News Music Production

Written by Michael Federico
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News music production has evolved right alongside the news itself. In the past, the nightly news required little more than an opening theme and a brief interlude to lead in after a commercial break. Non-stop news programming, however, has changed all of that.

The battle for supremacy has led cable news networks to introduce entirely new program formats. Where once one or two anchors used to sit and calmly report the day's events, now round tables of pundits argue the minutia of every topic, or one guy rants at his guests in an attempt to convey what is clearly his subjective opinion. This new-look news required a new sound, and so news music production has become a much more integral part of each broadcast.

Different Techniques in News Music Production

The type of music and sound design that a show requires depends heavily on the desired audience, the program's set-up, and the personality of the host. Opening themes, at this point, often more closely resemble a star's entrance music than they do the intros of old. Also, many shows, whether they advertise it or not, work under the conceit that the guest's opinions are the opinions held by most of the viewers. This has led some shows to incorporate news music production design that never strays too far from the opening. This can actually increase identification between host and audience.

One technique that has become prevalent in news music production is something that TV producers borrowed from film scores. There are moments in a movie where just the right note from a cello, viola, or violin can cause even the most stoic theatergoer to cry. While crying may not always be the desired outcome, more programs are trying to induce an emotional response to what is being shown on the screen. This tactic, along with other similar techniques, has helped make many viewers loyal to one news network over any of the others.

News Music Production for Local Channels

High quality news music production is not limited to the major networks. Local programs are finding that, for a limited cost, they can put together extremely polished broadcasts. Over the years, many community news shows have relied on old, synthesized music to carry them from one segment to another. However, with news music production services becoming more readily available, even shows with a very low budget can acquire professionally composed, professionally recorded music.

The music used in local programming can actually reflect the area, itself. For instance, if a community happens to be the bluegrass capital of the world, its news music production CDs can go heavy on the banjo. Using locale-specific sound design can only increase the sense of familiarity a viewer feels towards the show.

News Music Production Companies

Networks and local channels alike have found that using professional news music production companies is the most efficient way to establish a cohesive sound design for a program. Whether only one show takes place in a day, or ten shows take place in ten hours, an experienced news music production company can handle all the required audio effects. Skilled composers can create original scores, and designers use the very latest in technology to help a show's sound accomplish as much as it possibly can.

If cost is an issue, news music production companies generally have libraries of lower cost, syndicated music from which to choose. This music can be used by other stations, but it is of the same quality as the rest of the staff's work. The library usually includes a variety of discs featuring countless sound bites and other effects that can be called up at a moment's notice.


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