When it comes to video production, the image takes center stage. However, in every production, a vital yet invisible element deserves just as much attention — sound. In this article, we’ll explore how the right music track can elevate your video project. Though video production is a visual medium, music plays a crucial role in establishing tone and guiding emotion. Thoughtful choice of music can even reinforce personal style or brand identity.
Let’s take a closer look at the power of sound in video.
While it may seem like the visuals play a primary role in establishing the tone, it’s the music that does much of the heavy lifting. Music sets the mood and atmosphere of a production and can even affect the way viewers interpret a scene or setting. Think about the last horror movie you saw. What was the driving force behind your apprehension? Horror movies are littered with hauntingly beautiful imagery, but without spooky music to establish the tone, that hauntingly beautiful image is just plain beautiful.
Here’s another example. Imagine you’re choosing between two movies, both about knights in the medieval era. But you’re a big history buff, so you want to choose the more historically-grounded option. You pop on the trailers for both movies to compare. Immediately, option one smacks you in the face with an ear-shredding guitar solo. Option two, however, greets you with a sweet medieval melody played on a hurdy-gurdy. Option two is the clear choice. To understand the tone of each movie, all you had to do was compare the mood and genre of their soundtracks.
Choosing music tracks to establish tone
When choosing music for your own production, keep the examples above in mind. Before selecting a music track, clearly define the tone you want to set. Is the tone of your production menacing or charming? Playful or serious? Once you have a few adjectives in mind to describe the tone of your project, decide which music genres, tempos and instrumentations will be most effective in conveying that. For example, a heavy metal track with lots of speedy guitar solos might be perfect for an action flick, but it’s a less obvious choice for a rom-com.
Once you know what you are looking for, Adobe Stock can help you find it. Adobe Stock gives you access to a selection of diverse music libraries from world-class audio services. Plus, the library’s Intelligent Search offers a simple interface along with advanced filtering options that allow you to filter search results by genre, mood and more.
Adobe Stock also has a Find Similar feature. To use this handy tool, highlight up to 20 seconds of a preview track or drop any song, track or audio file into the Stock Audio web browser. Then, Intelligent Search will provide a list of similar tracks.
We’ve just discussed how music can help set the overall tone of a video. Now, let’s take a look at how music influences the audience’s emotional response at specific moments in the story. Even for a video with an uplifting tone, there are likely sad or tense moments within the narrative. The right music track ensures audiences interpret each story beat as intended.
You can experiment with this yourself to see how impactful music can truly be. Take a heart wrenching scene from your favorite drama. Notice the music that accompanies the scene. Consider its instrumentation, tempo and dynamic variation. Connect these qualities to the emotions conveyed in the scene. Now, mute the scene and drop a slapstick soundtrack on top. Does the scene still give you that gut punch of emotion?
Choosing music to guide viewer emotion
Like when choosing music to establish tone, the first step in choosing music to guide emotion is to Identify how you want viewers to feel at key emotional moments. To select the right track, pay attention to pacing, rhythm and dynamics. Don’t be afraid to use alternating music and silence to your advantage. A few seconds of silence followed by a dramatic swell can really amp up the intensity of a moment of triumph.
Conveying just the right emotion can take some trial and error, however. Luckily, Adobe Premiere Pro includes the native Essential Sound integration. With this, you can quickly find and test out music tracks from Adobe Stock. When editing with Premiere Pro, you can preview Adobe Stock music tracks in sync with the video, dialogue and other audio already on your timeline — without downloading or importing the files to your project. This will help you quickly gauge how specific music tracks will influence the emotional impact of the scene. You can even import free preview files without distracting audio watermarks.
Then, once you have a track that conveys the perfect emotion, you can use Premiere Pro’s built-in Remix tool. This lets you easily fit music tracks to match the duration of the scene without any trimming or manual mixing required.
Reinforcing personal style and brand identity
Sometimes, filmmakers become known for a specific camera angle or lighting technique. However, a filmmaker’s music library can also help define their signature style. Coming back to the same musical style and tone for multiple projects can help audiences recognize your work more easily, helping to establish your voice as a filmmaker.
As you curate your personal music library, identify the key attributes, values and emotions you want to convey through sound and choose music tracks accordingly. Store your personal or brand library of music tracks somewhere safe and continue to add your favorite tracks to grow your collection over time.
To help get your personal music library started, Adobe Stock offers a vast collection of over 74,000 audio tracks from five partners. That includes a library of 28,000 tracks from Epidemic Sound. Each track can be used in any online, advertising, social, point−of−sale or broadcast media project and all tracks are royalty−free. That means all tracks are cleared for monetization and commercial use. Once you license a song, you can use it as many times as you need, in perpetuity, anywhere in the world.
Harnessing the power of sound
While visuals may take center stage, the right music track can establish the tone, guide emotions, and even reinforce the filmmaker’s personal style or brand identity. By carefully selecting music genres, tempos and instrumentations, filmmakers can effectively use music to elevate any video.
Fortunately, tools like Adobe Stock with Intelligent Search and Find Similar features can make the process of finding the perfect music track easier and more efficient. Likewise, Adobe Premiere Pro’s Essential Sound integration and Remix tool provide valuable resources for finding, testing and adapting music tracks to match the emotional impact of scenes. And when you license Adobe Stock’s royalty-free music tracks, you can use them as many times as you want on future projects, allowing you to develop a vast music library that reflects your signature style.
For your next video production, embrace the power of sound. Allow the right music to breathe life into your visuals, amplifying the emotional impact and leaving a lasting impression on your audience. To learn more about how Adobe can help you find just the right music track right inside Premiere Pro, head to Adobe Stock.