Posts tagged #Arc

Finding the right Arc

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As a filmmaker, it can be a daunting task to wade through a huge sea of music for your project, especially when it comes to finding the right soundtrack that fits the essence of your story.  Keeping this in mind, we created some tools to make your life easier.  Through our platform, you can explore and find the perfect song for your film.

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One of the resources we've developed is the Arc search filter.  You can now find song structures that fit the arc of your story.  Through this search filter, You can isolate and find songs based on how they move from point A to point B.  From compositions that get louder as the song progresses to songs that frenetically move dynamically, you can lock in on the best song to fit the needs of your project.  Here's an example...

The German Tourist Office used our Arc feature on their video called Winter in Germany.  In this beautifully filmed vignette, they found and placed the song Intimated By Silence by Cars & Trains.

Thoughtfully crafted, with music dancing with the captivating scenery, this vignette showcases a great marriage between music and film.  The steady arc of this song fits perfectly with the consistent and moving imagery.

Enjoy the sights.

Finding the Perfect Song // An Interview with Joe Simon


We recently featured the short film "Budapest" from our friend Joe Simon. Over the course of a day, he filmed a captivating portrait of a beautiful, historic city. Check out the vignette HERE.

One of the striking and successful elements in Simon's film is the use of music and how it moves the images on screen. The sparseethereal song "Dusk" helped create an vivid atmosphere of reflection and perfectly glided with the sweeping landscapes on screen. We caught up with Joe Simon and chatted with him about how he arrived to find the perfect soundtrack.

M: What was the process of finding the right music for "Budapest"?

JS: I wanted to find a song that was a little mysterious, started off slow and built up to a really nice climax. I love searching for music on Marmoset because of the "Arc" search, it makes my life a lot easier that I can find music specifically to hit the high points I've planned for the edit. I had a quick deadline editing this film, I wanted to edit this in Budapest within 12 hours so I had to limit my music search to 1 hour and I happened on this song about 45 mins into my search. As soon as I heard it I knew it was the one. 


M: What led you to decide to choose "Dusk" out of so many songs? What was it about that song?

JS: There was a few things that made this song perfect. 

1. Started off very slow, almost ambient. This allowed me to open with the right shots to create anticipation

2. A solid build throughout the song

3. Built to a great sounding climax.

4. The instruments had the right sound to fit the vibe I pictured in my head. 


M: How important do you find music to be in your projects?

JS: Music is huge, it's a large part of our storytelling process. The music sets the tone of our films as well it enhances the emotional content. Different music will make your viewer feel different things about the same footage/story, it's so powerful. 

Continuing along with Simon's point about how music can set the tone of a film, here are 2 examples of "Budapest" with a different soundtrack to showcase how completely different the mood can be by changing the music.

In this version of the film, we used the song "Silverleaf" by Glass Wands. This piano-led ambient piece starts off sparse and ultimately ascends into a beautiful crescendo with strings and synthesizer.

In the second of two examples, we took a more energetic approach with the song "Bright Beginning" by D.V.S. This music evokes a sense of hope and moves at a quicker pace with an elevated pulse from the drum machine.

5 Radiant Songs For Your Summer Film

You might've heard that it rains in Oregon sometimes. Which is why, when summer finally hits, we all flock outside like ants to that particularly delicious bit of sugar, taking advantage of the blue skies, Vitamin D and awesome outdoor activities that the sunny season has to offer.

In the spirit of this fine summer, we've put together a list of songs,  broken down into categories that are commonly associated when telling your story of the season.


Beach Vibes

It's all about fun in the sun with "Harriette" by Rio Grands. Even the first 10 seconds are bound to bring spray and surf to mind. With a deep, rolling drum line and bright distorted electric guitar riff that sounds straight off of a California beach circa 1961. The "ba ba ba's" that kick in at 0:35 only add that feeling of cheeriness, aided by the lively saxophone solos interspersed throughout.


Underwater Vibes

"Into the Well" by Mree is a calm, ethereal track that easily captures the floating, atmospheric quality of water. A cyclical melody on the acoustic guitar floats in gentle waves under slow, hazy electric guitar. High notes of toy piano offers a feeling of delicate wonder, and a drum machine beat enters around 1:30, adding a glitchy beat that brings a slight intensity to the overall mood.


Energetic Vibes

The Little Indians waste no time in creating rowdy, fun energy. Kicking off their track "Bravo" with a simple yet bold guitar riff, a basic snare beat and upbeat handclaps, singer Augustine Rampolla comes in around 0:17 with a strutting confidence, backed by rhythm guitar and a driving, fuzzy bass. The song is cute in a garage-y kind of way, maintaining a steady arc of bouncy playfulness until it starts to fade out around 2:27. There, it descends into faint "oohs," kick drums and handclaps that finally let you take in a calming breath.


Nostalgic Vibes

Radiation City is kickin' it old school in their addictive track "Foreign Bodies." Dripping with an infectious retro feeling, this song features soulful vocals and three part harmonies galore, with billows of swirling synth and playful flourishes on the electric guitar. A drum beat and thudding bass hold the song steady while a hazy filter gives everything else a distinctive echo-ey feeling.


Nature Vibes

We've already made a list of awesome outdoor adventure songs, but just to add on to that, we have the dynamic and orchestral "Reason and Rationality" by Lee Brooks. featuring rapidly scissoring strings, the upbeat song captures a kind of gentle excitement while warm, light piano and electric guitar supports behind. Following a slowly ascending arc, the track takes off around 2:04 with big drums and melodica, offering an emotional and inspiring journey that should bring to mind a similar sweeping epicness to time spent outside.

- Kaitie Todd

3 things to consider when making your next project

A couple days ago, talented filmmaker Tim Feeny from Limelight Studios sent me a film and was excited about his first time placing a Marmoset singles license.  He used the song 107 by Josh Garrels. This inspiring video got me thinking about some of the key points in finding the right song for your wedding film; here are three things to consider to make your unique story stand out.  Make sure to check out Feeny's amazing vignette at the bottom and send us your work as well, we love getting content from all you creative folks out there.

1. Story Arc

Finding a song that matches the unique emotional highlights of the story is essential in creating an impactful film.  What is the story of the project? Does it bounce around and cut to different parts of the storyline?  Does the film build over time to reach an emotional finale at the end?  When looking at your project as a whole, something to consider is finding the right song that dances along with the imagery in unison making a cohesive storyline.  Here are some different examples...

"Lucky One" by Trimountaine is a good example of an ascending arc; it builds as the song progresses reaching a climax at the end.

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Chris Molitor's song "You're My Baby" presents a song with multiple crescendos in the same song, rising and falling in emotional intensity.

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2. Lyrical Content

When using a song with lyrics, make sure it's consistent with the story of the wedding.  It's probably not the best to use a song about breaking up alongside footage of a happy couple, unless that's what you're into.  Songs with lyrics about love and inspiring moments might be your best bet.  Take for example the earnest and heartfelt lyrics of the song "Love, Love, Love" by Sunbeam.

3. Mood

Every story is unique and the the music should match the individualized vibe of the event. When choosing a song, some good questions to start with are - What is the personality?  Is it serious or funny?  A key element in making a great film relies on having the music match the personal dynamics of the relationships and journey that sets them apart from all others.

Enjoy this beautiful film and be sure to send us your work, we always love seeing the awesome films you're creating. - Stirling Myles

What's In A Song? Finding an Arc

Within every good story, there is an arc - an experience and storyline to travel with.  The same goes for a song as well.  The main role of an arc is to drive the story from point A to point B, the creativity is how to get to your destination.  The only real question is, how do you want your story to travel? How will you get to point B?

With our new search feature that gives results based on the arc of a song, it's helps makes your life a little easier to find the right musical structure to your scene and film.  To start things off, when searching for music, click on the Arc option and click from the following options.

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Songs with a steady arc are marked by a consistent tone or pulse. Creating a steady rhythm and mood is a unique, and often effective mode of storytelling in that it keeps the observer locked into a consistent space. Whether a high energy garage-rock song, or a low hazy ambient composition, a song doesn't necessarily need peaks and valleys to create a feeling of movement and evolution.

A good example of a Steady composition is Total Fascination by Reporter.  Throughout the song, there is a steady and consistent mood. It relies on a subtle sense of evolution, but never substantially departs from it's initial texture and pace.

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Songs with an ascending arc start with less energy and slowly gain momentum as they evolve. Does your story have a big payoff at the end? A calm before the storm?  Is your story meant to be a call to action? These are the home turf of the ascending arc. The feeling of upward motion can be created by the layering of new elements in a composition, or by the increasingly fervent way in which each musician plays their instrument.

Fremont showcases the ascending arc in their instrumental version of Catch The Light .  As the song bounces along, new textures (guitars, vocals, piano) are introduced. The added layers create a sense of evolution that serves to propel the song to it's climax.

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A song with a descending arc always starts bigger than it ends. A descending arc is commonly used when a scene has a substantial moment that is succeeded by a sense of calm. In the opposite manor to the ascending arc, the descending arc loses momentum through textural subtraction, or as the musicians slowly reduce the energy of their performances.

A good example of this is the song Reaching You by Mars Water. The composition starts with a present guitar that starts right out of the gates; after a while, the guitar is replaced and fades into more subdued textures to end the song on a more reflective note.

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Middle Crescendo

In many songs and stories, there's a trajectory that feels much like a mountain climbing expedition. First you climb, then you reach the peak, then you slowly descend. Songs with a Middle Crescendo commonly present an entire experience independently. In story telling, the descent is commonly used as an opportunity to linger over the big "ah hah" moment. Other times it functions like an epilogue or unique chapter.

Daniel Dixon wrote a beautiful song called February that exemplifies how a middle arc surfaces in a composition.  The song starts with minimal guitar and with each texture that comes into form (banjo, accordian and piano) the piece becomes bigger and more arranged.  Upon reaching a high crescendo and emotional crux, the song wanes back into minimalism, bringing around a full circle of an experience.

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Multiple Crescendos

Songs with Multiple Crescendos are marked by a series of musical hills and valleys.  Good stories commonly have twists and turns. Moments of inflation and deflation. Songs with Multiple crescendos provide the story teller many opportunities to capture these moments.

A strong example of multiple crescendos is a sentimental number by Chris Molitor called You're My Baby. This composition is a great example of what it feels like when a song contains many little moments.

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The Frenetic arc often denotes a lack of pop-song structure. Rather than respectfully hopping from verse to chorus and so forth, these pieces tend to undulate, dart about, and change mood or tempo without warning.  Songs with frenetic movement tend to have sharp edges to them, Songs with a frenetic arc tell a story with lots and lots of twists and turns.

Check out an example with the song Oxen Free by Pegasus Dream.  This song weaves together heavily percussive moments with serene and synthetic ones, ebbing and flowing with various different moods coming in and out of focus.

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As you can see, there are various different arcs and ways to travel.  With this search tool, we're excited to help you find the right companion soundtrack to your travels.  Have fun exploring.