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How To Use a Film Music Library

How to Use a Production Music Library to Score a Film (Intro)

This will be a series of articles on how to find music in a film music library that will help you, the filmmaker or editor, achieve your creative vision. I won't try to cover all of the bases in this first part as there really isn't a one size fits all explanation. This first part will be a very basic instructional. Greater detail and various concepts will be covered later.

Since you are working with visuals and early on in an assembly cut have a feeling of where music might either help the pacing of the film or help to reinforce a mood, you can decide what style / instrumentation density / tempo of music might be a good starting point. Let's say it's a film on the Depression, and your film needs period music to lend some pacing to black and white stills. In the OBT Music search engine, a possible launch point could be Film Score > Period > 1930's. At this point, you could hit "View Matches Now" to get a broad choice of possible cues, or proceed to the next column to define what you think might work with an adjective. Once you do hit "View Matches Now" (possible at any point in your search) you would audition the cue on our website (Play Cue) and choose to download the mp3 to try in your cut or audition more cuts. One absolute rule of thumb is that the best way to determine what music does for a specific scene is to actually put the music in the cut and play it against picture. You can't really know how the music interacts with the visual until you do this. I won't go past this point in this basic intro, but should you decide that period music isn't what the cut needs, you would either hit "Return To Search Criteria" or "Search Music Library" (the tab at the top to the left) and begin a search again for something entirely different.

Please feel free to contact me with an questions or comments at tphillips@obtmusic.com

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