Choosing the Best Music For Your Animation
Both of these animated shorts are funny, inspired and interesting. But I think only one of them features
outstanding soundtrack choice:
Animators pour a great deal of energy into storyboarding, sketching, modeling & texturing. So much,
evidently, that other creative senses can sometimes atrophy. I can certainly relate. As a music producer,
no creative task generated more artistic blindness than choosing the company logo.
Here are tips borrowed from leading feature film editors that animation teams can employ to help find
the ideal music track for their next piece:
1st Step: Borrow Your Dream Soundtrack
No, it's not unethical.
There are many website forums where media producers ask where they can find a royalty-free music
track that sounds like, for example, Survivor's “Eye of the Tiger”. Very quickly, well-meaning peers
will respond by saying, “You can't use that song. It's illegal.”
They're right of course, but all great songwriters will admit that their work is derivative. When I stare
off into space and try to conjure a melody, I often have to admit that sometimes what I hear is just a
memory of a favorite song. Maybe that's why the opening guitar lick of “Eye of the Tiger.” sounds a lot
like Steve Nicks' “Edge of Seventeen”. Hmmmm.
Go ahead and temp with the track that works best with your animation. For research purposes, it's ok
and even optimal to choose something famous that you'll never be able to license. The point is to
inspire yourself and your team to create the best visuals possible. Even if your visuals are cut to that
track's tempo, a similar library music track can be chosen later and modified to fit that tempo using wav
file editors such as Audacity.
2nd Step: Exchange It For A Better Fit
Switching out soundtracks will require an aural cleansing of the palette that will take time, but
remember that your audience doesn't know a