As editors, we have many tools at our disposal when it comes to creating the mood for a video. The style in which it was shot, the effects and graphic treatment that we use and the voiceover, are all ways in which we can manipulate the feel of a piece. One of the biggest factors, however, is music. Music is an amazing tool for a video editor. It can be used to convey a range of emotions and set the overall tone of a piece. You may not even notice it while watching a video, but the soundtrack was meticulously chosen.
Think about the music you listen to and how it makes you feel. A song can make you think of a favorite memory or remind you of a special someone. A song can make you feel happy or reminiscent and it can even make you cry. Humans have a deep connection with music and that is why it is such a powerful editing tool.
Finding the right track for a video can sometimes be extremely time consuming. It has to fit the video perfectly to get the desired effect. We will sometimes spend hours looking for tracks that match the tone and tempo of whatever video we’re working on. Let’s say we’re working on a corporate product video. The song we pick for this piece would be light and airy, nothing too intense, as opposed to if we were working on a high energy montage video, which would have a soundtrack consisting of electric guitars and a driving beat. If we’re making a video for non-profit organization we would use a song that is sweet and sentimental. It all depends on what we want the viewer to feel.
As the viewer, you know when a song fits a video and when it doesn’t, even if you’re not a music pro. It’s something instinctual. At the end of the day, it would be easier to throw any song underneath a video. If we were to do that, however, we would lose one of the most beautiful aspects of the piece. We would lose that emotional connection with the viewer. And that is why music matters.