You may have seen the much-quoted statement that most people listen to videos with no sound. So, do your own movies need music? Should you take time and effort to showcase your work with a soundtrack that might cost real money?
Will it help create a better video? Will it show off a terrific cat product? If you add music to video does it make a difference? I think
- The right sounds track engages your viewer and listener.
- Music can add pace and excitement
- Good music can enhance a mood
- The right music can move seamlessly into the foreground when you are not speaking so there are no awkward silences to fill.
- It can take the place of text if you don’t want to present your message in spoken form.
- Any music can make your movie better
People are listening with the sound on. Think of those short movies from sites like The Dodo with the happy ends about abandoned kittens or disabled puppies.
These videos engage viewers on a higher emotional level and make a big impact. You can too. Let me tell you how.
- Sponsored blog posts showcasing a product or cute adoption videos for a rescue can all be enhanced with a background soundtrack.
All of the Dash Kitten smartphone movies have soundtracks. I list my sources later in this post. Dash Kitten also uses Amazon Affiliate
Can Music Make a Difference to My Video?
I am biased in favour of music because I don’t feel a movie is complete without it. The need for music is always there. If you think back to the days of silent movies, people loved to add an atmospheric soundtrack. The music was provided by a single piano or occasionally, a whole orchestra.
Let me show you a couple of examples that demonstrate how music underpins movie drama at critical moments, even if the music is not in the foreground. Music adds real emotional impact to every video.
A dream sequence generates huge tension through rapid editing and a rhythmic underpinning of railway train inspired bass. The entire score by Howard Shaw is worth a listen, it captures a real flavour of Paris, France.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
One of Steven Spielberg’s finest films where John Williams’ music plays a big part at this critical point in the movie’s story. Unlike many ‘alien’ movies this is an uplifting and optimistic story. At this point, music is being used as a tool for communication between humans and visitors from another planet.
Choosing Music for Your Video
Don’t spend too much time on choosing the right song …. that you forget about what really matters. Your video is made to share information…Uscreen
The Uscreen quote puts music in perspective. The soundtrack is one part of a creation. Much as you will love auditioning music to find the perfect tune don’t let it take over the journey, It can take me a while to find the right tune though!
I recommend adding music after you have edited your movie into a rough draft of the final film. When you have a clear idea of the timing and the style you know the kind of music that will work.
Set The Mood with Music
When you play the movie think about how the music will enhance the impact or emotion of the story. Is it a low-key dramatic ‘corporate style’ presentation? A fresh and light cat product promotion? Or is it something lightweight to share with your
Middle-Earth Spring is a short cat movie with one of my favourite tracks ‘Happy Ukelele and Whistle’ by Udo Jean.
The music is in the foreground because there is no speech, and the feeling is happy and light. I admit that the short video is less than perfect thanks to the light but I had to seize the moment and, like many of you, work with what I had.
Foreground or Background Music?
Your music can either be in the foreground of your movie, where it can play a bigger role, or the background as a support to the story.
If you are unsure about your voice or lack confidence doing a voiceover then you can present your video with a music soundtrack and add text to narrate the story. The music is in the foreground and plays a strong part in telling the story.
If you have a message to pass on to viewers, then you may need to speak as part of the video. Your music will then be in the background playing a less prominent role. Add background music to your video if your video has sections where you don’t speak. It adds colour and stops your video sounding unfinished.
How To Add Music to a Video?
The music track is added to the timeline in your program. Layouts may look different but there is usually a line of video clips and you drag or paste your audio clip to that.
This image shows where the Screenflow sound, marked ‘soundtrack’ will be. The video is a separate track and it is here you duck or fade out the sound.
Will My Software Add Music to Movies?
If you have a video editor then you should have the ability to add music to your video. There are several major editing suites. These are some of the most established, and many have a ‘try before you buy’ option.
- iMovie – total Apple product integration; audio and social platform integration. Now with a green screen option.
- Screenflow – Perfect for professional voiceovers, loved by online teachers, and with great presentation effects.
- FilamoraGo – Free basic software that becomes even more effective when you buy after trying it out.
- Cyberlink Power Director – easy to use, sophisticated and a massive amount of functionality
How to add music to a video on your iPhone or Android
Every app or software listed above will allow you to add a soundtrack. The exact procedure depends on your software of choice. Check for how-to posts online or tutorial videos.
Adding Music to Video later
If you have created a video and not added a soundtrack there are several options online. One that comes up regularly in my online music searches is Animoto. This a paid app is a popular tool for video content creation.
Where To Get Music For Your Videos
Kevin MacLeod is a composer whose work I use here at Dash Kitten. He recently moved to a new site that is easier to navigate and is packed with quality work across a huge range. For about $22US you gain access to the entire library forever and it is worth every cent.
MobyGratis.com was created to brilliant oddball musician and creative musician Moby specifically for independent filmmakers providing ‘free music for their independent, non-profit film, video, or short’. The musician gains nothing from the site himself and all profits go to animal charities.
Once you have found the right piece just click the download icon and fill in a simple application telling us a bit about yourself and the way you are using the music. You will receive a high quality AIFF download via email instantly to use in your edit, along with a copy of the mobygratis Non Commercial Licence Agreement.MOBYGratis Cataogue
EpidemicSound.com is not a site I have used but their individual monthly subscription starting at $15 gives you access to over 30,000 tracks with regular updates. They are based in Stockholm with offices worldwide and have a wide range of contributors.
AudioJungle.net is a paid site that is part of the large Envato.com who host professional creatives creating graphics, photos, video clips and audio. Each piece of music you buy is officially licensed so you buy the licence you need and are safe to use your track anywhere.
The video I created for the Neko-Ngeru Cat Cafe has music by SerginXS. I contacted him through his page at AudioJungle to show let him know how the music was used. He commented that it was great to see htheis composition in use, it inspired him to keep working.
How to put music on youtube videos without copyright issues
YouTuve has a range of royalty-free tracks for those on a strict budget. It is a
Video Voiceover and Audio Tips
The good news is that major players like iMovie, Screenflow and FilmoraGo have tutorials online that guide you through the process of ducking your soundtrack. YouTube is a great place to start looking.
Do My Videos Need Music?
I believe they do and I hope th
Music enhances my message and gives an extra layer to enrich the creative process. Do you have a favourite music source, or are you going to add your first music to a video after reading this post? Let me know in the comments!