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The Role of Music in Corporate Video

How much should you pay for music in corporate video?

Well, a video is more than what you see.

It’s what you hear.

The best videos are a total experience where you see a lot of different things and you hear a lot of different things.

What makes a masterful soundtrack?

Switch on Netflix, pick any movie, and just listen to the soundtrack. You’ll hear many different things. You’ll hear voice, distant voice, you’ll hear script spoken as just voice. You’ll hear sound effects, and you will hear music.

Music is that part of the audio that gives an emotional colour, it imparts energy and feeling.

It gives a whole different slant to a program.

Sometimes you’ll see corporate videos where they’ve gone “yes lets have music”, and they have music running from start to finish.

This is a very poor way of going about it. Because what makes music work is contrast. So we have music sometimes, and at other times we don’t have the music. We use it carefully. We use it in introductions, we use a jingle for section headers and titling, we may put an underscore underneath a process that’s being described by voice, we leave spaces free of music where ambient sound is used instead.

What’s nice about music is that you can choose the style that you want!

If you want a particular piece of music, a particular pop song, it’ll cost you a lot of money. You can spend thousands just to have 30 seconds of the latest hit, or classic retro hit. This is often beyond most company’s budgets and in many ways I wouldn’t recommend it, because masterpiece music – or a well known tune – can be too distracting from the message that you’re trying to tell.

The music should always complement the message rather than dominate it.

A professional video studio will work with you to choose the kind of music that suits your video best. They offer you a choice. The cost is usually very reasonable, you can afford to use it. Often you can afford to have 2 soundtracks if your video is long.

The most important thing is to pick something really good, and be sure your video studio has a good track record in using music well.

If you think the music track will feature strongly, it’s quite feasible to have original music written for you. With the advent of computer music technology there are a lot of music composers out there who come at a reasonable price, say a few hundred pounds for something special.

But equally there are video music websites springing up where you can patiently listen to mp3s (mostly not so good) and hopefully spot a winner for a $20.

To ascertain whether your production company is good at handling music in corporate video casually ask them how they equalise (eq) music when set under voiceover.

They should instantly launch into piece about how they EQ scoop the music to complement the other audio tracks. This is how the professionals do it. They EQ scoop, which basically means carving a chunk out of the music track where the voiceover frequencies live, leaving space for voice and music to sit together without the music imposing on the clarity of the video narrative.

The role of music in corporate video is as interesting and effective as you want it to be.

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