How to Choose and Add Music to a Video in Adobe After Effects

Learn how to add music to your videos and impress your audience using Adobe After Effects.

Choose the best royalty free music

Without music, a video is nothing! It is the music that sets the tone, creates an ambiance, and evokes strong emotions in the audience.

From advertisements to YouTube videos, music is an essential part of any content. Human brain is wired to answer to music, that is why most brands have their own jingles, successful YouTubers use free intro music for YouTube, and bestselling videogames have happy background music upbeat

Music has the ability to elicit strong emotions. So much that even silent films had music! Early cinematic works were accompanied by a pianist or an orchestra so that the viewers could feel in tune with the feeling conveyed by the video. Scientist have proven that harmony, musical instruments and tempo create a “mood”: Certain instruments are associated with sadness while others are associated with happy feelings, low tempo songs create a sombre mood as high tempo songs elicit cheerful emotions. 

In addition, music emphasizes the message you want to convey: You can use strategically placed music tracks in your video to convince your audience, and make your message more memorable. 

If you want your advertisements, business videos, presentations, YouTube videos, Twitch streams or Instagram videos to stand out, you should learn how to incorporate royalty free music and free beats into your videos. Most filmmakers, professional videographers and popular YouTubers use Adobe After Effects for this purpose.

If you don’t know how to use Adobe After Effects, worry not! Our detailed guide below will walk you through how to add music to a video using Adobe After Effects. 



How to choose and add music to a video in Adobe After Effects

Choosing the right music for your video is essential! Without the right music, your video cannot set itself apart from millions of visual contents freely available on the internet. 

First of all, you should determine the mood. Is your video happy, sad, grand, understated, serious, or cheerful? Determining the mood will allow you to find the right tempo and genre of the music for your video. 

Second thing you must bear in mind is that you shouldn’t mix too many different music styles. Switching between genres to surprise your audience or grab their attention is always a good idea but you must be very careful when doing that. Adding very different music tracks back to back in your video can confuse your viewers, make them feel alienated and even hinder you from sending across the message you want to. 

Another thing you must pay attention to is the harmony: Your music and your video must be in tune. Consider each scene and what message you want to send out with these scenes. Make sure that your music complements the mood and message of the scene instead of interfering with them.
While in post production, don’t hesitate to watch your video several times and experiment with different music tracks to see which one fits better. 

Consider your target audience while settling with the music. Be mindful of their taste, age, background and habits. For instance, EDM or techno might not be the best music for your video if you want to appeal to an older generation. Or country songs might not grab the attention of a more urban target audience. Pay attention to your viewers and their characteristics.

And finally, pay attention to copyrights! Almost all social media platforms have strict rules against the use of copyrighted songs. If the video you want to publish has copyrighted material in it, major platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Twitch are most likely to remove it. Moreover, you might even get shadow banned or lose your account if you violate copyright rules more than once. That is why you must be vigilant with copyright violations.

You can use non copyrighted and royalty free songs freely in your videos. If you don’t know how to tell if a song is copyrighted, you can check PDINFO. If you want to be safe, the best way to go is visiting royalty free song libraries of Snapmuse. You can browse by mood, artist and genre to find the perfect musical match for your video.

Once you choose the music, your next step is using Adobe After Effects to incorporate the song you chose into your video. 

First of all, start the program and open a new project. Choose a self explanatory name for your project so that you can find it easily when you need to. Avoid giving it a name that consists of random letters or numbers.

Then import the files you want to work on: Your video or videos, and the music files you want to insert to your video. If you cannot import your audio files to your project, check their extension: It must be .mp3. 

After you are done with the import process, you are ready to edit your video and audio files. Press cmd+0 (ctrl+0 if you are on Windows) to enable the audio in timeline. Then simply drag and drop the audio files onto the composition. 

If you need to adjust the audio settings, you can hit the L key twice on your keyboard to view audio waveform.

You can drag and reposition audio clip to make fine adjustments. 



How to cut sound in After Effects

If you need a specific part of the audio file in your video, you can cut it on After Effects.

If you haven’t imported your audio files into your project, do it first. If you come across an error message during the import, check the file type of your audio: It must be mp3. Any other format is not supported by After Effects, so you need to convert it. 

You can download audio conversion programs or use online tools for this purpose. 

After you imported your audio clips, you can drag and drop them onto the composition. You can move the audio layer around to place it. Also you can click and drag the endpoints of the audio file to trim. If you cannot find the endpoints or prefer the keyboard shortcuts, you can press Option+] and Option+[ (Alt+] and Alt+[ if you are on Windows) to trim the layer.

You can also split the audio file at any point you want: Press Cmd+Shift+D (Ctrl+Shift+D if you are on Windows).



How do you add background music in After Effects?

Adding background music to your videos on After Effects is very easy! First you need to open a project. Then you need to import your video and audio files. Make sure that your audio files have .mp3 extension, otherwise you will get an error. You can convert other audio formats to .mp3 online using web tools. 

After you import your files, simply drag and drop your audio files onto the composition. You can move audio files around, split or cut them to make the perfect edit. In addition you can adjust the volume of the audio files as well.



How do you trim a sound?

You can trim the audio file on Adobe After Effects by clicking and drawing the endpoints of the audio layer. In addition you can also use keyboard shortcuts: Press Option+] and Option+[ (Alt+] and Alt+[ if you are on Windows)

If you need to cut your audio file from a selected point, you can hit Cmd+Shift+D (Ctrl+Shift+D if you are on Windows).



How do I edit audio in After Effects?

You can use keyboard shortcuts or your mouse to place, drag, and edit your audio file. First import the audio file you want to use in your video. It must be in mp3 format, otherwise Adobe After Effects won’t let you use the file.

If your file is not in mp3 format, please convert it using online tools or programs.

After you imported the music file you want to use, you can position it on the timeline to make sure it starts when you want it to. 

If the audio file is longer than needed, you can trim it: Click on the endpoints of the audio layer and drag it until the audio is in the desired length. In addition, you can use the keyboard shortcuts: Option+] and Option+[ (Alt+] and Alt+[ if you are on Windows)



How do I trim and cut audio in After Effects?

You can trim your audio file on the timeline by clicking the end points of the audio layer and dragging. If you prefer using shortcuts, hit Option+] and Option+[ (Alt+] and Alt+[ if you are on Windows) to do the same thing.

 If you want to cut your audio file at a specific time point, right click to where you want to cut it and select “Cut”. You can do the same by hitting Cmd+Shift+D (Ctrl+Shift+D if you are on Windows).



Without music, a video is nothing! It is the music that sets the tone, creates an ambiance, and evokes strong emotions in the audience.

From advertisements to YouTube videos, music is an essential part of any content. Human brain is wired to answer to music, that is why most brands have their own jingles, successful YouTubers use free intro music for YouTube, and bestselling videogames have happy background music upbeat

Music has the ability to elicit strong emotions. So much that even silent films had music! Early cinematic works were accompanied by a pianist or an orchestra so that the viewers could feel in tune with the feeling conveyed by the video. Scientist have proven that harmony, musical instruments and tempo create a “mood”: Certain instruments are associated with sadness while others are associated with happy feelings, low tempo songs create a sombre mood as high tempo songs elicit cheerful emotions. 

In addition, music emphasizes the message you want to convey: You can use strategically placed music tracks in your video to convince your audience, and make your message more memorable. 

If you want your advertisements, business videos, presentations, YouTube videos, Twitch streams or Instagram videos to stand out, you should learn how to incorporate royalty free music and free beats into your videos. Most filmmakers, professional videographers and popular YouTubers use Adobe After Effects for this purpose.

If you don’t know how to use Adobe After Effects, worry not! Our detailed guide below will walk you through how to add music to a video using Adobe After Effects. 
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