Free, Royalty-Free Music

It’s really easy to find royalty-free music (if you don’t mind paying $600 for a cheesy collection). And it’s quite easy to find free music (but use it at your legal peril). But free and royalty-free rarely meet.

Kevin MacLeod, creator of Incomeptech, has solved the problem. He has dozens and dozens of excellent instrumentals available for free download and royalty-free use. And they’re good. Even better you can search by the genre (jazz, horror and my favorite “silent film score”) or query by “feel” (bouncy, aggressive, somber).

If you’re a musician looking to publicize your music or ability to create custom video scores for money, what better way than to establish a library of of your tunes that people can use in exchange for credit?

It’s working for Kevin. He asks for a credit (and PayPal donation) and he’s already popping up at the end of literally hundreds of YouTube videos.

He’s the sound behind my “Crawling Through Airport” including many others (not the intro song, but the quirky instrumental that gives life to the clip).

NOTE: A few people have contacted me directly about offering music for my videos (in exchange for credit). I’m always looking for more. If you have music you don’t mind sharing, pleaseĀ  comment below with your URL. WordPress might put your comment in temporary purgatory if it contains a URL but I’ll approve it. Send an e-mail to kevinnalts at gmail dot com if you don’t see it in a day.

Author: Nalts

Hi. I'm Nalts.

13 thoughts on “Free, Royalty-Free Music”

  1. First!

    Just kidding. My favorite part of putting my videos together is finding the “right” music for my video. In addition to incompetech.com, I use jonathanwoodward.com and jonathancoulton.com Some of coulton’s songs are available for $3.00 apiece, but the rest are free, and both guys use creative commons licenses.

    I also found this cool website that has about 30 songs that were recorded in the 20’s and 30’s that are now in the public domain. Most are blues, but so far I’ve used them in two of my videos and I personally think that those videos are FANTASTIC!!!! I mean, come on youtubers!! True works of art, and only 99 subscribers!! Do you know how much time I spend on these puppies?!!? Do you know how many hours I spend looking for just the right song?? Have you SEEN how cute my kid is?? What the hell is wrong with you people!!!

    Oh, sorry. My inner voice got control of me somehow. That website is http://www.publicdomain4u.com.

    For a list of other sites with free royalty-free music, check out www. stonewashed.net/free-music.html. And, of course, there is always garageband.com, which I personally find frustrating to use due to their limited search methods.

    Finally, for anybody who is contemplating sharing their music, I have two requests: First, if an instrumental version of a song is available, i frequently use it because it’s easier to work with when my videos have my son speaking in them (yes, I’m a child-pimper). (Josh Woodward has at least one album that he’s posted in both full and instrumental only versions.) Second, my videos tend to be fairly short (under 1:30), so a selection of shorter tunes would be great.

    And of course, I always credit the composer and give his/her website if they have one.

    Now that I’ve spilled the beans on my music sources, I sure as hell hope others will too!! Don’t bogart your music sources guys! (That includes you nalts.)

  2. These guys http://www.opuzz.com are not free but they have a tiered price so if you only need tracks under 30 secs, they have loops, stingers, 10, 15, 30 second edits that start from $2.99. I just bought a stinger intro and outro for $1.50 as they are having a 50% sale off everything. Yes, free would be like http://www.incompetech.com. Worst if http://www.freeplaymusic.com. I thought it was under cc and free as they call themselves free play right? Wrong! So becareful if you don’t want to get in trouble.

  3. Correction: it’s joshwoodward.com, NOT jonathanwoodward.com. the other (jonathancoulton.com) is correct.

  4. i checked opuzz.com on the sale. very good music especially if you are using for your business. also checked incompetech.com and it’s great for personal use as it is a cc license. thanks.

  5. Yeah- when are we launching the forum. Option 1- TH installs it on bluehost (or maybe you know how, Jan). Option 2- we use thedailyreel.

  6. We used some of Kevin’s music for Bodega last year and it added some much-needed latin flavor for the intro and outro.

    Since then we’ve pretty much been using music from either of two prolific musician buddies of ours.

    And this post has inspired me… I’m going to do a post about music in our videos sometime this week.

    Thanks!

  7. I recently used a piece of royalty free music from http://www.whitebeetle.com . They have interesting, and dare I say it, original pieces.

    It went onto documentary to be aired in the UK this summer.

    To be honest, I have been on many royalty free music sites and I would say that they are mostly quite ordinary and there is little there that you would not hear inside a lift going from the parking lot to the first floor of your local shopping mall. You have to dig hard on most sites as they are so mainstream and corporate.

  8. Pingback: Free Music Tone

Comments are closed.