send me a link to a clean version of the edit to info@filmstro.com I’d be delighted to have a go after Christmas ?

Reply
John Eleazar December 24, 2015

sounds good! i’ll shoot you an email to discuss further details. :-) looking forward and btw merry christmas!

Philip Bloom Reply
Philip Bloom December 25, 2015

looks very useful for sure. as many mention, not a replacement for a composer…i can see myself using this for sure.

 Luca Acerbi Reply
Luca Acerbi January 9, 2016

to me is too expensive…. yes the tool is very interesting besides the library at now is very very small… but 99$ for each theme is totally out of market.

You pay for the app…. 19$ and then pay 99$ for each song when premium beat or audio jungle costs are 1/3 or less…. i cancelled my subscription

 Seb Jaeger Reply
Seb Jaeger January 9, 2016

Hi Luca,

Thanks for the comment. Sorry to hear that you’ve cancelled your subscription. I want to take this opportunity to clarify our prices: $19.99 per month allows you to use unlimited pieces of music. The license covers the same as Premium beats Standard license which, per track, is $39 – $59 so we are much cheaper.

The $99 per theme you refer to is for commercial exploitation on TV. Premium beat in that category is $64 – $84, so yes, in this category we are $11 more expensive, but we feel that the ability to manipulate the music in our proprietary software is worth that additional $11. :)

We are working towards enlarging our library and adding more functionality which you will love. We hope to see you again in future Luca!

Kind regards,
Seb

 Luca Acerbi Reply
Luca Acerbi January 11, 2016

Thank you
I was very interested in your solution that could improve a lot the way we work.
But we need to clarify the total amount of fees…. for example:

if we make a clip to be released in a company website… which is the cost for the song if we subscribed the monthly fee of 19$?

 Seb Jaeger Reply
Seb Jaeger January 12, 2016

Hello again Luca,
Yes, absolutely. $19.99 covers you for any films that are not ‘broadcast’. So, if a film is a corporate film that is shown:

1. on a company website
2. in-house for corporate presentations or training
3. at point of sale in specific locations
4. anywhere that is NOT TV or worldwide online advertising

then $19.99 is all you need.

 Luca Acerbi Reply
Luca Acerbi January 12, 2016

Thanks a lot, I will reactivate my account, hoping for new themes.
The idea and development are great

 Seb Jaeger Reply
Seb Jaeger January 12, 2016

Thanks Luca. Feel free to use ‘GOCREATE’ promo code for another free month. We should be releasing updates later this month. There’s been a delay because of some really great changes we’re making to our audio engine, but we don’t want to rush the release to make sure it’s a great user experience for everyone…

Cheers!
S

 Vivek Saikia Reply
Vivek Saikia February 28, 2016

I just created my membership account for the filmstro software and currently trying out for the 1st free month.
I intend to create YouTube videos for my personal collection and I am not sure if I have to pay per theme on the top of the $19.99 monthly fees. Can you please elaborate?

 Seb Jaeger Reply
Seb Jaeger February 29, 2016

Hi Vivek,
The monthly subscription license of $19.99 is all you need. It covers you for Youtube (including monetised videos), Vimeo, social media, wedding videos, personal website, free apps, podcasts, games and in-house presentations and showreels etc. And you can use this to create a score for a short film and this license covers the submission and screening in Film Festivals.
‘Hope this helps.

 Marcus Filmstro Reply
Marcus Filmstro May 28, 2016

Quick update everyone: our monthly personal membership is actually $9.99 per month… Not $19.99.