Enlightened Audio Education
Planning the structure of background music in meditation and hypnosis recordings
Let’s take a moment to talk about the “structure” of the music in your recording. What I mean by this is:
- Will you have an introductory track or perhaps a signature “jingle”?
- Will you just use one music track throughout your entire recording?
- Will you conclude your recording with a separate track to liven the mood and awaken your listener?
There really is no specific requirement or expectation of you in this regard. Every recording is unique and there is no best way to do things. The majority of clients whom I’ve helped to make hypnosis and guided meditation recordings will simply choose a single, long-duration music track to use in the background of their recording. The recording opens with this music, and it fades out at the end. Simple as pie and perfectly acceptable.
But there are a few additional techniques that you might like to use that can spice up your recording and make it a little more engaging and memorable.
Here are just a few examples:
You might like to add a brief introductory track (1-5 minutes) in which you introduce yourself and prepare the listener for the journey ahead. Perhaps some ambient or inspirational music will suit the tone of this part of your recording and help to establish an initial mood.
You might like to add a very short “jingle” at the start of your recording, and perhaps one at the end too. This need only be a very short (between 5 – 30 seconds) “signature sound” that simply heralds the commencement and conclusion of your recording. This can be a classy touch. Some people choose to leave their signature sound “naked” (without a voiceover added) whereas others will often add a few spoken words in which they introduce themselves or mention their business name, something akin to an auditory logo.
A signature sound can also be used to great effect as an intro to video productions. You’ve probably already seen plenty of intros like this on YouTube videos, where the video opens with a brief animated graphic combined with some music. Intro sounds like these are certainly not essential, but they have a way of making audio and video productions that little bit more professional.
Choosing the right music duration
When the time comes to select music for your recording, it helps to know approximately how long your recording will be. You don’t need to know the exact length, just a rough idea will do.
It’s unlikely that the music you select will be the perfect duration for your recording, unless you have music composed specifically for you. So what you must do is select a piece of royalty free music that is longer than you require, and then when the spoken portion of your recording ends you will simply fade the music out.
For example, if you think your recording will be about 25 minutes long, choose a piece of music that is around 30 minutes long so that you have some room to breathe.
It is also possible to use a piece of music that is shorter than you require, and then loop it to make it longer. However, I would only recommend this approach if the music you chose is a “perfect loop”, in other words, it has been edited in order to make looping easy. Trying to loop a piece of music that has not been pre-edited for looping can be much tricker and is best attempted only if you have reasonably advanced audio editing skills. For most people, it’s much easier to shorten a long piece of music than it is to lengthen a short piece.
One final tip to keep in mind. If you think that you might use your music to create more than one recording over time, and if your favourite background music is available in a variety of durations, err on the side of caution and opt for one of the longer durations. You can’t be entirely sure what recordings you will want to create in future and what their durations might be, so having a long piece of music on hand will ensure that you are free to create recordings of any duration and will save you the trouble of trying to loop a shorter piece of music.