If you’ve been around the internet for a while now, you must have heard the good old advice against taking anything you see online: “Google is not a cookie jar where you can get an image, music file or any form of resource that you like.” Unless a content is declared under the Creative Commons License agreement which allows free distribution to the public, you can’t use it unless you pay for it.
Have you experienced working hard on a video only to have YouTube take it down because of a music copyright infringement? The good news is, we’ve put together a list of 17 high-quality sites to download royalty-free music and soundtracks for your video and gif projects. Feel free to bookmark this page for your reference. Enjoy!
Bensound is one of my favorite go-to places for downloading great music legally. You can choose from a wide variety of categories ranging from acoustic, cinematic, jazz, rock, and more. Filed under the Creative Commons License Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 you are free to use their music for your projects as long as you credit their site. If you don’t like the idea of attribution, you can always purchase a license on the track pages.
2. CC Mixter
Looking for free instrumental music for video and film? Don’t miss out CC Mixter! This is a cool community music site where musicians all over the world upload and share their music for free. This site is fully covered under Creative Commons License which allows you to use their music for free even commercially but, you have to give credit to the musician within your video.
At no charge, this site offers a nice selection of royalty-free music for you to download and use on your projects both personally and commercially. Partners In Rhyme has a huge collection of film soundtracks, music loops, sound effects, and more and you’re free to use them as long as you give credit to their site anywhere on your project.
4. CC Trax
CC Trax is another great music site where you can stream and download music for free. The categories available here range from electronica, techno, ambient, and more. This is also filed under Creative Commons License and you can download straight away without signing up for an account. Private and personal use is free and often unrestricted but, if you intend using certain tracks you’ve found commercially or for video, your options are limited.
Downloading royalty-free music has never been easier with FreeSoundTrack Music. You can choose from their wide selection of tracks to use for your film, video game, Youtube video and other multimedia productions. The recordings labeled as “FREE” can be used without payment but, would require source attribution. Site membership is paid thru buying credits though.
6. Moby Gratis
This site offers a great catalog of 150 licensed music by the music composer Moby Gratis himself and if you are using it in a non-commercial or non-profit production it’s free. This site is a cool resource for film students and anyone in need of free music for their independent, non-profit film, video, or short. You just need to go through a simple application system available on their site to get a license for a specific track.
7. New Grounds
New Grounds is a one-stop source for free sound effects and music for your video games projects. The tracks here are categorized under Creative Commons with attribution from the source. Download and free use only cover web-based game or animation. Beyond that, you must make a specific arrangement with the author.
Just couldn’t get enough of music? Are you interested in the awesome talents behind them as well? Check out Artist Direct – a music entertainment company that offers lots of free music with a variety of genres for you to enjoy. Not all of the music there is free but if you click on the link above, it will take you to the specific tracks page where free music is available. Artist Direct gives you fresh scoops of the videos and interviews of your favorite artists as well.
PacDV is a pretty generous site which allows you to instantly download 237 free music tracks and 3000 more sound effects! You don’t need to pay for anything, all they ask is a link back from their site when you use any of their music for your multimedia productions. Choose from Action, Pop, Punk, Uplifting, Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, and more categories from this site.
Audio Archive is a part of the huge non-profit library called Internet Archive. You can download and stream public domain music here as well as recordings from movies, concerts, books, poetry readings and more. You can sort the free music downloads by most viewed items, title, date published, or creator. If you’re an artist, it’s also free to contribute your compositions there but you have to declare a Creative Commons License as part of the upload process.
MusOpen is another non-profit resource for royalty free music. Tracks under this site have their copyright and other legal restrictions already expired hence, safe for both public and commercial use. At Musopen you can browse music by composer, performer, instrument, period or form. Free print-ready music sheets and other music education resources for teachers and students are also available from this site.
FMA is another massive audio library with a purpose to allow the public a free access to new music. This site is directed by freeform radio station WFMU. You can download and stream free music from this site even without signing up for an account. The collections here is a mix of public domain and Creative Commons licenses. You can choose from Folk, Soul-RnB, Classical, Blues, and more here.
13. Audio Nautix
Audio Nautix is a music collection created by artist Jason Shaw. These music files are released under Creative Commons License 3.0. which lets you use these for your projects including commercial productions. Choose from their rich archive of Acoustic, Ballad, Blues, Meditative, House, Reggae, Rock and more genres. You can also request for an original composition for your project for a fee.
14. Noise Trade
NoiseTrade is another great discovery music site that allows you to enjoy free music streaming and album downloads from notable artists. These files are completely legal to take and tips for the artists are welcomed. You can also help promote their music by sharing them with people you know online.
15. Purple Planet
Enjoy free music download from Purple Planet. You can choose from their rich collection of royalty-free tracks for a variety of projects like Youtube, Vimeo, and other video sites online but you have to credit their site anywhere on your video. You can kickstart your search by browsing through the “Latest” or “Most Popular Search” on the page.
16. Free Stock Music
Free Stock Music provides exactly what it advertises – royalty-free tracks for use in films, YouTube videos, games or other multimedia productions. You don’t even need to sign up for an account to download. All you need is to pick the track/s you like from their 10 categories, download, and you get your mp3 music file in less than a minute.
17. Free SFX
If you’re looking for great sound effects for your video projects, don’t miss browsing through Free SFX‘ huge collection. They have over 500,000 sound effects and music tracks ranging from Animals/ Insects, Instruments/ Samples, Leisure and Entertainment and a whole lot more free for download.
Did we miss your favorite online resource for royalty-free music? Have you used any of these resources for your video projects before? Let us know in the comments below!
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