Last week we saw how relatively easy it is to get stock images for free. I mean, with the abundance of resources that are out there, why pay for one again? Unless you’re very specific in your search, I really can’t think of a good reason.
In this week’s post, I’ll share with you the places I’ve found free stock music. If you’re wondering what stock music is useful for, then my quickest response is “what medium isn’t it useful for?”.
To this day, even on national TV, I see commercials that are using stock music.
Whether it’s in the background of a short clip of a speech, to being used in a podcast, to even being used behind GTA and Halo montages on YouTube, stock music can be useful in adding a bit more flare to the medium you’re using to convey your message.
What is Stock Music (aka Non Copyright Music)?
Like I did in last week’s post, I want give a short description of stock music is and isn’t.
Stock music, known by many names including non copyright music or production music, is the name given to recorded music that can be licensed to customers for use in TV, video (movies or online), radio and other media. Traditionally, the music is produced and owned by production music libraries.
If it is owned by a music library, then the user will have to pay a license fee to use that music with their media.
However, with the advent of the internet, stock music artists, like independent artists, can create and release their own music.
This was the main reason that SoundCloud became so popular and why MySpace is even still around. Both of these mediums have been used significantly to get music out into the world.
So that’s what it is.
However, the difference of the two is that stock music is specifically released to be the background of media, whereas other music, while it might be used as background music, is designed to stand alone. Many times, you’ll hear traditional music altered to be background music – especially in commercials with a lot of production value on TV.
Stock Music Examples
Here are a few examples of what I’m talking about if you’re still a little fuzzy.
Here’s a few examples of stock music in a YouTube video:
Here’s something you might hear on the radio – but you won’t because it’s copyright free:
And here’s a sample of stock music that’s not only used for a commercial for Plus Benefits, but it’s also used at the beginning of Ryan Moran’s podcast:
Plus Benefit’s Commercial:
Freedom Fast Lane Podcast w/ Ryan Daniel Moran:
If you ever find the name of this piece, I’d love to know what it’s called!
Using Stock Music
Ok, so like last week with the images, it’s relatively easy to tell if something is stock music. In fact, many pieces of stock music that you can sample will have the name of the library that you’re sampling it from right in the middle of the sample. Obviously, like watermarking images, it’s there to detour you from using it.
In the following piece you’ll hear a slight whisper of “Audio Jungle” repeated over and over. That’s what I call an audio watermark.
Just like I said about images…
DON’T USE ‘WATERMARKED’ MUSIC!
For one, it’ll make whatever you’re doing sound ridiculous, and two, you’ll probably get a cease and desist letter if not a potential lawsuit.
Another way to realize if you need to pay a license to use music is whether or not it can easily be downloaded. If you have to pay something to download it, then it probably has specific details in when it can be used as well.
If you want to read more about the different types of licensing and usage methods – here you go.
It’s not really relative to the next part though! 🙂
Where to Find Free Stock Music
So here’s the part you’ve been waiting for. Where can you find free stock music to use with your media? Well, my top 3 places are…
The Free Music Archive has just about anything you want. So that’s generally where I get most of my stock music. Like images, you want to make sure that you give credit when it’s asked for and when it’s due. I make it common to acknowledge the artist in all of my work.
If for some reason, you can’t find what you’re looking for in the Archive, then YouTube has a decent source. The Verge did a decent review about what you can expect in there when their library was launched in 2013.
Finally, the third option I find as a potential place to find pieces, but I haven’t quite used anything from here yet, is Soundcloud. As mentioned, this type of work is what helped its popularity. If you want to see what’s available on Soundcloud (or other places around the web), there’s a great resource via reddit that might be able to help you find good stuff: No Copyright Music Subreddit.
Like last time with the images, if you want even more free music, I have a couple of links for you:
And it’s sequel:
Also, if you happen to be a DJ and want more specifics in finding music for your work, check out this post from Robert Calabrese over at Home DJ Studio.
So there you go. Plenty of sources to get free music to ramp up your videos or podcast sessions with. Now you have no excuse to not add a bit of atmosphere to your next project.
If you find anything great via these resources, let me know below! I’d love to hear about your discoveries and even a little show and tell about what adding this music has done for your work!