Music leaves a lasting print in our hearts when it’s used in videos and movies. It has been used to set the mood, tone and style of visual media for a very, very long time and shows no sign of letting up any time soon. We’re going to give you few but important tips for you to choose the best fitting music for your video or movie for it to leave a lasting impression and impact your audience. A very important note, though, is to respect copyright. Do NOT steal music. No matter how well you think the track fits, always make sure you have the rights to the song before using it.
There are plenty of ways you can go about picking a soundtrack for your video, and it seems to all come down to taste, but there are some methodical aspects to keep in mind. It doesn’t always have to be your favorite soundtrack or pop song and just winging it doesn’t always work, especially if you’re a film editor or film maker. Without further ado, let’s dive in!
Tip #1: Have a good understanding of the work you are doing
Having a good idea of what you are trying to get across to your audience is a major stepping stone towards finding the best fitting soundtrack for your video. An understanding of the message helps you figure out what mood you want to highlight while conveying that message, and finally, creating an emotional response.
Tip #2: Keep the audience’s emotional and psychological response in mind
Your audience usually doesn’t know what to expect out of your work, so it is important to know what kind of mood you want to put them in. Do you want to create suspense, a surprise? Do you want to make them laugh? Or cry? When you’re picking a soundtrack, make sure that it fits the mood of the footage, or evokes an opposite emotion, depending on what you want to get out of your audience. A good example of this is Goodfellas, directed by Martin Scorsese. In the scene where Tommy (Joe Pesci), and Jimmy (Robert De Niro) beat Billy Bats (Frank Vincent) to death at the bar, Scorsese uses Donovan’s Atlantis, a soft rock song, to illustrate that the brutality in the scene as merely another day in the life of a Mafioso. Scorsese contrasts the violence with soft music as opposed using frantic, hard music to convey the brutality of the scene.
Tip #3: Use your intuition, don’t over think!
Picking the perfect track for your video is a tricky thing, given the vast amount of music to choose from, and although it’s sometimes puzzling to listen to your gut, give it a chance. What you feel is the right music for your video is usually what you want to go with. Of course, we have no control over our intuition and therefore rarely trust it, but if you feel a mood or a solo to be the one for your video, give it a try, and find that it works, go for it! Now, this is not to say that you should be impulsive without any referral to logic and sense; make sure your intuitive choice of music is coherent with the footage you are working with.
Finally, we hope this article was helpful to you and your creative process. These are just some tips from us in the field of communication arts that we have found to fit our way of doing things. A mix of chaos and discipline is one of the most notable ways of going about creative work, so make sure to keep a balance between what your heart wants to be the perfect pick, and what your mind finds to be the correct choice.