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Adding music to news videos

Rep: 15
Kathy Strauss Aug. 20, 2010, 10:04 a.m. permalink

I was hired to produce a video about a Green business conference and am now working with the client on the finishing touches. She would like me to add music to the video which is edited like a news piece, combining interviews, b-roll and natural sound.

It's possible that the client will be providing the music (long story but she runs a micro loan company and some of her loan recipients are musicians so we can use their music without copyright infringement.)

I'm not really sure where to begin. Can any of you give me some general tips and/or suggest some reading or resources for me to look into? For example, do I just lay a song under the entire piece... or what???? Help, and thanks!

Rep: 91
Peter Huoppi Aug. 21, 2010, 5:56 a.m. permalink

I think it's best for the pace of the editing to match the pace or beat of the music, so adding music to a piece that's already edited might be tough.The times when I've used music, I try to do a loose edit, then lay down the music track, and then time my cuts to the beat of the music.The video will flow better if the cuts are timed to coincide with the drum beat or the emphasized notes. Also, you'll want to make sure the level of the music doesn't compete with the audio of the rest of the video.

Rep: 141
Colin Mulvany Aug. 23, 2010, 12:20 p.m. permalink

Hi Kathy,

Music can add to a multimedia story or destroy it quickly. Here are my tips for using music.

1. Make sure your levels do not over-power the narration.
2. Whenever possible, edit to the beat of music.
3. Don't use music to make a sad story even sadder. 
4. Duck your music. Meaning raise and lower audio levels when needing-- i.e. when someone is speaking, lower them. 
5. Choose your music wisely. I would not use music on a breaking news story, but I would for a light feature, or historic piece.
6. Try to use more than one track. In this recent audio slideshow about a historic forest fire, I used one track that was more dark and ominous when the fire were raging , then transitioned to  a lighter track after the fires ended.

Rep: 15
Kathy Strauss Aug. 24, 2010, 9:26 a.m. permalink

Thanks, Peter and Colin. Your suggestions are all really helpful. In general it sounds like, and makes sense, that music should be used early on in the edit and not added at the end as I'm attempting. I'll let you know how it turns out.

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