Find Your Rhythm

August 27, 2012

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Chris Lavigne


Ladies and gentlemen … Dan Mills! Dan Mills everyone! He’ll be here all week (except not really, he already left).

At Wistia, we are really fortunate to have friends like Dan Mills. Dan is a musician out of Brooklyn, New York and has been one of my closest friends for years. If you follow our videos (both the tame and the zany), chances are good that you’ve heard a Mills track or two. Think the Wistia front page video, 2011 Recap, Pricing Page Videos, or, of course, the Free Plan Rap.

Having a live band pay a visit to Wistia HQ was pretty rad. Wistia folks doing Wistia folk stuff while Dan Mills and his band played melodica-based renditions of Super Mario Brothers and the Elvis theme (among others). Hilarious! But for me as a video producer, it was SUPER CRAZY to hear live music being played as I filmed Jeff in front of the iconic “Wistia gradient backdrop.” To say “it was an experience” would be a gross understatement.

“Music is an incredibly integral part of our video strategy at Wistia, and you’ll be hard-pressed to watch a video from us that doesn’t have some form of music behind it.”

That’s because music is a key part of how a video is perceived:

  • It drives the pace of the video.
  • It can hide audio blips and tough edits.
  • It’s an easy way to help direct the mindset of your audience as they watch your video.

Nowadays, we use Dan for as many videos as possible for several reasons. Custom music allows us to get creative with timing and play off specific moments in the video. We love to support up-and-coming artists. And perhaps most importantly, Dan’s style allows us to keep the feel of Wistia videos consistent yet unique throughout our entire video strategy.

So just find a sweet power-pop song that sounds like Coldplay’s “Paradise” and call it a day, right? Well …  pump the brakes for a hot second. Choosing the right music starts with knowing what kind of emotion you want to communicate to your audience. Is it warm and fuzzy? Try a “Juno” inspired indie song. Is it excitement? Try a dubstep modern electro-pop track! When you find a song you like, play it along with your rough cut to see how they fit together.

So where can you go from here?

How can everyone find sweet music for their video? Here are some tips.

Check out music licensing sites

We didn’t always have Dan in the mix. In the earlier days of Wistia videos, we were using pay-for-license sites like,,, or the Vimeo music store. Sites like these let you pay for a single-use license of a song. Pricing is based on the scale of your production ranging from student/non-profit to national broadcast.

If you have a Mac, check out the Apple loops in Garageband or Soundtrack Pro.

Find an up-and-coming band.

Draw up your own licensing agreement with a smaller band or producer. Ask for instrumental versions of their music! If they’re still up-and-coming, the chances are good that they recorded independently and have access to multi-track recordings.

How do you choose music for your videos? Where do you find music that you can use? We’d love to hear how others deal with adding that musical spark to their video content!

Chris Lavigne


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