How to Choose Background Music For Documentary Productions

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Backing music, sound beds, and audio effects are an important part of every documentary film. FirstCom Music has a vast selection of background music for documentaries in our catalog, but what is the best way to go about choosing music for your production? Whether you’re looking to build suspense, transmit convey an air of gravitas, lighten up the mood, or represent a sense of triumph, the choice isn’t always clear. The right documentary background music and textural sound beds can draw the viewer in, create an emotional connection, improve the tone of your film, and turn a great scene into an unforgettable moment.

Here are some tips to help you choose audio tracks that will elevate your project to the next level.

Consider the Trajectory of Your Scene

Are you looking to build intensity as your film nears a climactic point? Perhaps you’re looking to pivot the mood of the film after an emotional scene, or maybe you need a consistent feel that will link together several scenes in succession. Think about where your scene begins, and where it ends, and search for a track that matches the feel of the story you are telling. FirstCom’s music for documentary productions include rises and falls that can take the viewer on an emotional rollercoaster. Need a driving beat to keep the intensity high? Choose a song with a solid groove to fully engage your audience.

Listen for Audio Continuity

Generally, you want the audio transitions between scenes to sound natural and effortless. Of course, sometimes the film calls for a jarring transition. Background sound for documentary productions can help connect two different scenes or create a divide between different sub-stories in your movie. Think about more than just an individual scene. Make sure there’s continuity when you need it, and a strong transition when it’s time to shift gears.

Experiment with Different Sounds

Keep your creative fresh and exciting by experimenting with different types of sounds and backing tracks. Even if you use a tried and true method, you might discover a flash of inspiration that you can use on the next project. Different music and sound in a documentary film can drastically alter the feel of your scene and might add intrigue and depth that you had never noticed before. Perhaps there’s a storyline hiding underneath the surface that warrants a follow-up documentary?

You Hear Us Every Day

FirstCom Music has been supplying the film, television, and content industry with pro-quality soundtracks, sound beds, and audio effects for almost 40 years. You might not realize it, but you probably hear our work every day. If you need background music for documentary film and tv shows, browse our catalog today. We have more new music than virtually any other resource, and we have authentic archival music that new players in the industry can’t deliver. You have music needs. We have music solutions. Let’s connect.

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