Finding Free Music For Projects

Finding free and royalty-free music can be tough. In general I try to make sure that each piece of music I use is 100% for commercial use or is at least available for commercial use with attribution.

The video above goes into detail about some of my favorite sites for downloading music for projects of any sort, but I’ll go ahead and explain a bit further.

YouTube Music Library

Yesterday, YouTube released their audio library with over 150 songs available to use immediately in any project, commercial or otherwise. This is a bit surprising from a group that is usually so strict with licenses and copyrights, but maybe this is an effort to help thwart the use of unlicensed music. Either way, it’s a pretty cool move from the folks at YouTube.

I used “Walking the Dog” for the opener and closing music in my video and was pretty happy with the quality. It will be interesting to see how quickly the library expands.

Free Music Archive

By far my favorite free music site, but it comes at a cost. If you get overeager, you could find yourself staring at a non-commercial Creative Commons license which means if you put your video on YouTube, you cannot include adverts, and who doesn’t want that YouTube money? At FMA (not full metal alchemist), I recommend using the advanced search, clicking on “Attribution-only” and then searching whatever genre you want. By whittling it down, you can make sure you’re not wasting your time with non-commercial and non-derivative music.

Audio Jungle

In the Envato marketplaces you can get pretty good quality for a fairly low cost, granted after a while, everything adds up. That being said, Audio Jungle tends to have a monthly freebie that you can grab and also has music from $1 to ~$10. It all depends on what you’re looking for. Sometimes you’ll find the perfect song before seeing the price tag. For the free download you’ll need to be logged in, but it’s a pretty good deal. For example, this month was a song that’s usually $17. Free is good.

Sweet Sound Effects

Final Cut King announced a nice site last year (if I’m remembering my timeline correctly) that has a lot of free downloadable sound effects for you to use in any project. Explosions, everyday noises, you name it, there’s probably something to suit your project. You’ll have to give out your email address to get the download, but I think it’s worth it.

If you’ve got other great resources, feel free to let me know in the comments below!

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John Hartley is a Director of Product Engineering at Beam Dental in Columbus, OH. With 5+ years of leadership experience he has worked in startups, agencies, and began his career as a freelance Front End Developer. Always looking to iterate, this blog is a place for him to share his knowledge as well as hone his craft, challenge assumptions, and build a strong base of leadership and management knowledge. Connect with him on LinkedIn

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