The Importance of Audio… In Video

We’ve been around enough to recognize that one of the last things most people consider when creating a video, is audio. In particular the music and sound effects that accompany the video. Choose the wrong music, and your video will be cheesy. Make the wrong selection with a sound effect, and the only effect you’ve made – is ruining your video.

Music sets the tone for your video. The pace of the music needs to play in harmony (pun mildly intended) with the feel of the video. For example, you don’t want fast-paced music under an heart-wrenching interview. Not that you would do that, it’s just an example. But you certainly don’t want to have overused corporate crap playing under your video either.

Whether you realize it or not, the music you choose says a lot about your organization. Heavy synthesizers might imply your company’s too old. Heavy beats per minute might make the viewer think you’re trying too hard to make a boring position look more exciting than it actually is.

This is why we spend a lot of time selecting music for our projects. Sometimes, it feels like the most difficult part of the process. It takes a keen understanding of how you want the viewer to feel when watching the video. What works right for the tone of the footage or interviews. How you can edit in concert with the music. All of these things go a long way towards finding the right music track.

And then there is (the often overlooked) use of sound effects. I’m not talking about the sound of a shot gun, or a starting a lawnmower. For this post, I’m referring to swooshes, hits, drones, etc. that accompany cuts, transitions or camera movements. Most of the times, the viewer isn’t even aware of them. That’s a good thing. Sound effects should be used to enhance motion graphics, or complement an editing style. They should never call attention to themselves. If they do (in our opinion) they’ve failed.

Here’s a link to fun example of great use of music and sound effects to capture the emotion of what they were going for. It’s a little bit of a twist – a parody of contestant reality shows. However, it’s a great example that we feel goes to show the importance of using the right music and sound effect in a video. This example would simply not work at all without the music selections and sound effects: