Have you ever watched Lord of the Rings with the sound on mute? There’s something strangely funny about watching Frodo walking up and down hills and staring off into the distance in total silence. Switch the sound back on, however, and the full, sweeping grandeur of the New Zealand landscape crashes back onto the screen. The difference? Music.
Music sets the tone for motion pictures and provides the emotional context for how the mise-en-scene is received. In many respects, music creates a more direct emotional connection than even images. It’s an immediate, visceral stimulus that’s incredibly difficult to ignore. Don’t believe me? Check this out. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mndDbN60Eiw).
So the question remains, how can you be sure that you’re picking the right music for your animation video? You don’t want to end up with something that sets the wrong tone, clashes with your branding, or confuses the message of your video.
There are no hard and fast rules for picking music, and there will always be a degree of subjectivity involved. However, there’s still a couple of things you can focus on to make choosing music more manageable. Let’s take a look.
Tone is a difficult thing to define. It refers to the emotional impact that your music has on the listener and should be the first thing you seek to clarify before starting your soundtrack search.
Are you looking for something upbeat? Joyful? Familiar? Inspiring? Try to pin down the feelings that you’d like to create in a word cloud before starting your search. This will give you a tighter target to aim for and help you to know when you’ve found the right track.
Music that races past at 200 beats per minute will leave your viewers feeling perturbed, whilst music that plods along will put them to sleep. Make sure that the speed of your track is energetic and upbeat, whilst not scaring the daylights out of your audience.
The tone of a piece of music is dictated in part by the group of notes that the composer chooses to work with. Without getting too technical, musical notes can be gathered into groups called ‘modes’ which create a certain feel.
The Major and Minor keys are examples of modes and create a happy and sad feeling respectively. The Phrygian mode has an Egyptian quality to it, whilst the Mixolydian mode sounds jazzy. You don’t need to learn the names of each mode, but understanding the difference between certain feels can be key to finding the right sound for your video.
Here’s a useful thought experiment for you. If your office had a backing band, who would it be? AC/DC? Beyonce? The Wurzels? If someone comes to mind immediately, that’s probably a good indication of what style of music best fits your brand.
Musical genres are clearly defined and easy for the average listener to recognise. They also come with their own set of connotations and imagery. Think carefully about what styles of music best fit your brand and make a note.
That’s it! You’re all ready to get out there and start looking for the perfect soundtrack. Don’t forget, the music you choose will affect the way people react to your brand on a deep, emotional level. Make sure you dedicate a decent amount of time to sourcing the right sound.
If you’re considering a video with us, then we’ll source a royalty-free soundtrack for you that will fit your brand perfectly.