Whether you are a filmmaker, a musical artist, or a businessperson who wants to up the ante on your company’s media, it behooves you to know the basics of how to add sound effects to your music. The process isn’t as intimidating as it may at first seem. In fact, it can even be fun. Here are some tips to help you add the perfect sound effects that will take your music from ordinary to extraordinary.

Get to Know the Jargon

If you’re just starting out in the creative industry, you’ll hear a lot of words tossed around that could go over your head. You don’t have to take a college course or make a mountain of flashcards just to get comfortable with the jargon. Find a succinct online glossary of sound and recording terms, and look up words as you need to learn them.

Some phrases that you’ll probably need to know right away include: ambiance, reverberation, amplifier, equalization, and synthesis.

Experiment with Effects and Mood

Here comes the fun part. Through a royalty free music library like MotionElements, you can get your hands on affordable or even free stock music and bgm music that you can use as practice. If you come up with something that you like, you might even use it in your main project. Keep in mind, though, that stock music licenses do not allow you to alter music beyond recognition.

The sound effects you add to music can alter its mood. For example, music that is ordinarily regal and classic can take on a modern twist if you change its balance or add an extra drumbeat.

Be Careful with Reverberation

“Reverb is probably the most important effect in the studio,” according to Sound on Sound expert Paul White (1999). It can add depth to music and help vocals to fit better with bgm music. However, just because reverberation is important doesn’t give you permission to use it with abandon.

Basically, reverberation is the sound that a space creates. A small room with stone walls has a different reverb than a small room with wood walls. Adding reverb to music can change the way the parts of the music and the effects in it interact. However, if you’re not careful, you could end up with something that sounds like it was recorded in your mother’s basement instead of a professional studio.

Choose Good Software

Software with a complicated user interface or less-than-quality features might get the job done, but it won’t get the job done well. One program that gets a lot of positive feedback is Audacity, a free, open source, sound editing program. It lets you record tracks, modify them, save your projects, and export music. The user interface is simple, and although it lacks the power of higher-end programs, it won’t overwhelm you with a ton of features that you don’t need. After you get your sound effects under your feet, you can upgrade to a program with a little more muscle.

The right music and sound effects add a layer to films for which there is no substitute. Learn the basics of adding sound effects to your music to take your projects to the next level. Adding just the right dash of sound effects can quickly transform the library music used in your video to a track that is entirely yours.