First Look: Abaltat Muse

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Abaltat Muse is a remarkable new way to generate 100% royalty free music. It's time to stop looking for your royalty free cds, over paying for copy righted music and dealing with music that doesn't match your movie. Just drag and drop a quicktime file on the Muse icon and let it become your orchestra. The multitrack composition will be perfectly timed and aligned to your video. It will review your movie based on color and compose your next musical score.

The images dictate the music. Just select a movie clip and let Abaltat Muse compose a song based on the colors in your video. The musical score will be based on the mood and length of your project, having an intro and ending that will fit your video down to the frame.

The Main Menu from Abaltat Muse 2.0

Having software create a perfectly timed piece is a welcomed breakthrough. If you have a project that is 47 seconds in length, it can take time to adjust a song to match. Most royalty free music libraries are 30 seconds to a minute in length but not all videos match those fixed lengths. The better solution is to have the music fit your video. Simply drag the movie to the Muse desktop icon, and the program begins working.

Abaltat Muse accepted any .mov or mp4 file I gave it. It accepted previous footage used in B&H Photo Video articles saved in 720p and other files at 1080i, HD and SD. Once the file is analyzed, Muse shows how you can have a score composed by a single color or a combination of all the colors. Muse will recognize the color change and create music accordingly. The music is composed around the color you have selected creating a timed feel to your piece.


The Color Timeline for Abaltat Muse 2.0

This program worked best when I broke my project into pieces. This way I could adjust for color and feel with the action on the screen. Composing a song for an entire scene is now easily doable, especially for an ambient sound. This is where Abaltat can save you a huge amount of time that you would have used for searching for and altering songs. Obtaining permission for copyrighted music is often too lengthy and costly a process to consider for smaller projects But those smaller projects still have merit and deserve quality treatment. Now they can get the respect they are entitled to.

Click the Compose button once you have entered your footage. This brings up the available bands. The bands give you an idea of the genre and style. Muse will now generate a completely original, royalty free score based on colors in the video and the band style you select. Depending on the complexity of the scene, you can keep the song as is or tweak it within Muse.


Band selection panel from Abaltat Muse 2.0

Abaltat Muse is a great solution regardless of your music ability. The software was created with video editors in mind, making sure the tools and language used are familiar to non-linear editors. Muse composes a multi-part song, listing each instrument on a track. You can simply click on and off a track or adjust by keyframes. The tracks are always Melody 1, Melody 2, Bass, Drums and FX. For me, turning the tracks on and off seemed to be the quickest way to create the sound I wanted once I used the single color selection. I could turn off the bass line and leave the melody or vice verse.

Most video editors are familiar with making adjustments using keyframes. You can add a keyframe to set the in and out of each parameter. This means you will use markers on your timeline to control such aspects as volume, pitch, musical scale and even instrument. This straightforward method allows you to view a key moment in your video and adjust any aspect of the music accordingly.

In case you are unfamiliar with key frames, the programmers at Abaltat made the learning curve easy. I was pleased to see that when I set my keyframes at specific points in the movie it stayed even if I clicked the compose button and selected another band. This made the tweaking phase of the project go much smoother.

When learning this program, I often clicked the compose button and selected another band. This causes Muse to reanalyze the video. But it is easier to just click a different instrument to change the feel of the piece since it requires no analyzing. Click the compose button only when you want to hear a completely different genre, such as jumping from Ambient to Hip Hop.

The potential for editors who want to have control over the music, but do not want to create it from scratch, is great. Muse can open up new avenues for editors currently not supplying royalty free music to their customers. This is great for people starting off, but it can also work well to provide inspiration for editors with an audio background.

You can even use Muse in conjunction with your current virtual instruments and software. Import completed compositions into your current programs as an .AIFF, .MOV and .WAV. This allows you to import your song to any Mac or PC based editor, choose to export a mixed track or isolate each individual track allowing for further mixing. One of the best features for further editing is MIDI format.

Presently I work with Native Instruments Komplete and Ableton Live for basic music creation. Taking the MIDI file created in Muse and importing it into other audio applications allows for further manipulation. I can simply export the Midi file and apply instruments from my present library. So if I like the melody created in Abaltat Muse but want to replace their horn sound with a different horn or any other sound in my library, I can. Since Muse is Mac based, you can always import the files into Apple's Garage Band witch is included in the Mac OS.

The upgrade from Muse 1.0 to Muse 2.0 is well worth the download. Abaltat Muse 2.0 has new features including dual composition methods, new bands with presets and a new easy to use interface. The new interface and labeling structure make it even easier for those without a musical background to create a 100% royalty free musical score. The additional bands and easier menu made this upgrade a pleasure to use. Download a trail version from Abaltat.com and then purchase a full version from B&H Photo Video. Let Abaltat Muse be your source of inspiration.