Five Reasons Your Soundtrack Is So Important!

Posted by Brien Lee on

I've written probably dozens of articles about this over the years (see & blog pages for examples), but what I'm about to write bears repeating: Soundtracks are the most import thing in your video production.

There are Five Reasons.

  • Editing: soundtracks provide the meter (or beat) for all your editing decisions. Timing where you move from one scene to another on your editing timeline is one of the most basic editing techniques, and it creates an inexorable sense of involvement for the audience. People understand the beat of the music and expect you to visually compliment it.
  • Engagement: Music tells your audience how to feel, when to think about something new, and what's really important in a video. Even the absence f music or natural sound can be used as an emphasis.
  • Trust: Sound effects or natural sound at the appropriate time builds trust. Interviews where you can clearly hear the words of the person being interviewed builds trust. The right piece of music at the close of a video builds trust and help the audience accept the importance of the message.
  • Belief: Music selection, powerful interviews, clean crisp narration, a good mix of music to voice, appropriate sounds for various stock footage all adds to the believability of the message, person or product being featured.
  • Perceived length: In this worlds of short attention spans, great sound and music drives interest and shortens the perception of the passage of time. When my company was confident in a video just reviewed by a client, we would ask them "How long do you think it was?", and their guess was always shorter than the real running length. This meant the audience wouldn't be coughing, moving in their seats, checking their phones, etc. That was already a win for us!

So you see, all the elements of great sound-- from field microphones, to music libraries, to a great audio mix-- play a major role in your success. To see some of our recommended audio products, go hear... I mean HERE.

As far as music libraries go, there are many. but one that has really developed (nearly 400 pages of selections, about 20 per page), is POND 5.  They have soundtrack music in all styles, AND footage, photos, art, sound effects, 3D, photoshop files and more. They also have an awesome public domain area, for war, news and event footage free of charge.

A totally different approach is finding a music maker that has a complete selections of moods and meters, and is offering his or her entire library for a single price. Logan Nicholson is one person doing this with his "Music for Makers" library. He offers a free tune every week, but also offers a complete library of originals for a reasonable monthly fee. But here's the amazing part: as part of the subscription he will customize songs if necessary. The other thing that's important is that this music is totally cleared for pro and amateur use, even on YouTube. Youtube's algorithm has a way of bouncing songs it recognizes, even from a music library where you've already paid for the music. You can get it cleared by appealing the ruling (assuming you have the records to show you did pay for the music) but that takes time. This library avoids all that, which is pretty damn cool.

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