How to add music to a video? Of course, this question is certainly a no-brainer for authors who are making a music video in any shape or form, like a lyric video. But what if you are making a business, ad, or corporate video? This actually maybe the question to ask before you dive into the answers on how to add music to a video.
Even in situations when you are making a ‘strictly business’ or a corporate video adding music to your video can play a very important role in actually making your video successful. As Hannah Martin notes, “while visuals are usually the focus of a video, music is a huge part of what makes this medium so engaging. And one of the most subtle and underrated components of an interesting video is the incorporation of background music.”
If you watch your favorite Youtube creators, their skillful use of background music, different genres from different histories, is likely to be part of what makes their videos stand out. Using this useful tool will make your videos more professional, expressive, and appealing to viewers.
The Association For Consumer Research made a marketing study that suggests that music helps to enhance the success of video marketing campaigns.
SafeMusicList notes three reasons most marketers and business owners opt to include music in their promotional videos:
- Music helps to grab attention even before anything happens in the video.
- Music helps to control perception. Do you want the viewers to perceive your brand as confident and trustworthy?
- Music helps to set the mood and creates an emotional connection with your target audience. Think, how do you want the viewer to FEEL when watching your video?
Music in your videos – taking advantage
Hannah Martin (above) goes into more detail about why you need to add music to your videos, particularly if they have a business purpose. Here are her three key reasons:
- Music sets the tone and inspires emotion. Music is an excellent shortcut for inspiring an emotional connection between your content and the audience. Whether you want to energize them with high-tempo music or make them more contemplative with a slow and subtle beat, the background music can serve as a powerful tool.
Viewers appreciate this layer of engagement from their content. They’re accustomed to being queued up by the background music, whether it’s watching a reality show, a movie, or even a YouTube video.
Music is such a widely used storytelling tool because it works. The background music can create the right tone for your message in an instant, whether that’s positive, playful, mysterious, or energetic. The effect will almost always be subconscious and enhances your viewers’ experience.
- Your video content becomes more interesting and dynamic. Background music provides texture and aural interest that will engage your audience and capture their attention. Today’s viewer is highly sensitive to musical cues. By adding this layer of interest, you keep them present and focused on your message.
- Music takes your video to the next level. Using background music helps to boost the production value and cohesiveness of your video. Viewers want a professional video that flows well and is well-constructed. And the background music is the bridge that allows the video to transition smoothly between different ideas or scenes, especially when you have a jump cut.
Background music is also a smooth way to fill in moments that would otherwise be silent, and fill otherwise dead air when you have a visual but no sound.
How to add music to video – computer systems and online
So it turns out that adding music to videos is one of the essential elements to make any kind of video become successful. These days, most of the videos are prepared and edited on a computer of some kind. There, you have three main options:
There are some video/music programs that operate on all of the above. Of course, there is the possibility of using different Linux operating systems, but these are not so widely used in video preparation and editing.
UScreen.tv presents the basic techniques for adding music on the above three key systems.
On Windows systems, you can use Windows 10’s Photos app to add music to your video in just a couple of clicks. It’s important to note that you use Photos to edit the video, though, and not the Movies & TV app.
iMovie is a great video editor that’s included with macOS and iOS. If you don’t have iMovie on your Mac, you can download it from the Mac App Store. Once it’s installed, you’re ready to add music to your video clip.
But, what would be an almost universal tool to add music to a video on almost any system? According to Videoproc.com it is the free program VLC. It works both on Windows and macOS, but also on Linux, iOS, and Android. The latter makes it possible to use VLC on iPads, iPhones, tablets, and mobile phones.
VLC has audio filters like an audio channel remapper, pitch shifter, and volume normalizer built-in. It allows you to add sound to video with rough control over audio quality.
Using VLC and adding an audio track to YouTube
How do you add music to a video using the VLC program? Here’s the quick step-by-step guide:
- Open VLC media player, click Media > Convert / Save.
- Click +Add to load your video file in the pop-up Open Media window.
- Choose Convert in the dropdown menu of Convert / Save.
- Move to Settings > Profile > Edit selected profile.
- Switch to Audio codec, disable Audio, and then Save to mute the original audio.
- Go back to the main interface > Media > Convert / Save.
- Import your video clip by +Add.
- Re-enable the Audio option and Keep the original audio track.
- Click Show more options > enable Play another media synchronously > Extra media.
- Load the audio you are going to add to the video, click Select > Convert / Save.
- Browse to reset the destination folder and rename your file > Save > Start to add new audio.
The most popular site to present videos is YouTube. As Videoproc (above) notes, YouTube videos with background music could be blissful or a disaster for viewers. A cheerful tone brings the summer vibe into your seaside vlog, while a piece of loud music in a tutorial video drives people crazy.
To add music to a YouTube video you can use one of the specialized programs or you can add it after uploading it via YoTube Studio:
- Sign in to YouTube, and click CREATE next to your profile picture.
- Upload your video. Follow the instructions on the screen and go give your video a title and a description.
- Click on your video, and you shall see more managing options such as Editor.
- Click the Editor from the left panel within YouTube Studio, then click on + Audio.
- Find a piece of music that fits your video, and click ADD. You can use filters such as genre, mood, and length to speed up the selection process.
Adding music – the legal part
As SafeMusicList (above) points out, either if you make marketing videos for your own small business or create content for your clients, you will eventually find yourself in need of legal background music.
“As a rule of thumb, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner to use any copyrighted material, even when working on strictly non-commercial projects.”
Here are some legal issues that you need to have in mind when adding music to a video:
- It is not enough to just give credit for the music you want to use in a video. “Giving credit is nice and is surely appreciated by the artist but it grants you no special rights.” Possibly the only exception is when you use Creative Commons with Attribution license that actually requires you to give credit, in order to use the music.
- Even if you are making a non-profit video, you “still need permission if you plan to use somebody else’s content.”
- If you plan to use fair use as your line of defense against copyright claims, keep in mind that fair use primarily applies to commentary, parody, news, and similar uses and won’t work for business videos.
In order to use commercial music in any video, you must obtain two licenses:
- Sync (synchronization) license from the publisher.
- Master license from the recording label.
The publisher may vary from a large company with thousands of artists to individual songwriters who publish their own work. You can find publisher information by searching through the major performance rights organizations (PRO) catalogs.
How to add music to a video – leaving it to professionals
Of course, if you are making a home video or a video for a specific in-office use, do-it-yourself projects just might be the right option. And you can use tools like VLC above or add music to an already prepared YouTube video.
But what if you need a through-and-through professional job? There you would need to use a professional program like Final Cut Pro X or Premiere Pro. In VLC, for example, you won’t see any specific parameter adjusting settings.
Or, you just might opt for a solution that can prove to be actually less costly. That is to hire a freelance video/audio professional. But, what if the success of a certain product is riding on your say video ad campaign? There, a professional touch might be that tip on the scales that work in your favor.
Actually, offering a list of versed and experienced freelance audio/video professionals is one of BunnyStudio’s specialties. We would certainly be glad to help you with all your audio/video needs and we just might give you the right answer to the question of how to add music to a video.