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Chapter 10. Creating Soundtracks for Dig... > Designing a Soundtrack - Pg. 222

Creating Soundtracks for Digital Lifestyle Projects 222 Designing a Soundtrack Just like most digital lifestyle projects, the first step in creating a soundtrack is planning it. Obviously, you need a project if you are going to create a soundtrack for a project. After you have selected your project, figure out precisely how long you need your soundtrack to be. You might want the soundtrack to occupy the entire project's length, or you might want it to cover only a portion. To keep your soundtrack project organized, create a folder in which to store the elements that you use in it. This will save time when you create the soundtrack because you won't have to hunt for the "pieces" you will use; they will all be located in the same place. Selecting the Music for a Soundtrack If your soundtrack will include music, select the music that you want to include-- this task requires some thought. The music you select should enhance your project. For example, if the project in- cludes action (or if you want to make the project seem like it includes more action than it actually does), use music that has a driving beat, such as rock or jazz. If the project involves a special occasion, such as a holiday, choose music that is associated with that holiday. If the project is a slideshow of miscellaneous images, a mellow instrumental piece can be a good choice. Many digital lifestyle projects involve trips or vacations in different parts of the world. Most areas of the world have specific types of music associated with them; the music associated with an area that you have visited can be a nice complement to a project that you create about that area. For example, when creating a project about a trip to the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, use music associated with the people who first lived in that area (something featuring banjos is a good choice). Keep your eye out for audio CDs offered in areas that you visit; these can provide unique music for your soundtracks that you might not be able to find elsewhere. NOTE When you select your music, make sure that you keep the means by which you will distribute your project in mind. If you are creating a project that you plan to distribute widely, you probably don't want to use music that is copyrighted. You need to use music that you have a license to distribute or license-free music instead. At the end of this chapter, you'll learn about an application called SmartSound Sonicfire Pro that you can use to create a licensed music soundtrack for your digital lifestyle projects. In addition to providing tools you can use to really customize the music in your soundtracks, you will be able to distribute projects that include that music in any way you'd like. Gather all the music that you will be using; if you are using multiple tracks, make a notation about where you want each track to start and stop in your project. This information will help you when it comes time to mix your soundtrack in iMovie. Selecting Sound Effects for the Soundtrack As you plan your soundtrack, identify sound effects that you might want to add. For example, if your project includes images of animals, you might want to add those animals' sounds to the soundtrack. If your project includes vehicles of some kind, sounds from such vehicles might make a nice addition. As your learned in Chapter 9, "Converting Digital Media into the Formats You Need for Your Digital Lifestyle Projects," you can convert almost any audio file into a format that is compatible with the digital lifestyle applications so when it comes to sound effects, the world (literally) is available to you. For example, many Web sites provide WAV files that you can download and use as sound effects in your projects. When you locate sound effects that you will use or even that you think that you might use, place them in the folder for your soundtrack that you created earlier.