How many times have you been listening to a podcast and suddenly found yourself nodding your head to the transition music? Or when was the last time you were so immersed in a crime podcast binge that you heard a glass break and thought you shattered something in your room? Thanks to good music and the power of sound effects, people create engaging podcasts all the time.
While it’s not easy to make a podcast, we can help you choose the perfect music and sound effects to weave your podcast together. To get you started, we’ve outlined three solid and easy steps for picking musical accompaniments for your podcasts.
Assess the mood
The first thing to consider is what you want your podcast to make people feel, and how your music can support that mood. If you’re hosting a murder-mystery podcast, perhaps you don’t want people to be listening to an upbeat ukulele number.
Think about the way the music in your favorite movie makes you feel. One example that comes to mind is this iconic scene in The Breakfast Club when the squad is finally let out of detention.
The director’s use of “Don’t You Forget About Me,” fits the scene perfectly. It supports the “victorious” mood of the moment, while avoiding becoming too overwhelmingly upbeat or optimistic, and matches the melancholic vibe of the closing of The Breakfast Club
Here are some questions to consider:
- Who/what is the subject of your podcast?
- What do you want your audience to feel?
- What does your music selection make you feel?
- Where is this music coming in (e.g., introduction, in the middle of a segment, outro, etc)?
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Listen to other podcasts for inspiration
If you’re just starting out in your podcasting career, it is always helpful to listen to how podcasts you enjoy use music and sound effects. If you have past episodes of your own podcasts that you like, listen to those and note why you chose certain pieces of music.
When you’re listening to other podcasts, ask yourself some of the same questions you would when choosing music for your own podcast. Things like:
- What does this podcast want you to feel?
- What does the music in this podcast make you feel?
- Is their use of the music working? Why or why not?
Find the perfect royalty-free audio
Once you’ve scoped out your mood, start looking for audio. One of most cost-effective options is going royalty free. You can even check out our post for podcast intro and outro music.
If you have a specific mood or tone that you’d like to invoke, you can also search through our library by “mood.”
Use this feature and you’ll find thousands of sounds that will fit your podcast. If you’d rather search by genre (or even instrument) you have the ability to do that, too.