How Momenta Selects Music for Your Promotional Pieces
As it pertains to life, music can set the mood. Momenta believes it is no different with multimedia.
One of the greatest advantages of multimedia storytelling is that the pieces we create provide a multi-sensory experience for your clients. The video and still images will tell your story visually while the audio will set the mood sonically. This doubles your chances of conveying your message and brand. Solid visuals will captivate your client, and solid audio will invite them to feel.
Inevitably, this will require that we obtain music for your multimedia piece. And, unless we are commissioning a composer to create a unique piece of music that works specifically with your visuals, Momenta will need to legally acquire music for commercial use. In this case, our team has four options:
Music within public domain
This is music that anybody can use for anything, meaning the creator’s rights have expired, or the creator has forfeited their rights. Think Beethoven or Vivaldi.
Music with appropriate Creative Commons licenses
Creative Commons provides six different licenses to creators. Only three of those licenses allow for commercial use. They are as follows:
Attribution // You may distribute, remix, tweak and build upon the music, even commercially, as long as you credit the creator for the original creation.
Attribution-ShareAlike // You may remix, tweak and build upon the music, even commercially, as long as you credit the creator for the original creation and license the new creation under identical terms.
Attribution-NoDerivs // You may use the music and redistribute your multimedia piece, even commercially, as long as the music is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to the creator.
This is music for which you pay a one-time licensing fee. This allows you to use the music as long as you would like, even commercially, without having to pay royalties or attribute the creator. Think of this as pre-shot stock imagery, in musical terms.
This is music for which you must secure rights in advance of use. To do so, you must describe the type of use very carefully. Rights-managed music can be very expensive, and cost can vary depending on the time you plan to use the music and the number of plays. Also, securing rights to use the music can take a long time as compared to the other options, and the artist, agent or studio may disagree with your planned use and refuse your request. Most people find this process both expensive and cumbersome, opting instead for royalty-free music or pieces under a Creative Commons license.
In considering how to use the music within your pieces, our production team has two options:
Lay one, instrumental song over the entire piece
This song will play into the general mood you are trying to set with the video, working together with your visuals to convey your brand and message as a whole. Think about this as background music used to tie your piece together and add that bit of ‘je ne sais quoi’ beyond the visuals and even an interview or voice-over. Furthermore, brands often choose a type of music for a given campaign and may use the same music for several pieces along a single theme. This can bring the different pieces together for viewers as a cohesive package in a more subtle and elegant way.
Use snippets of music, sound effects or recorded sound at specific moments
These sounds will accent certain moments within the multimedia piece and help viewers know when to feel what. They would do so by coordinating with your visuals. For example, if showing a beautiful photograph or video clip of a child smiling or taking in their new playground, an excited string of guitar notes would help uplift the viewer and become a sonic indicator of what the child is feeling. Conversely, if showing a video clip of a person sharing a personal experience, a quieter string of soft piano notes would help place the viewer in a more intimate space.
Consider the following video:
Community Preservation and Development Corporation (CPDC), a Washington-area nonprofit, asked Momenta to produce an informational audio slideshow on how investors, contractors and volunteers could partner with their organization. In this case, Momenta elected to use a royalty-free instrumental to play throughout the entire piece. Using royalty-free music allows CPDC to use the piece as long as they desire, even commercially, without attribution to the creator. Furthermore, playing the music throughout the entire piece provides the viewer with a feeling of inspired anticipation while also allowing them to focus on the images and informational voice over.
As our dedicated team of creatives works hard to personalize your experience with us and find the music and sonic approach best suited for your company’s needs, you can be confident that your Momenta project manager will be there every step of the way.
If you think our team would be a good match, please be in touch! We would love to hear from you.