The best drone video background music – my fully tested options

There is another aspect of owning and flying a drone that can sometimes be more exciting than the flight itself. And that is the postproduction of the video footage that you have captured during an exciting flight mission. Editing your drone footage can turn something that is great into something that is awesome. An important part of the editing process is selecting music. Music can give your drone footage a whole new dynamic. It can make it relaxing, exciting, epic, and any other feeling that you can typically impart with music. Take a look at the drone videos that you like and I can almost guarantee you that they have drone video background music to enhance the feelings of the video. In this article, we are going to go over the best drone video background music, where you can find it, and what you need to look for to take your drone videography to the next level.

Drone video background music can be found on a range of platforms. Check out free music archive, incompetch, Ben sound, and purple planet for some of the best free music you can get. There are also some awesome relatively inexpensive premium subscription services that I recommend you check out.

If you want to find out more about the best drone video editing software, I have a massive article with everything you need to know – drone photography editing software, seven free and paid options – click here.

Before I give you all of the best places to drone footage to backup your awe-inspiring video, let’s take a quick look at what you should look for in drone music and the distributor.

What to look for in drone music

There are so many options for background music online. There has never been a better time to source music for your drone footage. The good news is is there plenty of free options if you are new to drone videography – that way you can test a range of styles and options before you fork out some cash on a premium music service. Here is what I look for when I am selecting drone video background music.

Length

One of the first aspects I look at when selecting music for a drone video is the length of the track. One of the most important things is that the drone music is the same length or a little bit longer than the drone footage that I want it to sit under.

Sometimes, I want the tone and feeling of the video to change to match the visuals. In this instance I will still select music that is a fair bit longer than the section of video I needed to cover. This is because it is very rare that a single track will have a continuous feeling. Often, music will have its own journey and change in feeling. I will scan through the entire track until I find the part of the music that I feel best fits my visuals. Then, I want it to match the length of time of the video.

It takes a little bit of trial and error and a few options to find the perfect fit – but given the options I’ve listed below I have never struggled to find the perfect bit of music to support my drone footage… Eventually.

One of the easiest ways to get an idea of how the music changes throughout the length of the track is by looking at the waveform, let’s discuss that in more detail now.

Wave form

The waveform of a track shows its amplitude (volume) at any given time. Services like audio blocks allow you to compare waveforms while searching. Quite often I will look for waveforms that match the feeling that I want. For example if I want a steady intro and rise/buildup for my video I will look for a waveform that matches that feeling. On the other hand, I will often just need music that starts immediately – all with a tiny buildup – it is easy to find this sort of music when I look at the waveforms.

The waveform also helps me to find the perfect part of the track to start the music. It’s not very often that I will use the native intro of the track, but I will cut to the moment the music matches exactly what I need it to do.

If you are paying for a service I would recommend using a service where you can quickly browse the waveform of individual tracks, or compare them, so that you can easily find the perfect section of the track or the right buildup for your drone video.

instrumental or vocal

It’s amazing the difference that having vocals in a track can create. Honestly, I very rarely use vocal tracks in any of my drone footage. I find it best that the audience are looking at the vocals instead of using brainpower to try to understand or sing along with lyrics. Most paid services will give you the option of a vocal or instrumental only download – and most times I will go with the instrumental only.

Some of the best paid options for drone video music, will also give you the ability to isolate certain instruments and sections of instruments.

This gives you even finer control over the feeling of the music and if you don’t really like the sound of a particular instrument it is super easy to remove.

Currently, the modern electronic music that accompanies drone footage has mild local sounds to accentuate certain aspects of the music. I don’t necessarily mind these but just be careful that they don’t distract from the main show – which is the awesome footage you have collected.

Attributions

sometimes, even though some music is free it doesn’t necessarily mean that there aren’t some strings attached. Often you have to tribute the music to the original creator and/or link back to their website or online presence. This is a small price to pay for someone’s hard work that they are giving out freely. You cant just use anything you find online. Any purpose as there are different types of copyright known as creative Commons that tells you the way that you can use specific digital content.

There are six different types of licenses and you can find out more about them at www.creativecommons.org. Here are the types listed from most permissive to the very least:

  • CC BY – this license allows users to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, so long as attribution is given to the creator. This license allows for commercial use as well.
  • CC BY – SA – this license allows re-users to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium format, so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use. If you remix, adapt, or build upon the material, you must license the modified material under identical terms.
  • CC BY – NC – this license allows re-users to distribute, remix, adapt and build upon the material in any medium or format for non-commercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator.
  • CC BY-NC-SA: This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator. If you remix, adapt, or build upon the material, you must license the modified material under identical terms.
  • CC BY-ND: This license allows reusers to copy and distribute the material in any medium or format in unadapted form only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use.
  • CC BY-NC-ND: This license allows reusers to copy and distribute the material in any medium or format in unadapted form only, for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator.
  • CC0 (aka CC Zero) is a public dedication tool, which allows creators to give up their copyright and put their works into the worldwide public domain. CC0 allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, with no conditions.

Creative common is an attributing appropriately to the artists is taken very seriously. YouTube and other distribution platforms will also have copyright claims if you go against these rules. So is something that you need to take relatively seriously.

format – MP3, WAV

When you come to download music you often have two options. This includes MP3 and WAV. MP3 is a short term for MPTG-1 audio layer 3. It was developed to provide us with a way to store audio information in a digital form – but using a smaller file size than other forms. In MP3 removes chunks of data (in this case audio) to reduce the file size that the human ear is unlikely to notice. It is classed as a “lossy compression”. They take up about the 10th of the space as what you would find on a CD audio track and most people are able to listen to them without getting distracted by the quality of the audio.

WAV or waveform audio file format was a storage format developed by Microsoft and IBM for PCs. WAV is a lossless file format. Therefore, unlike MP3, no compression is done during the encoding of the data. Due to them being uncompressed the wife files are very large. And are not a popular way to distribute music online. However, the extra file size is worth it if you are doing something extra professional or you need very detailed and lossless audio for professional speakers or large-scale audio applications.

For your drone footage you need to select your music download format based on the quality of the music you want and the file size that your computer is able to work with. For nearly every application MP3 will be perfect. However, if you want to build a little bit of a failsafe into your editing procedure consider using a WAV file.

Now that you have got all the information you need to know about selecting your music let’s look at some of the most popular free sources of online music today.

Free options for drone video background music

When you’re first starting out with drone editing and footage there is no need to purchase a subscription to a premium music service. There are plenty of free options for you and here we will cover some of the best online at the moment.

Free Music Archive

Free music archive is the number one resource for free music and royalty free music. It is a website full of original music from independent artists. And all of the songs on free music archive are free to access and download. In some cases you can use the creative common is license of free music archive to use songs for free in your drone video. Just double check before you use it but it is a fantastic option for free music for your drone video.

Incompetech

This website has a massive selection of royalty free music. Most of the music requires attribution which you can use commercially in your videos. If you decide to use the free level you only get a MP3 file – which is suitable for most of your drone footage. However, from €20 per song you get no attribution required. You get a lifetime license. Where you can use the music on as many projects as you want. You get the song in a WAV download. Placing a credit in your YouTube video description is as easy as including this:

Title Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Purple Planet Royalty Free Music

Purple planet music has royalty free music which you can download for your own projects as long as you credit purple-planet.com. You can also purchase a high-quality WAV with a commercial license for either a standard amount (eight dollars) or a broadcast version ($40).

The tracks can be downloaded for free at a medium quality with attribution and is perfect for a YouTube video or other distribution for example Facebook and other social media, blogging, podcasting or educational use.

Royalty Free Music by Bensound | Creative Commons Music

Ben Sanders a fantastic resource if you’re looking for an emotive background track for your drone video. I first use Ben sound in some of my first ever videos and I was very impressed with the quality of the music. It seemed to be the right balance of corporate and modern without being over-the-top and it wasn’t just a lame stock music. There is a huge array of moves that you can choose from and there’s a reason this is one of the best places to pick up free music online. For use you have to attribute Ben sound.com but it is a small price to pay for such an awesome collection of free music.

You can use Bensound’s music available under the Creative Commons License (with the black download button) in your multimedia project (online videos, websites, animations, etc.) for free as long as you credit Bensound.com. Examples of proper way to credit us: “Music: https://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music or “Music: « Song Title » from Bensound.com”

YouTube

YouTube is also full of “royalty free” music that you are free to download. You can use a online converter just search for something like “YouTube to MP3 converter” on Google and you’ll be offered a load of options. Although, I’m not sure how legal this approach is. One of the best ways to get free music from YouTube is to use your channel and YouTube studio for access to their audio library.

Head to your profile and click on YouTube Studio in the menu > scroll down to and hover on other features > Click on Audio library. There you’ll find a load of music and sound effects that you can use for FREE!

The audio library is full of music and was updated regularly enough that during my blogging I was never short of relatively good music. The problem is it can get pretty stock like. That means the quite often you will hear YouTube stock footage if you have been browsing enough. That’s not necessarily a bad thing that could be bad if you are trying to stand out using awesome audio.

Now let’s check out the best paid options that I have personally used for drone video background music.

Paid options for drone video background music

Once I started to get pretty serious about my drone videos, I decided that a premium audio service would be best to stand out. There is huge array of options that cater for nearly every budget – but I like the subscription services as they normally have a massive variety of music to choose from. And they vary in styles and genres so much that it can become a really valuable resource for other projects.

After paying for a premium service I didn’t look back. It enabled me to no longer worry about where the music for my drone videos was coming from. And if you are monetising your videos through a service or advertising it will eventually pay for itself.

Audio Blocks

audio blocks was my first subscription service for music.

This is curated by story blocks (a stock footage subscription service) who have since expanded into audio and images for free download. I love story blocks and was willing to jump onto the audio offering! However their audio service was a little bit of an issue for me. The interface was relatively hard to navigate and finding the right piece of music from my videos that wasn’t to stock like was relatively difficult. However, after a bit of digging I always managed to find what I needed. Some of the music was very corporate and a little bit cringeworthy.

This service is a great option if you have a relatively limited budget and a lower turnover of video content. But take the time to explore the platform and sign up for a year – you won’t regret it as it is one of the lower options to a paid service that you can get.

Epidemic Sound

Epidemic sound is my current first choice when it comes to selecting music for my social media videos. It is only a fraction more expensive than audio blocks and the music selection has a much better consistency.

At the time of writing the cost of a creator subscription is $15 / month and a business subscription is $149 / month.

This is what I love about epidemic sound:

  • The music is modern -quite often on music subscription services the music is very dated and makes your videos lame. Epidemic sound seems to have been able to find modern music that isn’t to stock like.
  • The navigation is good (but could be better) – it was very easy to find the audio that I was looking for after I learn a few shortcuts to finding good music. Generally, I will search by genre and then speed. Looking at the way function to make sure it matches the journey of my drone footage.
  • The price is reasonable – for the quality of the music this is one of the better subscription services that I have tried. It seems to be the right balance of affordability and quality.
  • I actually enjoy listening to the music – some of the music is actually fun to listen to. I find myself lost in brazing a couple of times because I really enjoyed the electronic genres and had to remind myself that I was there to find music for my current project.

I cannot think of a reason that would cause me to move on from epidemic sound as they are constantly updating their archive and adding new tracks all the time.

Kudos to the team – they have made life as a content creator much easier.

Conclusion

Finding drone video background music has been made incredibly easy. It is so easy to find music that is not rubbish and matches nearly any budget. When you are looking for free options you are relatively limited and if you are doing a lot of video content then you will quickly run out of options.

However, for a relatively low subscription you can find some music that would have in the past cost much more money. Check out audio blocks and epidemic sound for some of the best subscription services that you can currently get. Choosing the right drone background music to support your drone footage is the best way to move an audience through a scene or series of cuts. Choose wisely and I am in no doubt that your drone video will be moved from good to great.

The Author

Dr Andrew Stapleton is a writer and YouTuber with a PhD in science. He has written and/or produced videos for Science Alert, COSMOS magazine, and Australia's Science Channel among others. Andy started droneflyingpro.com to share his love and the research of all things drone! He has been a drone pilot for many years and has flown many types of drone. His favorite is still the DJI Mavic Air for the portability and functionality packed into a small and portable drone!