Awesome sound isn’t just for action movies! Good clean sound design and correctly chosen music can turn a good video into a great one, and bad sound can make even the most visually stunning video somehow seem amateurish. Nothing ruins a good video like bad sound. However, oftentimes, when on a budget, one of the first things new clients ask is to reduce the cost of sound or music.
In the first of our “Importance of Sound” blog post series, we will take a look into the importance of using the correct music in your video. We’ll call it “Why Music Matters!”
Music Matters – Choosing the correct music is essential to succinctly conveying your message in your video production. Music has the ability to convey complex emotions in an abstract way, adding an extra layer of influence on the viewer’s emotions. When used properly, music can gently guide your viewers in how you want your message to be interpreted, and can help influence your audience to act on what they’ve seen.
A study done back in 1982 in the Journal of Marketing showed that the type of music played in American Grocery Stores played a huge part in how much money shoppers spent in the store. Faster-paced music caused shoppers to move through the store more quickly, which gave them less time to make impulse purchases, and in turn, they spent less money in the store. However, when the stores played slower-paced music, the shoppers slowed down, looked around more, and spent significantly more money than when faster music played.¹ Not only that, but a 1993 study in the Advances in Consumer Research journal showed that when customers in a wine shop heard classical music rather than top-40, they bought more expensive types of wine.²
On the flipside of music influencing your viewers in a positive way, poorly chosen music can take away from your otherwise successful video. Music can interfere with your subject’s message in many ways. Some obvious pitfalls are choosing music that is too repetitive (or too elaborate), or by using music whose emotional undertone clashes with the tone of your production. Another common problem is using a piece of music that may clash with your speaker’s voice through instrumentation, or sound frequency range. Sometimes this can be fixed with subtle mixing and mastering, but other times, the music will have to be turned down to a low level so as not to distract from the speaker, and ultimately, your central message. In each of these instances music can be distracting, and can make your well-edited video seem long, and, quite frankly, boring.
Finding the music that subtly guides the viewer to emotionally connect with your message without distracting their conscious attention is a very important balancing act. So “oh, just pick something….it doesn’t really matter” doesn’t well apply to professional video production. Whether it be a sentimental memory, or a fervent call to action, your messaging can be much more effective when the proper music is applied to fit the tone of your video. Music matters in video production!
Christine Smith is the Director of Sound and Music for RPR Studios. Her monthly podcast “Musicians vs. the World” can be found on www.frostedlens.com/musicians-vs-the-world, and most podcast providers.