July 17, 2006

Review - Stock 20 Royalty - Free Music for Media Professionals
Collection 001-$189.00 (free shipping in U.S. & CA)

Review by Steve Douglas

Editors everywhere are constantly looking for new and different music that might fit their films, videos and client's needs. There are a great number of resources out there to accomplish just that and often the fortunate editor finds just the right track.

Well, there's a new gunslinger in town producing a continuingly growing collection of copyright free music for you to choose from. Each cut comes with multiple takes to accommodate the length of the piece that you are looking for. For example, the audio track for 'Steady Pace' comes in eight different versions from 2m59sec down to 19sec. While Stock 20 is not the only company to provide several versions of their tracks, this certainly shows their commitment and awareness that single length audio tracks do not fit everyone's needs.

Included in the Stock 20 collection 001, are 7 discs containing 311 uncompressed, CD quality wav files covering release dates from December, 05 to May, 06. Those 311 audio tracks represent 37 different song sets for you to choose from. Also within the collection is a printed song guide, which shows what cuts, and their lengths, are on each of the seven discs. Without this, one might be hunting forever to find the cut they wanted to use. There is also a description of the genre, feel and instrumentation on the guide, which you will find to be of further help when auditioning for just the right audio track.

I opened each wav file in QuickTime and had no problem exporting any file to AVI or AIFF or whatever formats you would like to export as. While I didn't listen to each of the 37 cuts, I did preview most of them and, barring one or two cuts, the instrumentation is done with real instruments. How nice, personally, I am usually disappointed with much of the synth music I hear, so these cuts were heard with a welcome relief.

Most of the genres and intensities you might be looking for can be found within this collection. For cuts with vocals, you will need to search elsewhere as these are all instrumental pieces. Cuts vary from hard driving metallic to peaceful piano. The cut 'Tomorrow's Hope' is almost Beatlesesque in its influences, and again, with real instruments performing, it was nice to hear. Many cuts would easily fit a wedding videographer's purposes, a gentle love scene, an industrial 'cutting edge' promo or most any purpose. There is not, however, much ethnicity in this collection, so if you are searching for a Latin flavor or World Beat type of music you might have to wait until they come out with something along those lines.

If buying the entire collection is not for you, downloading only the cuts you need or want is a snap. After easily creating an account with name and password, you may preview any cut and any length version you wish on the Stock 20 website and simply go to download. Each purchase is only $7.00 and I found the entire process to be a snap and well worth the price. Downloading individual cuts was quick and burning them to disc problem free. At the checkout window they even ask for musical suggestions. I have been looking for a copyright free version of Hernando's Hideaway for some time now with no success, so we will see whether they are responsive to your suggestions in some future review of new collections.

And the bottom line is...... this is an excellently produced package of real music. Its not artificial fakery and the quality coming through my speakers sing high praise. And finally, the cost is more than reasonable for the size and quality of the package. I think you'll agree.

Steve Douglas is an underwater videographer and contributor to numerous film festivals around the world. A winner of the 1999 Pacific Coast Underwater Film Competition, 2003 IVIE competition, 2004 Los Angeles Underwater Photographic competition, and the prestigious 2005 International Beneath the Sea Film Competition, Steve has also worked on the feature film "The Deep Blue Sea", contributed footage to the Seaworld Park's Atlantis production, as well as for recent History channel shows and is one of the principal organizers of the San Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition. Steve leads both underwater filming expeditions and African safaris with upcoming filming excursions to Kenya, Bali & Komodo, the Philippines, and Palau. Feel free to contact him if you are interested in joining Steve on any of these trips. www.worldfilmsandtravel.com


copyright © www.kenstone.net 2006

© 2000 -2006 Apple Computer, Inc. All rights reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, Final Cut Pro, Macintosh and Power Mac
are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Apple. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

All screen captures, images, and textual references are the property and trademark of their creators/owners/publishers.