We here at Bottle Rocket Media acknowledge the importance of audio in video. Music, sound effects, voice over, diegetic sound, etc. It’s all part of a wonderful tapestry that can only enhance any video project. Picking music for our videos is actually one of our favorite things to do. It can be challenging at times, but the hunt for a “perfect” song only leads to a sublime pay off of emotional truth in your video.
The importance of Music in Video
We think it is safe to say that when it comes to achieving the emotional goals of a video, your choice in music is critical. Of course you need the right visuals to tell a great story, and the music you decide to use requires an equal amount of passion and purpose as blocking out your shot list. Picking the right (or wrong) music track will really influence the way people feel when they watch your video.
Using big movies as a way to illustrate our point is easy. Imagine the Italian Stallion running the steps of Philly without the help of Composer Bill Conti or Luke, Han, and Chewy taking a victory lap sans John Williams’ brilliance. In both cases, it’s just doesn’t grab the audience the same way.
In this article written by Mic. They’ve cobbled together several iconic scenes from scary flicks. Watch one or all, and then watch again with the sound off. It’s a completely different experience! The audio composition usually consists of silence, strings and screams, but take those away, and the impact of the scare is completely watered down.
But what do you do when you aren’t making a blockbuster or a horror film? How do you choose music that’s right for your brand video?
How To Pick the Right Music
OK, music is important. We’ve established that. So how do you know when it works? Answer a couple of easy questions to help you get started.
- What is the intention of this piece? Is it to inspire? Cause anxiety? Deliver information?
- Who is the audience? A Baby Boomer who listens to The Doors will react much differently than a Millennial on a Drake kick.
- Do you pick music based on what you like or are you just trying to appeal to your audience? Not a tough decision to make, in our opinion. We always choose the “right” track for the video over our personal likes and dislikes. If our Editor Dave picked music based on personal taste, everything would be scored by The Beatles. Chances are this would be slightly out of our budget.
- Speaking of budget this next question really should be asked first… How much money can you spend? This answer will be determined by where the video will be seen. Broadcast television is going to cost more than a local fundraiser, just as you would expect.
Music and Money – There Are Always Options
We know what you are thinking… Good music is going to cost a fortune, right? And you’re correct if you’re trying to license from Beck. But these days there are loads of music options to choose from. If you cannot afford a uniquely composed track, check out the abundance of stock music libraries available online. All you have to do is spend five minutes on any stock library site to see that it’s all there for the taking. From funk to orchestral to indigenous music to soundalike tracks – If you can think of it, it’s out there.
Over the years we have enjoyed a variety of solutions, ranging from having our favorite composer create something specific to signing up for an unlimited use library, to scanning the web for that rarity. It all depends what you are looking to accomplish and how often you create videos. Currently we are happy to be part of the Universal Production Music family. We pay annually for a license that allows for unlimited creativity.
If it’s not clear by now, we love music libraries. Mostly because music libraries provide an abundance of music WITHOUT lyrics – a point to really consider. Very often music with lyrics does not work in a video score. The messaging can be off and the words can be distracting. So when you consider all of the factors – variety, cost effectiveness, no lyrics, high quality – we recommend starting your search for the perfect cut with a music library. And even in the occasion that you have budget for a composer, using a library will help you communicate what you are going for in the first place.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for Part 2 of this piece where we explore the importance of additional audio elements outside of music. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions about music, music searching, or just want to make a kick ass video.