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Music for free use
  • Not sure if this is a good category for this idea, but the concept is to create a place where musicians can offer recordings for free use in people's motion pictures.

    I have many recorded songs that I would love for people to use. In addition, I am not opposed to writing and recording music specifically about a topic someone would request or specifically to suit a certain artistic feel. Most likely most people will simply post music here that people can apply to their movies as they see fit.

    I would suggest that anyone who uses songs posted here should give credit to the artist, and that if the motion picture that uses these songs should happen to blow up and make a bunch of money, then there should be some reasonable expectation that a deal should be worked out between musician and movie maker.

    I am also not clear as to what the best storage method should be for songs. Nearly all the songs I have recorded are in .wav format and would require a fair amount of space to store. It would also be nice to find a place to store .mp3's of the tracks so that people can listen to them and decide if they want to use the .wav.

    Also, this topic can be used as a place to discuss best audio formats for motion picture. I almost feel like this should be a category because there are many sub topics I could see branch off.

    Note 1. Bandcamp provides a HTML code that supposedly creates a player. The player does not seem to function on this site. Bandcamp does allow for high quality .wav storage and download, and allows you to set it up so that people can download for free, or name what they want to pay which includes 0.

  • 34 Replies sorted by
  • I find it a good idea. I'm interested. Always looking for music to use on my videos. (And sound FX too).

  • I would suggest using the site bandcamp, I use it to host audio files because its variety of players that you can embed. Bandcamp is free and forces the upload of wav files or higher, which can be downloaded by the user into what ever format they desire. Its a really slick system, you can track downloads, build mailing list, have things free - user picks price - or set amount, and account are free.

  • I just recently used Audionautix for a video. They have some nice tracks for free as long as you credit them. I've always used mp3 format.

    Here's the latest I used, it has a Red Hot Chili Peppers feel to it..

  • @videohq Sorry, more specifically, what bit depth, what sample frequency, and beyond that; If someone wants to work with surround sound, what format and file type would be best?

    @everyone... can the files you guys are using use DSD?

    I am going to be exploring storage places at the moment. So far, I'm looking at Audionautix, Soundcloud, Free Music Archive, Freesound, and Bandcamp. From what @jodydb says, bandcamp sounds nice.

  • Ok, I am testing bandcamp. This is the first song I will upload under bandcamp's "name your own price" feature. You can of course choose nothing. Also, I am hopeful that this will embed and play directly from this site.

    Be Still by Chris Goebel and Steve Suddeth
  • You can download my songs from or search for ''King KeNoah'' on your Android devices

  • Sounds like a nice idea. As for formats, 24bit 48k would be ideal. Some would argue for 96k but I think that's overkill. A lot of material isn't recorded/originated in such a way as to benefit. I still use 16bit 48k in many cases with no problems.

    For surround sound, multichannel WAV (or AIFF) files with channels in the following (SMPTE/ITU) order: 1: Left 2: Right 3: Centre 4: LFE 5: Left surround 6: Right surround

    Have never used the DSD format. But I remember those Korg recorders looked cool.

  • Okay, my rant may be slightly random but this topic made me think about the value of music and the expectaions people have about what it should cost.

    I don't do free music very often - it's just not practical if you are trying to make a living that way.

    In 2005 the going rate for a (not famous) name was $1,000/minute of completed final work in the game industry with the film industry not to far off.

    Every score composer I knew personally was spending a minimum of $1,000 a year on new sample libraries, with most doing much more (and that`s not including the thousands of dollars to establish an initial palette or the computer or recording hardware or maintenence).

    Hiring good session players tends to start $100/hr minimum and recording a full orchestra is at least $10,000 around here.

    Rent in L.A. also is not cheap. Add up these costs it`s easy to have to make $40,000+ a year living on your own and still have no disposable income or savings to speak of.

    And the difference between having music composed for your film specifically vs. tossing in pre-composed music can be really huge, let alone between score and nothing. The Oscars did a great job of showing that with the opening to Chariots of Fire in the 80s.

    Anyway, I do offer discounts on my rates for indie productions but I do not like doing free (it`s the very occassional gift to close friends) because I like continuing to make music more than I like getting my power turned off, not being able to pay rent or running put of gas money or running out of food (and those are things that I have watched happen to my friends in the industry over the last 7 years at various points).

    If you are going to ask someone to score something for you and can't give monetary compensation, try to find out what else they might really want or need so that you can offer that. Randomly offering something they don't need and then getting frustrated if they don't take you up on it isn't a winning combo.

    Anyway, end rant but my last word is "value the music, whether you can pay for it or not". :)

  • @thepalalias I think you are right, and regarding scored music, you are certainly right. But from the perspective of an artist who is unknown, I just want my music to be heard in any way possible. Someday if people fall in love with what I do then I can worry about getting paid. I have all the gear I need to produce my own music professionally. Take a listen to my song I posted above and let me know what you think from a production standpoint. I did that in my bedroom, and I have other stuff that is far more produced and has many more instruments.

  • from the perspective of an artist who is unknown, I just want my music to be heard in any way possible.

    I always suggest guys who love to talk about free music and free software to replace author with farmer and music with food. And read their own post. It'll be fun.

  • Here a few of my background songs for free use. The website is in German. Choose the song and click download on the following page.

  • @vitaliy_kiselev How is that applicable here? Food is something that everyone wants and needs. Music is something that is a bit of a luxury.

    Also wanted to ask you. How do you embed a streaming music player that only plays music?

  • @Liquidify I hope I can find time in the coming week to listen and provide feedback. As far as streaming players, SoundCloud is a frequent option.

    I started to respond to your comment about music being a bit of a luxury but I realized it might seem like another long rant. So here's my really short version. :)

    By almost any measure, music is not a luxury. Neither music performance nor music purchases are limited to a given economic class and musical traditions are present in practically every culture anthropologists have encountered to date. During the 20th century in the U.S., the public continued to buy music at fairly consistent levels during depressions and recessions while "luxury" purchases fell off drastically.

    The effects of music to influence mood, temperament, receptivity and general state of mind have been so widely proven in so many different walks of life that in many western cultures it is difficult to do anything from walk downtown to call a business without encountering music.

    In other words, if it's a luxury, how come it is (in so many contexts) omnipresent? :)

  • @dreamer like your music.

  • @thepalalias It would be considered a luxury because in a strict sense, it is not necessary for survival. You cannot live without food and water and oxygen. But if you were forced to, you could easily survive without music.

    It is omnipresent because it is one of the most basic forms of communication. At the same time, communication and music are certainly not mutually exclusive.

    I am not trying to downplay the significance of music, it is frankly the basis of my entire life, but when it comes down to food or an album, I buy food. And that happens more often than not ... because I make my living off of recording and playing music. :-) Its a bit of a conundrum.

  • @jodydb Have you been able to use one of the embeded players from bandcamp on this site? I can't seem to figure out how to actually embed a player rather than a link.

  • @liquidify I understand where you are coming from but are you honestly telling me that you never spent less on, passed on or gave up food in order to facilitate making or buying music? :)

  • @Liquidify, also I just realized you are using a definition of luxury that's a bit different from any I encountered before (though it could make an interesting addition to my repertoire).

    If you go to (source for all the quotes below) not one of the definitions mentions survival. The closest they get is:

    • "free or habitual indulgence in or enjoyment of comforts and pleasures in addition to those necessary for a reasonable standard of well-being"

    "A reasonable standard of well-being" goes beyond survival. You can survive without maintaining a reasonable standard of well-being.

    Did you mean this one?

    "A material object, service, etc., conducive to sumptuous living, usually a delicacy, elegance, or refinement of living rather than a necessity."

    Because "necessity" still doesn't mean "necessary for survival" it means "something necessary or indispensable".

    And then of course necessary is defined as "being essential, indispensable, or requisite", etc., etc.

    I went through most of the words that came recursively several layers down and haven't encountered a mention of survival.

    So if you meant "it is physically possible to survive without exposure to music" and "there are things that can kill most people more directly or quickly than being deprived of music" then I would agree. But I still don't think music fits any of the dictionary definitions of luxury. :)

  • @Liquidify After ranting that much, I felt compelled to make time to listen to your song now, too. :)

    I like the unpretentious nature of the song. Definitely not over-produced. Has a lot of hear to it.

    There are definitely some production issues, like overly heavy in low-mids, especially when the voices spread. I'm not referring to the obviously intentional feedback from the delay, but more like the EQ for the guitar and voice wasn't properly separated and an effort wasn't made to either vary the EQ in the voice when the parts were added (or alternately, that the voice wasn't EQed to work as part of an ensemble initially).

    However, those issues could (to an extent) be addressed in mastering if needed, and most of my other production thoughts have more to do with stylistic preferences than anything else.

    Long story short, in terms of the song, it's quite likable. The sort of thing I could see myself enjoying in an indie movie if the production were improved. Good stuff. :)

  • @thepalalias,

    1. I think I have passed up on quality (not existence) of food to buy musical instruments before, but probably not to purchase recordings... so yes.

    2. I guess I didn't actually have any idea of the specific definition of luxury as it applied to survival. I think it is not an appropriate term for what I was trying to say.

    3. I will remaster it and re-upload. Any ideas on a working embedable player / host for personal-view site?

  • @Liquidify

    1. Fair enough. :)

    2. No worries. I think I'm starting to understand what you mean now, it just took me a while because of the confusion. :)

    3. I haven't tried it on this site specifically, so I hope you find someone that has experience with that. I think some people use the "single graphic video" compromise, but that doesn't seem ideal.

    Good luck and let me know what you come up with!

  • @thepalalias Whats really funny is that my knowledge of video creation is so bad that I don't even know how to make a single frame video. On the other hand, I can operate pro tools, neundo, cakewalk, and ableton live, sound forge, wavelab, cd architect, and sadie systems all seamlessly. And, I actually know what I am doing technically too.

  • @Liqudify I can empathize. Went through something similar years ago.

    Send me a personal message and I'd be happy to walk you through it sometime this weekend, depending on your video software. If you don't have anything, you could just download VirtualDub and do it with that really easily.

  • @thepalalias Interesting rant and one I agree with. I only wish Black and White were that simple. I happen to agree that Family and self come first. Then one can give to the needy and that includes Filmmakers who will not make much on a project or just to advertise.

    Vitaliy_Kiselev makes a valid point except that as a farmer, I do give food away after I provide for the family. In addition to vegetables, I give away around 600 pounds of meat.

    I also do free video work for some that need it and can't afford it. The free advertising pays for itself sometimes.

    There is a happy meeting point.

  • If I was a farmer who could produce food that could be replicated by everyone with very little effort, I would do so, and live the happy life of someone who solved the world's food problem for ever.

    Not only could I be sure of the thankfulness of those who, because of my replicatable food, escaped hunger, famines etc... I would also have lots of additional spare time that I formerly had to spend on farming (or working for food) myself. Spare time that I could use to produce something else...