When you’re watching Despicable Me 2 on Netflix at 8 in the morning, you know it’s a holiday! Anyway, I promised you some links to royalty free and copyright free (well, Creative Commons Licensed to be accurate) music for your forthcoming productions so read on…
It is really important that you observe all relevant regulations when you produce your film/trailer. One of the toughest will be ensuring your music/soundtrack is legal… and sad to say, this does mean you can’t just drop any old track from your fruit-based music player into the mix. You must source (or create/compose/record/mix) your own music. To make life easier for you, there are a number of sites that offer free and legitimate music you can use and these are listed below. You will need to do some homework on these by searching and listening to an awful lot of music to find tracks that will enhance your film… because sadly, there is a fair degree of pretty dire music on these sites!
- Keep a note of everything! When you download any tracks, keep a note of where you got it (ie: copy and paste the URL);
- Keep a note of the date you downloaded it — this is really important in case anyone later queries the copyright… just ask the copyright holders of Happy Birthday To You;
- Make a careful note of the terms and conditions of use (ie: download/save a copy of them)— most of these simply require that you give an appropriate credit in your film, but read the small print carefully. Some of the sites need you to create a verified account, and at least one requires you to apply for a (free!) licence to download and use the music.
OK, enough blethers and background… get listening! In no particular order…
Incompetech is searchable according to Genre and/or Feel. This helps make it quite easy to hit the general ballpark. In addition, lots of the tracks come with the individual parts so you can remix it to suit your needs (ie: lose the vocals if you don’t want them…). There are some really useful tracks here with more good than bad. #recommended
Free Music Archive
The Free Music Archive is a much more eclectic mix with many more non-western music tracks. These could be perfect for creating an eerie atmosphere, or for suggesting a different location. If you scroll down the page slightly, you will find Genre categories that can narrow down your search to a specific style of music… but I’d encourage you to think out of the box as some of the most effective uses of music in film happen when you are more creative in your choices.
Sound Bible is great for one thing: Sound effects. Lots and lots of lovely sound effects which are free to use (and see my earlier post on the use of foley sound to appreciate how important these are).
PacDV produces free music, sounds, voices, and so on. Limited selection, and they will try to sell you stuff, but the free tracks are better quality than most.
And lastly… and perhaps the most exciting…
If you’ve heard of Moby, this one could be perfect. MobyGratis is his attempt to support upcoming film makers and students. He has made over 150 of his tracks available for you to use in your projects… but read the conditions carefully! You need to apply to use the track(s) so you need to have selected them in plenty of time to get clearance… and no, you can’t just apply to use all of them! You need to apply for specific tracks. That said, he also encourages you to upload your finished product to share with the world… which is a pretty nifty means of gaining an audience. Go for it!
There are, of course others, and I’ll maybe do a follow up post if needed, or you could ask me in class, or even better, leave a comment and share any you have found… Now get busy! 😉