In several podcasting forums, tutorials and Facebook groups, there are discussions on creating content, editing, publishing marketing, and so on. Among the discussions, one of the most popular questions that gets asked is,
Where can I find Podcast Audio tracks and Sound Effects ?
In this post, we will look at a few websites and resources that will help you with just that.
Background: the search for Podcast Audio tracks
In late 2015, we had just begun our journey with gaathastory. Our first podcast was MyKitaab: How to Publish and Market Your Books. While we were finalizing the intro and outro messages for MyKitaab, we were faced with a similar dilemma: which background score to use, and where to find it? Someone recommended that we should visit Incompetech, a website run by musician Kevin MacLeod.
One part of the problem was solved! But as the number of shows increased, so did the need for finding background scores and sound effects. With increasing episodes for Baalgatha, followed by Devegatha, Faityrales of India, and Veergatha; the need to have our own library of background scores and sound effects became evident.
Leaving it to the Sound editors
The job of inserting the sound effects and background score typically lies with the sound editor, with occasional inputs from the producer. We did just that- we let the editor decided what effects and music score to add, and where. Call it beginners’ luck, or our good graces, that we have mostly worked with audio editors who use licensed tracks. All except one. And that almost got us into trouble in mid 2016.
Read the Terms of License for Audio Tracks and Sound Effects!
Different websites, aggregators, and social media sites such as YouTube have different licensing terms for audio tracks. We use Creative Commons or public domain contain in the early years. In particular, the sound effects for Baalgatha and Fairytales of India relied heavily on Soundbible and other sites that offer content under Creative Commons (CC0 or higher) or public domain sounds.
Other sites may not allow commercial use, or may require you to apply for a specific license for Podcasts, YouTune videos, or streaming.
Sources for Soundtrack and Music for Podcasts
Below is the list of sources (and resources) we have compiled over the years.
1. Soundbible offer many sfx in public domain or Creative commons CC0. Or you can buy individual license(s) for special cases.
4. On Fiverr you can find guys or girls who can compile tracks from royalty free sources.
5. Mixkit offers a collection of images, audio and videos with generous license terms even int he free tier.
6. Producthunt has a long list of similar services including uppbeat.
We have used all of the above for our podcasts.
Reminder: Pay Attention to the License Terms!
Draft laws for streaming/social media sites in India are proposed in Feb 2021. These proposals give 24 hrs to creator to takedown content once notice is received. While the primary focus is on libelous or contentious issues, the law may even extend upto copyright and licensing issues. In other words, our search for more tracks will continue