My first folder is Allie's Keyboard. This past
Christmas, our grand-daughter got an iPod... of no interest to my projects. But
the year before it was a Yamaha keyboard, which I found of
great interest... not for her playing tunes, but for what I could record on my
camcorder tapes, over 100 sample files included on the keyboard.
I tested it by recording some... picking up the music
and other household noises.
The keyboard includes at least 5 hours of build-in
samples. I'll be doing some more recording... with less background
is next... a group I first saw at a local medieval
festival. Their website's Music page has a couple pieces free to
download and use.
Local musicians vary in experience and quality... and how they
give permission to use their material. Some pieces might be free to use and
You may remember Bruce Shankle who
developed the WMMUtil app that lets you see which of your source files are
missing from a movie project. He also plays the piano... and his wife Karen
has a business teaching piano.
Bruce and Karen have some of their recorded pieces on their
website, free to use. Here's a link to Bruce's
. From there you can get to Karen's music too.
The Civil War
offers much to remember, and
some people focus on the music. This link
given to me a long time ago by a newsletter reader, and I've been using
snippets of Civil War music from 19 pieces ever since.
Darth Sinister is a forum member who recently
posted info about a couple music scores he wrote, and offered them for free use.
I downloaded his Victory Battle piece.
When someone offers free use of home-made music, and the piece
is good... add it to your library.
Devils Drum Corps
offers some pieces... the
one I have is an 11 minute one.
The Archival Preservation
of Player Piano Music Rolls
is a noble project, with the
goal of digitizing the world's library of player piano rolls, and placing
the results online for free use. They are now up to having almost
5,000 midi files. I wrote to Terry Smythe about his project,
specifically about copyright aspects. He told me he was
working on the basis that any copyrights of player piano rolls
having expired long ago, and I should feel free to use his midi files, as
he wasn't copyrighting the conversion work he was doing.
As file space is so much smaller with midi files, I leave them
in that format, play them in WMP, and capture them
into Movie Maker as narrations as I choose
to use them.
Music downloaded from Napster is usually
copyrighted and used for personal listening, not for movie and story
projects. The folder isn't included in my MM1 collection.
has a neat feature to
generate higher quality background music than midi files. That's where I
got the music for my Grand Canyon video that illustrates the making
of Picture in Picture effects... here's a link to it on
Studio 9 was bundled with my Dazzle 80 capture
device. You'll often find it freely included with something
I preview the audio being generated by Pinnacle Studio and
capture it into Movie Maker as a narration file.
The most professional music I use is from Randon Myles
, who composes and produces it... digitally. He
uses a Mac, so we have to sometimes work over walls to move things from one
place to another.
He's given me copies of 4 of his CDs, and permission to use
them. I don't extend this permission to pass them on others, but I can
sell you any at 99 cents a tune and share the proceeds with
Ron Vreeland posted
that he was freely offering some of his pieces for
general use.... from his bobsongsmusic
website. I downloaded a couple.
The Turning - one of the members of this local
band gave me copies of a few of their CDs, with permission to use them in
projects. I've extracted segments that are particularly good for movies and
stories, and use them regularly.
Many of my contacts for music and video come from years of
hanging out evenings at our local Barnes & Noble bookstore. Little by
little you meet the artists and their friends. When they learn about
what you do, some offer material freely, and others pull back and guard it
closer. Go with the flow.
The Turning is interesting from a copyright
standpoint in that the band no longer exists. The members
went separate ways after a few years of being together, as often happens
with bands. When together they were more interested in their art than
in administrative things like copyright... I consider an informal note on a CD
jacket, combined with face to face discussion, sufficient permission
to continue using the material.
Urge - slot it like Napster... items for
personal listening, not for movie and story projects. It's another folder
in my main music library, but not in my MM1 collection.
Wired Magazine... included an innovative
audio CD in their Nov 2005 issue... music you could freely use up front from top
line artists. I haven't followed the experiment, but feel free to continue to
use the pieces on the disc.
When I checked the instruction manual for Allie's keyboard for
copyright info, things not only looked good, but the manual pointed to
downloadable files from Yamaha.... Yamaha Midi
... I got 13 zipped files with 134 midi files, a combo of
tunes and keyboard sound effects.
Here's one of them, descriptively named cl40xg... I
played the midi file in WMP, captured it as a wma narration file in MM2, trimmed
it on the timeline, and saved it as an average CD quality audio file.
Here's what came out.
"Free" Music Download Sites
Some websites offer free music to download... and many don't
read the fine print. Let's look at one example, FreePlayMusic
site noted in many posts in response to someone looking for music that is
free to get and use.
The fine print says it is free to use 'depending on
usage'... the items of interest to us are:
If you are using Freeplay Music for:
Internet - Website Use (to promote a business, product, service or club)
11. Personal Website Use (Non-Commercial)
13. Greeting Cards / Email
Greeting Cards / Email Brochures
15. Film Festivals /
16. Religious Use (most)
17. Non-Profit (most)
Then Freeplay Music requires a signed license agreement and a
license fee payment as described in the Freeplay Music Rate
Card. An example is a personal
(individual, noncommercial) internet usage... $100 for a year per 4 minutes of
use per piece used. Another example is $25 for a 4 minute podcast background
is often mentioned in posts as being a great place to get sound
Look a bit more and you'll see this
Few websites offer files that are both free to
download and royalty free to use.
The above covers music and audio files... don't forget the audio
track of your video files. Your camcorder tapes, and downloadable and freely
usable files from places such as the Internet
offer you lots more source material. The audio track
is easy to rip off the video and add to your audio library.
The Internet Archive also has music that has been
contributed for open use... check it out.