Music and video have always gone hand in hand. These days, with YouTube, vlogging, filmmaking, advertisements and many more mediums, background music is a necessity. For somebody who may be seeing your work for the first time, the music can make or break your brand. Think of it as the final flourish, or the cherry on top that ties everything up perfectly. You want to convince people to invest in your business. This could mean subscribing to your YouTube channel, recommending your film or buying your product. Join us to take a look at the importance of background music and our top tips for finding the perfect track for your project!
Why Do I Need Background Music for Videos?
There is a reason that background music is extremely common in videos. In fact, there are lots of reasons! We can all sing the jingles to popular advertisements offhand or recognize YouTuber’s intro music. That’s because you associate the music with the brand, and remember it.
Background music is highly important for the following reasons
- It pushes the video along and covers any transitions or silences within the narration or speech
- Background music complements what is happening on-screen, making your message stick
- Music communicates a feeling or mood and so intensifies what your audience is seeing or feeling
- Background music communicates your brand and gives an instant impression of your business and who you are
- It makes your video more memorable
Now that we have looked at why you need background music, let’s look at some tips for finding and selecting it!
1. Establish The Intent of Your Message
Depending on the nature of your video, your message will differ. Are you making an instructional video or an ad? Is it a travel vlog? A scene from a short film? Context is everything here, as you don’t want to choose an inappropriate track that diverts attention from the main message. That’s why the background music for videos must reflect that message.
Sometimes a music library can provide songs based on a certain theme or mood, or even have filters by type of media. Tracks from such a music archive can give you a good idea of where to start and give you inspiration. However, you must dig a little deeper if you want to select the right music for YouTube videos.
Think about your brand and the message you want to communicate! Are you trying to influence your viewer to subscribe to your channel at the end? Or do you want to influence somebody to buy a product? Establishing why you are making the video is a very important first step. If you try to look for music before doing this, you might end up with tracks that confuse the message. Determining the reason for your video can help you save time and money before you commit to a licensing agreement.
2. Consider The Role Of The Music
Similarly to our first point, you need to consider the role of the music itself. Let’s say your message is “we’re a great company, come and work for us!”
Now, ask yourself, how can music heighten the emotion of this message? Would certain genres, like electronic music, reflect the type of business you run? For example, electronic music will show that your business is forward-thinking and modern with an element of fun. Your music choice should center around how you want your audience to feel, or to set up a particular atmosphere. You can’t use any old music for YouTube videos without putting much thought into it; you must establish the purpose of the song.
Music’s role is to evoke a response. So, how can you do this? You will need music that is encouraging, attractive and somewhat persuasive to grab the viewer’s attention. You want your music to make them believe that your company is the place to be! That’s why you want to use a piece of music that is both memorable and represents your business. It doesn’t have to be as cohesive as a music video, but people may think of your corporation every time they hear that song.
3. Getting Mood-y
Now that your purpose and message are clear, what is the mood of your video? If it is a travel vlog, it should inspire adventure and curiosity. For this, solemn, slow music probably won’t work. You can make use of your unlimited access from an Audiosocket subscription to find tracks that pair well with your visuals. The unlimited downloads give you the chance to listen to tracks offline anywhere. That’s useful for those that need time and multiple playthroughs of a song before determining if it’s the right mood for your instructional, company, or YouTube video. Remember, a piece of music is more than an addition to the video; it is actually an extension.
If you are doing a fun, helpful make-up tutorial, you don’t want a dreary, depressing track in the background. In regards to music for a short film, what era is it set in? What works with the location? These are all things to think about when selecting your music. It’s also possible for a song to have varying moods based on how you use it. Think about how a song sounds on its own when it’s played by a radio station compared to the meaning it could have when paired with visuals.
4. Who’s Watching?
Now you have figured out what you are conveying, think about your audience. If your YouTube channel consists mostly of young females, then what would they like to hear? What sort of genres does your target audience listen to? Your watchers will be more likely to resonate with your message if the music appeals to them. No matter how much emotion is in the song, it won’t have much effect if the viewers don’t care much for that kind of music.
Usually, what best compliments your video will work with your audience, as they have found you for a reason. Finding something that fits your brand and heightens or enforces the substance of the video is key. You can use your own insights or the available data on your social media platforms. Your company might have the rare case of having a varied audience. That’s okay because that gives you the chance to experiment with multiple kinds of songs and note what works. Maybe the songs you use will be as diverse as your watchers!
5. Be Practical
Think of the music as supporting the visual. Therefore, if you have a lot of speech in your video, try to avoid loud featured instruments or vocals that will distract the viewer. You can only do so much with audio mixing in post-production. Even if the music is quieter, it might contain some instrumentals so high-pitched that it’s bound to unintentionally catch the watchers’ attention. Another potential distraction is if the music is too in sync with the visuals.
Also, try to separate your personal feelings about whether you would listen to the track yourself. The track may not be your cup of tea but it may really work within your video. If you’re a heavy metal fan, that’s great – but it might not be the best idea for your serene travel vlog! Utilize tools that can help you save time. Audiosocket can do this with our filters such as Genre or Mood. You can even reduce the results by multiple factors, including instruments, duration and more!
6. Know Your Genres
Now that you have your message, your role and your audience figured out, it’s time to start looking for music. You can save yourself a lot of time searching if you narrow your search down to a genre or two. You’d be surprised at how many genres you can use as video music. At the same time, though, the large selection of possibilities might feel overwhelming.
Here is a list of some popular music genres and emotions they typically evoke in videos or advertisements:
- Classical: Dramatic, Epic, Victorious.
- Electronic: Industrial, Innovative.
- Hip Hop: Confident, Edgy.
- Piano: Melancholy, Emotional.
- Rock: Rawness, Individuality.
- Funk: Positivity, Happiness.
We encourage you to search on your own, exploring new genres and the emotions they evoke. Study some advertisements or YouTube videos that are similar to what you are creating to get some inspiration. Jot down some adjectives for different genres, and go from there! The songs themselves might even give you some ideas of the artistic direction in your videos. There might not be a particular blanket genre for your videos, but it can still help you find songs. You could also listen to music that combines styles, which can potentially evoke multiple emotions.
7. Too Many Voices Can Be Distracting
Your audio library might contain two types of tracks: vocal and non-vocal. Non-vocal pieces, be it copyrighted or royalty-free music, are also called instrumental songs. It’s significant to recognize that a track labeled as “vocal” doesn’t automatically mean that it includes lyrics. The track could simply involve harmonies, ooh sounds, a cappella sounds, or anything else where the human voice is the main part. Tracks with vocals can work, as long as they’re not too distracting. If the vocals are in your face or loud, you may want to avoid the track when making videos with spoken dialogue.
Instrumental tracks work great for when you don’t want the voice of the person talking to get mixed up with lyrics. Content creators should refrain from using vocal songs unless the lyrics are directly related to the video’s material. Regardless, you might still like the way the track sounds. That’s why there’s the option of removing the lyrics from a song using certain programs. This way, you get to keep the appealing music without vocals getting in the way of the person talking in your videos.
8. Use Quality Background Music
It can be tempting to use copyright-free background music or royalty free music that’s free of charge. Songs from the YouTube audio library don’t cost anything, but they can still have their limitations on where you can use them outside of the site. The problem with royalty-free tracks is the quality. There are a lot of factors that make or break a song’s quality, like properly using compression, or the mastering. Sometimes you just know by listening. For example, a song can sound like it’s cluttered because there are too many unnecessary layers.
That’s not to say that all free background music is bad, though you may struggle to easily find memorable or valuable sounds. The reason the YouTube audio library has worthwhile songs is that YouTube knows that many of the videos uploaded on their site are professionally made. A low-quality track can bring down the message in your content. Make sure you don’t assume that a song’s quality is determined by its popularity. It can be tempting to use a track like that to gain some traction with your video. However, it might drive away your target audience and ruin your work’s intent.
9. Beware of Pop Songs
While determining which music or sound effects you should use for your videos, remember to think about the tone of your work. With that said, pop songs could have a negative effect on your video project. You might feel tempted to use these kinds of tracks because of how popular they are on social media.
However, placing pop songs in your content is like using unnecessary sound effects throughout the material; your audience might feel annoyed and distracted. This kind of music tends to be overused and therefore less memorable. Audiosocket can help you find more unique songs – whether they are in the Pop genre or not!
10. Select Royalty Free Music Together
If content creation is a group effort, then talk to multiple people within your team or business about the music. You don’t have to be the only person looking through various music libraries for the right sounds. A team member can give you an opinion on a music track that can change your perspective.
Not every song you choose will be the best choice for the overall video. The individuals working on dialogue, visuals, and other aspects can observe songs with you and see how all of those elements work together. Audiosocket allows you to listen to any music track on our site before you select it for a licensing agreement, so you can easily show tracks you’re interested in to your team members before purchasing.
11. Recognize the Difference Between Background and Foreground Music
As mentioned earlier, instrumental tracks such as those from the lo-fi hip hop genre make for great background audio. Before getting the music license of a song, though, ask yourself if it would be better for the foreground or background. Either can have slightly different motives in video projects.
If your content doesn’t have a ton of speech or text to read, then foreground music could be an interesting way of grabbing attention. It’s okay to use songs with lyrics, like certain kinds of hip hop, for the foreground if it’s the only or main audio.
12. Get Your Music From The Right Place & License It Properly
Now that you’ve figured out the type of music you want, where do you find it? You may be tempted by ‘royalty free’ music sites, but there are better alternatives. Royalty free music can be a gamble when it comes to quality, plus it can be extremely overpriced. There is also no way to guarantee that you are obeying copyright law if you use a royalty free music website. So, what’s the alternative? That’s where Audiosocket comes in!
How Audiosocket Can Help
We won’t bore you with a long sales pitch. All you need to know is that from $10 a month, you can access over 80,000 tracks for your videos with Audiosocket. There are tons of moods and genres to sort by, and we take care of all the copyright and licensing. Save yourself time, brainpower and money and license your tracks properly with us!