I have no musical inclination, and I’m not ashamed to say it. I have many other artistic talents, but music has never been one of them. I’ve had brief stints trying to learn instruments, and I can read sheet music….ish, but I can’t sit down and belt out a tune like I can a story. It doesn’t come as naturally.
So, where do you go to find intro, outro, and background music for a podcast that you’re keeping secret? If I had musically minded friends I might go to them, but I don’t have any to hand. I blame my lack of social skills, or I could blame the wider problem that musicians aren’t exactly encouraged. I could also pay a freelance musician, but that would involve me having to be specific, and also pay money.
You know when you’re shopping, or you want something but don’t know what it is until you see it? That’s how I felt when thinking about music for the podcast. I knew kind of what I wanted, but not enough to articulate in words.
During my travels around the interwebs preparing for the podcast I found recommendations for websites where you can get “free” music. I say free, but I’m pretty sure if your podcast starts earning you money then they’ll suddenly confiscate the free things, like your intro music, which is a defining point of the show.
Intro music is very important. I’ll admit I played down its importance until I began to read more things. It can often be iconic, like Eastenders or Coronation street (I know, not podcasts), or the Magnus Archives, The Black Tapes, etc. Intro music is key. It’s also a great opportunity to actually introduce the show and episode title. People should bop along to it when they hear it, get excited, eager to listen to this week’s episode. That’s a lot of pressure riding on one song.
There is one website I used to find every piece of music I play on the podcast. FreeSound is a rabbit warren of sounds, music, samplers, and many more things related. I found intro, outro, and even sound effects, all by searching their databases, usually using one or two tags. I won’t divulge them but you can probably guess if you listen to the podcast, which I highly recommend.
I’ve always been quite good at looking or listening to something and just going, yep, that’s it. I think society calls it a eureka moment. I usually deploy my skill at finding Christmas and birthday presents for friends and family, but it was a lot more difficult choosing music for the podcast. It’s not just one person’s disappointment I’ll have to face if I chose wrong.
Of course, you can always change it. Let’s face it, intro music is iconic only if the show is. I’m not creating The Black Tapes, or the NoSleep podcast here, so the pressure should be off. I think my choice is right, but we’ll have to see.
I found 2 songs I liked for the intro, and it was a tight race as to which one I chose to use. One day it would be one, then I’d wake up the next and prefer the other. Like many women before me, I went for the original.
This task possibly took me longer than I imagine. Like many people of my generation I have quite a short attention span, and the novelty and excitement can wear off quickly if things become tedious.