Everything To Know About Royalty Free Music And Stock Music Sites


6 min remaining

You will want music in your productions, whether you are a professional, amateur, or professional TV producer, filmmaker, game producer, or home/hobby creator for content on social media.

Music plays an important role in enhancing the emotional impact of any video. There is always going to be a compromise between how well the music conveys your message and how much time, and perhaps most importantly, how much you are willing to spend on finding the perfect music.

Many producers use online Stock Music Libraries, also known as royalty-free sites, to search for music. There is no doubt that there are a lot of music options, but how do you find the right music?

Quality Curated Content vs. Self-uploading Mass Content

It is important to quickly determine whether a website has a curated collection or mass uploading.

If you are in the latter group, then you should know that anyone who considers themselves to be a musician can create an account and upload content – this content will more or less go unfiltered directly out to users. You will find thousands upon thousands of music tracks with varying technical and artistic quality. You will find some great music there. There will be some very poor (or worse) music. You will have to navigate your way. What amount of time do you have to devote to this?

You can save time and frustration by choosing a stock music site that has a smaller list of artists. They are properly vetted, managed, contracted, and paid to produce less music but at a higher quality, such as Sound. Although you might pay a little more for the track, it could save you a lot of time and frustration. It all depends on how much you value time and your budget.

When to use the Underscore Track instead of the full track

In video productions, a common mistake is choosing the underscore mix from a royalty-free track rather than the full melodic mix. The underscore>> of a music track is usually a slightly altered, alternative mix-down. This allows the music to interfere less with your video’s voices by removing the most melodic and outstanding instruments. Sometimes, this is also called a “bed track” or “underscore”.

It is important to balance the volume between background music and dialogue/instructions as a video producer. It is hard to get the volume balance right. If your music has loud, blatant, or busy lead melodies, it can compete with your film’s vocal track.

Mixing music with a vocal/dialogue track requires that you use a royalty-free music collection. This includes tracks available in an underscore version. For example, the delicate, flowing, and romantic royalty-free music River of Life can be downloaded as a full track. There is also an underscore version without the main melody, and in this instance, a version without any drums or bass. These versions are suitable for some settings.

Select Royalty-Free Classical Music

Sometimes you may need a specific piece of classical music to help you with your project. In these cases, you likely already know the piece. Your job isn’t so much about finding the right composition but rather finding the right recording. There are many quality levels available, just like royalty-free music.

The lowest is someone downloading a piece as a General MIDI file, applying some samples to it, and then exporting it to be sold as royalty-free music. However, more reputable companies are hiring professional musicians to perform the music in their recording studios. It is obvious that hiring professional musicians to perform a Mozart piece in a studio and having it recorded costs more than downloading the piece as a MIDI track and putting it out on a royalty-free music file. This explains why some music pieces can be purchased for just $4, while others may cost $40. What recording would you prefer to have in your production? If you are interested in learning more about classical music, and the work involved, here is an article.

Stem Files Available

If you are the type of person who loves to dig deeper, you might want to explore the use of music in your productions, and how it interacts and matches your story. Perhaps you would like to use stock music or royalty-free content that provides stem files.

A way to describe a music recording is using Stem files>>. This allows you to specify the layers, instruments, or main instrument groups that are included in separate audio files. You can control each layer and element of the music individually. This allows you to adjust the mix or exclude different layers as your timeline moves. As your film or video content develops, different sounds and parts of your music will be added/subtracted to the overall sound mix. With some creativity and time, you can give the music a more personal sound, making it sound like it was made just for your film.

This YouTube video shows how to use stem files in Adobe Audition. However, the same techniques can be applied to any multi-track editing software. You can go deep>>> apply ready-made production tracks to your media by choosing a free royalty-free music site with stem files.

Clear YouTube Use at the Purchase Stage

YouTube video creators who regularly publish videos to YouTube will be well aware of the annoying copyright claim. If YouTube’s automated Content-ID system detects that your video contains music or other copyrighted video content, it will automatically generate a copyright claim for your video.

Royalty-free music/stock music can also be copyrighted to someone – typically the creator. You can still purchase royalty-free music tracks from sites, but the music remains under your copyright. Although you are granted permission to use the music for your purposes, it is not yours. It is still the property of its creator.

First, take a deep breath. Although it may seem annoying that a copyright claim has been filed for a video you have uploaded, even though you paid for the music from a non-royalty-free site, it is not a serious matter. The copyright claim>> does not mean a Copyright complaint>>, or Copyright infringement notice>>. Copyright claims are a less dramatic and subtle message that stops you from monetizing the video. However, it doesn’t have any adverse effect on your YouTube account standing and your video will not be blocked or muted.

It usually takes a bit of administrative work to remove the copyright claim from your video so that you can monetize. It is possible to request the release of the copyright claim by contacting the website where the music was purchased.

This has been simplified by a few forward-thinking, royalty-free music sites like Shockwave Sound. When placing an order, you will be asked to enter the link to your YouTube channel during the checkout process. Once the music has been approved, it can be used on your channel. The process usually takes between 4-12 hours.

About the author

Kobe Digital is a unified team of performance marketing, design, and video production experts. Our mastery of these disciplines is what makes us effective. Our ability to integrate them seamlessly is what makes us unique.