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Scoring Tools Volume 1

Sample CD Buyer's Guide
Published January 2000

Comments: A collection of about 50 short orchestral 'mood' pieces, ranging from a few to 30 seconds in length. These samples are conceived as orchestral backing tracks so, in the words of the sleeve notes, 'Just Add Your Own Melodies'. However, do not send the results to Steven Spielberg — you might fool a TV producer, but film music requires real composition.

The overriding mood is fairly restrained, romantic Classical Lite, with flowery harps and tremolando violins — think John Williams and ET. There is nothing aggressive or heavy‑sounding; desperate for a bit of sex and violence, I loaded in 'Frenzy', only to find it was a plagiarised version of the intro to 'Jupiter' from Holst's The Planets. On the plus side, everything is well played and attractively recorded, and the programming is sensible. Some pieces (not all) are played in two or three different keys, and a few come with major and minor variations and a choice of tempos. The pieces come in a selection of ready‑looped versions which obligingly repeat when you hold down a key.

Standouts: 'Strauss War' features some strong finale‑style hits.

Contact: Time & Space.

£ Akai/Roland CD‑ROMs £199.95; Nemesys Gigasampler CD‑ROM £149.