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Video Marketing 101: The best royalty-free audio for your next project

Adding video to your website and marketing materials can be a major pull, but the appropriate accompaniment is the icing on the cake. With that in mind, our very own video producer, Jamie Parry-Bruce, has shared his top tips on where to shop for the best sounds for your next video;

One of the best places for royalty-free music is the Free Music Archive (FMA) – now part of the production equipment rental site, KitSplit. Though FMA may be tough to navigate – particularly due to a lack of filter functions – it features a vast array of music from a multitude of creators. These include live music, experimental music and even archive recordings from the turn of the century. It’s definitely worth spending some time digging through the site (you can narrow down the results by things like genre and sub-genre) because there’s some absolute gold hidden in these hills.

Envato market’s Audio Jungle is by far one of the most popular royalty-free music and sound effect libraries, helped no end by its ease of use and relatively low cost tracks. As with the majority of paid music sites, you can easily download ‘watermarked’ preview tracks from Audio Jungle to drop into your project with no obligation to buy – you don’t even need an account! Signing up to Envato will also net you monthly freebies such as music tracks, templates for Photoshop and Illustrator, and even the occasional motion graphic.

Incompetech has long been a fixture of the royalty-free music scene, with composer/performer Kevin MacLeod’s music being used all over the internet by a vast array of content creators. Music ranges from fully orchestral to chiptune, from news show stings to sci-fi showdown epics. Some of the tracks are rather old and the occasional sample hasn’t aged particularly well but, on the whole, these are great music tracks; particularly if you’re on a tight budget.

If you’re looking for free sound effects, Freesound.org should be at (or very near) the top of your list. With an extensive library of sounds, you can find almost anything here. Beware though, the variations in quality are as vast as the library itself. Added to that is the fact that most sounds are uploaded by the original artist; including the name of the sound and any associated tags, so you can end up with some real nonsense search results. While Freesound is (as the name suggests) free, you are able and encouraged to leave a donation to help keep the site from needing to charge.

For the best royalty-free music on the web you’ll need to head to Premiumbeat. This is a Shutterstock company so expect prices to be slightly higher than they might be elsewhere. However, Premiumbeat is certainly the most user-friendly website of all the one’s we’ve listed. It features extensive search and filter functions, the ability to loop tracks, download shorter or longer versions and build collections. Perhaps most impressively, you can see and navigate the waveform for each track, helping you identify what’s going on in the music without ever leaving the search results. What’s more, the music quality is incredible!

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