6 Ways to Save Time Finding a Music Track for Your Video
You would think that picking out a song for your video would be one of the easiest, if not the absolute easiest, part of the editing process, however that is not always the case. It can be the most time consuming, and sometimes the most challenging, aspect of creating a video. After hours of scouring websites and experiencing countless dead ends, I realized I needed to figure out a way to save some post-production time. Here are some ways you can save time finding a music track for your video:
Know the Tone of Your Video
In most instances, you should know the feel of your video before you even start the edit. What mood makes sense for your film? Slow and cinematic, fast-paced and determined, or chill and ambient? This alone will save you a great deal of time because each website allows you to select the genre, theme, mood, instruments, and bpm related to your ideal music track.
What to stay away from
If you are stuck choosing the tone of your video, then determine which songs would be unfit for it. According to Jeff Platt, the former head of marketing at Animoto, you should try to “avoid music with overly prominent features that distract from your message, for example a fast, heavy beat or jarring instrument solo.”
Also avoid the boring corporate music at all costs. Cutting down your options dramatically will help you quickly decide what type of music track is going to work. You can also break it down simply if you are editing a specific type of video. For example, if it’s a commercial for an exercise company, then try out some hip hop tracks. Likewise, a fast-paced rock song might be suitable for a construction business video. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide how you want your video to feel and connect with the audience.
Be Aware of the Budget
Knowing your budget will lead you to the websites you should use. Does your budget call for a $50, $200, or $10,000 song? Some of the websites that offer affordable music choices include audiojungle.net, musicvine.net, and premiumbeat.com. Sites like art-list.io and soundstripe.com enables you to download an unlimited number of songs as soon as you make a one-time yearly payment.
If your budget calls for a $200 track, then I recommend using sites like musicbed.com and audiio.com. Keep in mind that you get what you pay for. The more expensive options are all around more unique and custom than the lower-priced music choices.
Reaching out to independent musicians who are looking to expand their audience is also a great option. Similarly, if you are a musician yourself, you can create your own custom songs. According to Ryan McAfee, a Video Producer at Pond5, “you can lay down your original music track(s), master them, then put them in your piece.”
If you’re able to construct your own song for your film, why not do it? Take advantage of your skill set and incorporate a song that will only be heard in your video. These are great ways to save money while still being able to use a unique and original piece for your film.
Whether your budget calls for a $50 song or a $1,000 song, there are plenty of options out there for your video. Exclude the websites that offer songs out of your price range and focus on the ones that you know you can use.
Preview the Songs With Your Video on the Site Itself
When I first started out as a Video Editor, I would choose a song that I thought would fit the mood of the video, download the watermarked version, insert it into the project, and play it on the timeline.
I eventually noticed that many websites included a volume bar when you play a song. In order to prevent hours of escaping my editing process, I decided to just preview the songs on the website and play my video on another screen at the same time to quickly see if it would fit or not. This takes a little bit of practice, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be saving yourself hours in no time. Downloading and inserting songs into your project doesn’t seem that tedious, but it can be if you are never satisfied with the songs that you choose.
Unsure of what song would perfectly fit your video? Then look for inspiration. If you keep searching for a cinematic track, but it doesn’t match the feel of your video, then it’s possible that there are other options out there that you hadn’t thought of.
Try watching a video with a similar feel to yours and pull some ideas from it. Maybe it will take you in a completely different direction. It’s easy to get lost in a concept, so analyzing editing techniques that are new to you will help you push your boundaries.
When I was editing a brand film for a diamond company, I thought an upbeat track was the way to go. However, after watching multiple, similar videos, I came to the conclusion that a more orchestral related music track was the solution. The song not only helped with the pacing of the video, but it also gave you a feeling of wanting more. In my experience, finding inspiration alone could take your video to a level you didn’t think possible.
Avoid Repetitive Tracks
In order to do justice to your stunning visuals, you must have a captivating song. Many songs have repetitive melodies, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but will it make your video interesting? Probably not.
A track that has different parts to it will not only make your video more attractive, but it might actually make the editing process move quicker.
An easy way to differentiate the “looped” tracks and the “unique” tracks is to pay attention to the waveforms. If the waveform is repetitive, then it’s looped. If it’s more spread out, then it’s more distinct. Once you are able to distinguish between the looped and distinct waveforms, then you can seek out which songs you should focus on.
Take Advantage of Playlists
When you find music tracks that are relevant to your video, I suggest creating a playlist dedicated to that project so that you can have your songs all in one place. Nothing is worse than forgetting which song you liked and having to search endlessly for it.
Playlists also keep your process organized, so when you need to go back into an old project, you can easily find the song that you used. Isolating your music choices into playlists not only helps you out, but it benefits other people that share the editing workload.
Additionally, using playlists can help if you have multiple projects for one client where you’re producing similar videos.
Whenever I am deep in the video edit, time always seems to disappear. Figuring out how to speed up my way of doing things has really paid off.
The process of finding the perfect song can be stressful, but with the help of these tips, you could save yourself some valuable time in the post-production stage. Whether these recommendations saves you an hour or 10 minutes, it is still beneficial to use them. They have certainly helped our video production company in Tampa.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bryana’s passion for filmmaking and degree in Video Production at Southern Connecticut State University directed her to pursue the commercial film industry. She has acquired an immense number of skills pertaining to screenwriting, camera operation, and editing. On her down time, she enjoys traveling, watching the Patriots, and hanging out with her dog, Raynn.