This article is part of the Creative Commons Downloads series:
- 7 Places to Find Creative Commons Images Online
- 5 Websites to Find Creative Commons Videos
- 5 Awesome Websites to Find Royalty-Free Music for Your Videos
- 10 of the Best Websites for Free, High-Quality Stock Photos
- 8 of the Best Websites to Find Free Stock Photos
- 5 of the Best Websites to Download Free Stock Footage
- 4 of the Best Websites to Download Royalty-Free Music for Your Next Project
If you’re a filmmaker or YouTube vlogger, you know that the right music can really take your projects to the next level. Unfortunately, not everyone is a talented musician. Luckily, there are a number of websites that allow you to download royalty-free music to use in your projects.
Note: Royalty-free does not mean that users can do whatever they want with the files. Be sure to always check the Creative Commons license attributed to any royalty-free file you want to download and use in your project.
Bensound is a website that features the work of French musician Ben Tissot. He has worked as a composer for over ten years, with his work being used in corporate videos, commercials, short films and documentaries. His website, Bensound.com, is a searchable database of his compositions, organized by genre.
All of the music found on Bensound is under the Creative Commons license. This means that you can use the music in any multimedia project, provided you credit Bensound.com.
Furthermore, all of the music on Bensound has a “NoDerivs” clause added to the license. This prevents people from making their own music using Bensound music, such as remixes or adding lyrics.
In addition to the standard license, users can opt to pay for a “Pro” license. The Pro license is available in different tiers with different pricing structures. Purchasing a Pro license gives users rights to exclusive tracks and allows the music to be used without attribution.
2. Free Music Archive
As the name suggests, Free Music Archive is an archive of free music. Users can download any of the tracks at no charge. There are a ton of tracks available, all organized into a variety of different genres. What you’re allowed to do with these tracks will vary. Each artist or rights-holder has the final say in how the tracks can be used.
All of the music on the Free Music Archive falls into one of four Creative Commons licenses. Attribution means you can use the track as long as you give credit. Non-Commercial (“NC”) means you can’t use it in a for-profit project. No-Derivatives (“ND”) dictates that you can’t change the track in any way (e.g. remix). Finally, Share-Alike (“SA”) allows you to remix the track, but you have to make it available under the same license. Be sure to double check the specific license associated with a track before using it in your project. To do so, click a track’s title and check the licensing info in the column on the right on the track page.
3. Moby Gratis
Moby Gratis is the brainchild of famous electronic musician Moby. The Moby Gratis site is a resource for independent filmmakers or anyone in need of music for a non-profit project. Users can download and use over 150 tracks from Moby’s own extensive back catalog of music.
There is one major difference with Moby Gratis when compared to the other sites on this list. Before you can download any of the tracks, you must first register. Registering is free and allows you to browse the music available for download. Once you find a track (or tracks) that you would like to use, you have to fill out an application. Decisions on applications are usually made within 24 hours of submission. Granted, it’s a bit more effort. However, if you’re looking for music composed by a world famous musician who has done extensive work with film scores, it may be worth it.
Audioblocks is home to over 100,000 different audio tracks. Every single one of the tracks available are 100% royalty-free and can be used in personal or commercial projects. Furthermore, there are no download caps, meaning users can download as much as they want. The library is quite extensive, ranging from creepy atmospheric music to up-tempo orchestral pieces.
In addition to music, Audioblocks hosts a wide variety of sound effects, perfect for amateur filmmakers. Audioblocks have something for every occasion, from record scratches to booming thunder. On top of all that, Audioblocks even has a whole slew of loops for users who are interested in crafting their own tunes.
Which websites do you use to download royalty-free music? Let us know in the comments!