Video is essential for teaching, training, sharing knowledge, and explaining concepts. No matter who your audience is, video helps them learn better.
Humans are hardwired to process visual content, but adding great visuals to a video is just half the battle.
Background music can add more interest to your videos, making them even more engaging and entertaining. The good news is that adding music to videos is pretty simple.
How do you add music to a video? Where can you find music? Read more to learn how to add music to a video.
1. How do I add music to a video?
2. How do I choose the right music for a video?
3. Where can I find music for a video?
How do I add music to a video?
It’s pretty simple to add music to a video. In this section, we’ll assume you have the music file you want to use, but later in this article we’ll share tips on where you can find music for your videos.
In fact, it’ll probably take you more time to choose your music than it will to actually add it to your video.
I use Camtasia to create and edit all my videos.
Step 1: Open your video
This may seem like a no-brainer, but I wanted to be thorough. In your preferred video editor, open the video project to which you want to add music.
Step 2: Import your media
In Camtasia, there are several ways to import video and audio files into your Media Bin. You can select Media from the menu, right-click in the bin, and select Import Media from the menu.
Or, you can choose File > Import > Media from the menu.
If you’re into shortcuts and hotkeys, you can choose CMD+I.
No matter which method you choose, navigate to the file you want to import, select it, and choose Import.
Note: You can also find music from TechSmith Assets for Camtasia in the Libraries folder. More about that later!
Step 3: Add your media to the timeline
Once you’ve imported your file, find it in the media bin, click on it, then drag and drop it to the timeline. You can add it to a new track or add it to an existing track depending on your needs. I typically add things to new tracks by default so they’re easier to find later.
If no empty track is available, Camtasia automatically creates a new track if you drag your file to the open area above the timeline.
Step 4: Adjust the audio to fit your needs
Here’s where you’ll need to make some decisions (if you haven’t made them already). Do you want your music to run through your whole video? Is it just for the intro or the outro?
For this example, let’s assume that we want to have the audio run throughout the entire video. Since there will be narration, we’ll want to make sure the music isn’t so loud that it makes the narration difficult to hear or understand.
When you select the audio track in the timeline, a line with shading will appear. To adjust the volume, you can click on the line and drag it up or down to the desired level. The waveform in the track grows and shrinks as you adjust the volume up and down, letting you know that the volume has been adjusted.
In the Audio Effects menu, there are additional options for adjusting audio. For example, adding a Fade Out at the end of your video clip can help avoid a potentially jarring abrupt ending.
Now that you know how to add music to a video, try playing around with it the next time you create a video. These were just a few basic steps to get you started, but there are a lot of other ways to edit audio to fit your needs.
Why should I add music to my video?
First, let’s admit that not all videos need music. Quick screencasts to show a colleague how to log into the new HR software or how to access their archived emails probably don’t need a soundtrack.
But, if you’re going to put something out for public consumption, it’s likely a little music can help make the video more engaging. Even if you just put a little bit at the beginning and end of your video, it helps make your video more interesting.
In fact, nearly 50% of the videos identified in our research Video Viewer Habits, Trends, And Statistics you Need to Know as being “great” had background music.
That’s a pretty strong indicator that music can add something special to your video.
How do I choose the right music for a video?
There’s a difference between adding music and adding the right music. Before you choose your music, think about what type of video you’re creating. For a video showing software or product features, you’ll probably want something upbeat and positive.
You want your viewers to feel good when they’re seeing your product. Other types of videos may need something more somber. Who can forget the various animal rescue commercials that are all over our TVs?
They pair sad, slow music with photos of sad-looking animals to compound the experience and — they hope — make us more likely to open our wallets to donate.
Not convinced yet? Trying imagining one of those rad videos of skateboarders thrashing out in a skate park with pan flute music instead of grungy guitars.
The right music enhances the experience for your viewers, while the wrong music can send the wrong message entirely.
Where can I find music for a video?
How can finding music be a challenge? I mean, music is everywhere, right? I have 70 GB of music on my iPhone right now. I’ll just use some of that music.
Wouldn’t it be nice if it were that easy?
Unfortunately, most of the music you own is effectively off-limits. That music is copyrighted (owned by someone else) and, if you use it, you’ll owe the copyright owner money (called “royalties”) for every time someone views your video.
Ever wonder why restaurants always seem to have their own birthday song rather than just singing “Happy Birthday To You” when it’s your birthday? Same reason. Someone actually owned the rights to that song until 2016 and restaurants would have had to pay royalties every time it was sung in their restaurants.
So where do you find the music you can use? Well, unless you want to compose your own music, the easiest answer lies in royalty-free music.
There are a number of ways to find royalty-free music, but your best bet could be to start with TechSmith Assets for Camtasia.
If you use Camtasia as your video editor, TechSmith Assets for Camtasia is a no-brainer. You can get a few options for free, or pay a yearly subscription to get full access to the library.
It comes full of videos, images, and audio to enhance your videos.
For this instance, however, we’ll focus on music.
Once you head over to the music section, you’ll see a wide variety of tracks to choose from. You can sort by mood and by genre.
Best of all, it lets you directly open your song in Camtasia or download it to your machine.
Free music options
Some royalty-free music is truly free. There are a number of sites that offer music you can simply download and use as you wish (though often for non-commercial purposes, so be sure to read the user agreement).
Free music sites will also likely have a limited selection so you may have trouble finding exactly what you’re looking for, or the music may not be as good as you prefer.
YouTube actually has a nice sound effect and free music library for you to choose from.
That said, I have used free music on a number of occasions and been pleased with the result.
For most commercial purposes, such as product overviews, customer stories, etc., though, your best bet is a premium royalty-free music site. While the music won’t be free, it’s typically inexpensive, and you’ll have a wider range of high-quality music to choose from.
Look for more on audio in future blog posts, or check out these great blog posts for more information!
- How to Sync Audio and Video Sources
- How to Normalize Audio Clips & Volume
- How to Reduce Audio Noise in Your Recordings (For Free)
- Audio Best Practices
P.S. The techniques above work for adding any type of audio to a video, not just music tracks. Whether you’re adding narration, sound effects, interviews, or other types of audio. Camtasia makes it easy to add audio to a video.
P.P.S. Remember that not everyone who consumes your video content can hear it. People who are deaf or hard of hearing — or who may choose to watch your video without sound — also need a way to consume the content without relying on audio.
So, be sure to include captions with all your videos. And, if you include a music file, the captions should note that, as well.
Yes! With Camtasia adding music to a video can be as easy as a few steps. Just drag and drop and you’re ready to go!
There are a number of good options for finding royalty-free music to add to your videos. TechSmith Assets for Camtasia has a number of options that are totally free to use for Camtasia users. Additionally, the free music library on YouTube, or paid services such as Premium Beats are best bets.
Music, even if only used at the beginning and end of your videos, can add another degree of interest and provide a more engaging experience for your viewers.
Know your audience and their expectations, as well as the type of video you’re producing. An instructional video intended for senior citizens will likely have different music than a rad skateboard video.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2017 and has since been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.