Editing with music has become a staple of YouTube content in the last couple of years. While it’s been something that editors have done for decades, Casey Neistat really brought the style to the forefront with his daily vlog series.
If you’ve never done it before, and if you’re wanting to learn - you’ve come to the right place. Dean Rojas, a cinematographer, and expert in tutorial content will be guiding you through the process!
Editing isn’t just about putting together a video, it’s about storytelling and making things flow. With this newfound skill, you’ll be able to create better videos and tell stories more masterfully.
Open up your editing software
In this case, Dean will be using Adobe Premiere, but whatever you use can serve you equally well.
Grab the clips you are going to be using for the edit
Generally, when you’re editing with music, it’s more of a montage. As such, you’re going to want to have several clips that help tell your story - that you’ll then link through your music.
Find the music that matches the story you’re telling
Using Epidemic Sound’s search feature, you can help narrow down their library to music that will match the vibe you’re looking for. Dean will be looking for an indie folk song for his edit, but you should find the genre that fits your video. If you’re doing something city based, hip-hop might be a better fit. Nature might match classical or lo-fi tracks.
When editing to the music, BPM is a primary category to consider
Beats Per Minute (BPM) tells you how many beats the music will have per minute. The higher the number, the faster the pace of the song - and consequently the faster paced your edits will be. Conversely, a slower BPM will result in slower video progress. Find the track that fits best with your ideal viewing experience.
Import the song into your timeline
Next, you’re going to want to zoom in on the timeline to get a better idea of the song waveform. This is where you’ll find the beats that you’re going to edit on. Tempo changes or beat hits will show as spikes on the waveform, which is where you will want your edits to cut to.
Songs build up to a point/climax
As the song builds up, you will want your video to match that build. That means your big climatic shot shouldn’t be placed along with the regular build section. Instead, you’ll want to fill that with extra footage, reserving your big scenes for the songs matching climatic point.
Cut your music to match your footage
In case the song adds too much of a build up, and you need to cut it down - you can do so! Find the points where the song has an unnecessary build and simply edit it out. Then, put the edited track in the second audio timeline, and use an ‘audio fade’ or ‘exponential fade’ to help link the two parts of the song together. You may need to adjust the timing of either cut of the music, but you should be able to find the intertwining part that will make the transition flawless.
That’s it! Easy peasy, and now you have the basic skills on how to edit your video to the music and also edit music to fit your video. These two skills will become robust tools in your arsenal as a video creator the more you work with them - and you’ll be glad to have the knowledge to do it!