By Jeff Loch – A version of this article appeared on Cinema5d.com
Audio Design Desk, also called add.app, is a new audio post-production tool that completely reinvents how sound designers and filmmakers can implement sounds to a video. With a streamlined user interface, over 20.000 built-in sounds, and a touch of artificial intelligence, let’s take a look at why this software seems to be quite revolutionary for content creators.
Audio Design Desk – A New Approach to Sound Design
Audio Design Desk is a standalone kind of DAW specifically designed with sound designers, filmmakers, and, more globally, everyone that needs to add sounds to a video.
The idea behind Audio Design Desk is simple: you load your video, and by playing with your computer’s keyboard, you start adding foley sounds, music, sound FX, and so on to it. By playing your video in real-time, it makes the process super quick, because you can type on your keyboard while watching the video, which saves hours of work.
The built-in library inside add.app features over 20.000 sounds, including hits, rises, transitions, footsteps, punches, gunshots, music, and so on. If this is not enough for you, you can import your audio library inside Audio Design Desk. The sound importer will automatically attach metadata to your sounds.
The beautiful thing is that every sound is identified and chosen, and you can preview it in the browser. Also, each sound carries an embedded sync point. It means that sounds land on your timeline in the exact position relative to the video mark you put.
The DAW is track-based with a timeline so that you can identify each type of sound. Once all your markers are set, and you did the first version of your project, there is the real mind-blowing feature. Indeed, you can replace an entire group of sounds thanks to the built-in artificial intelligence. By adjusting replacement criteria such as intensity, complexity, genre, or feel, Audio Design Desk can generate a different version without losing sync, in just one click.
Audio Design Desk – Audio and Video Formats
Currently, Audio Design Desk allows you to import MOV, MP4, M4V, and MPG video files. On the audio side, you can import WAV, MP4, AAC, and AIF audio files.
Once you are done and satisfied with the result you got, you can export your audio track as a WAV, AIF, CAF, or M4A file. If you prefer to embed it, you can directly generate an MP4, M4V, HVEC, or Apple ProRes file. If you wish to export it as a project to continue working on it on another DAW or NLE, for example, you can export it in AAF, XML, or multichannel WAVE.
Similar to Filmstro?
The way it works is reminiscent of the app Filmstro, which allows you to create a score based on pre-selected tracks, changing the emphasis using three simple sliders. We have looked at Filmstro in detail a few years ago and they also revealed later that their music library can be used for free on Youtube videos. Yet Filmstro focuses mainly on scoring and not on sound effects, so both of these apps might actually complement each other quite nicely.
Pricing and Availability
Audio Design Desk has been shortlisted for the 2020 SXSW Innovation Award in the Music & Audio category. The software is currently only available for Mac users only.
Like lots of other software nowadays, add.app is a subscription-based tool. The basic subscription plan retails for $14.99 per month. If you want the more advanced version that includes AAF/XML export as well as other sound libraries, it will cost you $29.99 per month.
Each license you purchase can be used on only one computer, but multiple computer licenses are available. Also, you can try it for free for 30 days by going directly to their download page. For more information, you can visit the add.app website.
What do you think about Audio Design Desk? Do you think it can speed up your workflow and increase the quality of your sound design work? Let us know in the comments below!