I have seen many people asking the search engines and in various video related Facebook groups questions like: “Where can I find free music to use in my videos?” “Where can I find Royalty free music?” “Free music for commercial use?” Because I see the same questions being asked so often, I thought it was time to do some research and find some useful answers.
We know that video is a great way to market almost anything these days, but when it comes to choosing and adding a soundtrack to your latest video ad, video product review, or even your latest blockbuster, you are entering a minefield!
Although a music track is “royalty free” this does not mean it is actually free to use or that you can just download it to your computer and upload it to your video editor. You need to check any licensing requirements very carefully to avoid legal actions and/or very large fines!
I’ve compiled a list of 52 sites offering music and sound effects you can download and use. That’s one for each week of the year!
While many of the following sites DO offer completely free tracks, you still have to give credit to the composer or the website in your video by including details of the composer/track or a link back to the download site in most cases. There is also a multitude of different license types, some allowing free use with certain conditions and others requiring payment.
Remember this simple rule to follow before you decide to add a particular track or sound effect to your video creations (or indeed, if you simply wish to add a soundtrack to your website to keep your visitors entertained):
Check the licensing requirements and then check them again!!
Having said that, I am confident the following listing of 52 different music resources will let you find that elusive track and/or sound effect you need to enhance your creative efforts. (The first archive site alone contains over 3,250,000 listings, enough to keep your ears occupied for…. well….years!)
Seriously, if you can’t find the music you require from any of the following sites you probably need to buy a second-hand rocket from NASA and move to a different planet! So, here goes, I have simply listed the sites in alphabetical order and I have tried to include accurate information about each site. Also, where possible, I have tried to include the licensing information they publish. And… once again, it is
So, here goes, I have simply listed the sites in alphabetical order and I have tried to include accurate information about each site. Also, where possible, I have tried to include the licensing information they publish. And… once again, it is your responsibility to check the licensing requirements before using any of the stuff you download. If you get in trouble… don’t come running to me.
You have been warned! Now, go and feast your ears……… (p.s. All 52 sites were tested and working at the time of publication. Obviously I cannot guarantee this will remain that way as I have no control over the sites whatsoever.)
This is a mind-blowing site with such a large and diverse selection of audio it would, literally, take you years to listen to everything available! In my screenshot of the home page, I have highlighted the number of individual items available which, as you can see, is over 3 million! You will have to check the licencing of each item individually here.
“We are an independent music promotion service, you wanna get in? Send us an e-mail with your soundcloud.com/account to firstname.lastname@example.org .”
“Our Product and Mission” AudioMicro provides the web’s best collection of royalty free music and sound effects at affordable prices. Our contributors are GRAMMY-winning composers and Oscar-winning sound effects artists and production houses. No joke. An unparalleled dedication to customer service. A friendly and knowledgeable staff. Our mission is your project’s success.
Jason Shaw – Composer Producer Engineer “I was born in Pittsburgh PA years ago. I grew up listening to all sorts of music in the backseat of my parent’s car on Sunday drives. My dad would flip the radio from rock to country to classical. He seemed to love all kinds of music, and he infected me with that too! With the exception of guest composers, I create all of the music here on the website, mostly from scratch. I play multiple instruments, but I also use sound samples, loops, drum machines, software synths, and whatever is handy. I can read music but mostly compose by ear. Some of the pieces here are a background to talk over, while some are full blown pieces suitable to sit and listen to. I love sharing this music with you, and hope it helps you in your life in some small way to complete a project or brighten your day. For the technically minded, I use Sonar exclusively for recording and composing. Some stuff was mixed on a mixing board, some were recorded and mixed all inside the computer.”
They have a great selection of music here via a very large searchable database. A license purchase is required for commercial use.
You can use my music for free, licensed under the Creative Commons License, in your multimedia project (online videos, websites, animations, etc.) as long as you credit me with a link to my Website. Examples of proper way to credit me: “Music: http://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music or “Music: Song title – Bensound.com”
77 completely original tracks here from Dan O’Connor. Some great music here, just go and listen. This is what Dan-o says on his site: Dan O’Connor (a.k.a Dan-O, Graycraft92) began studying guitar and writing songs at the age of 13. He went on to study music at the Hartford Conservatory and The Hartt School where he graduated with a degree in music business and jazz guitar. In 2008 he started DanoSongs Royalty Free Music which got his songs on hundreds of soundtracks such as the TV series “The Reviewers”, the documentary “Mumbai Nights” and the film “Waiting for Ruby”. His many composing clients include Disney, Harvard University, and IBM. Dan performs live in the Connecticut and New York area with his rock jam band Phoenix Tree. In 2015 he released an acoustic singer-songwriter album called the “The Other Shore” on Acoustic Seed records. Also a life-long actor, Dan studied at H.B. Studios in New York City and appears in the films “Subject to Retaliation”, “Ovelia and Gregoria” and “Zedic and the Crimson Born”. Dano says: “Thank you for stopping by. You can listen to all 77 tracks on this page—just scroll down to listen and buy. The entire collection of music you will listen to here is $50, the cost of just one royalty free music track from other publishers. This can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in fees, royalties, and paperwork. Since you are licensing directly from me, the composer, I am able to offer this special arrangement”
In this case the site statement says it all really: “Contained on this page is a selection of royalty free / semi-copyright free music. All of the audio tracks on this page were composed, performed and recorded by me – most of them specifically for use as background or mood music in various film & video productions. However, you are free to use any song on this page (or any part of any song found on this page – editing for time is acceptable) in any manner that you see fit. There is no charge or licensing fees associated with the use of any of these songs for any reason. I only ask that if you use them in a production in which you are able to give credit, (such as closing credits in a video or film production) that you do provide the proper credit in your production. These audio files are perfectly suited for use in film and video, but you may use and enjoy them for whatever purpose you wish. Obtaining my permission to use these files is not necessary – you may use any of the songs listed on this page in any manner you choose – as long as proper credit is provided.”
You need to check the licensing for each individual song at this site but many of them are avaialable under the Creative Common License allowing them to be used commercially providing attribution is included in the final product.
10) DL Sounds
Royalty Free Music: DL Sounds offers free, paid and subscription-based audio loops, music tracks, intro’s & audio logo’s for movies, games, YouTube or any other (multi)media project. Get unlimited downloads with a subscription and keep the royalty free audio files (that you won’t find anywhere else) forever!
Site introduction. Welcome to the new Epitonic.com. First launched on March 8, 1999, the site was one of the first ever music discovery and editorial sites. Epitonic posted free and legal MP3s available for streaming and download, working directly with thousands of artists and labels. All of the music was selected, written about, and posted by a staff of young DJs, touring artists, record collectors, and music lovers based in San Francisco and Chicago. Due to financial difficulties the site went dormant in 2004. A couple of companies tried to revive it but it remained inactive until one of the original founders Justin Sinkovich reacquired rights to the site in 2010. Epitonic then brought together dozens to help revive the site including many of the original staff and dozens of new contributors. After almost a year of planning and building, Epitonic is officially back, once again helping fans to discover the best in cutting edge music. Epitonic today recaptures the spirit of the original site by curating and filtering underground music, but now utilizes new technology and features that were unfathomable when the site was originally built. The relaunch was timed to March 8th, 2011, the day the site originally launched twelve years ago. Many additional features continue to be deployed as time and budgets allow.
This is the only web search engine devoted entirely to searching for sound effects. This is what they have to say: “FindSounds.com is a free site for finding sound effects on the Web. It is a Web search engine, like Google and Yahoo, but with a focus on sounds. It provides powerful features, yet is simple and easy to use, and suitable for all ages. Note to parents: audio files containing obscenities are filtered out so this site is safe for children. Although there are millions of Web sites, there are few Web search engines for searching them. FindSounds.com is the only Web search engine devoted to finding sound effects on the Web.”
Make sure you check the license for each individual track you download as they vary. This is what the site has to say: “What is the Free Music Archive? The Free Music Archive is an interactive library of legal audio downloads founded by legendary freeform radio station WFMU. This project wouldn’t be possible without our curators, who select and upload all the music you’ll find here. Curators come from all over the world and have a wide range of experience with good music. They include freeform radio stations, netlabels, artist collectives, performance spaces, and concert organizers. If the FMA were a radio station, the curators would be our awesomely obsessive DJs. In addition to enjoying and downloading free music, site visitors can set up their own accounts, make profiles, become friends with other listeners, create and share mixes of FMA music, and write posts on their personal blogs. Listeners can also show their appreciation to FMA artists by adding them as favorites or even “tipping” them directly through the site. Together, our curator-driven library and our distinctly social architecture create a platform that both guides and is guided by listeners. For more on FMA’s philosophy and mission, see our About page. What do you mean by “Free Music”? All music you’ll find here is free, meaning that it is available for you to download at no cost. What else you’re allowed to do with the music varies depending on the license that’s associated with each track.”
Site statement: “Free Music Public Domain was created in 2014 with the goal of being the best free royalty free music library with the most unique and original song catalogue. Our MP3’s are perfect for adding to your YouTube videos and you can use this site for your personal or commercial use. Are you looking for free stock music? Instrumental music? Background music? Need an original high quality music score? FreeMusicPublicDomain.com is a music library for the public. Whether you’re looking for music recordings such as non-copyrighted music, public domain MP3’s, royalty free music for YouTube or classical music in the public domain, we offer safe, free legal music that is for personal and commercial use. We have two licensing choices: Creative Commons Music (free) is free copyright music and can be used just like free unlicensed music or non-copyrighted music in that you simply add a small credit to the end of your video (generated when you choose a song). Our Standard License requires a small fee ($25) and is great for commercial use where you want licensing but may not want to add attribution or credits to your project (such as elevator music, phone music, radio commercial, etc.) Freemusicpublicdomain.com is your open source music site. Now it’s easy to find high quality duty free music with unique and original songs.”
Site Statement: “So you’ve scoured the internets in search of music recordings in the Public Domain and found bupkis… If only someone would have gone out and found all of the decent Public Domain recordings and collected them in one spot! If only… Yes, it was a joy trying to slog through 45,000 Public Domain sermons to find some of this stuff. At some point it was easier just to write new music. Download everything here for $14 FreePD Complete Collection – Right around 700 individual mp3 files in three big zip files. Updated December 2016 Can I use this in my project? Yes. Do I have to credit anyone? No. Can I resell these on another site? Yes. Such is the beauty of Public Domain.
16) Freeplay Music
Here’s what they have to say: “Freeplay Music is one of the most trusted production music libraries in the world. With a wide variety of high-quality music and world-class customer service, we have clients from all over the world who use our music in everything from personal web videos to major network television broadcasts and major feature films. In addition to the music that we provide to our clients, Freeplay Music also has been at the forefront of innovations in the music industry since its inception in 2001. In 2013 Freeplay Music entered into an agreement with YouTube that revolutionizes how people use music and videos on the internet. Under this new agreement, all the tracks in the Freeplay Music library will be FREE for use on YouTube (personal use only). Most importantly, we here at Freeplay Music care deeply about the music we provide and the customers who utilize our services. We’ve designed our website to provide the most accessible and easy-to-understand licensing process possible, and our hands-on customer support is always glad to assist whenever needed. Whatever your music needs may be, we’re here to meet them… The Freeplay Music Team!”
FreeSFX says: “The freeSFX.co.uk concept and site is totally the brainchild of Alan McKinney of McKinney Sound. He made contact with many professional sound and music companies and individuals around the world to ask for free contributions to the site – so that the sounds could be made available to audio enthusiasts and production companies alike. Everyone who has contributed to the site has agreed to the freeSFX.co.uk license agreement and philosophy: these sounds are available for anyone to use in their productions. What do the folks who contribute to freeSFX.co.uk get out of it? Besides the warm fuzzy feeling of making producers around the world very happy – they get exposure. From the larger companies to the freelance sound designers and composers – everyone who contributes to the site has the chance to attract a following through their own profile on the site. The freeSFX.co.uk Team”
Here is the way they describe their offering: “When you purchase a music track or music loop from sound-effect you will receive a license agreement which gives you legal right to use the music in your multimedia projects. If someone questions your right to use the sounds you can show them your agreement or have them contact sound-effect.com. We will also sign and fax back any written verification notice you might need for release of the sounds. Our license agreement is very generous. Most production music companies ask you to report to them how you are using their music and they’ll bill you accordingly (even if you don’t buy from us you should always make an inquiry regarding limited use license and billing). Under our agreement your one-time payment allows you to use the sounds on the CD-ROM in any way you wish. The only limit we put on our sound files is that you may not post them on the internet for download and you cannot resell or redistribute them *as a collection*.”
And here is how they operate: “Free Soundtrack Music” is a web service where composers/producers post their music for the purpose of “synchronization licensing”. ALL Tracks in this online music library are available for royalty-free use in films, video games, YouTube videos or other digital multimedia productions. ALSO: The recordings labeled as “FREE” can be used without any payment of licensing fees provided that the composer and the URL (web address) of this website are included in the “credits” section of your production as described in the licensing terms. Tracks labeled as “1 credit” are licensed through the purchase of download credits. ”
This site offers the following terms and conditions: “Whether you’re looking to spice up a home movie or polish a professional video, production music has the unique ability to add a masterful touch to your project. And Free Stock Music wants to give you the absolute best production music — without charging you a dime! With daily additions to our free soundtrack music library, we’re committed to helping you find the perfect song. As a registered user, all of the songs on the site are available to you and you may use them freely and legally in your own projects, royalty free. There are never any fees nor obligations for using Free Stock Music, but if you’re feeling generous, you can share the site with your friends and thank our sponsor, Footage Firm. We offer a 100% royalty free license that allows you to use the music in all types of productions, for worldwide distribution, forever. There are never any licensing fees.”
21) Free Stock Music
Not to be confused with the previous site with, almost, the same name! Licensing at this site is pretty straightforward as you can see from their statement: “All music on this website is created by FSM Team and it’s free for everyone. The music is released under Creative Commons License 3.0. You are free to use the music (even for commercial purposes) as long as you provide a link to this website from yours OR credit us with Music by http://www.free-stock-music.com”
And here is how they offer their music: “What is Good Oak Recordings? That’s an easy one. Good Oak Recordings is a way for filmmakers and video producers to obtain synchronization/master usage licenses of high-quality recordings for their digital video projects. The process is made simple with a click-through license agreement and a single price that covers a range of project types. Think of Good Oak Recordings as a boutique stock music website with ridiculously good music. What is a synchronization/master usage license? Well, a synchronization/master usage license, often referred to as a “sync license” or just “sync,” is the right you need to obtain from an artist (or any other rights holders) to use their music in your film or video. Whether you’re using music for commercial, non-profit or personal uses, you must have a music license.”
Their licensing explained: “Here you can find some good Free Download Royalty Free Music for Media written and recorded with a specific goal: give fitting sound to your videos, slideshows, movies, short movies, and web-series. This is an open hub where you can listen and easily download wav/aiff files for any creative production. Yes, we have High-Quality Files for you: uncompressed means beauty. All the music found on GoSoundtrack is released under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License (CC BY 4.0). it means that you can share, copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, adapt, remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.”
The FAQ’s from this well know music resource site explain the requirements for using anything you download: “Frequently Asked Questions Can I use your music… for YouTube videos? Yes, AND you can monetize the videos. Be sure to credit me. [More on YouTube] on streaming sites? Yes. Be sure to credit me. [More on Streaming] in live productions? Yes. Be sure to credit me. in my store? Yes. Be sure to credit me or purchase a license. as on-hold music? Yes. Be sure to credit me or purchase a license. for something else? Probably. Be sure to credit me or purchase a license. Crediting How do I place a credit for this music in my project? Title Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ It is important that you replace the word Title with the Actual Title of the piece that you are using! The Licenses page has a quick copy-paste feature that makes it all very easy! Do I have to put the credit where people can see it? Yes. Credits change from media to media – but in general, a credit needs to be placed such that a person who wants to know where the music came from should have no difficulty in finding it. A reasonable effort may be expended (e.g. clicking on a credits option) but the credit should not be obscured.”
This site is the brainchild of Roald Strauss who has this to say: “My name is Roald Strauss. I am a musician, a game, and system developer, educated computer scientist, geek, and the creator of this site. As a musician, I have created computer music since the late 1980ies, starting on an Amstrad CPC, then onto Amiga and PC. My tracks have been released under the handle Mr.Lou. My creations have ranged from mod and xm files to midi and mp3 files. As a game developer, I formed LuBlu Entertainment in 2006 together with my girlfriend. So far we’ve created 4 mobile games and some apps. (See Ukko’s Journey and Pirate Diamonds). As a geek in general, I’m very much interested in software development, particular in the entertainment area. Especially games have intrigued me since childhood. I think games should have music. I have created this site in order to make it easier for indie game developers, who’s on a tight budget (or no budget at all), to find music for their games. The idea is, that musicians on the same level as myself, can use IndieGameMusic.com as a way of offering their tracks to indie game developers. Prices should be rather low compared to other music libraries because it’s an indie to indie concept. So, if you’re an indie game developer looking for music, you’ve come to the right place. Start searching for music right now. You can find music in various file formats for various platforms. And if you’re a musician doing almost any kind of audio format, then register an account and put your music on display. You decide how to offer your tracks, and for what price.”
Another fine selection. Read the licensing information carefully as always. here is what the site says: “JewelBeat was founded by musicians passionate about bringing high-quality production music at a sensible price to people like you. Our music can be used royalty free when mixed with different forms of media including video, web, television, radio, film, games, apps, DVD/CDs and more. Our users include creative individuals, businesses, educators, students, developers, retailers, profit and non-profit organizations, religious groups and more. We highly recommend that you check out our videos to find out more about us. What Motivates Us? You motivate us! Do drop us a line to tell us how you have used JewelBeat’s music in your projects. We would love to hear from you. Please also share with others about JewelBeat. We value this greatly as it helps us to continue producing more quality music that is affordable for everyone. 3 Reasons That Makes JewelBeat Outstanding: 1. A Whole Lot Of Music If you need music for your projects and can’t get enough of it, JewelBeat may just have what you need. With over 35,000 tracks and a wide music variety, we hope you will find the perfect track for your project. 2. The Only $2.99 Music Source We are the only $2.99 royalty free music resource that comes with a custom license to your name and project. 3. True Royalty Free Music Our music is truly royalty free worldwide with no additional fees. No performance rights fees, synchronization fees, or fees you never knew you had to pay 🙂
All the music available here has been composed by Josh. He says: “Yes, you can freely download and use all 200+ songs. Details: You can download the MP3s individually on the song pages, or you can support the 10-15,000 hours it’s taken me to create this collection by buying the Epic Bundle, with lossless FLAC files of the regular and instrumental versions of every one of my songs! ”
Loopmasters officially launched early in 2003 with the aim of producing flexible sample libraries for producers and musicians who required top quality playing from seasoned professionals to integrate into and inspire their music. Our challenge is to provide you with the best samples and music software that money can buy, so far so good! Loopmasters Studio HQ is based in the South East with a healthy music scene, and the producers that work on our material are of the highest quality, and come from all over the world – if you feel you are a top flight sampling pioneer we would love to hear from you! – enjoy your music…
Here are the details of their licensing as described by the site themselves: “Our licensing boils down to the following three rules: If you buy one of our premium packages (PRIME, MULTISTEM or ELIAS), the music of that package is yours to reuse as many times as you like, in any commercial or non-commercial project. If you download a free version of our music, you can use that for listening, and share it with friends and family. If you download a “Legacy Track” you can use that for free in any commercial or non-commercial project as many times you like, when giving credit to the artist. A more elaborate explanation All our music [“Legacy Tracks” not included] is released using the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND license, and you can download and use our music for non-commercial and non-derivative purposes for free. What this means in more plain terms is, that you’re allowed to download any free track from our site, share it with others and listen to it on your preferred music player, but you’re not allowed to release videos and other projects where the music has been adapted, to the public using the free CC-BY-NC-ND licensed version. Commercial Use & Synchronization If you want to use it for a project, commercial or otherwise, that you make available to the public like a video or a game, we ask that you buy an additional license granting the rights to do so. The additional license is like an add-on to the existing CC-BY-NC-ND license that effectively waives (removes) the non-commercial, no derivative and attribution requirements for the buyer. This is also known as CC+ licensing, because we start out with a verbatim Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND license, and grant extra permissions in a personalized independent agreement in exchange for a fee. The additional license granting you the right to use the music for derivative (i.e. synchronization) and commercial purposes is provided in exchange for a fee. When you buy one of our three payload options available (Prime, Multistem & Elias), a personalised license with a unique ID is automatically included in your purchase granting you the worldwide right to use the music for derivative, commercial purposes without having to provide attribution, in any and all media (TV, Radio, Internet)
Who are they? I’ll let them tell you: “Who are
Who are they? I’ll let them tell you: “Who are we? Professional Musicians, playing in a lot of bands and having shows all year in France or worldwide… As we also produce music ourselves with computers and love what internet makes possible, doing music and propose it worldwide is a great experience. So here we are, we made this site and hope you will find what you are looking for! Mirela & Daniel – MusicInCloud Composers and Owners Thanks to Marc for the technical help!
31) Music Revolution
“MusicRevolution is the Internet’s royalty-free music marketplace. We provide media producers, video producers, filmmakers, game developers, businesses and other music buyers with great royalty-free production, or stock, music at affordable prices. We provide musicians with the opportunity to sell their production music while learning from and collaborating with the best in the music community. We believe that a music marketplace should provide value to both the buyers and sellers of royalty-free music. MusicRevolution offers an extensive royalty-free music library of over 45,000 tracks of high-quality production, or stock, music suitable for a range of uses”
Straight from the horse’s mouth: “Musopen (www.musopen.org) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit focused on improving access and exposure to music by creating free resources and educational materials. We provide recordings, sheet music, and textbooks to the public for free, without copyright restrictions. Put simply, our mission is to set music free.”
You need to read the terms and conditions of this site carefully. I have NOT done this so cannot advise.
Royalty Free Music For Video. You may be looking for royalty free music to accompany a video you are producing, for a television production or website application or just some background music for a radio project. Whatever your need for music synchronization you have come to the right place at Royalty Free Music For Video. This is what Warren says about his site: “My name is Warren J Chadwick.Welcome to my royalty-free production music library for audiovisual projects. I am an established composer of instrumental music tracks and songs with worldwide credits. On my site, you can download the best royalty free production music for synchronization in your video and youtube productions and for personal use. In the UK my music has featured in the BBC’s Country file series; Songs of Praise; Crime watch road show; Channel 5 Countdown to Murder; Extraordinary People; Madeleine McCann (a global obsession) Radio 2 Steve Wright Love songs. Abroad my music has featured on Norwegian television-Sunny Beach series, CBS news USA, Canadian broadcasting, David Letterman late show, Brazilian broadcasting, Portuguese films, Japanese broadcasting, Spanish broadcasting, Estonia tv, Romanian tv. I also offer some free synchronisation usage (commercial and non-commercial) in all categories and some free royalty free music vocal downloads for personal use in the vocal category.The terms and conditions for synchronisation and the terms and conditions for broadcasting including the payment of royalties for broadcasting (In the UK the collection society for broadcasting royalties is the Performing Rights Society but other countries it is the respective collection society of that country e.g. BMI and ASCAP in the USA) can be seen by clicking on “Terms & Conditions” at the bottom of this web page. Please, could you notify me of the type of use when downloading these free downloads by sending me the details in the “contact us” button at the top of this page? Click on any category to see the soundtrack listings. Click on any title in the soundtrack listings to see the description of the soundtrack. Click the arrow in the soundtrack listing to play. Click on add to cart to purchase and download a soundtrack. You can license more of my music in the USA at Freeplay music; Chicago music library; Prolific Arts music and in the UK at syntracks.com; Reliable source music; Boom music; Soho production music and Ravenwood music.com. See my links below for all the related sites. If you would like wav files please contact me and I will send via wetransfer.com Thanks for listening. I hope you will find Royalty Free Music For Video useful.. Warren J Chadwick : Stock music; royalty free music; free royalty free music; library music; background music; production music at it’s best.”
About Open Music Archive: The Open Music Archive is situated within the current discourse surrounding notions of authorship, ownership and distribution, reanimated by a porting of Free/Libre and Open Source software models to wider creative contexts. The Open Music Archive concerns itself with the public domain and creative works which are not owned by any one individual and are held in common by society as a whole. Under copyright law, a music recording has two automatically assigned property rights: A musical composition has a property right and a recording has a separate and independent property right. These property rights are limited by term. In the UK, the term of copyright in a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work is limited to the life of the author plus 70 years, while the term of copyright in a sound recording is limited to 50 years from the date of recording. The archive attempts to gather recordings and information about recordings whose proprietary interests have expired and make them accessible to a wider public. Artists Ben White & Eileen Simpson have initiated this project following a series of projects which involved researching and gathering music which has fallen out of copyright. Much of this music, although legally in the public domain, is tied to physical media (for example gramophone records) and locked away in archives or private collections which are not widely accessible. The Open Music Archive aims to digitise as much of this music as possible in order to free it from the constraints of a physical collection. The project aims to share the existing resource and to build a larger archive in open collaboration with others. The archive aims to distribute this music freely, form a site of exchange of knowledge and material, and be a vehicle for future collaborations and distributed projects.
Massive selection, quite difficult to navigate but spend time here and you will certainly find gems The site says: “Opsound is a gift economy in action, an experiment in applying the model of free software to music. Musicians and sound artists are invited to add their work to the Opsound pool using a copyleft license developed by Creative Commons. Listeners are invited to download, share, remix, and reimagine. credits Opsound would like to thank the free and open source software communities for the amazing work and generosity that makes projects like this possible. We’d particularly like to thank Lucas Gonze and webjay for the terrific ‘play this page’ open API which runs our podcasts, and Gordon Luk for freetag which runs our tagging system. And more thanks to David Mintz for his lessons, Sharilyn Neidhardt, Christina Ray, and Tianna Kennedy for their help in transitioning from the old Opsound to the new, Scott Waddell for his help with the forums, FJ of Antonia for bringing us to Paris, Laura Schleussner of Rocketshop for bringing us to Berlin, Glowlab for bringing us to Boston, and all the amazing and patient contributors to Opsound for their gorgeous, mind-blowing, varied, ear-opening musics. Opsound is a project of artist Sal Randolph.”
37) Our Music Box
Why OurMusicBox? This is what they say: “I have produced countless of music tracks over my many years as a musician and composer. I now would like to share my music with anyone who wants to use it for free. The music is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution CC BY license which only requires that you state – “Insert Track Title here” by Jay Man http://www.ourmusicbox.com – when using the music. It takes resources to run this website so support would be highly appreciated ?? What about commercial use? If you are using the music for commercial use, you are by definition going to make some money …. or hopefully :). There is an option for you to pay a low, low monthly subscription of just $5 per month which will give you the license to use as much music as you want, as long as the production was done during a paid month, without having to give me credit/attribution. Other ‘royalty free music’ sites are charging upwards of $10/20/30 per track, per usage. With OurMusicBox, you’re getting thousands of tracks with unlimited use for just $5 per month which is what a lot of folks spend on a cup of coffee!”
Pretty straightforward instructions here: “Free Music Tracks You may use these tracks free of charge in your video, film, audio and multimedia productions. All we ask is that you link back to our site or mention “Music by http://www.pacdv.com/sounds/” in your credits. Please, note that you are not allowed re-sell these music tracks to others, post on a website for download (as downloadable music tracks), or link directly to the individual music tracks on our server.”
Here are the rules you have to abide by if you use music from this site: “You can download and use these free music loops and full-length music clips in any commercial multimedia project but you cannot: • re-sell individually or as a collection or as a ringtone • post on a website for download as we are doing here • mix into your own music and then redistribute it as your own. You may use these music loops in a Youtube video, Flash animation or in any other commercial multimedia presentation including TV and Film. In return for the use of these free royalty free music loops, we only ask that you please give Partners In Rhyme a link on your website or blog, a credit in your Youtube video, or just a nice email saying “Thanks!”
40) Public Domain 4U
Here is what the site says about the music available from them: “About this music Works that are “publicly available” in the context of intellectual property law: They are intangible to private ownership. They are available for use by members of the public. The songs posted here are from our past. Thanks to the most modern technology you can learn about this wonderful music.I hope by posting these music treasures, their magic will be kept alive.Their individualism and creativity should be recognized and appreciated, rather than lost to time. This site in no way grants or purports to grant any license in the material that is made available only for your edification. All the material posted on the site is considered “with artist permission.” Please contact the artist or the artist representatives for any further information.
41) Purple Planet
The best of both worlds here, a big free selection and a paid selection too. Here’s the lowdown: “Purple Planet Music works out of Manchester and Leeds, England. Geoff Harvey and Chris Martyn compose, perform, record, produce and mix all Purple Planet material. Matt Dingle is Studio Manager. We like our music to have a natural feel so we use loads of real instruments such as guitars, basses, and percussion instruments. In addition to these, we use a wide range of software instruments and sample collections. We can pretty much create anything! We use iMacs running Logic music production software. All our tracks are recorded in 24-bit audio, mastered as 24-bit aiff files and converted to a minimum of 128kbps mp3 for download. This mp3 encoding level is generally considered as ‘near CD’ quality and is best for YouTube and apps. Tracks with drums are mastered to -0.1db gain. Quieter tracks, generally without drums, are mastered to about -4db. We do not ‘hot master’; unlike some genres of contemporary music, we do not apply excessive “brick wall” limiting to make a track sound louder. This reduces the dynamic range and is hard on the ears. We want our music to be a pleasure to listen to! USING OUR MUSIC You are welcome to use all the music in our free download collection (in the top categories on our homepage) for a variety of projects: We simply ask that you credit us: Music: http://www.purple-planet.com”
You have to pay for anything you download from Ricall. Here is the information they publish: “Founded in 1998, Ricall offers a range of services and technology for licensing music for use in audio video productions. Our clients range from large brands looking for hit music for their global campaigns to individuals looking for a soundtrack for their YouTube video. To service this diverse client base we offer professional music licensing services for our high-value projects, and a state of the art e-Commerce music licensing platform for low value, high volume licensing. Our services and technology include: Music Supervision Services – Ricall offers the full range of music supervision services to the creative industries. Having worked on 10,000+ productions since its inception in 1998, Ricall is recognised as one of the most experienced and reliable sync agencies in Europe. License Negotiation Services – Ricall has developed a transparent and systematic licensing practice with vast experience working with large global brands. Our approach is aimed at securing the best value. With experience ranging from international license extensions to multi-platform cross-promotional campaigns, we are well aware of potential licensing pitfalls and offer strategies to ensure the best deal is on the table. Ricall.com – is a fully automated e-Commerce marketplace where Artists and Rights Holders can upload their music and offer it for sync licensing and digital downloads. Music submitters set their own prices and define their own keywords helping buyers find music that fits their project and budget.”
Some excellent original music here. SOME of which can be used commercially with attribution. “Canton Becker has been maintaining this site by hand since 2001. SampleSwap first started in 2001 as a folder of audio samples hosted on a hotline server running on a computer in Canton’s basement. In 2003, the collection was uploaded to the WWW for the first time. The entire collection has always been made available for free. Over the past 16 years, members have uploaded their own creations and rare finds for consideration in the collection. Canton listens to every upload and decides which ones should be folded into the master collection Every sample is trimmed, normalized, renamed, and organized by hand. CONTACT INFORMATION You can reach Canton at email@example.com, also on SoundCloud and cantonbecker.com”
44) Sonic Squirrel
“sonicsquirrel.net is a platform and distribution channel for netlabels. its aim is to promote free music and help artists and netlabels make their work easily available to a wider audience. sonicsquirrel.net is not only about providing music but also about giving background information and sensitizing people for issues like copyleft/right, drm and netaudio. The goal is to make finding and downloading free music easier than commercial distributed music, mytunes instead of iTunes. the platform is meant to be an extension to the already existing archives, catalogues and magazines. our aim is to provide a user-friendly tool to find audio material. The sonicsquirrel.net platform was started in summer 2005 as a side-project of an experimental two-week radio session. a group of Zurich based artists decided to broadcast only creative-commons and netlabel during this period of time. we thought that it would be a pity not to share all the gathered contacts, information and music we decided to build a public platform with this material. at the moment sonicsquirrel.net is quite widely used in the netaudio-scene. the current site delivers approx. 15’000 tracks every day.”
“For each and every single song on this site, all you have to do is credit the songwriter – Peter John Ross (www.sonnyboo.com) and the music is yours to use for free. They may not be great songs, but they can be the difference between your movie getting legal clearance, or getting a “Cease & Desist” court order. These are just a donation to the public domain.”
“SoundBible.com offers thousands of free sound effects, sound clips, and straight up sounds. These sounds can be used in a variety of sound projects including Video Sound Scores, Movie Scoring, Game Design, Powerpoint Presentations, Prank Calls, Sound Boards, and the list goes on. SoundBible.com is a great source for copyright free sounds. Why are these sounds free? Well for a few reasons really. Our project benefits teachers, students, faculty, and starving artist. They couldn’t afford to buy them so we are forced to give them away for free. 🙂 The Royalty Free Sounds section consists of Creative Commons and Public Domain works The owners of SoundBible.com were taught to share by their parents. Isn’t that what your parents taught you? Because Free is way cooler than Fee. That one letter “r” makes a world of difference Can these sounds be used commercially? The Royalty Free Sounds can indeed be used for commercial uses. The free sounds can only if they are under the Creative Commons Attribution or Public Domain License.”
Very simple this one: “All tracks individually listed with their license pricing.”
Soundgator says: “Our licensing terms are simple: You may use the sound effects you download in your films, videos, multimedia projects, presentations, apps, games and just about any other project – but you are not allowed to sell, license, distribute or post online the sound effects on their own, in any form as standalone sound effects (audio, video or data), even if you modify them. The sound effects meant to be incorporated into your projects. They are not meant to be distributed in any way as sound effects or ringtones – or to be used in sound related apps (such as “funny sounds app”). This should be common sense. Youtube Users: While you may use our sounds in your videos, you may not post our sounds as “sound effect videos” to any website. An example would be a video titled “mosquito sound effect” that just plays our mosquito sound.”
Here is what Soundshiva has to say: “Soundshiva is open source audio catalogue. Yes, something like Netlabels.org, but with some unique key features. Why use Soundshiva? netlabel manager Soundshiva is the easiest way to let your fans know about your fresh net releases. fan/subscriber Subscribe to your favourite artists, genres or netlabels in one place with one click. So, the key idea of Soundshiva is to connect netlabels and their fans.”
Check out the licensing carefully at this site!
Licensing quite straightforward here again: “CC0 License All music published on wowa.me is licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the music for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to us. (In Germany also “Gema Frei”)”
No More Excuses!!
So, there you go!! 8092 words, a lot of screenshots, three days of my time and you now have a site for every week of the year where you can search for your music. I’ve done all the hard work for you.