How to Make a Professional Explainer Video (Post 3 of 3)

By December 10, 2012Marketing, Startup

How to Make Your Own Explainer Video – Part 3 of 3

In this third and final installment, I’ll go over the last steps of making your professional explainer video. If you’ve been following along so far, you’re on the home stretch. The rest is a lot of fun. First, you’ll need to find or make some music to go with your video, then add some sound effects and finally, add those into your video + voiceover you’ve already completed. When you’re all done, I’ll give you a few options for uploading your video so the world can see it.

Explainer Video Steps 1-2 part III

  1. Adding the Music and Sound Effects – Find royalty-free music and make special effects using your own voice and household items.
  2. Bringing it All Together – Finalize the video, host it on Wistia and measure user engagement.

Again, here’s the explainer video for my company,

Adding the Music

  1. Adding the Music and Sound Effects – Find royalty-free music and make special effects using your own voice and household items.
  2. Bringing it All Together – Finalize the video, host it on Wistia and measure user engagement.

Start by finding (or making your own) royalty-free music to accompany your explainer video. The only major guideline here is to be sure you have the right to use the music you choose. I used some of the royalty-free loops that came with Logic Pro 9, but there is also a huge assortment available with Garageband. The music shouldn’t overwhelm the video, either in energy or volume, when compared to the voiceover. Take a look at, paying close attention to the music until you get the hang of it. Once you have an idea of what the best videos are doing, try finding your own music. If you don’t want to use the loops above, or don’t use a Mac, read a bit about royalty-free music ( and try one of these sources for royalty-free music:

Once you have decided on your music, use your video editor to add the audio track. Again, keep the volume modest and adjust to give the video the right feel. I’m assuming you don’t have an action-packed explainer video where all the video transitions need to happen exactly on big musical hits. If you watch mine, I didn’t edit to the music at all, but I think it still works well.

Sound Effects:

First, if you have a recent version of Garageband or Logic Pro, chances are good that you already have all the sound effects you need. I used logic pro to import the video and audio. Then, as the video played, I imagined what sound effects would work well for my transitions that I wanted to emphasize. Again, you can get a lot of good ideas from watching the videos over on My problem was, while I found most of the sound effects I needed in Logic Pro, there were a handful that I couldn’t find. So, I made them myself. Here are a few that you can easily do from home. You can even use your iPhone to record them, but a full-sized microphone might give better results.

  • DING! – Try using a wine or other drinking glass. More water, higher pitch. Strike the glass with a chopstick or knife or your finger for different sounds.
  • Swipe – Try your own breath, making a short shhhhhuh sound, going from quiet to loud, very quickly. I used this several times in my video.
  • Klunk! – Shut a door, drop a bag of coins on a wooden floor, hit the side of a suitcase with a gentle, open slap.

You can get very good sounds using these techniques combined with some creative equalization. For the DING! sound, remove all the bass frequencies below 500 Hz. This should improve the clarity of the sound. And don’t let it ring too long. Use a quick fade to make it stop quickly. For the Swipe sound, eq the same as the DING. Try recording a couple, so you have different lengths. For the Klunk! you may have success boosting the lows a LOT. Try boosting frequencies at 250 Hz, then rolling off everything above 1 kHz and everything below 75 Hz. If you do it right, you should be able to get a really nice thud that has quite a bit of impact.

Now that you have all your sound effects, use your video editor or audio editor (if it supports video playback) to add-in all the effects in just the right places. It is critical that the effects line up properly with your video, so take some time here and double check everything. It’s a good idea to compress your audio tracks so nothing jumps out unnecessarily at the listener.

When you’re finished, export the video with voiceover and sound effects. Watch it a few times, it’s a huge accomplishment 🙂

Upload and Share

We’ve all heard of YouTube and Vimeo, but for this application, I like Wistia because they host your video (up to three for free) and give you a love of customization options for sharing and measuring user engagement. They give you graphs that show how many people have viewed your video and where they stopped and started watching or fell off and quit. It’s awesome.   Here’s a screenshot from my Wistia dashboard. I’m not an affiliate, or in any way associated with them, I just think they offer a wonderful service, superior to YouTube or Vimeo for measuring/tracking engagement.

Wistia screen shot of explainer video users


That’s it. I hope this was really helpful. Please leave a link to your video in the comments below. If I like yours, I’ll add it as an embedded video to this post.

Good luck.

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • shibin says:

    oh man..this post is awesome… you are starting with basics and go to the level of sound engineering!!! that’s fantastic. On top, we can do all these. You have added a lot of inspiration into me, Thank you.

    • Zank says:

      Thanks for the feedback. I’m really glad it’s helped you. If you end up making your own video, send me a link.

  • audiobello says:

    Thanks for the great article! Regarding the topic Music: Do you know It’s a search enging for Royalty Free Music.

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