If you’re creative, chances are you’ve been in the position where you are putting together a video, podcast, or whatever and needed some music that you KNEW wouldn’t get you in trouble for using. Still, you wanted it to be thoughtfully written and avoid the “cheese factor” that some royalty-free tracks get you. You can only get so far using the iMovie/GarageBand compositions that come with your Mac… It’s gotten to the point where I’m recognizing some of the same compositions while browsing YouTube. That tells me that the artsy community needs more royalty-free music. Many of the solutions out there are very expensive and unrealistic for independent artists, filmmakers, podcasters, video game makers, and multimedia artists. I put together this list of free/inexpensive options to help. Also, I did this because I am a big fan of soundtracks and a composer myself.
Started by the guy we know and love, Moby. You have to apply to make money using the music, but it’s a great site and perhaps the most famous of the options. COST: FREE
This is great! MusOpen provides classic (often classical) music existing in the public domain. That means you can use it royalty-free. This isn’t always the case with old music because the specific recordings can have restrictions. MusOpen helps you find great music in the public domain and use it in your project. COST: FREE
I’m really impressed with this guy Dan. He writes all this great music and GIVES it away. All you have to do is help promote his site by listing him in the credits. If you don’t want to list him, then it costs a little money. Either way, it’s really great that he’s helping artists and making such great music. COST: FREE (unless you don’t want to credit him)
4. Indie Music Box
This is actually one of my projects! I started Indie Music Box as a royalty-free solution for filmmakers and multimedia artists. I wanted to satisfy my need to compose music often and have it help people and be heard. I’d rather sell my tracks for cheap and let people use them, then spend my life hoping to get a big commission. I put a lot of effort into these and add more often. COST: $0.99 per track or $15 for the collection
5. Lucky Lion Studios
This studio composes and produces really great compositions and sells them (royalty-free) for pretty cheap. A lot of sites that weren’t included in this compilation cost upwards of $30 per track, so $5 is really good! I love the music too. COST: $5 per track