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Which Mac(Intel) Software for Film Production is best?
Old 6th November 2006
Here for the gear

Red face Which Mac(Intel) Software for Film Production is best?

Hi There,

I have an amateur question for you: I am trying to compose music for an independent film I am making. (Some orchestra, some hip hop) I am using a Mac (Intel) and Avid software to edit my film. I have a Yamaha keyboard (with USB), but I do not know which music editing software to purchase that would give me flexibility in editing tracks, is more user-friendly, and yet would deliver the best quality. Can you please help?

Reason? Pro Tools? Logic? Cubase?

Old 6th November 2006
Gear Addict
Andi Rauscher's Avatar

if you use Avid I would suggest Pro Tools. good integration, and Digi is a division of Avid. Talk to a good dealer.
Old 6th November 2006
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blaugruen7's Avatar
is pro tools the right thing for midi?
a lot musicians/film composer do use logic and cubase.
Old 6th November 2006
Gear Nut

hello, I am also scoring an independent film, my first effort, so I am still getting used to the process and what software to use.

I am on a 24'' Core 2 Duo iMac, I have an Mbox2, so I use Pro tools LE 7.1.1, and being a pro tools native I like to compose with it. However composing with Pro Tools is a very "sound design" based style of composing. The MIDI integration/sequencing/virtual instruments has never been amazing in Pro Tools, but being so used to it, it's how I write. I know a lot of people prefer Logic, Digital Performer for composing.

The biggest issue I have had thus far is the lack of flexibility with the video in pro tools, you can't make any video edits, so be prepared to have scenes already cut and ready to import. I have found that Soundtrack Pro integrates very well with Final Cut, but then by that same argument maybe Pro Tools works well with Avid.

Good luck!

Old 6th November 2006
Gear Maniac
kmshroom's Avatar

I score a lot of Indie films, and I do all my MIDI in Pro Tools. The MIDI side is definitely up to par now, and the AIR instruments are amazing. Also, in about a year Sibelius notation will be integrated into Pro Tools (Avid/Digi bought Sibelius a few months back), and when that happens, game over.
Old 6th November 2006
Gear Nut

I heard about Avid acquiring Sibelius, but I still doubt that it will be integrated into Pro Tools. Sibelius is great notation software, and it would be too bulky to add it in to pro tools, too many conflicting quick keys etc.

Avid is buying up a bunch of companies, Apple was thinking the same when it bought emagic, but I like Apple's logic (no pun intended) with making Final Cut Studio, making apps that all integrate together, but act as standalone applications. I think that in the not too distant future Final Cut Studio will come out with Final Cute Extreme and include Logic Pro and whatever it is that Shake becomes. Avid would be wise to do the same with their software suite... but then dedicated hardware has always been the downfall of Avid, we can't all afford HD.... oh wait yes we can! Hooray apple.... better yet hooray competition for driving prices down and innovation up

As for film scoring, I am actually using Sibelius for about half of my material and exporting the MIDI, so in a way it is already integrated, I just wish Rosetta wasn't bogging my system down.

Old 6th November 2006
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Geert van den Berg's Avatar

Originally Posted by Gm7Cadd9 View Post
The biggest issue I have had thus far is the lack of flexibility with the video in pro tools, you can't make any video edits,
That's with most audio software, because it's audio software and not video editting software...

I mean I know Digital Performer can also only work with one videofile, and I think that is the same for most others, except for maybe Vegas, which is more like a multimedia editor... but I've read that Vegas has a poor MIDI implementation.

I know that in PT v7.2 TDM you can do some minor video-editting, like making cuts... and use several videofiles... I have no idea if this will be implemented in LE too, I don't think so if you look at how Digidesign has marketed PT LE...
Old 6th November 2006
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Geert van den Berg's Avatar

Originally Posted by filmgirl View Post
but I do not know which music editing software to purchase that would give me flexibility in editing tracks, is more user-friendly, and yet would deliver the best quality.
You have to be clear about what it is that you want to do with the software, some applications excell at certain things...

If you'd only need to edit audio/music then I'd say PT is very good, but you can do that just as good with Digital Performer or Nuendo... It's more a matter of personal preference for a certain user interface...

(PT LE is a bit crippled compared for video work, since it doesn't supply timecode as standard, that cost a little extra)

For MIDI instruments it seems that Logic really shines, mostly because of the supplied instruments. Personally I haven't really found the MIDI advantage from Logic over PT, if you only do minor MIDI things, like recording MIDI and cut, copy, paste stuff, then I'd rather have PT, because in PT it's as easy as the audio editting. For people doing complex MIDI stuff I can understand they prefer Logic or DP, though I don't completely understand it...heh

Do you want the computer to generate sound via Virtual Instruments? Then Logic or Digital Performer and Cubase/Nuendo are good alternatives, Logic being 'best' since it supplies the most VI's standard in its installation, which doesn't mean you can't install 3rd party VI's in the other sequencers.

Reason is great software but you'll have to sync that to another sequencer for video work, because it does not run any video, so I think that that should not be your starting point.
Old 6th November 2006
Here for the gear

Thanks everyone for your responses! :D

I want to be able to bring in tracks from my midi yamaha keyboard and also be able to add instruments or other tracks to continually edit the music in the software. I also would like the capability of syncing the music easily with video as I am editing. So, would Pro Tools be best for this since I am using Avid? Or should I go with Nuendo?

Please advise.

Thank you!
Old 6th November 2006
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Geert van den Berg's Avatar

As it seems to me you want to record your Yamaha as MIDI, then record additional live instruments and maybe also MIDI instruments and after the arrangement is set record all the midi parts to audio and mix it all together...

(I don't know if you know the difference between MIDI and audio, but I assume you do...)

I think both PT or Nuendo are suitable for the job, maybe you even could consider Cubase, instead of Nuendo, because it can play videofiles too, it's just that it has less post-pro features, but for mixing and composing audio up to 5.1 even Cubase can do that, but it's much cheaper.

I think file compatibility between Avid and either PT or Nuendo is not going to differ... you'd probably have to render a working copy lo-res videofile of your material for either program...

Both can import OMF (open media file interchange format) or even better AAF (sidenote Cubase can't read AAF, Nuendo can), but with PT LE you'd need to purchase the optional Digitranslator software to do that... this also gives you a timecode ruler, you can work with video in the regular PT LE version, but spotting to timecode is a little difficult (but not impossible). Cubase/Nuendo has a timecode ruler as standard. In either program you can place the video at any timecode (it's most easy if you edit the start of your picture to a round number of use burned in timecode). The video will play along when you play/record.

Drawback of Nuendo/Cubase you'll have to do some research as to what audio and midi interface you're going to buy, on the other hand that's a big plus because there's a variety of devices on the market. If you go PT, only Digi or M-audio stuff will work, so you don't have to do a lot of research...

I'd say if your work is going to be mixed in a studio running PT HD/TDM then PT LE (or HD) is a logical choice if this is happens often because you don't have to do any conversions.

But for the same money you can buy a Cubase system and more features in the software...

Nowadays it is possible to go from any DAW to DAW (digital audio workstation) but sometimes it requires a bit of work... if you know how to do this, the format that doesn't really matter so much anymore...

You'd have to try them out and even better watch someone work with, who knows how to operate, the software to make up your mind to which you prefer...

Nuendo for MacIntel is not yet available, Cubase v4 is just out and compatible...
Old 7th November 2006
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jdjustice's Avatar
..even though it is not for multi-tracking, as a final synchronization tool for audio with video, i think Apple's Soundtrack Pro is excellent. i own the complete Final Cut Studio and do all my video work with that software (Final Cut Pro 5) and Soundtrack Pro is included in that suite.

perhaps you might consider MOTU Digital Performer for your MIDI work; if you are working with mainly audio then Pro Tools is one way to go (great with audio, not as hot with MIDI IMO); as a previous poster commented, Digidesign which makes Pro Tools is owned by Avid. As Geert van den Berg posted above, the main caveat to getting Pro Tools LE is that you would need to purchase the separate "DV Toolkit 2" from Digidesign to get synchronization with video, timecode, and other important audio/video tools; that costs an additional $1300 USD above the cost of a Pro Tools LE system. i have provided a link to the DV Toolkit:

if you do go with Pro Tools LE and the DV Toolkit 2, the options right now for interface are (they all come with Pro Tools 7.1 LE software) Mbox2, Mbox2PRO (which adds a few features you might want like MIDI time stamping and word clock I/O) and then 002R. check them out at some online retailer like Sweetwater to learn about the various interfaces.

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