This is basically a continuation of my entry about royalty free images, so if you don’t know what it means when something is royalty free, I recommend you go read my explanation there, as this is essentially the same.
It might not be as popular a topic as images, but music and sound effects are important, especially for those who make their own videos, whether it is for YouTube or a school project. It can be hard to find the right sound for something, when you don’t know where to look, and don’t want to maybe get your video deleted, because using Beyoncé’s newest song as background music was a copyright infringement.
To avoid copyright issues, and save some money, some artists are nice enough to provide us with free music and sound effects for both personal and commercial use. I’ve used some of the sites offering them for a project I once worked on, and am still using them for similar things. They are awesome, and here they are!
http://freemusicarchive.org/ – If you want tons of music, this is the place to find it. Browse and listen to tracks, and if you like what you hear, the download button is always just one click away. The site requires no registration, but beware of the artists rules of usage, as they usually require you to link back to their profile, if you want to use their tracks for free. It has every genre you may want, and is a great resource.
http://incompetech.com/ – This is another great example of a site offering tons of music. It’s even easy to browse, no registration is required, and you can download with just one click. Keep in mind though, that the free downloads are only for personal use, and that you need to give credit. If you want to use the music for commercial purposes, you will have to pay for them.
http://www.bensound.com/ – Just as the site above, this one offers plenty of music for free, as long as you keep their rules in mind. Check out their licensing, as it’s not only split into commercial and non-commercial usage. In any case, if all you want is a piece of music for a YouTube video or personal project, this site is perfect, easy to browse, and requires no registration.
http://www.purple-planet.com/ – As long as you give credit, you may use their tracks for anything you want really, as long as you are the person in charge of the project. Read their licensing rules if you are in doubt. Should you need to pay for the track you want to use, it’s really cheap. They host their music on Soundcloud, so you can always follow them there for new stuff. The site may not be the prettiest out there, but don’t let their 90’s purpleness fool you.
http://freesound.org/ – Quality on this site may vary, as sounds are being recorded by people like you and me, aka; non-professionals. It does shine with a huge library of sound effects and small pieces of music though, and if you need a background sound that plays for longer than just a few seconds, this is the place to go. You can use their sounds for anything you want, but you have to register first.
http://www.freesfx.co.uk/ – Another site that requires registration, but is surely worth it. Although their sounds may be used for any project you want, I recommend reading their license before use, as some rules may apply. Their sounds are of good quality, and worth checking out. While they are mainly focused on sound effects, they also have a nice music library, where you can be lucky to find a gem.
Those were my favorite sites to find music and sound effects. I know there are more out there, but I’m sure you can find some on your own, should these not offer what you seek.
Have you ever used free music or sound effects for anything? Was it hard finding the right track you wanted? Please share your thoughts and experiences on this topic 🙂