How to choose the right music for your videos

Choose the right music for your videos is very important. Here’s a complete guide with the best tips to choose the right music.

music for your videos
Marketing Team
Video Marketing How to choose the right music for your videos

Table of contents

When it comes to film making, music is the heart. Try to recall the greatest movie scenes: most of them wouldn’t be entertaining without the soundtrack. Every single horror movie wouldn’t be very frightening if it were muted. The same goes for advertising and business videos. The right music at the right time creates emotions and connects deeply with the viewer, improving the final product.  

Hovewer, choosing the genre of music that matches the content of the video is crucial, since the wrong soundtrack could be harmful: for example, you can’t put a slow tempo song over an action or emotional video because it will end up confusing the viewer. So let’s take a look at the best practices for choosing the right music for your video.

Types of video soundtrack

First of all, we have to distinguish between different types of film music by the role it plays: 

  • Participatory: follows the feeling and the emotions that images suggest.  
  • Dissonance: contrary to every emotion showed in the video.  

By the source it comes from:  

  • Diegetic: orginates from from a source where the action takes place (for example a CD player, a television, etc.). Furthermore, in this case, characters can hear the sound exactly like viewers, so they might perform actions related to the music they hear, like dancing. 
  • Non diegetic: viewers can’t see the source of the music since it happens outside the scene. In this case characters can’t hear the sound as it isn’t set inside the movie but added in post production.  

In some cases, the director can decide to use a transition from diegetic to non diegetic music and vice versa, for example switching from a panoramic scene with a road and background music, to a car where the stereo is playing the same song that we heard earlier.  

Consider that this is more about film making rather than video marketing; the ideas expressed in it can be useful for business contents, making your video stand out from the others. Today, many of the most well known brands are creating ads that are more like a short movie with massive production, in order to increase the involvement of their customers.

The right music genre

Before choosing the right music for your video, you’ll want to understand the most important music genres and their main features. Remember that every genre represents a specific mood so, if you’re struggling to choose the right song for your video, search by the genre by thinking about the emotions it can evoke: 

Hip Hop and Rock are both energetic, and the latter can also be aggressive, which makes it perfect for action scenes. Acoustic music feels relaxing, while funk and electronic music has a medium tempo, which may be a fit for videos that want to make people reflect on something. Cinematic music is motivational and emotional, and it may be the best choiceif you want to create an ispirational ad (such as the popular Nike videos).  

Fitting your video content

Now that you know the types of music, you can decide which one to choose, based on the kind of video you’re planning to create. What content do you want to create? Think about it and then decide: 

  1. If you want to create an ad or a promo, you should focus on the emotions of viewers and select a soundtrack that impacts them.  
  2. If you aim for a video based on storytelling, you should pick a song that helps the viewer follow the plot. 
  3. If you’re going to make an explainer video, the music will be a supporting track for the story, so make sure to choose a calm sound that won’t feel too intrusive or annoying for viewers. 

Your budget influence music quality

Still don’t know what’s the right music for your video

Listen to a playlist, an album, or your library on one of the most popular music platforms and, if you already have a video edited (or even if you have one still only as a script), watch it and focus on the music: try to imagine which song would fit the video you’re working on, considering the plot and the moments with peak of action . Consider your budget. It’s unavoidable that it will influence the quality of your musical choice: 

  • If you have a small budget, you may need to use the creative commons license or royalty free music. Nevertheless, this might not be the best choice since the song you want could have been already used by someone else, because it is free and easily available. 
  • With a medium budget, you may be able to afford to pay for music that already exists, like popular songs that can be bought on classic online stores. In this case, the level and the quality will be better but you will have to adapt the video to the melody you’ve found.  
  • If you have a large budget, the best option is to hire a professional composer to create the soundtrack from scratch. Obviously, this is the best option because it will allow you to have a tune that is created exclusively just for your visuals: consider that it’s definitely better to have the audio created to fit the video rather than the video for the audio, as would happen with lower budget. Soundtracks of famous films are made in this way, with a composer that works on them based on the director’s requests. 

Are you going to use a voiceover? In this case, make sure to focus on the audio mix: the narrator’s voice must be the main element and clearly audible, while music will be just a backing track at lower volume.  

Types of music licence

If you’re going to buy music for your video, you must learn (at least) the basis of music licensing, to avoid legal trouble with artists. In fact, as we will see, there are some kinds of songs that can only be used once the fees have been made to the composer and other songs you don’t need to pay for. Therefore, here’s a short list of music license types:

  1. Free: music that you don’t have to pay for, being creative commons license or without copyright. It can be easily found on the web. Sometimes, artists that create free music might ask to be cited as sound creators or video makers in credits.  
  2. Limited license: music that if used for advertisment must be paid, but it’s free if used for non commercial videos such as internal training or communications. Royalty free songs are classified into this category. 
  3. Paid license: songs where a base figure is paid that doesn’t depend on the number of times you use it. These kinds of tunes are always royalty free. Commissioned customized tracks (like remixes) belong to this category as well. 
  4. Rights managed: songs whose composer gets paid depending on how many times the song is reproduced and the number of people who will watch the video and, consequently, listen to the melody. 

Babelee makes it possible to add music on your video. You can take your soundtrack from the music library offered directly by the platform or import it from your own device.  

Bonus tips

  • Remember to add fade in and fade out on the intro and outro, in order to make the beginning and the end of the video run smoothly. This is quite easy to do, as every video editing software should have this feature. 
  • Focus on the mix: as we mentioned before, if you have a narrator their voice must be the main element while the music must remain a bit lower. 
  • If you decide to use voiceover, use a voice that best fits your video content. 
  • Use sound effects, especially if your video is animated. They are very important to emphasizethe action or highlight some details (for example, the opening sound of a can). 
  • Don’t forget to listen to a lot of different music to find the best tune. If you have the budget, you might also pay a composer to create a soundtrack that perfectly follows your video. 

Music has an important influence on the audience’s reception of the final video you are creating. For this reason, the right soundtrack becomes a crucial part of your work. Now that you know how to do it, you only need the right software and then you can start working on your video’s soundtrack. What are you waiting for? 

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