4 Ways to Make Your Videos Sound Great, Legally.

  |   Mar 15 2018   |  



4 Ways to Make Your Videos Sound Great, Legally.  

In almost every video you see, you will hear some sort of audio – whether it be a full music bed, stingers, or sound effects. The use of music or sound effects in your video can greatly increase the quality and success of the project. The sounds you choose to include can help set the tone or mood, tell a story, or heighten the senses. Now, audio isn’t necessary all the time – as the lack of sound can be just as expressive and effective as the inclusion of sound – but it is helpful most of the time.

That being said, there’s a couple different legal obstacles that are faced when including music and effects in your video. So, what’s the best way to avoid any copyright infringements and still make sure your projects sound great?

1. Create Your Own Sounds

If you can play an instrument, or if you can pull off a one-man band, then this is a very effective way to add music into your videos. Even if you’re not the most musically inclined, if you have access to a piano, or better yet a keyboard, then you can create something simple and ambient for your video.

If you’re looking for sound effects, creating your own sounds can be really fun. At first it may seem a little daunting or even impossible, but once you get those creative juices flowing the possibilities are endless. Take a look around your home, office, outside environment, or local events that are going on. Can you use any of those to create a desired sound effect? For example, some of the most famous sound effects in the Star Wars movies were created in a DIY fashion; R2-D2’s beeps and boops was a mix of the sound designer’s voice with different inflections and a keyboard synth. Darth Vader’s breathing was simply made by placing a microphone inside the regulator of some scuba gear and breathing into it differently. And the lightsabers? An old projector motor.

If you’re more computer savvy than manual DIY work, or are looking for something a little more specific then try out some digital audio workstations. GarageBand is a great tool to use to create your own song, sound effects, loops, and more. You have the option to input your own sounds and/or browse through the many premade music beds and sound effects.   

2. Ask Some Local Artists

This is where the old, “let me help you, help me” comes into play. Reaching out to any local upcoming artists or bands can go a long way. Often times, they are looking for more experience, more opportunities, and more exposure. Helping them get those things will also help you get what you need for your project – music and/or sound effects. It doesn’t hurt to simply start a conversation with some of these artists to see if this method can work for you.

3. Browse Through Royalty-Free Music Libraries

Royalty-free music allows you to purchase a single song once (or a whole subscription) and then use it whenever for whatever you’d like. When you buy a royalty-free song your buying the licensing for that track which is why you can then use it whenever, however. The best part? There’s plenty of budget friendly royalty-free music out there. YouTube recently launched a completely free royalty-free music library of over 150 songs ranging in moods, instruments, lengths, and genres – no cost to you.

4. Check out Stock Music Catalogs

Stock music is almost the same as royalty-free music, but the main difference lies in the payment, or royalty, agreements. When you purchase stock music – depending on what has been decided by the artist – you may have to pay royalties to that artist or to the company/organization they are affiliated with when you use their material (unlike the one time purchase of royalty-free music). Stock music can be royalty free, but not all is. It can also be bought by subscription or a single purchase, similar to royalty-free.

Check out some of our favorite stock music sites here

Whatever your budget may be, these options have you covered financially and legally. Stock music can be a little pricier than the rest – unless you’re buying a whole subscription or hundreds of royalty-free songs, then that has the potential to get a little pricey too – but, if you look in the right places, ask for a little help, or get a creative yourself, some music and special effects can be completely free.

Still not sure what to do when it comes to audio in your next project? No matter the size or type of production, Video Experts can help. Contact us to get started today!

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