Including audio samples, whether by way of songs or sound effects, can give rhythm and sonic depth to your show but can also help you create your own "touch" and stand out from the pack. Good news: there are free solutions to achieve this.
You are looking for songs, music samples, sound effects? The only obstacle you may face is a legal issue: you don’t want to infringe the copyright laws, do you? Fortunately, there are a lot of solutions to add audio clips to your podcasts while respecting the work of your peers. Take the Creative Commons licenses for instance.
Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organization which offers a legal solution to those who wish to free their work from the intellectual property rights in force in their countries. In fact, since 2002, many creations have been ruled by CC licenses: the authors then allow the audience to copy, share and use their content, at least for non-commercial purposes, as long as they are explicitly credited. Some of these licenses even allow the audience to alter the work or not fully transcribe it.
Creative Commons licenses are ideal for podcasters, as they protect them from legal proceedings or from coming under fire for using these samples. So you can either find CC-approved or copyright-free products, or follow the below tips:
- Many YouTube channels, such as Audio Library, have plenty of high-quality audio samples that aren’t protected by copyright. However, make sure you read the description for each of these samples, as some of the authors open their rights for specific use only (YouTube videos for instance).
- The Free Sound Project is definitely the most popular sound database. It is quite simple: all users can upload their own creations under the Creative Commons license of their choice. They may not all be suitable for your intended end, but you can filter the licenses and keep only those you are interested in. As for the quality, it might differ from one sample to the other, so take your time to choose the right one.
- There are other similar databases available, such as FreeMusicArchive, which is more about music, or AudioBlocks, which is great for sound effects; you also have French platforms, such as Jamendo and AuBoutDuFil, among others.
- Finally, here is a gold mine: the BBC opened its archives in late 2018; it offers more than 16,000 audio samples. From sound effects to live recordings, from air raids to zebra packs: all files are subject to the BBC copyrights but can be downloaded in WAV format and used for non-commercial purposes. They are 100% free and their quality is perfect!
If you don’t mind paying for a wider choice and better quality, you can of course turn to commercial platforms. They are perfect for sound fiction creators or informative podcasters, as well as for those who don’t want to check the conditions of use any time they want to use a three-second sample:
- BenSound offers unlimited access to a large catalogue for annual subscription.
- AudioJungle is more traditional, as you pay for individual samples. It is paradise for jingle hunters and it features many parameters for research; you can find whatever you want in just a few clicks.
- AsoundEffect sells individual sound effects whereas EpidemicSound mainly sells music and works on a monthly-subscription basis. For a customized choice, Music Radio Creative is the best; here you can supervise the creation process from start to finish and get customized samples that match your expectations. Of course, you’ll have to wait for a few days before your jingles are ready but we couldn’t find a better platform for customized tracks!
Clipdad.com: a very different and really cool resource for royalty free music for podcasts
All the music on Clipdad.com is "podcast ready" to be used unlimitedly in your podcasts. With over 1000 royalty free music tracks and sounds, they have the music you need to make your podcast stand out from the crowd. This music is unique and real, a little different from the other royalty free music websites. As an example, if you want a rockabilly track? They have a real rockabilly band's music. Jittery Jack (from Boston Massachusetts, USA) is one of the best rockabilly bands out there right now. But if you're looking for another style, they have music available across many genres from over 17 artists in uplifting, rockabilly, electronic, ukulele, punk, rock, indie, synthwave and more. And if you need many music tracks, they are offering monthly plans for $5!
They also perform podcast editing and production services and they write and record custom theme songs and instrumental music that can be exclusive to your podcast! They grant a special license for these custom exclusive tracks that gives only your podcast special rights to use this music! You can customize this new song they will create for you based on tempo, style, mood, length, vocal intros or instrumental only. If it's not what you had in mind? They will give you one "do over" based on your notes/corrections! Last but not least, there is a special promotion for Podcastics customers and readers. Go there, enter the code podcastics50 and you'll be able to purchase a custom and exclusive piece of music at the special Podcastics price of $25. Enjoy!
Edited by Podcastics • Community