How to Create a Soundtrack

Any video, to have an impact on your audience, should also have an audio soundtrack that matches the theme and mood of what the video is about. The ability to capture your audience’s attention is key to the success of your video production and even though, as film makers, it is not your job or your speciality, it’s good to have an insight into what it entails. There’s a strong possibility that you could end up in a music studio at some point during a video’s production and you’ll need to know how to create a soundtrack.

Audio for a video project can be one (or a mixture) of a few things:

  • A voiceover: A voice of somebody talking directly to the listener.
  • Sound design: For example the sound of trees, people walking, or cars driving.
  • Music: You probably know what music is! But this can either be in the form of a track that already exists, or a track that is made specifically for the video.

When you need to make a piece of music specifically for your video, it needs to be produced, and this is what we talk about when we talk about “music production”.

What Different Ways are there to Create a Soundtrack?

Music is produced in a music studio, either electronically, or with real instruments, or both. Which type of music you choose to make will also dictate which type of music studio you will need for the production. A piece of music that is produced with real instrument players will require a much bigger studio than if you were to be working on an electronic music piece, and will, therefore, require a larger budget.

“The Right Shade Of Skin” – A soundtrack made by Cutting Factory for a video presentation for Adtran.

An electronic music production will require what’s called a production studio, which is generally one acoustically treated room with music equipment like synthesisers and drum machines. You will also require a ‘music producer’ to help you arrange and program your piece of music and bring the production to life.

A recording with a band, orchestra, or choir will require a what’s normally called a music studio or a recording studio. These much bigger spaces are made up of one ‘control room’ room, one recording room or many medium-sized recording rooms which are used to house individual band members. These studios will have many microphones, instruments and well as hardware equipment like a mixing desk. The session length will also depend on how complex your production is, but studio sessions can range from 1/2 a day if you’re recording one instrument player to 1 week if you’re recording a whole orchestra.

Incorporating More than Just Music

One thing we mention earlier in the blog post is sound design and voiceovers. Sound design is a necessary part of film production, which can involve recording the movements of an actor or character that the video camera cannot capture very well itself. This would also be recorded in a music studio. Voiceovers are usually close captured lead vocalists or voiceover artists speaking a monologue or a script. These forms of audio wouldn’t necessarily be part of the soundtrack, but they are something to take into consideration when a soundtrack is being made. There’s no point having a crescendo of a soundtrack when the peak of the voiceover is 1 or two minutes before. Same can apply to the sound design, it’s important that these elements work together.

The soundtrack to a video is extremely important for setting the mood, and can help guide a viewer through the film. So producing music tailored to the edited video is the best way to approach creating audio for a video production. By creating something specific for a video project you can enhance the message, so commissioning a piece of music for your film is always an ideal decision.