Sony has announced the release of its new Cinescore automated soundtrack creation software, described by the company as "a breakthrough in professional soundtrack creation, automatically generating fully composed, multigenre, production music perfect for movies, slideshows, commercials, and radio productions." The software retails for $249.00, with an academic version available for $145.00.
According to Sony, Cinescore software includes a broad selection of musical theme packs and styles that can be customized to match the mood and musical genres of a project. Users select a theme pack based on keywords and more, and the Cinescore engine "composes" music that can be shaped based on user input and selections to fit a scene. Sony says each Cinescore theme pack can automatically generate an unlimited number of custom arrangements and variations.
Features of the software include the capability to automatically generate music to fit a specific time, 20 fully customizable theme packs in multiple genres, 16-bit, 44.1 kHz audio, user-defined settings enabling users to create unlimited musical results, "hint" markers to control changes in tempo, mood and intensity, multiple ending types, over 300 sound effects and audio transitions, video scoring track and real-time preview window, audio sweetening track, audio track markers, CD audio extraction to add in additional musical material, volume and pan curves, and more.
Music libraries may be most impacted by the release of Cinescore - Sony markets Cinescore as a way to avoid "clunky blocks of prearranged music" and "complicated licensing fees to drain your budget." In addition, the music generated by Cinescore is advertised by Sony as "royalty-free" which may give the software an advantage over music libraries who charge sync fees or usage fees for individual pieces of music.
Filmmakers and television producers creating original music from musical building blocks including loops and pre-recorded musical elements has been happening for some time now. One of the most high-profile themes created in this way is the theme to the hit ABC show "Alias" which was created by producer J.J. Abrams entirely using "Reason" sample/loop playback software.
As filmmakers create custom music with Cinescore, it is expected that they will claim lucrative ASCAP and BMI writer and publisher performance royalties on the music they create, as they seek to enhance the financial return from films and exercise more control over the creation of score music for their films.