5 Smart Tips To Add Music To Video

by David Jenyns

Music helps to add life and mood to your video!

Music’s one of those things that you might not notice in a video, if it’s done well, but you will definitely miss it if it’s not there!

When you’re editing your movie and putting the finishing touches to it, it’s worth spending some time choosing music, because it’s a great mood setter.

Here we look at 5 tips you can use to add music to video using the iMovie software:

1. Go Royalty-Free!

Within iMovie you can access your own music collection, which may create copyright issues, or royalty-free music, which you can use freely and without worrying about having to pay royalties to the artist or songwriter.

2. Use iLife Jingles

These short snippets are great for adding on the start or end of a video. There is a large collection. If music can enhance the message then spend time to choose the right music jingle for your message – try to choose different music for each video that has a different message, as this will make it more memorable for the viewer.

There are short, medium-length and long jingles that you can use, depending on their function and whereabouts you will be placing them into your video. Short snippets are often most effective as intros and outros to your videos. You will need longer clips if you want a soundtrack throughout your video.

3. Choose The Right Sound For The Right Occasion

Most people wouldn’t play Leonard Cohen music at a wedding! It may seem obvious but choose the right music carefully – for a call to action you may need something lively and robust; as a backing soundtrack you usually want something soft and unobtrusive. Think of your audience!

4. Careful Of Volume

In iMovies you can control the volume level of the music clip you choose by going into Tools and Audio Adjustments. You will see something called “ducking” which allows you to tone down the music  when there is another soundtrack (like a presenter’s voice) that needs to take precedence; in this way the message doesn’t become drowned out by the music.

Remember the message is king – everything else is just attendant to the message.

5. Be Precise With Timing

Most musicians know that timing needs to be exact. It’s no different when you add music to a video. It needs to come in or fade out at exactly the right moment, for maximum effect. In iMovies you can drag a piece of music to where you want it to come in – place it over the clip and it will start playing there. It may take a while to get it right at first, but keep at it and you will improve.

As with most creative things, having a play around before finalizing will bring the best results and will help you create your own style to your videos.

We hope we have helped with the question of how to add music to video. More tips on all aspects of video equipment, video production and video marketing can be found in the Lights, Camera, Profits! workshop DVD that you can learn more about by clicking here.


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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Nhil August 26, 2011 at

It would also be best to have an audio trial just to make sure that you get their opinions first, review and edit the music to your videos if you want before releasing these videos to the public. :)

Anne August 29, 2011 at

That’s an obvious issue on some of the videos that I watched months back, the background audio/music is louder than the speaker’s voice. I can say that it affected my concentration while listening to the instructions (it was an instructional video on how to blog) and so I immediately clicked on the next video on the list.

Terry August 30, 2011 at

Agreed. At times, the background music can really get anyone distracted from getting the real message of the video/short movie may it be for product promotions or tutorials…Testing the final video copy is really key.

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