FILMMAKER SECRETS: 20 Must-Have Music, Media, Animation Tools

Comic Life
I recently gave a lecture at Buffalo State about the production process involved with my animated film Libertaria: The Virtual Opera. As I chatted on about software tools, social media sites, and Kickstarter, I realized that it was time to compile a list for musicians, animators, and other media artist. So here it is, 20 must-have tools for media, music, and animation, in no particular order. 

I used each of these tools and sites for the production of Libertaria, which took over two and a half years. Lots of work, but practically impossible without these tools. Most are affordable or free, which is always great for those on a budget!


Easy-to-Use animation software. Has several packages, plus free trial to test it out. Libertaria was created entirely using this software. 

Libertaria was created entirely in Moviestorm
Comic Life 2
Create a comic book or use comic book graphics in your media project. Affordable and fun to use with silly sound effects.

Needs no introduction. Top of the line software for graphic design and media.

Very, very affordable, with stunning results for realistic and fantasy landscapes! A bit slow on the animation side, but an excellent way to make original textures and backdrops.

Landscape created in Bryce


Logic Studio
Top of the line Apple Music production suite. Broken was created using Logic Express and ends out the credits for Libertaria. (Download for free).

Vocal Writer
Easy vocal synthesis. Warning, a little buggy, so be sure to save and export often. Shareware. I used Vocal Writer as a secondary male voice in the number Pilar of the Underground.

East West Symphonic Choirs
Incredible sample suit that allows you to input your original text for the choir to sing back. I love this software. Be sure you have an up-to-date computer. My computer had some trouble with samples. Pricey.  

Free. Reads back text with computer voice. You can export the text as well as control vocal quality and speed. 

An animation camera. Photo 1999 by J-E Nyström...
Only the best music notation software. Different price levels, from cheap to pricey. Notepad is a cheap option for those new to music notation.

Easy to use notation software online. Free and paid options.

Easy Audio File Converter. FREE.


Writing and pre-production studio. Free and paid options. I used this to create the fifty-page screenplay for Libertaria. You can check out a sample screenplay below:


Earn money for your project through crowdfunding and rewards. 

Music Xray
As a music producer you can find talented musicians to participate in your project. I conducted virtual auditions using Music Xray by posting excerpts and accepting music files through Music Xray. Seattle-based Indie Rocker Matthew Meadows auditioned through Music Xray and landed a lead role.

Great one-placeshop to set up a bandpage and share your latest endeavors with the world!

Crowdsource your movies, music videos, and operas on this site. 

Official Movie Trailer Libertaria: The Virtual Opera

Set up album downloads for free. Include extra bonuses like graphics, scores, and more in your download. For Libertaria, we set up Cast Rehearsal Albums with click tracks, song sheets, instructions, audio tips, and more for each cast member. 

Amazon Turk
Crowdsource any project through Amazon.

Inexpensive graphic design and marketing options for only $5! Videos, graphics, music, editing, and more available on this site.

Find and hire talented musicians, artists, animators for your media project, or sign up and start earning money in media. We found mastering engineer Patrick Rundbladh through elance. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, he did the final mix/master of the Libertaria soundtrack. 

Thank you for stopping by and checking out the blog. I know it's a little messy right now. Trying to fix up the design some, and haggling about the overall look. Anyways, hope you find some tools to help you out on your next media project. And if you have any other questions or suggestions, then write them in the comments below! 

Award-winning composer and published author Sabrina Pena Young composes mind-numbing electroacoustic works heard in Asia, North America, Australia, and Europe. Her multimedia works have been performed at venues like the Beijing Conservatory, the International Computer Music Conference, Miramax's Project Greenlight, the Athena Festival, the New York International Independent Film Festival, Art Basil Miami, Turkey's Cinema for Peace, and Pulsefield International Exhibition of Sound Art. 

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