Music can be deep and evocative, springing from the unconscious and delivering catharsis or narrative tone. It’s organic and natural and effortless—at least, that’s the way it seems. But if you’re on the other side of the credits roll, tirelessly editing productions, you know that this couldn’t be further from the truth.
While creative genius relies on intuitively navigating the many choices filmmakers and producers face daily—cut here, not there; layer these tracks but not that one—not every decision can be made by feel or gut instinct. This is especially true when nailing down the musical mood for your project. That’s why we’ve put together a few simple productivity hacks to cut out the indecision so that you can find the right stock music track quickly and get back to the business of creating.
Tip #1 – Don’t lose sight of your goals.
While you might still be trying to pin down the kind of music track you want specifically, make sure you’re in the right neighborhood. Narrowing down your goals for your music can also help winnow down your search results.
Are you editing a segment that’s meant to be reflective and solitary, or are you scoring a pivotal moment in a film’s plot—perhaps one that unifies the main characters as they work for a common cause? Answering these questions and focusing on the function you want your music to serve is an important first step in selecting your tracks.
Download this Welcome Home stock music track.
Download this Searching for Hope stock music track.
Download this Moving Towards the Future stock music track.
Download this The Long Awakening stock music track.
Tip #2 – Channel your inner Freud—start free associating.
Once you’ve identified your goals, branch out. Music paints an emotional picture for audiences, so start drafting that picture first with words. Every word you pick is a potential search term or cross-reference when you get down to the business of selecting your music, so don’t hold back.
Using our initial example, you can expand the search for reflective music by considering synonyms and related words: solitary, introspective, nostalgic, or mercurial. Each keyword will help you discover tracks with slightly different tones and emotional qualities as you hone in on your perfect project music.
Download this Hiding in the Shadows stock music track.
Download this Introspective Ukulele stock music track.
Download this Gymnopedie stock music track.
Download this Holding On Cinematic Underscore stock music track.
Tip #3 – It’s okay to be picky.
Don’t just stop there with synonym keywords—get specific and concrete. Is there a particular tempo or instrument you associate with the mood you’re looking for? Are the instruments acoustic or plugged-in? The more specific you get, the quicker you’ll find the track(s) you’re looking for.
In our quest for the right reflective music, it’s important to consider that the music will most likely be downbeat in tempo—conventionally, introspective music is slower paced unless it’s meant to mirror a chaotic or energized mental space. Nine times out of ten, you’ll want a quiet, slower track with clear acoustic notes.
Down-tempo Acoustic Melodies
Download this November Rain stock music track.
Download this Yesterday stock music track.
Download this Climbing Higher Up stock music track.
Download this Beautiful Swirling Acoustic Guitar stock music track.
Tip #4 – Search by mood.
Here’s where working with a good audio library can be key in your process. If your library has a search by mood function, as AudioBlocks does, you can easily key to the mood you’re searching for. From there, it’s simple to refine your search by plugging in any of the related keywords and track specifics you’ve identified. You can also sort your results by “Most Downloaded” or “Highest Rated” to find the most popular tracks among other members—why do all the work when you can crowdsource it?
If you’re working with an audio library without a search by mood function, all of the terms and qualities you’ve honed in on will help to isolate the perfect track in your searches. Remember, the more specific you can be with your searches, the faster the process will be.
Download this Sunrise Without You stock music track.
Download this Acoustic Loop stock music track.
Download this Melodic Acoustic Advert stock music track.
Download this Light Footsteps stock music track.
Tip #5 – Rebel! Throw out all the rules.
Each of the four previous tips focused on the best ways to find music for conventional storytelling and emotional narratives—but sometimes it’s what we least expect that makes the most impact. Just think of the unassuming jazz scoring of Rosemary’s Baby or the triumphant orchestral fanfare for the petty and small crimes in Nightcrawler.
Experiment with tracks that are “off the beaten path” and see if you can’t capture a little extra movie magic. With an AudioBlocks membership you get unlimited downloads of thousands of royalty-free music, SFX, and looping audio tracks—so download all twenty of these tracks and more. There’s no limit to the combinations and creative possibilities you can come up with.
“Out of the Box” Reflective Music
Download Bizet’s Habanera stock music track.
Download this Fifties Rock and Roll Johnny Be Bad stock music track.
Download this Happy Floating Around Eletronic Synth stock music track.
Download Debussy’s Clair de Lune stock music track.
|Strike the Right Note|