Use The Right Tools To Edit Songs And Videos
We have a full guide to adding music to video files, and if you want to get into the details for various apps, you should check it out.
Most video-editing apps will make it easy to add music to any video file. But if youre using a very simple editing app or you dont have one at all, its a good idea to download one. iMovie, the free editor that comes with Macs, has plenty of audio-editing capabilities. Photos, the app you use on a PC, isnt quite as good .
With all of these options, adding a track to your video files is pretty easy . Once youve done it a few times, youll be able to add and edit a track in just a few minutes.
Of course, youll get better results with better tools. So while it takes time to download and familiarize yourself with more advanced video editors, I recommend going that route every time.
How To Get Permission To Use A Song In Your Video
The first step in getting permission to use recorded material is determining who owns the copyright of the intellectual property and contacting them.
However, its not a matter of just contacting the artist or record label. In fact, there are two rights owners to a given piece of recorded music the rights to the written song and the rights to the particular recording
Hacks And Tricks To Add Music To Video
We, humans, absorb data from the outside world and process it using 5 sensory channels hearing, vision, smell, touch, and taste. Based on this, psychologists have defined 3 learning stylesThe VAK modelOne of the most used classifications of the learning styles proposed by Fleming and Mills in 1992. that indicate the individuals preferred means of learning new things.
- 65% of the population are visual learners, and they comprehend the world by seeing it
- Around 30% of people are auditory learners, so they better pick up new information and ideas through listening
- The other 5% are kinesthetic learners they need to touch, smell, or taste an object to get familiar with it.
These stats make it clear why video is such a powerful tool to get to the minds of people: it appeals to 2 main channels of perception vision and audition at once.
With the mix of moving image and audio, it is even possible to evoke other sensors and make people experience the full range of emotions. Thats why ASMR videosASMR is a relaxing, often sedative sensation that begins on the scalp and moves down the body. Also known as brain massage, its triggered by placid sights and sounds such as whispers, accents, and crackles. are so popular these days.
Thus, to create a video that would touch the hearts and stir the minds, you need to harmonically mix the two media.
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The Ins And Outs Of Music Licensing
Unfortunately, almost every song in the world including the best background music for video is copyrighted.
Copyright isnt some kind of villain, hoarding all of the best stuff behind a paywall just to be a jerk. But this system does create a set of rules and processes that creatives must follow in order to get access to any song.
Think of it this way: You wouldnt want someone else to use pieces of your video content to promote their channel or product. And if they did reach out and ask permission, you would have a lot of questions .
Similarly, music copyright is a system that was created to protect artists and musicians and make sure that they are compensated any time someone uses one of their songs.
Obtaining the license to use copyrighted music can be time-consuming, expensive, and confusing. An individual song isnt owned by just one person rights are often split up between the songwriter, performing artist, record label, and more.
And to actually become legally cleared to use a song, you need permission from every single person with a claim of ownership. If even one copyright holder turns down your request, then none of the other responses matter. Unless everyone agrees, you cant use the song. Period.
How To Properly License Music For Commercial Business Use
When it comes to commercial music, in most cases, the rights are split between the record label and the publisher.
The publisher controls the song , while the record label controls the recording of that song.
Therefore, in order to use a commercial song in ANY video, you must obtain two licenses:
1. Sync license from the publisher.
2. Master license from the recording label.
The publisher may vary from a large company with thousands of artists to individual songwriters who publish their own work.
You can find publisher information by searching through the major performance rights organizations catalogs:
On Wikipedia you can find the most complete list of PROs by country.
You can also try to identity copyright owners by searching the US Copyright office database.
Still cant find it? Get in touch with the artist or their management and ask.
Be prepared that it may get quite expensive to license a popular song.
Heres what Gael MacGregor, an experienced music & film industry professional, says about the license negotiation process:
License fees may vary widely, with the fees based on how its used, how many minutes/seconds are used, how many times its used, if its also used as the opening and/or end title, the overall budget of the project, and so on. Licensing is a wild west kinda proposition with publishers setting the fee. Whatever the market will bear or whatever they can negotiate with the requesting party is what it will cost.
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Know The Music Rights For Your Track
If you want a detailed breakdown of the rights and terms you should be paying attention to, check out our article on .
The short version, however, is that you should pay close attention to the rights listed on any song youre considering using for a video. Adding copyrighted music to your video is a quick way to have someone request that you take it down. You could also face legal action.
Fortunately, Creative Commons licenses make it easy for you. The labeling scheme is simple, and many CC-licensed tracks allow you to do whatever you want with a song as long as you credit the original artist and link back to where you found it.
Some others dont allow commercial use, or require that whatever you create with that song also be licensed under Creative Commons. Almost every Creative-Commons-licensed track youll find has an easy copy-and-paste attribution as well.
There are also songs that you have to pay for, and even some that require royalties. The main lesson to learn here is to make sure you absolutely know the license under which youve downloaded a song and what it entails.
No matter which type of licensing agreement you use, make sure to double- and triple-check your rights before publishing your video.
Can I Get Sued For Remixing A Song
Playing your remixes in clubs would be just fine as long as you had permission to remix the song. If you play it without permission, you probably still wont get sued, since the club should bear all the legal responsibility. However, they probably wouldnt be happy to invite a DJ that got them sued.
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Copyright And Music In A Video Game
In any given musical work, there is generally more than one copyright owner. That is because music, like video games, is also made up of a series of components that attract copyright protection.
For example, in making a song, there will be a composer that wrote the music. There will also be a lyricist who wrote the lyrics and an artist who performed the music. All of which will have automatic copyright protections. To make it work practically, these individuals will need to each give each other permission to use and share their work.
Be Careful With Lyrics
If you are creating an explainer video with captions, or you have a voice-over, dont use songs with words. Lyrics are also a sort of a text, and the brain cant process everything at once. Thus, your content becomes overloaded and difficult to consume, and the viewer might just stop watching your video altogether.
Its a good idea to add music with words to your video in the following cases:
The rules mentioned above are effective here as well the mood of the song and its contents should not contradict with the visual part.
Here is an example of how the same song can sound awkward or harmoniously in different contexts.
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What Part Of Music Do I Need To Copyright
Before learning how to ask for a license, you should define what type of license you need. The first thing to know is that every song has two main parts: the music composition and the sound recording.
The musical composition appears as a work of art and includes music and accompanying words. It exists in the form of notations, or phonorecords, such as cassette tape or CD.
Meanwhile, sound recording is a series of sounds, recordings, or music. Every recording has its code of identification . You can use the ISRC to spot data, such as sales of a recording.
So, remember: you might need two different licenses for the two separate parts of the song:
- The owner of the composition copyright: composers, lyricists, songwriters
- The owner of the recording copyright: performers, producers, sound engineers.
Lets have a look at an example to make things clearer.
The composition of Aretha Franklins Respect, for example, covers the music and lyrics, but the recording performance of her singing Respect isnt included in the composition section. The composition is separate from the sound recording of the artist performing it. For composition copyright, youll need to contact the owner of the composition copyright.
When you want to make a cover and re-record someones work, it becomes your own master recording. So you no longer need a master license from the owner of the recording copyright. But you will still need a license from the publisher to use the composition and lyrics.
What To Consider Before Downloading A Background Video Using A Track
There are factors that you should consider before using a track for video background including the legal rights of that sound. Since it is ridiculous to obtain a copyright for every track we add on our videos’ background, it is, therefore, preferable to use free background music. Here are some ways to do that.
1. Creative Common Licenses
This is a platform designed to make artists around the globe share their work with the public and maintaining copyright. Some will allow you to share but ensure you credit the owner, others will allow you to use the piece but provide the same license as owners.
2. Stock Audio
Here you will have to buy the license of the music you want to use. However, this needs lengthy legal agreements.
If you need a certain unique or specific music for video, you will pay for using it. The price depends on the duration to use.
4. Public Domain
You are free to use a composition after 70 years of an artistâs death, however, classics are exempted.
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Can I Use A Cover Song In My Video
Most mechanical licenses only include using the audio version. To post a video with a cover song, you will need a new license known as the synchronization license.
This license will be handed over to you by the copyright holder. But there is no set fee to get the sync license.
But, you can use the free music video for editing, that is available on different platforms to make your video and content better.
But, nowadays, YouTube allows their songs to be used in exchange for a revenue payment. Thus, you can check this option, too, to use a cover song in your video.
Music And Song Licensing Faqs
Contact the copyright holder and tell them about yourself and how you plan on using the song. They will then contact you to negotiate the price and usage rights. Typically there will be payment required before you can receive a license to use a song for commercial use.
The costs vary significantly when it comes to licensing a copyrighted song. An independent artist might be able to charge less than $100 for a commercial license while a major label might charge thousands of dollars to license a song. In addition, some licenses can also charge you a percentage of the revenue that you gain through using the song.
To legally use copyrighted music, even short snippets, you must get express permission from the copyright holder and adhere to the conditions stated in the license. There are many platforms available that allow you to browse and shop for licenses without going directly to the copyright holder.
Some artists and labels will only allow their songs to be used for certain uses and under particular conditions. Under traditional licensing, a copyright owner negotiates the terms in which someone can use their songs. Single song licensing typically involves a more simplified transaction between the copyright holder and the person seeking out a license.
*original article written in 2019 by , updated in 2021 by Nahla Davies
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Use Video Editors For More Audiovisual Features
Aside from iMovie, the options above give you relatively limited abilities for adding music to videos. If you just want to add a song to your video clip, theyll work. But if you want more editing options, like the ability to start a track at a chosen point or the ability to edit the track itself, youll need a more complex video editor.
Many of our recommendations from our list of video editors for beginners will give you more power to edit your audio and video.
How To Add An Audio File To The Video
The moment you find the perfect soundtrack to add to your video, you need to get two files integrated.
Adding music to the video is not a complicated task, but needs some practice. There are a number of tools offering this feature, and the process is quite similar across various editors.
Lets take Wave.video editor as an example:
Now when you have the files pulled together, just some final touches left to make the synergy more accurate.
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Add Your Media To The Timeline
Once youve imported your file, find it in the media bin, click on it, then drag and drop it to the timeline. You can add it to a new track or add it to an existing track depending on your needs. I typically add things to new tracks by default so theyre easier to find later.
If no empty track is available, Camtasia automatically creates a new track if you drag your file to the open area above the timeline.
Alternatives To Getting Permission
If youre not up to the task of tracking down the copyright owner of the musical work, you can purchase a royalty-free license. Note that royalty-free doesnt necessarily mean the license itself is free, just that you wont pay royalties for using it. There are free royalty-free options, however. YouTubes own Audio Library is a good place to start. You can also search for pieces that are in the public domain and therefore free to use. Weve also written a comprehensive guide to finding royalty-free music to use in your videos.
Biteable makes it simple to add music to your videos without needing to track down a copyright holder. You can easily add a variety of audio tracks and stock music to your video from our free audio library, or upload a track of your own. Get started here!
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What Might Happen If You Dont Get Permission
Best case scenario, if you dont get copyright permission to use a piece of music in your video, you might be asked to take it down. But you might also face more severe consequences. For example, if you post your video on YouTube, you could get a copyright strike against your account or have the audio on your video muted Any ad money might be given to the copyright holder, or in a worst case scenario, you could get sued.
To avoid the legal headaches youll need to make sure you have explicit permission from the copyright holder to use any music.
How Do I Know Which License I’m Dealing With
To see what license is being used for a specific song, click on the track or album title. On the album or track page, look at the far right column. There you should see what license the artist has selected for their work. This indicates what type of use the artist has pre-approved. For more information about the specific license associated with a work, click on the name of the license for a more thorough description at the Creative Commons website.
Depending on the license given, the work may or may not be pre-cleared for use in a video without further permission. If the license allows for use in derivative works/adaptations/videos, and youre willing to observe the terms of the license, you should be able to use the track in your video.
Licenses that indicate No Derivatives explicitly prohibit adaptations of the work, including use in a video. Please contact the artist to obtain further permission before using any track marked No Derivatives in a video project or adaptation. This may require working out a licensing deal with the artist. If you have difficulty tracking down the artist, you may need to use a different piece of music for your project.
Some artists have made it easy to get in touch – look for the “contact artist” link beneath the license description on the far right side of the page.
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