Some of the most iconic moments in film come from music. Think about the classic “dun dun” from Jaws. Or the iconic Star Wars into music. Or for many millennials, the theme song from The Hills. All of these pieces are synonymous with the projects that they are attached to. Because music etches itself onto the brain and helps guide our emotional connections.


Think about some of your favourite films and imagine them without sound. La La Land recently tied the Oscar nomination record and is dominating the Box Office. Now, music is pretty essential to the film as it is a musical, but aside from the song and dance numbers, think of the montages without music. It would just be two people running around, sometimes dancing, sometimes staring off with melancholy facial expressions, or quietly shooting up to the moon (yes, really). The audio helps contextualize all of those actions. Music is also essential to heightening aspects of a story. Think also about a film like Black Swan. The film focuses on the mental devolution of a dancer. The score is so integral to the story that it gives us cues as to where our protagonist’s head is. Without music, it would just be a bunch of strange, contorted faces.


Speaking of strange, contorted faces, music is often best used in commercials. Most commercials are set purely in montage, with the music setting the tone. Cleaning supplies, food, and lottery commercials are all set to hyperactive musical montages, promoting the joy these products will bring into your life. Alternately, ads for awareness, news, or political campaigns also typically feature montages, accompanied by slower, brooding music used to emphasize the importance of the issue being discussed. In most commercials the voice-over explaining the ad is almost secondary to the audio. This is based on research that has found what kind of frequencies work best for what message. Mid-range – high frequencies usually evoke feelings of happiness, forward thinking, and simplicity. This music is usually played either on a brass instrument, or stringed instrument such as a ukelele or guitar and the tempo is pretty fast. Alternately, mid-range – low frequencies are used to convey power and strength and are usually slower, and performed on string instruments such as a cello or bass.


Taking these points into account, audio can help enhance any corporate or instructional video. Music can set the environment for your video but can also help the audience emotionally connect to your brand. Music can also help highlight key points in your message. Essentially, the use of audio tracks can do some of the groundwork needed to engage an audience and help fill in the blanks.


The example of The Hills earlier in this piece represented the dream scenario. Take an already hit song, and use its message to convey your own. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have that MTV budget, or time to go through legal hoops to acquire soundtracks. Luckily, there are plenty of sites where stock tracks can be used for free, ranging from YouTube to Epidemic Sound. Additionally, many artists put their works on SoundCloud and have a download option available, allowing their tracks to be used for free. If that still doesn’t work for you, there are also tracks that are available via Public Domain, although that can require a different kind of patience, as for music it generally takes around 95 years after publication or 50 years after the creator’s death for a song to reach Public Domain.


No one sets out to make a boring video. At Arc + Crown Media, we’re always looking for ways to help you stand out, and therefore rely heavily on music for all of our productions. No matter how much humour or power we try to infuse into our work, it can often feel like something is missing. This is where music can help aide and lift a video to a new level. We’re here to use music to help connect you to the audience on an emotional level, while also helping underscore the main message.

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