Apple Soundtrack

January 3rd, 2004 Software, Sydney Morning Herald, Tech

Apple strikes again, continuing their drive to put the power of the media industry gods in the hands of the people. Before now you needed musicians and a studio (complete with one of those giant desks that has a million little knobs) to produce original music. Now Soundtrack gives you all that in one box.

Of course, the expensive part of producing music is employing a musician, so the lynchpin of Soundtrack (besides being a solid sound editor in the Final Cut Pro tradition) is the disc containing 4000 music clips and sound effects.

If you’re a hardcore music producer they’ll all be fairly vanilla flavoured and won’t win you an Oscar for best Original Music, but even the most finicky hobbyist will be spoiled for choice.

Modelled on the standard timeline/tracks technology of most motion graphic software, editors or animators with experience in Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere or Flash will feel right at home.

But if you aren’t used to working in the fourth dimension (time), the interface will be intimidating at first. Thankfully, the workings are as simple as they can be for a novice and Soundtrack’s smart enough to name things sensibly for when you’re stuck.

The usual efficiencies like drag and drop are all here, but the feature that’ll really grab you is the ability to edit and play back in real time — no more old-style rendering and exporting the finished file before you can preview it.

While plenty of professional-level audio mixing software already exists, Apple is again on the right track to bridge the gap between the big guns (some of which cost thousands) and those of us who want to be.

450 or 500Mhz G4 with OSX 10.2.5 or later


Apple Computer Australia
133 622

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