News For This Month: Songs

How to Choose Stock Music Tracks for Your Videos

After you’ve got your video in the can and you’re going for the edit, one of the first questions to surface is, “What music do I use in this project? Choosing the right music for your video project is typically be a difficult process – especially when a client is heavily involved!

But of course, nothing is undoable for someone who has a passion for creating premium videos. Below are tips that can help:

1. Define the track early on.
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If you determine your choices as you begin the production process, you’ll be a step ahead. Planning ahead lets you secure your client’s approval early on, use the music at an editing pace you’re comfortable with, and stick to your budget. Everybody hates production surprises, especially those involving money. Planning minimizes issues later on.
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2. Look for a fit.

Unless you want to use the contrast approach (for instance, a classical track against a fight scene), pick a track that aligns with the emotion of your scene or video. Picture your target viewer. A corporate executive may not appreciate hip-hop or hard rock, but younger audience surely will.

3. Decide between vocal and non-vocal tracks.

Vocals typically go well with films and montages, but not under dialogue as they can be distracting. If you pick a vocal track for your video, make sure the words are in line with what’s happening in the particular scene.

4. Choose between music library and original composition.

Depending on your project’s scope, you can consider using tracks from a royalty free music library or hire a composer to create original scoring. But remember that original compositions are expensive, while royalty-free music is cheaper yet still high-quality. In any case, never use copyright or commercial tracks to avoid staggering costs and legal battles.

5. Pick tracks that use real Instruments.

Forget about tracks that where digital instruments and effects were used. They can only sound cheap and low-quality. Always choose real, organic instrumentation.

6. Overcome duration traps.

Don’t restrict yourself to your track’s duration! Instead, look for a way to make it work for your video, such as by cutting it up and looping sections as necessary.

7. Decide between end-to-end and bookended.

Typically, music becomes more powerful when it is only used in certain parts of the video, such as to accentuate certain points or the climax. When forced all throughout, the viewer can get fatigued. End-to-end music may be right for montages and demo reels, but a bookended or sporadic approach usually works better for corporate videos. Lastly, if you choose a bookended approach, it’s often better to use just one track to start and end the video.