There is nothing in the world more powerful than the right combination of music and images. It's almost pathetic, how we can be so easily manipulated. Even the meanest and toughest among us can be brought to tears in just a few seconds. It's amazing.
So it's no wonder that smart producers use the power of music to leverage their message. After all, music tells the audience how to feel about what they're seeing.
So what is the music in your video telling your audience?
Some producers seem to think that music is like audio wallpaper - something you put in the background that no one really notices, but that fills the gaps in the voice track. Wow, is that wrong!
Whether you realize it or not, the music in your video is doing something. If it's boring, your audience will be bored. If it's distracting, your audience will be distracted. If it's fast and your visuals are slow, your audience will be confused. If it's too grandiose for the occasion, your audience will be suspicious. And if it just pounds away in the background, your audience will tune out.
Not what you want!
Here are a few basic tips to help you get your music working for you!
1. Pick your music as early in the process as you can. Find a piece that captures the essence of what you're trying to say, and stick it in your timeline before you start to edit. You'll find that editing to a music track can help create a more interesting and customized look and feel.
2. Change the music often. Most production music tracks run between 2 and 3 minutes for a reason: they get boring after that. Please don't just loop the track to make it longer. Let your audience take a breath, change the music, keep them interested.
3. Find the right balance. Music that's either too loud or too soft will distract your audience. If you find yourself constantly turning down the music, chances are you've got the wrong piece. Try something else.
4. Alternate Mixes can be great. Many production music tracks come with several mixes, such as "no melody" or "no percussion." These can be great for complex, technical presentations where certain music elements can be distracting.
5. Classical music is classic. When nothing seems to be working, or if your audience demographic is all over the map, classical music can be a great problem-solver. Just don't make the mistake of using new recordings of classical music without a license - even recordings of Bach are covered by copyright!
6. Silence is golden. Nothing grabs the attention of an audience faster than dead silence. If you have an important payoff point to make in your video, consider having no music at all, just for a moment. It's super effective.