Music Notes

Production Resources

Alot of the time when you first start out in the industry of media production you are lost with the vastness of sources out there for media professionals. Whether it be sound effects / music / footage that is under creative commons or sources that you can afford to budget into for more production quality.

Currently I work on a mac book pro. I migrated from windows system and I dont think I will ever look back besides possibly upgrading to Avid.
I have Final cut and Adobe software which comes with a ton of music and sound effect libraries installed.
Once you have listened to these librarries a block over trying to find the perfect music for the beginning of a documentary or a wedding DVD menu, you find yourself humming or even singing music out loud that has been stuck in your head for weeks.
If you listen closely to others out in the field, commercials to viral videos on youtube you will notice they all start to sound the same. Similar music syles to sound effects to transitions. Everything is a copy of someone elses work they say right? True, even the most creative artists that I have come across have gotten their ideas off of someone else. It should be, especially when trying to reach the current culture trend.
The real trick is mimicking this and trowing in your own twist without using someone elses content.
Soming back to the subject of music,
It seems low budget production houses get piled up in the same boat. Feeling and sounding the same.
I once worked with an online-editor whos previous job was editing content for MTV2 and the like. He said the mac application for composing music GarageBand is good but it gets overly used. Pick out just about any commercial and Id be able to tell you where the music came from. He added that he used to make custom music with a midi interface physical bass, guitars and other instruments he would compose while watching his edits on a big screen monitor.

Even though his setup was SWEET, most of us dont have the budget or talent to be able to do this.
Sometimes we just want the quick and easy way around production edits while working with a limited or no budget at all.
So, with that being said here is a list of resources which I have pulled from. Remix, snag, clash, stretch these and you can make amazing things!
With these websites I am listing, most of the items have a public domain or creative commons license to be able to remix, re-arrange or overlay them with credit towards the author. Just make sure you check the individual items before using them.

With footage, you can find alot of historic events archived on From pre-80s tv shows, talk and comedy infomercials to early monster cinema its a great stock of good old film grain, pops and hiss hole-in-the-barrel videos.
I have seeked out really old 1910s and 20s movies, used just the beginning or end where there is alot of video grain or sharp hiss noise, pulled that into premeir or after effects and used an effect like compound blur or displacement map to edge my video footage making a real to life looking reel to reel look for transitions or bump textures.
On Youtube, Vimeo and Google Video. You can search for Creative Commons footage. A bit of searching you can find just about anything. If a video included copyrighted music, or television but its still labeled creative commons you cant use it.

Music, Is one of the most popular online library of  user submittable generated music. With that in mind, it has alot of abstract noises  to people just singing into the microphone to low quality recordings of personal instruments. Fishing around might get you what you are looking for. and is what I would consider to have half broadcast quality  to sandbox music. Its worth checking out.
Alot of music that you hear on the HopeRaiser documentaries weve used from this site.
Check out Philippe Mangold and T.A.G.E.O.

Sound cloud creative commons. Alot of high quality electonic dubstep or atmospheric keyboard music to guitar rifts backwards notes natural distorted elements composed to make just great sounding music.

Artists just starting out would often offer their music for free download and use. Quite alot of projects, especially in the middle east, Ive used from  and even developed several composer friends who in return have offered to create custom remixes for me.
Follow me on my account to see music that I have discovered. Has tons of music contributed by users. Although most of the music is what I would call under quality, if you had most of the day you could come up with one or two usable tracks.  Great music, garage band indi quality. has open classical music consisting of early music from the 20th century

Sound effects Huge library with searchable sounds and a tag cloud highlighting popular genres. They even have visible wave spectrum.

Including whooshes, backwards cymbals and drones you will find in alot of my latest videos you will find where I include a scratch effect or disortion noise at the point of a transition. These I often are clippings from a video sped up or slowed down 1000% percent with a pitch filter added with a flanger or reverb to smooth out the bumps.

I tend to stay away from websites that offer Global Searching, offering to list every available entry on websites. But here are a few

Now lets get down to the REAL stuff. Any existence of Free or Pro Bono music would result in compromising the work of the finished product in my opinion. But if you have a budget, here are some sites that are hosting some great content. and I have been using them since the 90s, great professional artists. Ive used their music in India, Kenya and Brazil videos. and


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  1. Pingback: Top places to find free music - eLearn Hub

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