Royalty free music

19 Jul

Update: as pointed out by jandujar, these tracks are not completely free for commercial use after all. They are royalty free (which means you don’t have to pay a royalty to the author for every sold copy of your game), but you do have to pay once for the license. And there are not exactly cheap, especially for an iOS indie developer. Check out the comments below for more details. Or click the “jamendo pro” link on jamendo website. As I should do before writing nonsense here. The album is great anyway. But not free to use in a game, sadly. Sorry for confusion.

And here goes the original post:

Recently I started to consider the topic of music and sounds in my game. What is an RPG without climatic music? Nothing. Abomination. Good music in an RPG is a must. But I have no skills to create music myself. Virtually none. And I also really don’t want to pay for creating professional, orchestral music for my iPhone game. The risk of spending more, than my profit from sells would be is just too great. I already commit lots of my time for this project, right? That should be enough, at least for the first title.

So what should I do now? Search the internet for free, quality music, right? Right. I did just that. It’s not easy. Most of things you can download for free is crap. There is some free music, but free to download does not necessarily mean free to use in your paid game. You must pay close attention, even CC (Creative Commons) license is not enough. There are various kinds of CC license and the one you are probably looking for is called “CC BY”. Which means, the only thing you are obliged to do to use the music royalty-free in your commercial project is to mention it’s author in your project. For example in the credits of your game.

Anyway let me tell you this… it’s not easy to find good fantasy themed music published under such a license. But I managed it. And there is more out there, I’m pretty sure. You just have to look for it.

Without further hesitation I proudly present an album called “Chronicles III” by Mattias Westlund. Completely free to use in a commercial project. And the quality of this music is just… astonishing.

I’m going to use the first track “Breaking the Chains” for the exploration screen and the sixth one “Legends of the North”for the fight screen.

This music is really great, so be sure to check it out!

Another matter is, you can safely assume, that a percentage of people playing your game using headphones is close to zero. Even I, being a kind of audiophile (most people I know pay much less attention to quality of sound in various situations, than me), play mobile games using headphones only occasionally. Which means, your music has to sound good through these tiny external speakers of an iPhone. There is no way around it.

Luckily and to my huge surprise it really does sound pretty decent. Good job, Apple!


Posted by on July 19, 2011 in Art


Tags: , , ,

6 responses to “Royalty free music

  1. jandujar

    July 19, 2011 at 16:58

    I check the track an see this.

    Describe your project to evaluate the price of your license

    Game / App : Interactive games or applications, single or multiplayer

    Grand total (excl. tax) : 2100€
    150€ per track

    This album is CC

    You can copy, distribute, advertise and play this album as long as you:

    Give credit to the artist

    • habrys

      July 19, 2011 at 18:32

      Yeah, you are right… sad but true. It seems, I ended my license research a few clicks to soon 😦
      Thanks for pointing this out to me, jandujar, going to update my post right away.

  2. Mark Lewis

    July 19, 2011 at 19:18

    I saw your post regarding free audio and thought I would add a few sites with free royalty free music and sound effects.

    On this page there is a collection of free royalty free music loops that are perfect of idents, stings or background music behind a voice-over. Available for personal and commercial use, no strings attached:
    Free Royalty Free Music Loops

    This page has thousands of free sound effects to download and use, organized into easy to search categories:
    Free Sound Effects

    This blog constantly posts new royalty free music and sound effects that are available for use in personal and commercial projects:
    Royalty Free Music Clips

    Download and enjoy.
    Good luck with your projects.

    • habrys

      July 19, 2011 at 20:11

      Thanks a lot for your list, Mark. I’ll check these sites out and blog about results here soon, no doubt about that 🙂

  3. Farshid P

    July 20, 2011 at 01:21

    I am enjoying reading up on your journey, especially when I come across posts like this one that add value to what I do as well.

    Keep at it. Fake it till you make it.


    • habrys

      July 20, 2011 at 08:22

      Thank you for your kind words, sir. Went to read your blog now. Looks pretty interesting, judging by the titles of posts…


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