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Want a Timeless Film? You Need a Cinematic Soundtrack!

  • April 9, 2021
  • Hurlbut Academy
Want a Timeless Film? You Need a Cinematic Soundtrack!

Part of what makes a film so timeless is the complementary nature it has between its visuals and cinematic soundtrack. Just imagine that iconic scene in Interstellar when Cooper (played by Matthew McConaughey) returns to the spacecraft Endurance from the ocean planet only to find that 23 years had elapsed? With years of messages stored up, Cooper literally watches his kids grow up before his eyes.

In this highly sentimental scene, the intensity of the events that transpire is conveyed through the track S.T.A.Y. from the film’s score by Hans Zimmer. Now, widely regarded, it’s impossible to imagine this emotional gut-punch of a scene without S.T.A.Y. setting the melodic tone. 

Pairing the right music for your film can prove to be quite a tricky task. Fortunately, there are hubs out there where artists gather and sell their cinematic soundtracks to other artists. Musicbed is one such hub of particular note that curates high-quality music from talented musicians and makes their work available to license. In fact, Musicbed is trusted by top brands like 20th Century FOX, ABC, Amazon, Google, Hulu, ESPN, Lionsgate, National Geographic, NBC, and Netflix! 

To gain some insight on what Musicbed has to offer, let’s see (and hear) how its service performs over scenes from the documentary Esfuerzo. Just a disclaimer, this music isn’t from the original score of the film, but rather, these samples serve as models to showcase the cinematic quality of Musicbed’s extensive music library.  

The Power of a Cinematic Soundtrack 

As noted above, we’ve extracted a few scenes from the film Esfuerzo to test with music pulled from Musicbed’s extensive library. Next, we’ll stack our favorite cinematic soundtracks side by side to evaluate the impact they have on each particular scene. 

Exploring the Garden – Alistair Sung

Exploring the Garden is a cinematic soundtrack with impressive range, working for both serious and uplifting mood sets. Alistair Sung’s use of string instruments like the Cello, Strings Legato, and String Pizzicato stand out to create a striking instrumental composition. Exploring the Garden is an interesting choice for Esfuerzo’s introductory scene as it conveys the multiple layers to the story through its use of three string instruments simultaneously, hence expressing its complexity of moods. 

For more by Alistair Sung, be sure to visit his Musicbed artist page!

‘Risk (Cinematic Version)’ by Steven Gutheinz 

The cinematic version of ‘Risk’ by Steven Gutheinz provides an even more contemplative and tense mood for the opening sequence. With its use of ambient sounds and the acceleration of the piano, in addition to the strings from the Cello, this orchestral sound is one of enchantment that works ideally for the magical nature of the vineyards. 

Visit Steven Gutheinz’s artist profile on Musicbed to listen to more of his work. 

‘Platte Clove (with Weather Club)’ by The Field Tapes

We absolutely were captivated by the use of the guitar in ‘Platte Clove (with Weather Club)’. It’s not only charming Americana but together with the banjo, processed drums, and ambient sounds, there’s a feeling of earthly authenticity that pulls you into the story. This is ideal for a film score!

Like this cinematic soundtrack? Take a look at The Field Tapes’ (the moniker for Kyle McEvoy) artist page for more. 

‘Nuit’ by Tony Anderson 

‘Nuit’ takes the wondrous feel of ‘Platte Clove’ and turns it on its head — and that’s not a bad thing! Consider what the scene is about: female field workers forced to dress up for their drive home after working all day, just so they won’t get pulled over and face harassment from law enforcement. The serious nature of ‘Nuit’ conveys this feeling with the use of the Cello, Harp, Piano, and Strings Legato. 

Take in more of Tony Anderson and his collection at Musicbed’s artist page

‘No Place on Earth’ by Tony Anderson 

Yes, this is another song from Tony Anderson’s collection, but we don’t feel bad about double-dipping either! That’s because Anderson seems to have a proclivity for composing somber compositions that work splendidly as cinematic soundtracks.  With his piece ‘No Place on Earth,’ the ambient sounds mixed with the Cello, piano, Strings Legato, and Synth Pad create a somber yet peaceful impression. 

Bask in more of Tony Anderson’s cinematic music over at his Musicbed artist page.  

‘Andalucía’ by Max LL 

Max LL does an impressive job with this wondrous little Spanish piece that is comprised of Castanets, Classical Guitar, Concert Bass Drum, Violin, and Trumpet that culminates into claps. This all comes together to create a serious and tense mood that complements the struggle the field workers face, living within two worlds. 

For more powerful cinematic orchestrations, check out the Musicbed artist page of Max LL. 

‘Pictures of Mountains (Instrumental)’ by Cody Fry 

The instrumental version of Cody Fry’s ‘Pictures of Mountains’ is melancholic, contemplative, and, let’s be honest, it emotes sadness. But in a good way — these are thoughtful tears! This sound, especially the piano and strings Staccato, pair well with the emotion of Maria, a field worker, who was unable to visit her brother before he died because she was afraid that she would be barred from re-entering the States. Ultimately, workers wish to work, but they need the way, and ‘Pictures of Mountains’ is a cinematic soundtrack that conveys just that!

Plunge yourself into the work of Cody Fry over at his Musicbed artist page

‘The Fields’ by Dustin Lau 

The strings used in ‘The Field’ sound of classic cinema while the piano and ambient sounds combined with a synth pad present an anxious, foreboding touch. This heightens the suspense of the scene and matches the emotion of their plight.

Learn more about Dustin Lau and his music on his Musicbed artist page

Discover Unique Movie Music for Your Film

Musicbed's filtering tool

There are multiple factors that you need to consider when choosing the right cinematic soundtrack for your film. Is it the right mood? What kind of instruments are you searching for? Do you have a specific genre in mind? Thankfully, Musicbed makes your life much easier with its filter tool. Rather than spending hours sifting through tracks for that perfect sound, you can queue up music by genre, mood, artist, attributes, instruments, and more! 

When searching for the ideal music for Esfuerzo, a film about the American dream, migrant field workers, and winemaking, we had a few general ideas such as instrumental soundtracks with an agrarian tone and various emotional moods to try. 

So, with all that in mind, let’s dig into the nuances of the filter tool below! 

Find Film Scores with Musicbed’s Filtering Tool 

As mentioned above, there are 6 primary categories to organize music. When you select a particular category, you’ll find numerous subcategories. Like, say, with Artist, you’ll find the names of artists as well as a vertical alphabet that you can use to navigate to all artists that begin with a specific letter. That means you’ll find the ideal cinematic soundtrack in half the time!

Here are the other categories you can choose from. 

Genre 

Do you already have an idea of what kind of genre you’re searching for? Cut right to the chase with genres like Ambient, Blues, Cinematic, Classical, Country, Electronic, Folk, Hip Hop, Indie, and Jazz, among 10 others. 

Mood 

What better way to identify that ideal soundtrack than to sort directly by mood? So, if you’re dealing with a particularly intense scene, you can navigate to Angry, Serious, and Tense. Or, say you’re dealing with a mysterious moment or on the cusp of some great reveal. Then, you may opt for Contemplative or Eerie moods. There’s also a number of choices for that indie dramedy feel like Carefree, Chill, Ecstatic, Happy, Love, Somber, and Uplifting. 

Instrument 

The ability to search by instruments is key for many artists who have an enhanced affinity for music. Musicbed’s list is especially comprehensive, including over 40 instruments to choose from. Some of the most popular are Acoustic Guitar, Ambient Sounds, Bass,  Fiddle, Piano, Sound FX, Synth, and Ukulele. There are even more obscure instrumentals in the form of Humming, Kazoo, and Whistling.  

Advanced

The Advanced tier provides you with a few more options to further tweak your search. You can determine BPM from 0 to 165+ by selecting Slow, Med-Slow, Medium, Med-Fast, and Fast. A personal favorite is the Build feature. This allows you to sort by songs that stay steady all the way through from those that have build, and vice versa. With the Advanced controls, you can also determine the duration of the songs in your search as well as the ability to choose Vocals like Ambient, Choir, Duet, Female, Group, Harmony, Male, and Oohs & Ahhs. 

Best Movie Scores on Musicbed Playlists 

The 'Filmmakers' Playlists offered by Musicbed

In addition to the filter tool, there’s another avenue on Musicbed’s website where you can jump directly to curated playlists. Musicbed offers an impressive number of playlists that are categorized by Genre, Vibes, Filmmakers, and All Playlists. 

For our needs, we jumped directly to the Filmmakers tab! This section is comprised of over 40 filmmakers along with their personal favorite Musicbed soundtracks. That way, you can skip the trial and error of the filtering tool. Simply navigate directly to cinematic music that’s used and enjoyed by other filmmakers. 

Artist playlist for Shane Hurlbut on Musicbed

One such filmmaking playlist is managed by Shane Hurlbut, ASC. This is a highly recommended starting point since Shane’s playlist contains a range of diverse and cinematic tracks that especially complements gorgeous cinematography.

The Bottom Line 

No filmmaker should ever go without a high-quality cinematic soundtrack. And with services like Musicbed, you’ll discover artists and their work that will complement your project!  

When matching music with select scenes from Esfuerzo, we were able to unearth a healthy list of tracks that brought varying emotions to each scene. More than any other instrument, we were drawn to strings and piano orchestral sounds. With the filtering tool, they were no problem finding. Musicbed is good like that. And if you need a helping hand, Musicbed has music specialists on hand who will locate that perfect song for you. 

Likewise, Musicbed is a platform trusted by top content providers in the industry. These include Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix. Musicbed also serves as a conduit between you and the artist and licensing their work. 

See for yourself what all the hype is over at Musicbed

Get your first month FREE with Musicbed!

Simply use the coupon code HURLBUT at checkout when you sign up for an annual subscription.

This code works with all subscription types! Just keep in mind that this is not a free trial.


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