Is it legal to use popular music in video editing gigs?
Only if you have the license from the legal owner.
Hi, catwriter. Can you tell me how to go about obtaining music to be used in voice overs? I know there is royalty-free music out there but can you explain the process in regard to a voice talent using something for a gig?
Check out Incompetech–they’ve got thousands of royalty-free tracks.
Thank you, joshcates! Sorry, this may be a dumb question, but how do acquire the music? Is there a charge per track or is it a subscription service, and what are the costs? I have heard of a subscription service called Audioblocks (I believe now called Storyblocks) but it is rather pricey for a newbie. I am definitely heading over to the website you gave me to check it out. Thanks again.
You can just download it all for free from the website! The creators put it there totally free for anyone to use, even in paid material! It’s their passion and what they love doing.
If you use music from incompetech make sure you provide credit to the artist in your video! It’s free with a credit, not public domain. If.you can’t credit the artist you can pay a small fee instead.
If you need free music.that you do.not have to give credit for, the gentleman who created the music at incompetech also created a site called FreePD.com. That music is totally free with no credit required. The quality isn’t as good but there are some gems there.
Wow! So, I wonder how the creators are compensated. I have noticed on a lot of Youtube videos “Kevin MacLeod” and Incompetech are credited. I had to let “Incompetech” sink in after you posted if before, but I remembered seeing it. So, it’s that simple? With Audioblocks/Storyblocks you have access to a huge library but as I say, you have to pay a subscription which I think is over $200 per year. To newbies like us that’s quite an investment. I’m going to check out Incompetech.
Another great site with some free music is Bensounds. There aren’t as many and they still need credit but the ones that are there are top notch.
Thank you, rachelbostwick!
joshcates and rachelbostwick, you guys are the best…thanks so much for the support!
@michaelkilliany you can sometimes find deals with audioblocks where you can get it for $99 a year and you can get 7 days free to start.
If you are using the music for a commercial voiceover (ie selling it to someone), I would recommend you use sites that give you a license without credit required (ie audioblocks), as it could be onerous for your client to have to credit incompetech, bensounds etc - I believe the music from those sites is more suitable for hobby and personal projects and I think it could make you appear a little unprofessional to ask your client to credit the music source. If this is just for yourself, not a problem - I’m just talking about onselling your work.
Another site where you can get individual tracks is audio jungle - but they are around $20 each and a single use license.
I will go a step farther and say I actively don’t recommend Audioblocks for music for my clients. I do love that they don’t require credit. But every single time I used one of their songs it got flagged for copyright by Youtube. Not a take down, just a notification that someone else could monetize the video. You can dispute those, and you should win the dispute by proving you own the song, but I hate the feeling of the customer being worried whether the song was legally mine to use or not. I purchased a membership one year and never ended up using it.
Now I suppose it’s about equally inconvenient/unprofessional to put the onus on your customer to credit a composer versus letting them know ahead of time that they’ll need to dispute a copyright claim. You could even provide them with the licensing information ahead of time.
But for me, I do videos, so it’s not that inconvenient to credit the composer myself. I also credit artists, photographers when required, and anyone else that needs credited. I do a full page of credits, but you could do a mini credit in the corner, like they do with a music video on TV. Feature films and professional music videos all credit the people who work on them, whether it’s in the video or in a description of the video. That’s a mark of professionalism and showing you understand how licensing works and that you respect the people who made each part.
In any case, if you aren’t able to do either thing, and you don’t have the budget for something like audiojungle or paying incompetech for a royalty free license, I recommend public domain stuff to be safe.
I checked with Audioblocks and apparently they still offer the 7-day free trial but it is “hidden.” Further, it looks like they increased their special subscription fee to $149 and are no longer offering the $99 deal, but I am considering them. I also came across Soundstripe but it appears they cater to video producers, but I assume their tracks could be used for voice overs as well but I need to confirm that. They are offering a subscription for $135 per year. I am also weighing what rachelbostwick said and will eventually make a decision as to what I’ll do. I don’t want copyright issues for myself or my clients and want to make things as easy as possible for all of us.
If you get on their mailing list eventually they’ll probably send you the $99 deal.
No worries Michael. Personally I’ve been using audioblocks tracks for almost 4 years (along with music from a few other sources) and have never had an issue with it and have never had any clients come back to me with an issue either. I’m a VO artist for reference
@rachelbostwick Thank you a lot. Bensounds is truly amazing. I was looking for these specific tracks. You just saved my time. Gracias.
Thank you, Sue. I just listened to your demo and am very impressed! I regard you as a credible source for advice based on your experience and what you’ve shared with me thus far. Since I’m taking this new venture seriously, it looks like I’m going to need to make the investment. Wishing you all the best and keep up the good work.
This is not to say that I don’t regard Rachel and others as “credible sources.” It just seems like going with Audioblocks is the best approach for a VO artist who is going all in.
No offense taken, don’t worry I like the StoryBlocks brand in general, AudioBlocks just didn’t fit right for me.