More "Free To Use" Sound Effects & Music Tracks

38 new “free to use” sound effects & 3 new tracks have now been added to our library.
As usual these have been placed under our Free Commercial License, meaning you are free to use them in commercial with only notification and copyright display required.

Forth East
[video=youtube;Nyt6JragKp4]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nyt6JragKp4[/video]

Sorrow To Light
[video=youtube;D7gOw544WgM]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7gOw544WgM[/video]

Tribal Drums
[video=youtube;QkVc0jRUbo8]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkVc0jRUbo8[/video]

Sound effects have been added to the following categories.

PVC Doors
Key Sounds
Paper
Water Trickling/Splash/Bubbles/Droplets
Paper Money
Writing
Weapons/Knives

Sounds Effects link: http://www.varazuvi.com/sound-effects

http://www.varazuvi.com

It would be more interesting if you used a more famous license, for example the Creative Commons BY license. I will never use contents with a custom unclear license. “free to use” is vague… and finally wrong as there is a limit of income mentioned in the beginning of the text describing the Free Commercial License on your website.

3 Likes

Visited the site a couple of times quickly, but never read the license. After reading this:

You may also sell an unlimited amount of copies of your finished work.

I efffing laughed hard. Like a goddamn license of “sound bites” or music could legally stop anyone from selling X amount of copies. Preposterous. Also, as @gouessej mentions, don’t use “Free Commercial” if there is a fee. Free becomes VOID at that point. Call it “Limited-Free License” or something that is CLEAR.

One BIG red avoid mark for you here.

I’ll continue using sounds from freesound.org, thank you very much.

1 Like

Hi Gouessej and Madjack,

I appreciate you taking the time to let me know your thoughts, all comments are of course welcome.

I would like to address the above topics and share the reasons.
I understand the use of a more widely used and accepted license such as Creative Commons may be of benefit especially as developers may well have used them previously.
The main reason for the deployment and use of a proprietary license is that it is custom and can be designed to cover each and every element that may need to be included.
In addition there are a few points within the Creative Commons license that would perhaps not work so well with how I wanted the music to be distributed. One being the stipulation that users would be free to distribute the tracks themselves, and in some cases even sell them commercially, this of course would be extremely detrimental the copyright associated with the musical works. There also seemed to be other instances in the various Creative Commons licenses that wouldn’t be so fitting.

With regard to vagueness, one thing in particular I wanted to make sure of, was that the license should be clear & concise. Although the term “free to use” is vague, I feel the license itself does pinpoint what can and cannot be done with regards to use of the music and sound effects.

A majority of sites that distribute production music also charge for the service, I wanted to offer this to developers & filmmakers for free, in order to give people who are either starting out, or don’t have the financial means the opportunity to use production music in their work.
The reason for the implementation of an income limit was to make sure it was being aimed specifically at developers within this area, and separates large scale developers that may be looking to distribute at a much higher level.

A common set up for music licensing is where there may be one cost for use, but with a stipulation on how many copies of the finished product can be sold. There would then be a higher cost if that number exceeds the limit in some cases that number is as low as 500. This is a concept that stretches to many industries, it’s a measure for companies to maintain control over their copyrights and intellectual properties. An example would be where software developers may limit use, or only allow installation on a specific number of machines, if more are needed then a different license could be purchased. I on the other hand never wanted to limit the amount of copies you could sell, therefore it is an unlimited amount.

In these situations the developer may perhaps have a rough idea of how many copies they would be looking to distribute, based on things such as advertising and prospective user or customer base, in the same way you might pre-workout a business plan. And opt for the most fitting license.

With regard to the naming of the Free Commercial license, I can see exactly where you’re coming from, but in this case it’s designed for people/companies with an annual revenue of less than £100,000 at the point of use, there will never be any fees payable. Music under this license will always be free.

I hope I’ve managed to address your concerns, if you have any questions whatsoever please don’t hesitate to ask.

Warmest Regards.

1 Like

Just don’t’ use “Free Commercial”, it’s misleading. Some people don’t do thorough research. Do the right thing and use something like “Limited-Free Commercial Use”. Using something unambiguous will spare everyone time and potentially money.

Do it right or don’t do it at all.

2 Likes

Hi Madjack,

Am I correct in thinking you’re referring to companies that do have high revenues? as those who don’t will never be charged.
I made a specific point of placing the revenue limit stipulation at the top of the license agreement so it would hopefully be easily seen.
But anything to overt confusion can only be a good thing, so as a result I will change the name of the license to reflect any concerns.

Warmest Regards.

<cite>@soughtaftersounds said:</cite> Am I correct in thinking you're referring to companies that do have high revenues? as those who don't will never be charged.

Partially. I would agree that most of the time, everything would be fine, but take Minecraft for example. They’ve sold, what, 20-30 million copies now? Probably more. NOBODY and I’m not saying this lightly, NOBODY would have though in their wildest dream it would come to this point. Now, granted, those are few and very rare, but we’re talking about software sales. We’re talking games here. A game can be the best piece of software written and barely sell. The opposite is true. Look at WarZ, the second worst POS ever written after Big Rig Racing (which, incidentally was made by the same guy) that sold in high numbers; it was even a top-seller on Steam chart for several weeks.

My point is, nobody can take a guess at sales figure. Big companies can (a guesstimate), not indies. All we can hope for is going viral, pushed by an external force. In short, an indie dev can’t say "Oh, I should sell X going for about 125,000 [insert local money denomination] or 15,000. It’s just not possible. Then you have to wonder when you see a license like that: “What will happen if I’m going over that amount? Do I have to send them an email? Pay a percentage of sales going over that amount?” Etc, etc, etc.

Personally, because of too many unknown variables, I would never use that kind of license. If I find something with that kind of license I will just pass. I just don’t want to live with the hassle of keeping track of this. “Two years after the game goes gold and gets distributed, I have to pay X amount to that obscure guy making music because I’ve ran over the limit allowed by that license.” It’s slightly ridiculous when I think about it. Of course, that’s just me. Others might think otherwise. shrug

Changing the verbiage is a good first step though. Make sure that it’s clear that “Free License” has conditions. Otherwise it might get ugly down the road. Besides, who wants that kind of crappy legal problems to deal with? Nobody.

It is sad that we live in such a world but it even depends on where in the world you are. The wording of licences is interpreted differently by courts in different countries.
And as a private person or small indie company you are at the mercy of larger companies most of the times anyways, because they can bring it up to the court wich benefits them the most.

In my opinion if you label somethif “free” it should be that without any question, no matter how many words you throw in afterwards, but then how would lawyers earn their money ? :wink:

Hi Madjack,

Just to clarify, I only used the limit on sales as an example of other companies setups, I don’t force any limit on sales at all.
The only question that needs to be addressed when using any of the music or sounds is whether or not you have an annual revenue of more or less than £100,000 which of course you would know the answer there and then. If you do, you would contact the site and I would work out a price for you that you’re happy with, If you don’t then you can use the music without ever having to pay any fee’s no matter how many copies of the game you sell, or how much revenue your company generates in the future.
That’s why I chose to set it up in this way, so that if you aren’t a high earning company at the time you want to use the music, you are free to use it without charge.
If you use the music when your company is in it’s infancy, and then your game becomes a hit and sells a million copies, you will still never have to pay anything.
That’s the beauty of it, rather than charge everyone for the music, I’m allowing companies with less than £100,000 revenue to use the music for free no matter how big they get.

Warmest Regards.

1 Like
@soughtaftersounds said: Hi Madjack,

Just to clarify, I only used the limit on sales as an example of other companies setups, I don’t force any limit on sales at all.
The only question that needs to be addressed when using any of the music or sounds is whether or not you have an annual revenue of more or less than £100,000 which of course you would know the answer there and then. If you do, you would contact the site and I would work out a price for you that you’re happy with, If you don’t then you can use the music without ever having to pay any fee’s no matter how many copies of the game you sell, or how much revenue your company generates in the future.
That’s why I chose to set it up in this way, so that if you aren’t a high earning company at the time you want to use the music, you are free to use it without charge.
If you use the music when your company is in it’s infancy, and then your game becomes a hit and sells a million copies, you will still never have to pay anything.
That’s the beauty of it, rather than charge everyone for the music, I’m allowing companies with less than £100,000 revenue to use the music for free no matter how big they get.

Warmest Regards.

Your licensing model is fine. I think were commenting on that you called it “free” when it clearly isn’t.

It is at best a limited free license by any definition.

1 Like

That’s an interesting twist - so you charge only for new uses over 100k, not for existing uses if they then pass the 100k mark?

That’s very fair - generous even.

For what it’s worth your license (as described so far) does not sound unreasonable. There is a lot of completely free-to-use music out there but a lot of that is over-used so having this as an alternative is valuable.

<cite>@soughtaftersounds said:</cite> Hi Madjack,

Just to clarify, I only used the limit on sales as an example of other companies setups, I don’t force any limit on sales at all.
The only question that needs to be addressed when using any of the music or sounds is whether or not you have an annual revenue of more or less than £100,000 which of course you would know the answer there and then. If you do, you would contact the site and I would work out a price for you that you’re happy with, If you don’t then you can use the music without ever having to pay any fee’s no matter how many copies of the game you sell, or how much revenue your company generates in the future.
That’s why I chose to set it up in this way, so that if you aren’t a high earning company at the time you want to use the music, you are free to use it without charge.
If you use the music when your company is in it’s infancy, and then your game becomes a hit and sells a million copies, you will still never have to pay anything.
That’s the beauty of it, rather than charge everyone for the music, I’m allowing companies with less than £100,000 revenue to use the music for free no matter how big they get.

Warmest Regards.

Seen that way the license is fine provided you word it right without ANY ambiguity. Heck, I might even revise my stance.

<cite>@zarch said:</cite> That's an interesting twist - so you charge only for new uses over 100k, not for existing uses if they then pass the 100k mark?

That’s very fair - generous even.

For what it’s worth your license (as described so far) does not sound unreasonable. There is a lot of completely free-to-use music out there but a lot of that is over-used so having this as an alternative is valuable.

That’s exactly right zarch, if they go over the 100k mark that’s perfectly fine, there will never be a charge.
Thank you for you’re great comment.

Warmest Regards.

<cite>@madjack said:</cite> Seen that way the license is fine provided you word it right without ANY ambiguity. Heck, I might even revise my stance.

Hi Madjack,

I’m really glad to hear that :slight_smile:
I think something along the lines of “Free Small Business Commercial License” may help to avoid any possible confusion in future. The license itself will also be revised to denote a “small business” as one which has an annual revenue of less than £100,000.

On a side note, if there’s any particular style of music you would like to see available under this license, I’m open to suggestions from yourself or anyone else for that matter.
And will try to include some of them when working on the next batch of music.

In addition, and I realize that this may not be the best area to advertise, but in case you ever wanted to add some sounds or use virtual instruments in your work yourself, I will shortly be releasing two VST virtual instruments, Varazuvi Bongos & Varazuvi Indian Flute. These will of course be free and can be used in all your projects with no fee’s to pay. There seemed to be a shortfall of free 24-bit VST’s so as a result they will use real recordings sampled at 24-bit 48khz and include multiple velocity layers.

Warmest Regards.

@soughtaftersounds You need an FAQ of this exact discussion to clear it all up. You have given some great responses in your answers.
Also, call it limited-free like the others said. Lots of people are willing to pay a little up front if they know what they are getting into and it won’t be a hassle.
Easy, clear, and affordable will get you sales.
I like your work, keep it up.

I think the problem with free sound effects and music is finding those that sound similar while being distinctive.

One of the first problem is you need to have the same quality. You simply can’t have, for example,. a good sounding bit and a great sounding bit. The contrast is such that it will be immediately draw attention to itself, which is not wanted. It’s fine to have everything average. But not a mix of good, average, excellent and so-so quality. That’s very bad.

Another annoying thing is level. You want your music and sound bites with the same level. I don’t think there’s anything more annoying that the next music piece to sound loud as hell compared to the previous one.

I’m sure you are aware of those, but I’m telling you this in case you start offering music and sound bites from other authors (I haven’t checked the site enough to say if what’s available is only your music and effects or from multiple authors). Making sure levels, quality and what makes music and effects good are consistent throughout. Because in the end, if those aspects are not there for what I have chosen, I will have to adjust those manually myself. Something I’d rather skip if I could.

<cite>@Sploreg said:</cite> @soughtaftersounds You need an FAQ of this exact discussion to clear it all up. You have given some great responses in your answers. Also, call it limited-free like the others said. Lots of people are willing to pay a little up front if they know what they are getting into and it won't be a hassle. Easy, clear, and affordable will get you sales. I like your work, keep it up.

Many thanks Sploreg,
I shall do exactly that, and include the above in the FAQ section on the site.

Kind Regards.

<cite>@madjack said:</cite> I think the problem with free sound effects and music is finding those that sound similar while being distinctive.

One of the first problem is you need to have the same quality. You simply can’t have, for example,. a good sounding bit and a great sounding bit. The contrast is such that it will be immediately draw attention to itself, which is not wanted. It’s fine to have everything average. But not a mix of good, average, excellent and so-so quality. That’s very bad.

Another annoying thing is level. You want your music and sound bites with the same level. I don’t think there’s anything more annoying that the next music piece to sound loud as hell compared to the previous one.

I’m sure you are aware of those, but I’m telling you this in case you start offering music and sound bites from other authors (I haven’t checked the site enough to say if what’s available is only your music and effects or from multiple authors). Making sure levels, quality and what makes music and effects good are consistent throughout. Because in the end, if those aspects are not there for what I have chosen, I will have to adjust those manually myself. Something I’d rather skip if I could.

Hi Madjack,

It’s always tricky when it comes to keeping consistency regarding quality as some of the music and effects, especially ones that may have been recorded some time back, are unmatched in definition compared to more recent tracks using updated instruments, software and sample rates. But yes you’re quite right with regard to some tracks/effects having different levels in some cases. I am working on making sure that future compositions are comparable in terms of sound levels in order to, as you mention, make life as simple as possible for users to incorporate the music with the least tweaking needed.
In addition I can confirm that all the music and sounds are all original and my own work.

Kind Regards.