Music and Sound effects

This may have been covered before but, where are there good resources for Music and sound effects, especially music. It’s rather difficult on a low/no budget piece to get music for an animation and a lot of that synthesized music, well, sounds like a microwave gone on the fritz. Any ideas.

Also if I find a musical piece from a modern selection, say the beatles, and it’s a non profit animation, only to be entered into contests with prizes, is there a way to get permission to use the music, either recorded or just played from sheet music?

you are not supposed to publish any music piece without paying royalties.
there are few exceptions, though:
1. when a composer doesn’t live anymore for already more than 70 years → you don’t have to pay royalties to composer’s heirs
2. when the performance of the music piece (no matter if then remastered or not) has been more than 50 years ago → you don’t have to pay royalties to the performers.

so, if you want to use say, a beethoven’s music, performed by some piano player in 1954, recorded, and digitally remastered in 1999, you don’t have to pay anything.
otherwise you have to.

but if you make a good deal with the owner of the rights to a particular music piece (for beatles it’s michael jackson, as i can recall) then you can also use it for the asking…

Yeah, I’m familure with the “Mickey Mouse laws”. The question, do you know of any good resources for the types of recordings that are no longer covered by the “MM laws”?

the problem with so-called ‘free music’ is that you can use it freely for your own purposes. any animation competition screening is a public performance… and you probably know the excerpts of the copyright disclaimers about it.
i can’t be a good help for you in this case, because i can’t guarantee that even the ‘free’ music piece you download from anywhere on the net, if publicly performed, won’t be followed by a legal suit.

Thanx gester,

I just got a public domain “midi” file of “flight of the bumble bee”, Rimsky’s been dead long time ago. I pulled the midi into “Garage Band”, made some major changes, new instruments, pitch, some notes were wrong, and extended the length of the music by pasting a sequence into the midi. I think that should be royalty free. It’s not exactly what I wanted but it might work.

I am a film composer and animator

you have to get permission to use any music for your film projects ( public showing not private )
even public domain music in most cases the copyrights have been taken over by another source (please check before using)
and there is also performance royalties

example you want to do a piece by a dead composer ( tchaikovsky the nutcracker )

ok no problem play it yourself and your all legal
but lets say you get the same piece by a dead composer ( tchaikovsky the nutcracker )
played by lets say the london symphony orchestra
their performance is their interpretation created by the conductor so you have to pay

the same thing goes for midi files
of the beatles, stones ect you get the idea

now the good I guess
a great source for quick loops cheep is wwwsoundsonline
or buy some sound loops form sony $29.95
royalty free sound series

or if you have a mac then you know about garage band
or go to and look at there sound file collection

by the way sound fx are also covered by copyright
you can just google free sound fx for the most part and fine sound fxs for your project they’re ok not great
but a mike and some creativity will go a long way to making some better fx
i’ve used a lap top mic and have gotten great results

hope this helps
and remember the same law that protects music protects you as an artist
you don’t see bugs bunny everywhere do you

more info

for music permission lets say the stones
harry fox agency 212 370 5330 fax 212 922 3275
everyone goes there

you’ll be surprised it’s not that expensive

freeplay music
and once again wwwsoundsonline

not if the performance is more than 50 years old (the remastering onto a cd doesn’t count as a performance, it’s only a new package). at least it’s a european union law, but i think it’s similar in the u.s.

There are a ton of loop CD’s available out there for royalty-free music creation but you do need to get program that can do something with them.

Using any modern music will just get you into tons of hot water unless you get permission first.

I don’t know if you have a budget or not but some companies, like BMI, have a special price of $200ish to use any song in their catalog for a set period of time, like a year.

Although lots of folks just use whatever they want, the RIAA is really nasty about it. What burns me is that it is the record companies and not the artists that truly benefit from their draconian measures.

Anyway, if you have a Mac, Soundtrack is a great, easy program to use with loops. Sony has one for the PC as well but at this time, I cna’t remember what it is called.

as for the pricing:
a single second from adagio g minor by albinoni/giazotto would’ve costed me euro 4.22 + 16% tax, if i wanted to animate to.
the piece is 6-10 minutes long, depends on the performance. and the performer costs come extra.