Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Eric Nopanen on Unsplash (remixed by the author: yellow star with text, black & white)

How to get free music for your videos

In this article you’ll learn where to get free music from for your commercial video projects and how you can easily compose music yourself — even if you’re a totally unmusical person.

Let’s assume you work in the social media team of a company. Or you’re a journalist posting social media content from the road. But you don’t have the budget to shell out money for every soundtrack in every video you produce. Simply because you produce quite a lot. Then you have two options:

  1. make use of the thousands of soundtracks which you can use for free or
  2. compose the music you need yourself. You can do that even if you are totally unmusical. No joke. Because there are great and intuitive apps for it.

Let’s start with our first option.

1. The following websites offer free music

Check out the website filmmusic.io: it lists almost 3000 soundtracks for free. You can even use them commercially, but you must mention the composer and some more specific information. Let me show you how it works:

a. This link https://filmmusic.io/genres transports you directly to the different music genres of that website. They range from cinematic tracks to experimental and modern music to jazz and silent film scores and many more. Let’s say, I need some cinematic music for my video, so I’ll tap on „Cinematic“.

b. Now I can browse this section and listen to the songs. It might take a while until you find the one song that fits the mood of your video.

c. In this case, I’m opting for Happy Whistling Ukulele by Rafael Krux and tap on the download button (red circle).

d. A new window is popping up and I choose the button „Chose free license“.

Now, a second window is popping up (see below): before you download that soundtrack, copy the exact text of the attribution required into a word document. For, later on, you will have to paste this exact text into the video or on Youtube, for example, in the description below the video!

e. Click the „I agree to the terms and conditions“ button and the download will start. It’s as easy as pie. :)

There are other websites which you can check out for free music, namely ccmixter. It works pretty much like filmmusic.io.

Another option is YouTube’s Audio Library, if you publish your video on that platform.

As I’m no legal expert, I can’t tell you if you can use the music you find in that audio library also for videos which you would like to publish elsewhere. Especially, as YouTube’s terms and conditions are not exactly precise on that point.

It’s different with the Facebook Sound Collection. You can use that free music only for videos which you produce for Facebook or Instagram.

So far, so good. But ultimately I found out that producing music yourself can be much fun, too. Fun fact: I have absolutely no talent for music. Let’s have a look at this second option then.

2. Use apps and compose the music you want yourself!

I first started dabbling with the app Garageband on an old iPad 2 during the lockdown from March to May, 2020. For I needed some music for my social media videos. I soon got the hang of it and enjoyed it thoroughly. But judge for yourself:

Recently, however, I stumbled over another app called BandLab, it’s available for both Android devices and iPhones. And it makes it even easier to produce a soundtrack. Here’s how it works:

a. Before you can use BandLab, you have to register with an e-mail-address or with your FB- or Google-Account or with your phone number. For BandLab is not only a music app, it’s also a social network in which artists can collaborate. You don’t have to use BandLab as a social media platform, but register you must ;-) I suggest using an e-mail-address that you use for this purpose only.

b. After registration, you’re greeted by the start screen:

Image for post
Image for post

c. Hit the red + button and choose “Looper” on the next screen.

Image for post
Image for post

d. You’ll then be offered different styles of music; just scroll through them; listen in on the pieces by tapping the play button and download what you like by tapping the image.

Image for post
Image for post

e. If you click on the green cloud symbol, you’ll find all the music presets you’ve downloaded on your phone or tablet.

Image for post
Image for post

f. Let’s use the preset Atlanta Hip Hop now and tap on that image. On the following screen you can start composing your soundtrack by tapping on the different squares, thus adding instruments and sound effects. Tap a second time on a square and that specific instrument or effect will be muted again.

Image for post
Image for post

g. This is the pattern I chose:

Image for post
Image for post

And this is what it sounds like:

Okaaaay, I’ll still have to work on that one ;-) , but with a bit of practice, you’ll be able to produce your own soundtracks for social videos. Like these, for instance:

If you’re a bit more experienced when it comes to music production, also have a look at this Android App: Walk Band — Musik Studio.

I hope this article helps you to get great soundtracks for your videos. Is there a website that offers free music and that you really like? Please let me know and I’ll include it here. Or do you know another app that enables you to produce music? Likewise, get in touch with me. The quickest way is on Twitter: @dermedientyp. Best, Bernhard

Written by

Bernhard Lill: journalist and trainer. Does digital storytelling, mobile journalism & social media | ex radio journo and magazine reporter | ex BBC, NDR, Stern

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store