How to find the best royalty-free music for your project

2 min read

An awesome voice over project is a sum of many parts that all join together.

While often neglected, the soundtrack you choose to go with the voice over is important. Background tracks evoke specific emotions necessary to drive your message home.

Royalty-free music: image of a girl standing in front of of a video screen showing musical instruments

If you’re making a grand announcement, cinematic music can be alluring. Want to create a feel-good or melancholic feel? Acoustic sounds can do the trick. By the same token, electronic music stirs curiosity. Ambient music takes listeners to a calm place. Rock music communicates something raw, gritty, or unapologetic.

No matter how much dialog your project contains, the music must be relevant. It must complement both mood and subject.

Of course, many producers know this. The problem is very few companies can afford music composed specifically. So where do you find workable, affordable and royalty-free music for your voice over project?

Online Platforms for royalty-free music

Many online platforms offer royalty-free music for a one-time fee. You can use the tracks as many times and in as many voice over projects you wish. It’s cost-effective and convenient.

Here are five sources of royalty-free music for a variety of voice over needs:

YouTube Audio Library

Royalty-free music: YouTube logo

YouTube’s official sound library contains a huge selection of music across genres. It also includes sound effects. Some are Creative Commons. Others are works in the public domain. Fact is, you can use them all for free as long as you credit the track’s owner.

There are filters you can apply to your search. Genre, instrument, mood, and duration are all terms that can bring you closer to what you need. The bars next to the soor show their popularity.

The Music Policies section provides information on legal usage.


Royalty-free music: Soundcloud logo

This European online audio distribution and music sharing platform has over 70-million registered users. Much of the music on the open platform has a Creative Commons license, although you’re required to give credit.

Make sure you read the licensing information as well as the crediting guidelines before you download and use a track for commercial purposes.
Because it’s a popular global streaming service, it can be a mixed bag. While you can access quality work from talented musicians, there are less stellar ones to wade through too.

Search filters are provided. Users can ‘like’ tracks, so the number of likes should give you an idea about people’s response.

Free Music Archive

Royalty-free music: Free Music archive logo

The Free Music Archive is the brainchild of WFMU radio. It provides Creative Commons music available for free download and use.

You can search by genre. These include Blues, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Pop, Rock, Instrumental, Novelty and International, and more. The license use allows commercial use.

Free Music Archive has dedicated sections for musicians and filmmakers. Each has an FAQ and access to the Tribe of Noise — a platform to connect musicians and content creators.

Envato Market

Royalty-free music: Envato Market logo

Envato Market offers all genres of music as well as music packs, music kits and sound effects. A music kit has a certain number of tracks (usually three), which you can filter by genre or mood.

A music pack has bundles of tracks. Click on the Popular Items tab for the most popular genres, kits and sound effects. The tracks get categorized by weekly bestsellers, new releases, and top royalty-free music.

Modular kits allow you to manipulate tracks and customize them. That way, you can differentiate your choice from others who use the same basic track. The website also offers video templates, web themes, and game sound effects.


Royalty-free music: Incompetech logo

Incompetech is a royalty-free music library of over 2,000 pieces composed by the same composer. All tracks are free as long as you create the creator and the website.
In the ‘Electronic and Rock’ collection, you can choose from sub-genres. These include disco, funk, blues and classic rock. The Everything Else Collection features jazz, famous classics, and Danse Macabre, among others.
Film scores, lighter fare, piano & heartfelt melodies, as well as world music collections are also available.

In conclusion, although we’ve mentioned 5 online sites you can investigate, there are many more. With persistence you’re sure to find just the right royalty-free music for your voice over project. Happy searching!

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