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by Heather Hayward

Music is a very important aspect of our movies. It can virtually wow it or make it fall flat. If you pick wisely it will enhance your movie experience, giving it an emotional connection with your audience. Pick the wrong type of music, you will find it intrusive and could ruin your viewing experience.

Think about what would appeal to your audience. Understand what your movie is trying to convey. Is it slow paced or fast, what sort emotion it is trying to convey? Look for a link between the movie and the music. If you are strolling through a flower garden, don’t add a fast dance style music that wants to make you kick up your heels, use something more relaxing or romantic, something that makes you want to stop and smell the roses.

Background music belongs in the background; it's there to compliment your movie not to take attention away from the visuals. You may enjoy pop music, but it won’t necessarily help the flow of your movie.

Bear in mind, your movie does not necessarily need to have wall-to-wall music. Sometimes a pause to let in the natural ambient sounds or the emotional tones of people’s voices can be enough.

To help working with any audio it is a good idea to invest in a pair of good headphones for any fine-tuning you may need to do.

1. If you find a piece of music but it’s too long, there are several ways to overcome this. You can put the music on your audio timeline and have the end of the music finish at the end of your video timeline, then trim off the excess at the start of the song so it starts at the beginning of the video timeline.

2. Add a 'reverb' effect to the music where you want it to finish. A reverb effect is basically a fading out of sounds.
How to End Audio Tracks Click here

3. Another method is to put your music on the audio timeline, listen to it in its entirety, marking the different sections, e.g. introduction, chorus, finish. Once you have done this you can either delete or extend the music using these markers.
Timing Audio to Your Video Edits Timing

4. Alternatively, you can count the beats e.g. one, two, three, four, and add a marker on the 4th beat, then match up the music using these markers.

5. If your music is too short for your video and you want to extend it, add one music track to the beginning of your audio timeline and one to the end of your audio timeline and look for obvious places where the waveforms overlap.
Trimming Music To Fit Trimming

6. Another way to either shorten or lengthen your music is make cuts under your narration or a significant piece of audio on one of your video clips, remembering to fade your music in and out so it is not noticeable.

When you have edited your music to your video, take off your headphones and listen to it through your computer speakers, or even on your TV. This will give you a good idea of what your video will sound like to your audience.

Sound levels for music should be around -18 to -22 db.

Remember, you can sit through poor quality video, but poor quality audio can kill all your hard work. Hopefully all of these audio tips will further you along on your acoustic journey.

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