Having great sound quality in your marketing video is arguably as important if not more important than great video quality! A sonically rich sound track will captivate, entertain and reach your audience on an emotional level.
We’ve all seen videos that were near unwatchable due to a bad stock music or a poorly recorded voiceover. Bedtracks has come up with an essentials list of 5 post-production tips to improve your video’s soundtrack.
1. Add music. Explore a music library.
It may go without saying, but having good music in your video is really important! And the impact of your video can hinge on your musical choices. Here’s why you should consider adding music:
- It’s ear catching. The right song will grab the viewer’s attention.
- Music supports the message being delivered. Structurally and thematically gives context to the story and guides the viewer from idea to idea.
- Music is easier to remember than spoken words.
- An instant gateway to our emotions.
- Appeal to your target audience through music.
Now you might be wondering how to go about getting music for your video with the proper permissions. It’s a bad look when your video gets flagged for copyright infringement.
Luckily, there are lots of production music libraries out there that specialize in licensing music that’s specifically made for videos like yours. Music libraries are getting better and better all the time with high caliber music production. Here are some of our favourites:
3) Premium Beat
4) Music Bed
2. Utilize sound design and SFX.
It’s an often overlooked or afterthought of side to post-production, but when done right can really make your pixels pop.
What is sound design? Dave Lukezic from Sound Ideas breaks it down for us.
Where do I find SFX? There are some great libraries available online. Check out Getty images for their collection of royalty-free SFX, available to purchase from their site. You can also purchase pre-stocked hard drives of SFX. Hollywood Edge is one of our favourite SFX libraries.
Here are 3 essential tips on SFX & Sound Design:
Anything that moves on screen should have a sound associated with it. These are called specific sound effects (footsteps, putting down objects, using electronic devices, etc.)
Add room tone ambience at a low volume in the background. Subtle, yes, but gives a true feeling of being in a space. (i.e. a park scene would have birds chirping in the background, distant traffic, kids laughing and playing, etc.)
Sound design is fun to use for visual transitions or parts of your video that may not have a natural sound (i.e. abstract transitions, monster voices, etc). Get creative by combining different sound effects and producing your own unique sounds.
3. Consider hiring a music supervisor for your project.
A music supervisor is essentially an expert music listener. They are an expert in understanding the vibe and mood of the music. With utmost emotional sensibility, the supervisor understands arrangement, timbre, audio mix, tempo (and oh so much more) and pairs it with even the most abstract visual idea. Having a music supervisor on your project will save you a lot time and head ache.
Typical duties of a music supervisor:
Curating music options that match the pacing and mood of the video.
Contracting and briefing a composer to write a score.
Editing music to the picture lock.
Making sure all the music in the video is legally clear to use (if it didn’t come from a production music library).
Most music supervisors have a lot of training editing audio and have the ability to cover SFX and sound design as well.
This may sound like an expensive hire, but at Bedtracks a dedicated music supervisor comes with the use of our library, at no extra cost! We’ll curate playlists for you and edit music to your picture lock.
4. Match levels and control dynamics
It can be a real challenge to get consistent audio levels when producing a video. You may notice that the volume fluctuates between lines of dialogue or an interviewer and interviewee.
Use volume automation to bring up the volume of quieter sounds. This process can also be used for sounds that are too loud. Automate volumes until all the dialogue in your video feels like it’s sitting at a clear and audible level with out distracting spikes in volume. This process is called “riding the levels”.
Another technique to be used for balancing the dynamics of your dialogue is the use of compression. A compressor will reduce the level of loud sounds and lift the level of quiet ones. Think of it like an automatic volume knob, where if a sound reaches a specific volume the compressor will pull down that sound by a specified volume.
Compressors can give dialogue an “in your face” quality and their fast reaction time to volume peaks make them extremely effective.
5. Record a voiceover.
The voice over is a hallmark in post-production audio and for good reason it’s very effective! Though it doesn’t work for all types of video production the voice over gives a feeling of cohesion and can be used in several different ways.
Instruct your viewer
Emphasize action on screen
Provide comic relief
Explain a subplot
Good voiceover doesn’t require a professional scriptwriter or a “golden voice” actor. With the right energy, enthusiasm and sensibility for suitable voice over placement you can record your own! Simple USB microphones have made recording great sounding voice over a reality. We recommend that you check out Blue microphone’s ‘Yeti’ mic.
Thanks for reading and we hope you’ve taken away lots tips for your next marketing video.