How and where to find the right music track for a project

August 24, 2023
Monika Pundzaite

Music is an inseparable part of any video. Fact! Unless you are working on a 'no music, no fun' project, chances are at one point or another, your video will require a track or two, perhaps even a little bit of sound design. 'Ooooo,' I hear you say. However, more often than not, music tends to become just an afterthought, left to the very last minute.

Don't get me wrong; it's easy to forget about music because there are so many other things to consider when making a video, and in pre-production, music might come across as a relatively menial task. But just like anything else, music is a critical component that must be considered and given attention. While the right track can add character and emotion, not to mention substance, depth, suspense, excitement, punch, and, well... you get the idea, the wrong track can destroy all the hard work you've put into your project. Knowing what to look for and where to look is an art on its own. So, what is this mystical and magical formula to finding the perfect music ensemble?

Step 1 - The Information  - a.k.a. Start incorporating music early on.

Every project has a function, right? Where will it be used? What's the mood of the project? What is the aim of the video? Length? Story? What will be shown? The first thing you need to do is figure out what type of music fits your project the best. What mood are you trying to evoke? Are there any themes or emotions you want to capture? Any information you can obtain about the upcoming video project can help you narrow down what kind of music track you are looking for, thus allowing you to do some prep work in advance. No detail is too small! Many of the current music platforms have an option where you can search the tracks by mood, speed, and genre. All of your prep work can come in handy when generating the search.

The earlier you start researching and incorporating the track, the easier it is to merge it with the video. You will find it much simpler to adjust and edit the video with the right music track already in it than finding a piece of music that will slot neatly into a finalised version of your cut. Swapping tracks mid-edit will be easier than doing so with the finished edit.

Step 2 - Think about where the music will come from.

Not every client will have a budget for creating a bespoke, one-of-a-kind track written by an in-house composer, let alone funding the rights to a well-known pop hit. But don't worry, there is a solution! There are quite a few royalty-free soundtracks providing companies where you will find the track that works for you. Just type 'royalty-free music' into Google, and quite a few platforms will pop up - Musicbed, Artlist and Epidemic Sound are some of my favourites.

The beauty in using these dedicated platforms is that they operate on a subscription basis, meaning you get access to a massive library by having a subscription with them. Monthly or yearly, it's entirely up to you. If at any point your client decides that they don't like your original track, you have loads of alternatives to choose from, making your life easier - wahey! Not to mention, this makes it rather simple when it comes to budgeting for a project.

Another rather important and quite often forgotten bonus of using a dedicated platform for music is music rights. Instagram, YouTube and many other social platforms can remove your video project if they believe it breaches copyright law. Nobody wants that! When you use a royalty-free soundtrack, providing your clients with the correct music license becomes a thing of the past (well, sort of). With every download of your desired track, a music license is generated, with a sequence of letters and numbers that can be embedded into YouTube to prevent unwanted video removal. Not to mention, how professional does it look when you have all the aspects of the video production covered? Go you!

Step 3 - Keep an open mind, and don't be afraid to try something new.

Sometimes, it can take hours, and I mean HOURS, to find that perfect track. Sometimes, it seems like the track doesn't exist or is hidden on page 367 of Google. If you're not sure where to begin, start by looking at some popular YouTube channels that use similar styles of music in their own videos so you can get some inspiration! Take a deep dive into VIMEO to get those creative juices flowing, and you will have some track ideas in no time! Remember, sometimes, all you need is a little push in the right direction.

If you take only one titbit from everything you have just read, remember that the music you choose goes hand in hand with the video you're creating and can help elevate your project to the next level. But remember, try not to leave the track to the last minute, and start thinking about this early. If you start planning and researching at the start of your project, chances are you can avoid a lot of last-minute stress, troubles, re-edits and woes. Don't be discouraged if, at times, it takes a wee bit longer to hunt down the perfect track - you will get there; I believe in you! And the more you do it, the easier it will get and become second nature in no time.

Now go forth, get your groove on!

Ready to start working with Sunday Treat? Our London video production company offers various services to help you craft the perfect video content. Call us on 020 3835 5455 or email to speak to us.

Related articles