“Music is the universal language of mankind,” said once a poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and we can’t help but agree.
There are emotions deep inside us that only good music can reach and surface. If you want to make people laugh, build up excitement, or anticipation, you need music to round up the story. That’s why picking just the right music for your video project is such an important step.
When the filming ends and editing starts, the question of music comes into the spotlight. If you have any experience in the video industry you know that picking music isn’t an easy task. Music plays a huge role in your video and a wrong choice can lessen the overall feel and quality of the project.
The adventure known as choosing music should be approached strategically. Don’t get intimidated by seemingly endless choices. When you know what to do and where to start, the music you need will come to you.
Are you ready to take the road that will lead you to the perfect music for your video?
If there is a certain yes on your side of the screen, resort to the following tips in your music-picking journey.
Start Creating With Music Early On
Unless your editing process has already come to an end, consider picking the music before you finalize the edit.
You will have less trouble with adapting the video to the right music than finding music that perfectly aligns with the final version of the video.
Make the cuts where the music allows it. Music can be an inspiration. The video material you have at your disposal can be seen from a different perspective when you find the right melody.
If you incorporate picking music in an early post-production process you can save yourself a lot of hassle. Get your music approved before the editing starts to avoid its repetition. In case the client isn’t satisfied with your choice, you’ll only need to find new music, not change the whole video.
Simply put, taking the music endeavor early on can make the production process much easier.
Set Your Media Budget
The budget has a big say in what kind of music you can use. You may want to use Ed Sheeran’s song, but if your budget says no, you need to move on.
Depending on your budget you can browse through a royalty-free music library, or get a composer to make you a custom song.
There are many royalty-free libraries with a plethora of choices that can satisfy any music need you may have. So, if your budget isn’t great, don’t worry. You can find great tracks without making big damage to your wallet.
Getting a composer to create original music is a good option if you plan to reuse the tune. Brands that want to use original music for their branding can make a great investment if they hire a composer.
Be clear about your budget before you even begin the search. You don’t want to arrange meetings with composers without the budget that can support that collaboration. There are many job listings sites to start your search for your favorite artist, like Upwork, Jooble, etc.
Select a Suitable Music License For Your Project
If you immediately rule out the composer, you should know what options you get to work with. The songs online can have different types of song licenses. Here is what you can encounter:
- Free License – Refers to music with creative commons license. Most free music in the public domain does demand that you attribute the author or website, free music license is a tricky one and in most cases, you should avoid it for commercial use. You can learn more on Royalty Free Music Licensing here – What is Royalty Free Music.
- Limited License – Refers to royalty-free music that can be used for internal purposes for free and for commercial purposes by paying a one-time fee amount.
- Paid License – Refers to royalty-free music that you purchase for a set price and you can use for commercial purposes and for unlimited times.
- Rights Managed – Refers to music that you pay according to the number of listeners and how much you use it.
Here at Foximusic, we offer a one-time-fee licenses that allows you to use the music in unlimited projects for a lifetime use worldwide, check out our pricing plans for more info.
No matter what kind of licensing you end up choosing, always respect the agreement. If you get the license for a certain period, set a reminder that will notify you when you need to take it down. You don’t want to get into messy legal situations because of music.
Be Specific on Your Intention
What do you want to achieve with this video? Do you want to explain? Inspire? Excite? Your intention should direct your music search.
The perfect music supports your intention. It brings your message to life and helps viewers feel the emotion that the content wants to evoke.
For example, an action-packed video needs energized music to draw the viewers in. The video content shows the story but the music needs to bring it to life. Without a specific intention, you won’t be able to move your search in the right direction.
You should also think about the purpose of different video clips. Some inserts need to keep the users’ attention while others may be intended for relaxation. Music needs to support different intentions that are intertwined in the video.
Some royalty-free music platforms are designed to assist you with finding music that suits your attention. Foximusic, for example, has music collections that are created based on the users’ goals. You can filter your search for uplifting music, relaxation, energetic, and so on.
Define the Music’s Role in the Video
Assigning a role to the music is pivotal for making the right pick. Once you define the music’s role you will clear up the path to the track you desire.
The role of music in a video can be:
- Main role
- Supporting role
- Driving the message
- Creating effects
The music can take the main role when there is no (or little) dialogue in the video. In this case, you can use music with vocals as there is no overlapping with the narrative.
Explainer videos, educational videos, or videos that share information are usually accompanied by music as a supporting role.
The music should create an atmosphere without taking the viewers’ attention from the content. For music to drive the message it needs to keep up with the pace of the video. You should look for music that can evoke emotion without being too aggressive. The music can switch between the main and supporting role, depending on how strong the messaging is in different clips.
Lastly, music can also be used to create an effect. For example, a tune with raindrops can make a nostalgic or gloomy effect on the viewers.
Keep in mind that no matter what role the music embodies, it should never overshadow the video content.
Choose a Suitable Music Genre
The nature of your video is what can help you determine the genre. There is also the question of the target audience, but we’ll discuss this in more detail later.
One of the key factors that influence your genre choice is the type of video you are creating. Electronic music or rap will hardly be suitable for an advertisement for children’s books.
Unless you are going for an alternative mix such as combining classical music with slow-motion clips of a ranging party, you should stick to the typical genre-video type relationship.
Here are some usual pairs when it comes to the emotion you want to create and the music that accompanies it:
- Epic, victory – cinematic music
- Empathy, confidence, success – motivational, corporate music
- Stylish & Trendy – Indie-pop, hip hop music
- Action, Extreme – rock, electro, future bass music
- Groovy, Upbeat – EDM, funky music
These are just a few examples to give you a sense of how pairing goes.
But let’s clear this out some more with an example. Let’s say that you want to tell a story. You want viewers to experience how you are gradually getting to the goal, to that final message that explains it all.
Watch our “Tell Your Story” video series to get inspired on picking the right music for your production: