By | July 25, 2017

There’re far too many good videos that are one step away from being good. The video concept is solid. The visuals are good. Editing is tight & well done. The dialogue is clear and understood. So what is missing? Music.

There’re well-made videos that either lack a soundtrack or the music they use just does not fit the scene. In the grand scheme of things, it is only one part of the mix but when you consider it with care, the results could be amazing. Music adds depth to a scene, life to quiet moments & keeps the viewer engaged throughout. But unlike videobuilder editing which you can learn, or a great idea that you can write down – music is far more about a feeling / emotion. And how do you search for music based on emotion?

How Music Affects Us

Sound & music have an interesting impact on our brain. For sounds we know, like a car horn or a bird chirping, the brain’s auditory complex responds. It takes in the sound, process what it is & tells us what we’re hearing. That is a bird. That is a car. It is a direct response to the sound. But, when we listen to music something different happens. Firstly, the auditory complex responds. Shortly after, other regions of the brain activate. The regions include these related to movement, planning, attention and even memory.

We do not just process music like we process sound, our brains love with it. There’s a great article by Medical Daily  that goes further on this topic – it is a fascinating read. It also details why music is so necessary. It has an immediate impact on the person watching & activates those areas of the brain. That means they are going to watch your video a lot longer than they would have otherwise. Promotional videos for songs are all about the music, and we watch them almost solely for that aim, so it is kind of disorientating, odd, and a little boring to watch one without audio soundtrack:

How to Use Music in Your Video

Composing a film score is the final element of the production. The director & composer sit down to watch the film, noting events & sentiment that the movie attempts to convey. That is the same approach you should take to adding music to your own videos. Once you have filmed it, sit down & figure out what you want audiences to feel. If a scene is building tension, consider a heart pumping repetitive bass filled track. If it is comedic, using something light & silly with piano or tuba can add that vibe. Or if you are trying to create excitement, using a strong EDM track could deliver that impact.

Where to Find Music for Your Video

This is the difficult part for most people. While major films have their soundtracks composed, you likely do not have the budget to do the same. Assuming you want to keep music costs low, but production quality high, let’s look at a couple of selections to using music in videos:

YouTube Audio Library: YouTube has a decent catalog – in terms of volume that is, perhaps not exactly quality. You can use each track in your videos with monetization. The tracks range from classical epics like Wagner to silly ones from Jingle Punks. With limited sentiment & genre search, you MAY find the right track for your video. However, you may also come up short. That said, you’ll have no worries about copyright complaints. Overall, it is not a terrible place to find music. Something is better than nothing, right?

Soundcloud Creative Commons: Soundcloud is an artist social network that allows uploading & sharing. The artist is in control of how they list the track – whether for download or only to listen to. Artists can list their tracks under creative commons licenses. But, you will need to follow the license terms & more often than not, monetization is now allowed. One day you may experience copyright claims if they sign to a label. To avoid that, take screenshots of the license terms & save them. Soundcloud search is poor, so you may need to listen to hundreds of tracks to find something better.

Epidemic Sound: Yes, this is for the big boys & there’s no reason why you should not count yourselves among them! Epidemic Sound has tens of thousands of songs, sortable by genre, mood, movement & even place. If you are looking for a rock song, for an epic scene in the jungle, you will find Epidemic Sound has 106 tracks. Latin music, for a running scene in a Casino, delivers nine results. You will definitely find the right song for your video & if not by yourself, you can shoot them an email for help. Not only that, but every track is professionally produced for video productions. Maybe best of all, you can monetize your videos without fear of ever receiving a copyright complaint. For YouTubers, rates for unlimited music start at only $12 per month. For bigger productions, licensing music starts at only $0.99 per second.

Music is a small part of the good picture. Once you start using music effectively, you’re going to see improvements in audience consumption. Not only will the final video feel more complete, but it’ll make your audience FEEL something too. If there is one thing to improve in 2017, it is your channel soundtrack!