Mostly underestimated and yet almost as important as image and editing: the right film music. When choosing the right background music, chaff is separated from the wheat. This applies to small video productions, commercials, documentaries as well as Hollywood blockbusters. If one chooses the wrong music, one probably does not transport the desired mood. The viewer thus perceives the seen differently than the pictures alone would suggest. The right music can make the audience euphoric or sad. With the right music, you can subliminally direct your audience to where they perceive what they see as you would like. Evoke and channel emotions. Auditoriously prepare the viewer for the visual.
But where do I get the right music from? And above all: Does she have to cost me a fortune? Here are a few tips. Things to keep in mind to work out a plan in advance to find the right music and save time while searching. These are personal experiences. If you have your own tips, please post them in the comments or just send us an email.
1. Your taste in music
As much as you listen to metal or as much as you celebrate the 2Pac album in your car, you have to think about the idea that your taste in music does not always match that of others. The dubstep track may fit in with the current carporn video by JP Performance, but perhaps not with the image film of the star restaurant. Each song brings its own pace, each song conveys a certain feeling, a mood, a style and is accordingly recorded and processed. And as diverse as the musical tastes are, so numerous are the film genres and the different moods that can be evoked in them. Open yourself to the colorful world of music and serve yourself as well as you can to various facets. Your favorite music does not fit automatically just because you like it.
The question of the right film score is best set when shooting, if not before. If you shoot a film with a concept, the desired mood usually results in advance. For example, if you are filming an event, you can be wonderfully guided by the impressions on site. Pick up the mood and ask yourself which music suits the mood best. Is it a wedding? Romantic? Classical music, strings, soft voices? Or a young dynamic couple? Then maybe you need something with more bpm. It is important that you do not try to squeeze the seen into something “heard”. The wrong song is like a badly fitting garment. You do not feel comfortable with it, not when editing, but also when watching. If you are aware of the mood, you will save a lot of time in the search because you can safely omit entire genres.
3. The beat makes the movie music – and the movie
One and the same film material with one and the same film music can still make a difference like day and night, if the cut does not fit the music. Try to cut your movie to the beat. If you do not know how to do that, look for a recurrent sound (if any). Let it be a beat, the drums, the electric guitar or whatever instrument or noise it is. Set your cuts to exactly this rhythm. Play with the intervals: put the length of your clips from beat to beat, skip every other beat, find your own style. You will notice very quickly, with a rhythm it is easier to cut and the audience will come in “better in”, as the picture and sound can be recorded more harmoniously. In this article by Bernd Michael Sommer you will learn more about the types of time you recognize and count. In principle, more knowledge about the subtopics of video editing is never wrong.
4. Music platforms
Opinions differ on the search for the right film score, as in hardly any other topic: some spend a lot of money on licenses, the others spend their time on matching film music, and others have the skills to create their own music , However, there are also cheap and free ways to legally come to music. For years, for example, we have been using the Soundtaxi and Audiojungle platforms. There you get single songs for good money. There are many such music platforms on the net. They are often based on free artists who provide their music for fair prices free of collecting societies (GEMA and Co.).
There are different pricing models. Some sites present the prices per song directly, with others you have to negotiate individual licenses. Since the beginning of the year we also use the service of the platform Artlist.io. It is an artist platform where you can download and use unlimited music for $199 a year. The music may be used in all channels, indefinitely (even after cancellation of the subscription) and even for your customers. You can save favorites in your account and even sort them into project folders.
If you click on THIS LINK, you can register with Artlist. When you sign up for a subscription, you’ll get 2 months of membership for free (including us, as it’s an affiliate link). Whether this is worthwhile for someone, everyone has to decide for themselves. Compared with, for example, Audio Jungle (also an affiliate link), you have the price after 10 songs back in it.
Important is the spectrum of the respective platform and the possibility to filter and listen to the offered music. The best assortment is of no use, if no meaningful tag system is used or the preview can not be played correctly. So it’s best to listen to the platform for a while to decide if the music will meet your needs.
5. Free artists
With a little luck you may even know artists who write and record their own songs. If these are not with a collecting society (eg GEMA), you can use their music – with the express permission. If it’s about young artists, you might be able to make a deal and use the song free of charge to show the logo. One hand washes the other. But you should always stay fair. You would not want someone unasked to use your material and maybe even alienated.
6. Youtube and laws
Finally, a small but not entirely insignificant hint: In Germany, all artistic works are covered by copyright. You may not – unless explicitly allowed – just use any song unsolicited. Respect other artists and their property. For example, if you want to monetize your videos on Youtube via Google Adsense, you will not get very far with “stolen” music. Many platforms, especially Youtube, recognize licensed music and lock you in the worst case, the video. At the same time, many artists offer their royalty-free music on Youtube, Soundcloud and other platforms for free. A very popular Youtube channel is No Copyright Sounds. A channel on which various artists make their tracks available under a so-called Creative Commons license. Alternatively, you will find numerous channels under the terms “License Free”, “No Copyright” or “Free Music”. You should be aware that free music often appears in other films. If you use them, your movie will be less unique than “paid” music.
In this sense: there are many possibilities to get good music in a favorable way. There are also increasingly better search options, fair prices and more choice than sometimes you like. The right music can take any movie to a new level, just make it clear what you are looking for and what you want to express with the music. If you have any further questions, please contact us and we will gladly answer.