One of the major problems for freelance video editors is music. To use a song or any part of audio in your videos, you need legally licensed music. Or you will be dealing with a lot of lawsuits, and nobody wants that. Of course, if you have money, that’s not a big deal, but most working filmmakers don’t. If you fall into this category, then you know all the challenges with this particular problem. So, let’s check out some of the best stock music sites, that are sure to complete your videos.
But, before we go on, there are a few things you should know about music licenses, as there are various types of them, and they all allow for different kinds of usage. So, we’ll explain what the most common ones mean to make sure you don’t get into any trouble.
What You Need to Know About Licensing Music
“Before we go any further, we would like to cover a topic that will help you as a filmmaker. The music industry and licensing is a complex topic for sure. And you need to learn about it before you get into any legal troubles. It was all fine when you were doing projects for your school, but when it comes to commercial projects that can be a tiresome battle.” – says Lewis Banks, senior manager at LegalDrop.com.
Some of the tracks that you will find on these sites are probably listed under some sort of a Creative Commons license. In simpler words, you can download it and use it with some specific requirements.
Here are the most common ones:
- CC0: It is free. Use it, download it, remix it, do anything you want with it.
- CC-BY: Attribution. You can use it, but you need to provide a link to the artist.
- CC-BY-NC: NonCommercial. You can’t use tracks with this type in anything that’s intended for monetary gain. Not even YouTube videos.
- CC-BY-ND: NonDerivative. You cant use this track in any type of video without the written permission of the artist.
Sites Where You Can Find Stock Music
1. Tribe of Noise PRO
On the number one spot, we have the amazing Tribe of Noise PRO. It is a widely popular site because it works with radio stations, curators, and artists to offer a great selection of free music. The site is pretty neat and is easy to manage. On the left side, you have the category tab – that’s where your hidden gems are listed.
The Genre option lets you choose the genre of the music that you are looking for. It ranges from modern pop music all the way to classical tunes. This little hero covers everything. You can choose multiple genres without a problem – want a classical pop? You got it.
Now, you get the feeling part to fill up. Want some sad tunes like Adele? Or some romantic melodies? No problem. It has these categories for you to choose from: Sad, Mellow, Romantic, Happy, Intense, Unbeatable. The next thing is the energy of the audio you are looking for. You can pick from Low, Mid, Up, and Boost energy. It depends on the mood and feeling of the video you are going to make.
And for the end, you can also choose if you want Vocals or Non-Vocals, instrumental, Duet, Male Or Female. Needless to say that with this website, you will for sure find a great tune for your video.
The next spot on our list goes to Freesound. A very simple name for a very simple page. Even though their page doesn’t have a modern look or an intuitive workspace – it serves the purpose. That being finding quality music for your videos, effects, people talking, noise, and natural sounds as well.
If you can imagine it, you can find it on here. You can search up the music with the search bar or just simply scroll down the page and see what it offers. There are plenty of options like random sounds of the day, recently added, and the most downloaded sounds of the past week.
Also, you can search by tags that are on the right side of the website. And, you can also let the website give you a random sound on its own. Try it – there is nothing to lose.
Next, we have a really crazy website for all you video makers – dig.ccMixter. We had to include this little gem on this list because it lets you be a DJ to your own video. This is how it works. Musicians upload their tracks, and vocalist uploads their raw acapella. What are you going to do with that? Well, create a sound of your own, duh! If you have some free time to experiment, this is a great tool.
You can choose whichever genre you want, instrument, and style. With those components, the site will give you some suggestions. I chose these 3 elements to show you how it works.
You can also search for specific samples and go from there. The tag search is filled with many amazing tags, which will help you find the best music for your video. While we are at this in the category of style, you can also select the option music_for_video.
The 4th spot on our list goes to CCTrax. One of the best sites for electronic music. Don’t worry – it also offers a little bit of jazz, rock, and modern classical music. One thing that stands out on this site is that you can filter the tracks by the type of Creative Commons License. Please be careful about that – some of the big artists had some legal issues with these types of things.
It is also possible to filter by tag, label, genre, and artist to get that perfect type of track to fit your video aesthetic. You will probably need some time to manage through their website since it is a little bit outdated. But at least it gives you some cool tunes.
For the last spot on our list, we have Incompetch. Even though it has fewer tracks than the previous ones, it still makes trying to find music easier. Every track on this site is under a CC_BY license, so be careful, and provide a link back to their site whenever you use audio from them.
You can filter tracks by any of the next attributes like feel, genre, tempo, length, or any combination of two. Play a snippet of a track that has caught your attention, and if you like it, just download it with a simple click.
As a bonus mention, we cannot forget to include Videvo. This stock library has several types of audiovisual content for download: video, audio, motion graphics, and most recently, video editing templates. Their audio library has more than 12,000 music tracks and over 170,000 sound effects, all under a royalty free license, meaning you can use them where and as many times as you like.
Part of Videvo’s draw is that they are committed to offering hundreds of their downloads free of charge, which applies to their audio files as well – simply use their intuitive filter system and select their “Free” files only to see what’s available for free. If you go for one of their Premium plans, you can also rest assured you are getting some of the most competitive pricing out there given the low cost of their subscriptions.
Creating mesmerizing videos can be hard sometimes. Even when you think the visuals are great, there is something off about the music. That’s why you need great audio – to complete the full circle.
When the audio components and visual components go hand-in-hand, everything is more attractive. Be sure always to take a closer look at the licenses of the songs. And also to give credit when credit is due.