Ben Ellman’s Guide to Sourcing Music


The following is quoted verbatim for posterity, and easy linking. via publicradioNYC

Here are a few suggestions:

  • FreeMusicArchive – I have to admit, I was wary about FreeMusicArchive for really silly reasons. My opinion was colored by the countless evenings I spent in middle school searching the rough, honestly pretty crappy sound effects library websites of the early 2000s.

    The quality of what’s available for free (under Creative Commons) has CHANGED DRAMATICALLY. A lot of the music available is professional quality or spitting distance away from it. It’s good and you should use it

  • BK College: Graduate School of Cinema – I got a private message on this topic from Leah Shaw, a student at the newly-established Brooklyn College Fierstein School of Graduate Cinema.

    This program is full of musicians learning to score for media and they’re just posting tracks! Not only is this a resource for your immediate needs, it also functions as a list of local people who’d probably LOVE to score your podcast for a very fair rate. It’s amazing!

  • Will’s List: Music and Sound Effects – The ever helpful radiofriend Will Coley made a list of resources for this very issue a couple of years ago. Check out the Blue Dot sessions, it’s a great bunch of acoustic music.
  • Will’s List: Composers – Will also made a list of composers available for scoring. This list is also a few years old, so keep that in mind if you’re thinking of contacting anyone off of it.
  • – You know them for their sound effects (if you don’t, you really should). FreeSound also hosts music. A lot of it is shorter and probably fits in the category of ‘stings’ but it might be just what you need.
  • AudioBlocks – An archive of music and sound effects available for $99 for the first year ($149 every year after).
  • Pond5 – Royalty free music that you can license for cheap. They have mood categories that you can choose from, just like what I was originally looking for.
  • Podcast Music: Spotify – My radiobud Randy Carroll suggested this long playlist he made full of music that might be good for podcasts. A lot of it scoring for major media properties and major label artists, so it might be better as a way of figuring out what style you want before searching elsewhere.
  • Will’s List: Music Google Doc – Yet another huge list from Will Coley on music resources that gets down to smaller websites and really nitty gritty stuff. Will is the MVP.

That’s what I’ve learned, I hope it’s helpful to some of you.

However, if I know myself, I’m just going to end up trying to make Trent Reznor’s soundtrack for The Vietnam War fit into everything anyway.

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