(Article published in StudentFilmmakers Magazine.)
Should You Care About The Genre Of Your Production Music?
How To Pick Your Next Tracks
By Daniel LeBlanc
Having worked as a composer for over two decades, I’ve written music in most every genre and have a couple of viewpoints that might be helpful in picking your next track.
Be open minded
I’ve presented original and production music to clients on hundreds of occasions. I always try to cover my bases by making sure that I have a very typical and safe option as well as a few “outside the box” choices. I hope that I can sell one of the less safe options, but most often this doesn’t happen.
There are a number of reasons why this occurs. Sometimes it’s because the decision is made “by committee”, or maybe the person choosing music is worried about what their boss will think and needs to be conservative and thirdly, people are used to hearing the “safe option”.
I believe that in today’s world of music where genres overlap almost everywhere, there are no rules to what type of music should accompany your important project.
Choose interesting music
In a time where there is so much media and being heard is next to impossible, any advantage should be used. Music can be this advantage. Choosing interesting and “not typical” music can go a long way in making your project stand out. By using “safe”, uninteresting music, you might also achieve the opposite by having people tune out.
Music can work in many ways. Should it be busy and energetic? Should it be slow and dramatic? Should it be rock, pop, world, classical etc.? All of these are good questions and the answer to all of the above is…maybe. Forcing yourself to consider choices that you might otherwise have dismissed will have a profound effect on your project. These “outside the box” choices will not always work, but I know that once you do this a few times, you’ll start thinking differently about how you choose music, which will result in better choices.
Genres don’t matter to the listener
When you’re in the studio listening to music try to be objective and leave your personal taste out of it. I know this is hard to do, but try and think big picture. Most of the projects that people pay attention to likely have interesting music and the genre probably never comes into play other than possibly thinking about the interesting choice someone made. Think of all of the Apple ads you’ve seen. There are a lot of world elements in their music. Quirky, interesting and overlapping genres almost every time. Do they stand out? Of course they do.
People like interesting music
To sum things up.
If you can, try putting different music choices against your mostly finished project. Don’t choose music before you begin. You’ll be amazed how a track that you may have dismissed on its own, sounds completely different against your project and changes the whole complexion of what you’re hearing and/or seeing.
This is a big reason that we allow you to download preview versions of all of our tracks for free.
I hope I’ve given you something to think about. Good luck with your projects.
Daniel LeBlanc is an award-winning music producer, arranger, performer, and composes scores music for motion pictures and television. As a writer, Daniel has penned songs with names as diverse as Alanis Morrisette, Dean McTaggert, Harry Hess, Saskia Garel, Creighton Doane, Samantha Collard, and Julian Austin. Daniel has been nominated for CCMA Record Producer of the Year three times, has won numerous song writing awards and has been the recipient of gold and platinum records for his work.