A while back, we received a question on MakeUseOf Answers asking where in the world one can get royalty free music. Naturally, as someone who is constantly searching for this Holy Grail, I jumped on it.
So, dear MakeUseOf readers, I felt that this is a question worthy enough to expand upon. I’m quite sure that some of you out there are wondering where to find royalty free music whether you’re a videomaker, a game developer, or one of those neo-artist stage performance poets that uses a combination of visual imagery, weird music, and the occasional bit of innocent nudity. So with that being said, I’m here to bring you some quality royalty free music.
The Vimeo Music Store is a brilliant tool to use when in search for music for your videos. Although there are several free items available via the Creative Commons, there are actually a few songs that you can pay for either personal use ($1.99) or for commercial use ($98). The Vimeo Music Store is a nice consolidated catalog of music from all genres, and the best part about it is that each song on the store is available to use for your videos. This way, you do not have to do as much digging. However, you will have to lurk around if you want to find free royalty free songs, and it’s a little harder if you want to use them commercially without paying a dime.
I recently discovered the beauty of SoundCloud, and the fact is this – they have an entire section of their site devoted to the Creative Commons. What does that mean for you? Well, my friend, it means there is a ton of music out there waiting on you to use it in a personal project. SoundCloud also offers quite a bit of search classifications, so you can find songs with CC licenses that allow for commercial use or without the share alike option. It seems like a good deal to me, and I’ve been using their music for quite a few projects lately.
The Vimeo Music Store pulls some of their music from the Free Music Archive, but I decided to go ahead and throw it in as a separate entity for a couple of reasons. One, it seems like the Vimeo Music Store doesn’t include all of the songs on here, for it constantly updates. Two, it also seems like there is some differing information between the sites.
For instance, I used a song that I got from the Vimeo Music store for free, and on their site, it said I could only use it for noncommercial purposes. However, when I saw it on the Free Music Archive, it said I could use it for commercial purposes with attribution. Either way, both are excellent sources of music, and I would recommend this site for sure. Granted, I cannot guarantee everything on this site will be available for you to use.
We couldn’t have this article without mentioning Kevin MacLeod, the mastermind behind Incompetech. MacLeod’s website offers quite a bit of music for your royalty free needs, and it is absolutely fantastic. He does offer a PayPal donation system (as does AudioNautix, actually), so if you feel the need to support him, you can do so. However, his music is great for whatever you need, and there is nothing else I can really say except that you should go give it a listen.
After submitting my answer to MUO answers (which included the Vimeo Music Store), I went back to see if anybody else had brought anything to the table. Fortunately, someone did, and that was MUO reader ha14, who suggested AudioNautix, another site for royalty free music. The site offers everything including tracks for cinematic works and documentaries, but what i really liked about it was simply how easy it was to understand the usage rights of this music. You can pretty much use it for anything, so… go do that. Right now.
These are simply my top four picks for royalty free music (with ha14′s tacked on), and each of them have quality stuff. You normally won’t see a whole lot of good music that you can use in projects, and each of these resources has a different flavor for everyone.
What other royalty free music resources do you use? What do you like or not like about the ones mentioned here?
Image Credit: imelenchon
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