Any budding filmmaker, or indeed a social media user hoping to make the most of their video posts, must be sure that all aspects of their production speak with the same voice. It’s not enough for the visual part of your films to be eye-catching; the background music must also be of the highest quality. And it should, of course, be in keeping with the overall aesthetic.
Have you ever tried to watch films without the sound on?
You can learn a lot about directing sequences in such a manner, like how crucial movement on the screen and the overall direction can be. However, your masterpiece (be that a short 30-second video or a full-scale feature production) will not hit home without a strong soundtrack accompaniment.
What Do You Need?
Whatever your film or video needs are, you’ll need to think long and hard about the genre you are operating within. Perhaps you are putting together a horror sequence, in which case the sound could be sparse and foreboding. Maybe you are looking to make your thriller chase scene really hit home and are therefore trying to get hold of background music that gets the audience’s hearts pumping.
If you think of your film as a hamburger, then the visuals could, in this analogy, be the filling and clearly is, in many ways, the most crucial element of the overall package. However, the soundtrack – be that a vocal arrangement, a full-on musical background or made up of sound effects -is then the bun. In other words, you need it, and it needs to be damn tasty.
The absence of a strong, effective soundtrack can sink your production, whatever kind you choose to use. It can affect the timing of the action you put in front of the camera and the overall message you are trying to get over to the general public.
Do You Need Sound Effects?
Sound effects also play an integral part in the overall visual process. These provide you with the additional resonance needed to emotionally invest your audience into the proceedings and may also be required from a purely technical perspective.
For instance, you may have shot the perfect sequence but then found in the editing suite that the sound wasn’t recorded correctly. You may not be able to afford to reshoot, so you will need to produce a sound effect to fill in the missing gaps.
You can also use sound effects to add weight to a scene, the additional audio boost to bring a piece to life. There are literally thousands of sounds of all sorts available in many of the highest quality royalty-free music providing sites. More on these later.
As a side note, if you are unfamiliar with the term ‘royalty-free music’, this refers to music that doesn’t require a long-term license. Usually, it requires a one-off payment that leads you to have free rein over how you use the track on your productions.
What Kind of Soundtrack Do I Need?
When it comes to putting together a perfect soundscape for your film, regardless of the length and size of the production, you’ll want to paint it with a great soundtrack.
Previously you’d have to fund such a project heavily. Either you’d bring in musicians to view your film or video, and then they’d look to score it. Maybe what they produce would be perfect, but perhaps it fails to carry the movie as you’d wish. Whichever way you look at it, it’s going to cost a lot of money.
Alternatively, as with many of the biggest budget films out there, you’d buy the relevant copyright permissions to use a dozen or more tracks. This option will not be cost-effective to those working outside the studio system.
Luckily there are a growing number of royalty-free music providers that give you access to huge libraries filled with top-quality music. The music comes from up-and-coming artists who offer access to their tracks, hoping that the exposure will help them in the long run, grateful for the funding they receive from the service they have aligned with.
The downloadable music provided by these platforms offers these artists a steady income, which is more crucial than ever given that any funds earned from live performances have all but frozen.
Where Can I Find It?
The search for the ideal royalty-free music provider begins. To be honest, there are many strong candidates out there. What most of these have in common is the sheer size of their musical libraries.
The best out there offer very intuitive search functions that make it easy to search through millions of tracks and sound effects. These are often split into relevant sub-sections and genres.
The upside of such a vast library is that you can take your time and hunt down the ideal piece of music or effect, to cover all the soundtrack elements needed.
Perhaps the key element in finding royalty-free music for your needs is the cost of using the service. All of these providers offer subscription options, and this is by far the most cost-effective option. You’ll then look to find a package that works best for your overall needs.
Finding the best background music for your video or film project is now far easier than it has ever been, so what are you waiting for? It’s time for you to make a ‘sound investment.’