If you’re a musical artist who runs their career without a team, you probably feel a little stressed every time a new release cycle comes around. With social media rapidly taking over our lives, the visual representation of our work as musicians has never been more important than it is today. From elaborate preview videos for each release to flyers for show announcements, we have to create consistently alluring content for our fans.
In a perfect world where we have endless funds, hiring a professional graphic designer, photographer, or videographer for each undertaking may be the way to go. In the meantime, we, the artists who always have budget constraints, have to get a bit creative to keep up.
Recently, I got so creative that I ended up editing my own music video. I virtually had no prior experience in video production, but I already produce and mix my own music, so I thought to myself, “how hard can it be?”
While pretty much nothing went according to plan during this process, I discovered something really surprising about myself: I’m actually really into this stuff! There’s something about such a hands-on approach as this one that feels truly empowering.
I didn’t get to this point overnight, though. Before I dove into professional programs like Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Premiere, After Effects, Adobe’s Photoshop and Spark, and Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve, I played around with a bunch of incredibly user-friendly mobile apps that yielded pretty impressive results. If you’re looking to make your Instagram profile a little more engaging and create preview videos for your upcoming releases with ease at no cost, keep reading below!
A very fun app to play with, Enlight Pixaloop allows you to animate your pictures. It works particularly well with landscape photos and can create pretty convincing motions in textures such as clouds or water. It’s especially useful for those who want to make preview videos for their songs, but don’t have any footage to work with.
This particular offering from Lightricks Ltd. gives you the chance to turn a photo into a work of art. From album covers to tour announcements, you can utilize the free version of the Photofox app to translate your vision into reality.
If you want to put together videos quickly on your phone or tablet, then Videoleap is for you! You can give the app access to your Apple Music library to use the audio file you want to sync your footage with and even add text on top to create lyric videos!
DaVinci Resolve 16
I can guess what iMovie users are thinking right about now: why bother with a mobile app when I can get it all done on my computer? Well, iMovie will only get you so far. If you want to produce professional-quality videos and get beyond filters and deeper into color grading, the free version of Blackmagic’s DaVinci Resolve 16 is one of the best options out there. This program also has all the basic editing tools you need!
Canva is an app that’s very similar to Adobe Spark, but unlike Adobe’s mobile apps, the free version of this one doesn’t come with a watermark, which gives it an edge in the amateur to intermediate market. With Canva’s numerous templates for Instagram stories and grid posts, Twitter posts, Facebook covers and even YouTube channel art, you can combine your photos with logos and texts to create intricate collages for your brand.
Even though Instagram now cuts your videos into stories for you, it can still cause some frustrating issues when it comes to videos that are particularly long. This is why I still like to use the CutStory app when I want to cut stories out of a lengthy video. Another advantage of having this app in your collection: it comes with templates not just for Instagram, but also Facebook, TikTok, and even Snapchat. You can also change the layout of your video pretty easily and edit the background color if necessary.