Free Music, Illegal Music and High Quality Music – The Choice Is Yours
Today I discovered a new Royalty Free Music website that offered $50,000 worth of music, for just $27.99. Whilst that brain meltingly ridiculous ‘discount’ or ‘offer’ is hard enough to comprehend, you have to consider the source of the music, it’s legality and the quality of the music.
Worst case scenario is that the music is not legally covered for the publisher/licensor to provide you with that music to use. It may well be a collection of royalty free music CDs from a variety of sources that have been encoded to a digital format and made available for an all in one bulk purchase via a download link hosted on a free webspace account. The distributor makes a small income from each sale, selling on music with no proof of ownership.
The Music Is Poor
Another negative scenario is that the music may be collected from a variety of ‘free music’ resources from across the Internet where music has been made freely available to use in projects by its producer. Aside from the distributor most likely not having ‘resell’ rights to sell you the music, the music itself is a widely collected range of free music from a variety of sources meaning there is no consistency of quality or standard throughout the collection.
With no disrespect to producers putting out work for others to use freely, there is a reason people charge for products and services. Free music is free, and with it comes the quality control of the individual who produced it, and their technical limitations. It’s reasonable to assume that someone producing free music in their spare time does not have a full acoustically treated studio and state of the art equipment setup. If they did, surely they would need a form of income from the content they produce to subsidize the financial investment in their studio and equipment.
Quality of the Product
There is still a stigma throughout the media production industry that whilst cameras and equipment are a worthy investment of thousands and thousands of pounds/dollars, music should not cost the production company more than a few pounds/dollars, even in a high end corporate video. Music produced by Beatsuite.com is professionally composed, recorded and produced. It is then reviewed intensely to ensure each instrument sounds right. Mastered to make sure it sounds the way it should sound, on any system. Factors which involve equipment, staff, skills, time and quality control to ensure an end product that compliments the project you’re producing. No less time goes into producing a music track, than it does correctly shooting a piece to camera. Lighting, set design, makeup, equipment, staff and more are essential factors required to produce a quality product.
What does it say about your product?
If you shoot a corporate video on a home camcorder, using a built in microphone then a cheap, low quality music track will work just fine. However, if you’re producing a high end HD video with lighting rigs, boom mics and colour grading post production, you have a standard you wish to maintain. You expect a music track to have a piano that sounds like a piano, or strings that sound like strings and not a synthesized digital equivalent. We can all identify cheap music when we hear it. Do you want clients to view your content and feel let down by the choice of music?
If you’re paying a budget, bargain bin price for a music track, then what do you expect to get? Invest in high quality royalty free music to ensure it’s high quality, professionally produced and fully covered legally, for you to use.
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