If you produce visual content, be that a YouTube Podcast, feature film, or student project, then you’ll know the importance of sound to your overall production. Scoring your video or movie isn’t easy; the work that goes into effectively soundtracking is arduous and painstaking.
In order to make your project as realistic and atmospheric as possible, you’ll want to locate and select the perfect sound effects. This is harder than you might think unless you happen to have your own sound effects studio.
Harder still is securing the relevant permissions and licenses needed to do so, and this is where royalty-free music comes in.
What is Royalty-Free Music?
If you are looking to secure great music and SFX at an affordable rate, which also comes fully licensed for whatever project you require it for, then royalty-free music is pretty much the smartest choice you can make.
Royalty-free music is provided by operators who offer access to large databases of original content that you pay a subscription fee to use. This gives directors, editors, and producers a wealth of musical output to select from when it comes to finding the right tracks, samples, and SFX for the relevant scenes in their film or video projects.
Using royalty-free sound effects and music is a far more amenable option to using existing content, be that mainstream music or SFX you may have heard elsewhere. Opting for this type of music will end up costing you a small fortune and is beset by likely licensing issues as well as headaches that will eat up your resources (both financial and time-related).
Royalty-free music is created by musicians, singers, DJs, and bands that are aligned to a specific provider. This helps them secure a steady income and the possibility of exposure that may come from using their work on projects that will be broadcast to a larger audience.
It’s very useful for an industry that is struggling to make ends meet, with musical acts failing (on the whole) to secure a living from the selling of physical products (CDs, records, etc..) and may be unable to play gigs due to the ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Importance of Top Quality Sound Effects
Sound effects can be used in a variety of ways and, in all instances, are vital for adding a professional touch to your productions. There are incidental sound effects as well as those that are more ambient in nature.
As an example, there are sound effects that are there to replicate sounds you may want to resonate in your film or video or perhaps to make up for what you were unable to capture on the shoot.
These vary wildly in terms of productions. For instance, for a feature film, you’ll need a bunch of these, and for short-form content, or even social media posts, these may be more for effect than an attempt to capture realism.
Then there are ambient sound effects. A classic way of looking at these would come in the horror genre. Here you might want a creaky floorboard, a squeezy door, or maybe some haunting bangs and crashes for added scare value.
In a drama, you might want to recreate the sound of a car chase, and clearly, these can be in an attempt to be realistic or could be turned up to ten if you really want to immerse the viewer, and any good production needs access to a large collection of relevant SFX, and that’s where royalty-free sound effects providers come in very handy indeed.
The Three Best Providers of Royalty-Free Sound Effects
The best royalty-free sound effects providers offer thousands of relevant samples, and sounds and the leading player in the field is most definitely Artlist. As far as players in this market, Artlist is head and shoulders above the competition. They have secured a great reputation and cover a large portion of an ever-growing marketplace.
Artlist offers a great level of service and is competitively priced; they are also well-known for their great customer service. From the standpoint of sound effects, they have a library that is second to none and houses great quality sound files that make life much easier for editors.
One testament to the level of service offered by Artlist is the fact that even if you see your subscription come to an end or you choose to cancel, all the items you have downloaded remain yours forever. That isn’t common in the royalty-free music industry and goes some way to show you just how great their product is.
Artlist makes searching for, and locating, all the SFX or royalty-free music needs a walk in the park. In comparison with any other service, we’ve had the pleasure to use, these guys stand out from the crowd in a big way.
It’s no wonder that the brand is well-known, even with those who have no knowledge of the royalty-free music and SFX markets. It’s that reputation that helps them stay out in front.
Another strong player in the royalty-music world comes in the form of Audiomicro. They’ve come a long way in a relatively short time and offer a large library. We especially like their interface, which makes searching for music very easy indeed.
You can pay on a per track basis also, though it’s not as good value as Artlist and therefore only be relevant for those who don’t need a great deal of musical output.
soundcrate offers a good royalty-free SFX service and has a bunch of other features that make their service very useful indeed. They have After Effects templates and other video options, and that will work for those who want to combine their video and audio projects in one handy location.