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The other day a friend shared a link to a video that had me in stitches and reminded me of the importance of using the right music in your videos.
Music is very important, it has the power to conjure images in our minds that aren’t actually there. A trick I learnt as a teenager was not to run behind the sofa or cover my eyes when watching a scary film, but to put my fingers in my ears instead. Without the suspenseful, threatening music (think Psycho, Jaws or Paranormal Activity which reportedly used infrasound) the visuals took on a different meaning and their power to frighten was reduce. Why not try it for yourself when you next watch a thriller!
Music gives the visual element context – silence can be golden and heighten anticipation or it can be just plain boring. Is there a golden formula for the amount of background music you should use? Well that will depend on the type of video you are making and your budget. With commercial music (eg chart music) usually charged for in 30 sec blocks your decision might not be down to esthetics alone. There are however other options that allow you to use an entire piece of music for a one off payment.
For a news or speech lead video perhaps 30% is a good average figure. There are also the videos where music plays a more dominant role, blending with the footage to create an harmonious piece and where it can happily be used in its entirety.