Music for the IVT project

Finding the right music for the IVT project has proved  more difficult than initially expected. Plymouth Music Zone have provided us with the Brushing Song (which everyone in the TELMeD office now knows off by heart!). However we needed more music to accompany  different scenes. There is a lot of free music available on the web, but background music for a children’s animation needs to tick a number of boxes – it needs to be fun or dramatic (but not too intense!) and complement each scene without overpowering the dialogue. Most of the free music we’ve found so far tagged for soundtracks has tended to be a bit too busy for the scenes, or not had the right feel.

After looking more carefully at kids TV music, it seems less percussion-heavy instrumentals using more traditional sounds could do the best job. I found some great music on FreeMusicArchive.org used for Big Buck Bunny (available for free for non commercial projects) although some of this music doesn’t suit the feel of some scenes. Therefore Tom and I looked at what it might be possible to produce in Garageband. The default midi sounds on our machine at work aren’t bad but I have much better audio plugins on my Mac at home so in the end I’ve opted to create some new music and redevelop some existing material, which seem to suit the feel of the animation well. We ran through a variety of different music option with the community engagement team and they liked the material. So a mix of original and freely available music has now been incorporated into all the scenes. Adding music seems to have added some extra life to them. The other challenge was getting music to carry through across multiple scenes in Unity3D but Tom managed to locate a handy function (DontDestroyOnLoad) and I’ve added a timer to it so that the audio can continue uninterrupted for a set amount of time.

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