As you might have experienced, finding quality background music for your videos can be a bit of a challenge. There are dozens of websites out there with thousands of tracks to choose from. Each website offers different search functionalities, licensing options, and music experience.
And, while there are some quality paid options like Premium Beat by Shutterstock or, my favourite, Soundstripe (use dicount code DRONEDESK to get 10% off), who doesn't love free stuff? It means you can offer better prices to your clients and it reduces the risk if your client changes their mind about a soundtrack!
I tested lots (and I mean lots) of free online music libraries and settled on my favourite 5 sites. All of the sites offer at least some free music tracks which you can use royalty free, even for commercial purposes. Some tracks do require attribution so please remember to read and comply with the licencing terms for every track you use.
Incidentally, if you'd like to find out more about Soundstripe and get 10% off a monthly or annual subscription, check out our dedicated Soundstripe post about how you can use the great tracks it has available in your drone videos.
The YouTube Audio Library is my favourite source for free video soundtrack music. There's hundreds of tracks available and you can search and filter by genre, mood, instrument, duration and attribution (required or not) making it really quick and easy to narrow your search down to the type of music you're looking for.
There's even a sound effects library with all manner of sounds that you'll never need 🙂
The Free Music Archive, at the time of writing, has over 126,000 tracks available. They offer a range of curated background music and sounds, even spoken word. At least 1,500 tracks are public domain and licenced for commercial use. And there are thousands more under Creative Commons. The search facility isn't as goo as YouTube with filters only for genre and licence type so you'll spend a bit longer searching for the right track here.
SoundCloud is a great option if you’re looking for background music for your video that sounds more like real music. A lot, but not all, of the music on here is licensed under Creative Commons, which means that you are free to use the tracks as long as you follow the licencing stipulated by the artist.
It's a bit tricky to use the search on SoundCloud:
- Enter your search criteria in the top search box and hit enter
- Once your search results appear, select "Tracks" on the left
- Below that, click on "To listen to"
- Select "To use commercially" or "To modify commercially" depending on you intend to do with the track
- Now you have a filtered list of tracks which in theory you can use, however, there's one more step
Now you have a filtered list of tracks which, in theory you can use. However, there's one more step! Once you find a track you want to use, click on the "More" button. Depending on the licence, you'll see or not see an option to "Download file". Only those files with the download option are usable.
ccMixter is a community site with contributions from thousands of artists around the world. It offers a large number of royalty free tracks for commercial use under Creative Commons. Make sure you set the search filter to "free for commercial use".
Bensound is an artist-based website. It's home to hundreds of brilliant tracks created and uploaded by artist Benjamin Tissot. Ben's work has been featured all over the web in projects from animations, corporate videos, commercials to short films and documentaries. Bensound has a great search functionality and carries a huge variety of music that will go perfectly with just about any drone video you produce. Attribution is required.
So there you have it, five of the very best free drone video audio track sites available today. Each of them offer slightly different feature sets and some are easier to use than others. Some have optional premium upgrades or add-ons.
One things for sure, if you're anything like me, you'll spend hours listening to way too many tracks trying to decide which is the best. My recommendation would be to go with your first instinct - it's usually right - and build up a library of go-to tracks of various genres that you can re-use for multiple videos.
Here's the list of the sites for you once more:
Good luck and happy sound mixing!
Don't like any of the free options or just rather use a paid service? You can get 10% off a monthly or annual Soundstripe subscription here using discount code DRONEDESK.