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August 2014
Issue: September 1, 2006

REVIEW: HUMAN FACTOR'S AUDITIONTRACS VOL. 2

By: Donald Weisman
MANUFACTURER: Human Factor
PRODUCT: Auditiontracs Volume 2
WEBSITE: www.humanfactor.net
PRICE: n/a
- 75 fully customizable tracks
- more than a dozen styles

In August 2006, Washington, DC-based Human Factor released the second volume of its Auditiontracs customizable production music library series. The unconventionality of this library spin-off needs some description. Most folks in the industry have used a music library before. And if you are fortunate enough, you may have even hired a composer to create custom music. Human Factor's Auditiontracs is the company's inventive way of combining a ready-to-use music library with the flexibility of a custom composer. It is a disc of short tracks in multiple varied musical styles, that can be used "as-is" as a library, or can be quickly transformed by Human Factor's studio into a custom piece to match your specifications.

Of course, ingenuity is great, but the music is what counts. This is where Auditiontracs really excels. The volume is musically jaw dropping. The disc is perfect for ad firms, documentaries, feature films, or anyone else that needs to have the music jump off the screen. The tracks are interesting, diverse, and extremely useful. For instance, the rock tracks do not have that cheesy electric guitar sound with computerized drums - it's a real band playing together.  The comedy tracks will have you visualizing any number of comical advertising shenanigans. And the cinematic tracks will take you to faraway places with vast landscapes, grand waterfalls, or aerial footage. Then, recall that Human Factor can shorten or lengthen, add or remove instruments, change the timing, melody, or anything else you can think of - even mix it in surround.

The music has an incredibly real sound and the tracks are packed with power and emotion. This could present an interesting challenge for some corporate or training video producers to keep the viewer's focus on the message without having the music overwhelm the video. However, the realism of the music and emotion is perfect for advertising or feature films.

In comparing Volume 2 to the original volume of Auditiontracs, there are a few new genres available that weren't there last time, including Comedy, Cinematic, and Reggaeton, of all things. Another improvement over Volume 1 is the fact that they took the time to name the tracks (Volume 1 had track names like "Promo 67", "Promo 68", and so on), which can help in the process of finding the right music for your project. 

I guess it is obvious that I am very impressed with and recommend Auditiontracs to anyone trying to make a project sound like it was custom scored without all the headaches of selecting, negotiating, and then working with a composer.