Using Royalty Free Sound Effects to Create High Quality Location Sound

If you’ve ever filmed a scene on a windy day or outside on a busy street, you know how valuable sound effects are for recreating or even creating ambience and the audio landscape from scratch. If you’re a seasoned sound editing pro, or a beginner looking to get in on the basics, follow these three tips to create a vibrant soundtrack for your film or video using royalty free sound effects.

royalty free sound effects1) Start with variety, avoid looping. It can be tempting to put sound effects on loop. But if you need to create a soundscape of a busy intersection with lots of cars passing by, select several different cars and different “car passing by” sound effects. Why? Think about it: when you’re on the street, does the same care pass you by 30 times in 2 minutes? No, they’re all different. So find as many different drive-by sound effects as you can, and do your best not to loop the same one over and over again. You can vary timing of entrances, stagger multiple, even mess with the eq or tone of individual effects if you only have a couple to work with. This will enhance realism, and give you the most realistic sound.

2) Pick dry sound effects over affected effects. In other words, add your own reverb (echo). No two sound effects are going to have been recorded in the same space, so to make your audience believe their ears, you’ll have to tweak the reverb a bit. In a cave? Add some echo. On a windy mountain top, go as dry as you can. In a tiled room, put just enough reverb on the effect to make it sound like the noises are bouncing off the tiles. When you do this, be sure to take note of your reverb settings, and try to get a consistent sound when you’re creating sounds in the same “room”.

3) Use your ears in real life. Go out to the ocean and listen. Really listen. What do you hear on that shoreline? Is it realistic to put a barge passing by in your soundbed in a beach scene? Not likely. Listening closely to the way rooms and locations sound in real life will help you create better, more realistic sounding atmospheres. It will also get your creative juices flowing. Can you hear construction outside an office window? How about the sound of kids playing in a park — the rub of a slide, or the thud of falling to the ground? Getting a grasp on the individual elements that make up chaos is an important step in the soundtrack creation process.

Six Great Uses for Stock Footage

Most people know that using royalty free music can save them a lot of time and money in production. Similarly, stock footage is a great time saver, allowing producers of multimedia content to deliver their final projects on budget and on time, without sacrificing creativity and visual diversity. Here are a few ways you can use stock footage to your advantage:

1) Background projection at concerts and live events. Music and visual stimulation go hand in hand, and stock footage creates awesome background animations for large-scale projection needs. Whether it’s a small club or giant rock venue, your graphics team can enhance any production with the use of royalty free video. Think timelapse clouds, bustling urban scenes, or psychadelic sequences to accompany your next performance or speech. Stock footage allows you to create amazing live performances with moving images at a fraction of the cost of hiring out a full production crew.

stock footage
Set a futuristic sci-fi scene with a single, low cost stock footage clip.

2) Establishing location. For films and television shows requiring shots that set location, stock footage clips can go a long way in helping you to tell the where of your story. For example, inserting a stock video clip of a city highrise just before a scene can help your audience visualize that the scene takes place in a downtown office. Stock footage allows for a lot of creativity along these lines, easily affording aerial shots of cities, mountain ranges, and futuristic planetary locations. The only limit to where your next film can take place is your imagination.

3) Montages. Timelapse stock footage comes in really handy for creating montages and similar visual sequences. The fact that the video has already been edited together for you is also a huge timesaver. We like to combine montages with some royalty free music for really effective promo videos with inspiring messages.

4) Source footage for props. With a little bit of graphic artistry, you can take any clip and put it on a TV screen, computer screen, or anything else you can imagine. When a prop requires moving images, you can get a lot of utility out of simple stock footage clips.

5) Video to accompany podcasts. When you’re producing a daily or weekly audio podcast, you don’t always have time to find great images to accompany your audio. You can easily take an audio-only podcast to the realm of video podcasting with some stock footage clips. With some simple video editing software, you can mix your podcast audio with clips covering just about any topic.

News broadcasts. Have a breaking story to cover? We all know that being first with a story is everything in the news industry, and stock footage clips allow you to break the news visually faster than any other method of production, short of standing on the scene live. Inserting cool animations, historical shots, and other royalty free clips can help provide visual variety to your watchers with minimal investment of time and money.

How are you using stock footage?

Photo Editor App for Android Features and Photo Filters

Aviary offers an improved application perfect tor editing stock photos on the go, with new filters, adjustments, and manipulation tools.

If you are an android user who loves snapping, tweaking and sharing photos from your Smartphone online, here’s some good news. Aviary, a photo editing service has already announced a major update to its Android photo editing application. The recently released version 3.0 of Aviary for Android features a redesigned interface. This can only mean one thing; things will look so much better than what we had previously witnessed. It also comes with some essential new features meant to beautify users’ photos. The improved Enhance tool is probably the most notable feature of the apps additions. The best part is the fact that Aviary is absolutely free to download, and it is made readily available in the Google Play Store. This means that users wont have to incur extra costs just to have photos that are extremely pleasing to the eye.

stock photo editor for mobile editing
Aviary 3.0 is an excellent on-the-go tool for editing your stock photos.

Unlike the previous single-tap tool that was used for smart automatic adjustments, the Enhance tool now comes with three distinct settings including Illuminate, Color Fix and Hi-Def. Each of these three settings has a way of manipulating settings such as brightness, contrast and sharpness, and they are all collaborating to bring the most magnificent colors out of your photos. Another noteworthy aspect of this latest version is that it helps to save a little space on the devices since the app’s file size has been reduced by 10 percent.

Another feature that will be popular with Android users is the Woodland Effect Pack, which is a set of filters that is designed to enhance outdoor photos. This feature has been available for iOS for some time, and Android users can now have a glimpse of how it works. Aviary also made an addition of stickers that are installable through an in-app store, an advanced Focus tool, as well as a Color Splash to version 3.0. As far as the changes to the interface are concerned, users will be pleased to realize that the pages of tools have been removed, and a scrolling toolbar has been made available to take their place.

Aviary is undoubtedly the best option for photo editing for your website or app for a number of reasons. Most users commend it for its powerful and customizable nature. Its integration also takes a few minutes, making it quite efficient. aviary comes preloaded with a numerous intuitive features that users cant fail to love. In addition, the premium partners are usually eligible for revenue share through the optional in-app purchases, which can be automatically deployed within updating their apps. Another noteworthy aspect about aviary is that it allows users to customize the toolset, choose their preferred languages and match the look and feel of the editor to their apps for a completely flawless user experience. Premium partners also enjoy the benefit of choosing to utilize the custom icons and entirely removing the Aviary branding among many other things. Aviary also works hand in hand with all major platforms to ensure that users have the greatest photo editing experience in all the web and mobile apps they check.

The huge update featured a sleek and streamlined interface that is highly optimized to highlight photos by switching over to a darker theme as well as reducing padding throughout the photo editor. The company has also drastically improved the very popular enhance tool by adding up a new Hi-Def feature, which sharply defines and smartens an illuminate function. This illuminate function is ideal for improving photos that are poorly lit, as well as renaming Balance to Color Fix, which does incredible color correction to photos. In addition, the Text Tool now supports multiline text editing. Just like all SDK releases, Aviary 3.0 Android includes many under-the-hood tweaks as well improvements, including support for whopping 30 megapixels for premium partners, and a 10% reduction in SDK bundle size. The 10% reduction means that a smaller file size for Android app developers, and less precious hard disk space on the devices. If you are an Android user, you can take this opportunity to utilize this tool and get to enjoy all the benefits that are associated with this technology that has hit the Smartphone and tablet market.

Sell Stock Music and Sound Effects on Your Own Site

Now you can turn any webpage into your own personal royalty free stock media store, complete with production music, sound effects and audio, stock footage, and stock photos, thanks to our brand new remote store widgets. While setting up your own remote store widget it super simple, we’ve put together a short tutorial of how to get up and running in a matter of minutes.

admin menuStep 1: Log in to your Productiontrax contributor account, and click on the “Remote Store Widget” link in the main menu bar on the left side of the page. Don’t have an account? Create one — it’s simple and it’s free. From there, click the link to create a new widget, or select one from your widget list if you already have one set up.

Step 2: Once you’re in the widget editor, add a catchy title and tag line using the editor options on the right hand side, and select the contributor logo image you want to use on your widget. As soon as you make changes, your changes will save, and the widget will update automatically.

search filtersWe’ve added some display filters to the widgets that make them uber-useful for any contributor. First, you’ll notice a menu that allows you to either show media from just your account or show media from all of Productiontrax. The former will come in useful for those wanting to sell just their own stock audio files, while the latter option is great for leveraging the entire Productiontrax royalty free library, essentially creating a complete copy of the library on your site. You’ll also notice that you can specify which kinds of media to display in your widget – either royalty free music, sound effects, stock photos, or stock footage. You can select one, all, none, or any combination in between.

When designing your widget, remember that you can create as many widgets as you like, and put them on as many websites as you like. So, you might want to create a separate widget for your stock music and sound effects (or one for each), one for your stock footage, and a separate one for your stock photos. Figure out if multiple stores works best for your media, and if so, set your filters accordingly.

darkhive skinStep 3: Select your colors and theme out your widget to match your website. In most cases, you’ll need to use our color pickers or you’ll have to know the hex color codes to match your website’s look. Our editor allows for both, and we have some pre-styled buttons to match. Here’s where you can take a little shortcut, and use one of our pre-set themes (check out the dark hive theme at right). Using these themes are what we like to call inline style overrides — so any changes you make to your widget’s colors will be changed at launch time when a visitor happens on your your site. To use a style override, just scroll to the bottom of the editor, and pick the style you like.

checkoutStep 4: Get your code and paste it in to your website’s HTML. We provide the code you need to display your widget on your website seamlessly. And it’s a single line of simple HTML. Simply copy and paste from the code box at the top of the editor (or from the selected inline style override panel at the bottom, if you’re using one of those. Then launch your website, and bask in the glory that is your remote store widget.

Some features to note:

All credit card processing AND file downloading is done via SSL right in the widget. Your visitor never leave your site for any part of a transaction. The widget is a fully-featured track preview, shopping cart, checkout and download tool. We recommend strongly that you use HTTPS on your site, and an HTTPS connection is required in the widget’s src attribute.
• The widget is stretchy horizonatlly. It will expand to fill the space if you change the widget’s width attribute in the HTML code. The widget will not change height at this time.
• As of this writing, video playback may not work on all browsers due to a browser security restriction. We’re working on this, but the widget plays video on most browsers to a barebones extent.

5 Great Ways To Use Royalty Free Stock Music

There are thousands of ways to effectively use royalty free music in a multimedia project, each of which enhances the feel and professionalism of a production. We’ve put together a short list of five great uses for stock production music to get your creative juices flowing.

Stock Music Microphone

1) Create a Video Game Soundtrack. From first person shooters to RPG, you can use action tracks and cinematic fantasy cuts to create a new world of interaction.

2) Energize a Corporate Video or Industrial Film. Whether it’s about wine and cheese, or duct tape, royalty free music and audio can add a new layer of interest and energy to corporate videos and promotional or training material.

3) Spice up a Website with Background Music. The perfect music track, whether it’s playing via HTML 5 audio or Flash, can drastically change the user experience on any website. Just make sure you give the user an option to adjust the volume.

4) Spread the Love with E-Greeting Cards. Pick out a romantic piece of music and combine it with a cute animation, and you’ll be set for any holiday requiring cards or flowers. The right music cut will take a great greeting card to tear-producing (in a good way).

5) Add Intrigue and Drama with an Audio Book Narration Bed. A common use for stock audio is creating an additional dramatic layer beneath audiobook narrations. Music helps tell a story, and royalty free music is an affordable way to just that in your next book project.

There are ton’s of other applications out there for using music as part of a multimedia project. So let us know — how do you use royalty free music in a unique way?

Taking Lightboxes to the Power of Awesome

We just added lightboxes to the site this week, a feature that has been sorely needed for quite some time now. While we finish tweaking and updating our pages with the new code, I thought I’d share some of the cool features of the Productiontrax.com Lightbox system, and how it can help you with your projects — whether you’re a customer or a contributor.

1. Save your favorites. Lightboxes help you organize your favorite royalty free items on Productiontrax into folders, projects, or whatever system works for you. You need to register to create a lightbox account first, and then just click “Create New Lightbox” to start making lightboxes. You can have different lightboxes for different purposes, ie: a Short Film Lightbox for your upcoming short, or a Client Preview Lightbox, for example. Then, to add a file to your lightboxes, just click on the little lightbulb next to any file listing on PT.

2. Custom Settings. On our lightboxes, you can set them to be private or public. A private lightbox requires a password to access, whereas a public lightbox can be seen without any password. You can also elect to hide the prices on any lightbox, which is handy for showing preview choices to your clients.

3. Embeddable in iFrames. That’s right. One of the most powerful features of our lightbox is that you can embed them in any website that supports iFrams — your personal site, your businesses’ client preview systems, your Facebook Pages. By utilizing a combination of embedding, public, and hide prices, you can create a seamless selection tool for your clients (approval/selection features coming soon). Or, if you show prices, you can offer royalty free music, sound effects, footage, or photos for sale right on your website, complete with streaming previews — very handy if you are a contributor or looking to expand your offerings.

4. Share with your friends, clients, and colleagues. We provide you with a custom URL for every lightbox, which you can share with your friends to make selecting your favorite items easier for groups and long-distance productions. A quick email feature is on its way.

Productiontrax.com Launches New Site Design Expanding to Online Images and Video

January 16, 2008 – For Immediate Release

Productiontrax.com Launches New Site Design Expanding to Online Images and Video

Scottsdale, Arizona — January 16, 2008 — Productiontrax.com, a leader in online distribution and licensing of high-quality royalty free music and sound effects, launched a new site design this week. A trusted stock media library for the past 4 years, Productiontrax.com already has 30,000 files of music and sound effects. The new site design will add thousands of stock images and footage clips. The new Productiontrax.com has a social-networking feel in which artists are better able to showcase their work with personalized profiles and comments, as well as a more user-friendly interface for customers, and a new server for faster delivery with the ability to host more traffic.

“Our contributors are the reason for our growth and success over the past few years,” said David Negron, Productiontrax.com founder and CEO. “We wanted to give them the means by which to promote their work. Our goal is to bring independent work to the masses, and this new design was the logical next step.”

Productiontrax.com is known internationally and with its growing success is looking for new member submissions. Unlike its competitors, Productiontrax.com is the only library of its kind to allow member artists complete control of their work and the freedom set their own prices.

Issues of licensing and copyright infringement are becoming more prevalent online as personal computing and networking technology grows. Users are seemingly unaware that such laws exist, causing problems when they release their project to the public. Productiontrax.com provides users with information concerning licensing and allows users to purchase royalty free music, sound effects, stock photos and video clips at reasonable prices.

About Productiontrax.com
Productiontrax, www.productiontrax.com, is owned and maintained by One Light Music Productions, Inc. A leader in online distribution and licensing, Productiontrax.com enables buyers to license superior-quality royalty free music, sound effects, stock photos and footage clips for use in film, television, and interactive media on an on-demand basis. As an innovator in online stock media, Productiontrax.com is the first site to allow creators of royalty free production music, sound effects, stock images and video to take an active role in licensing their work to the public. Productiontrax.com is dedicated to providing its customers with great, yet affordable resources for multimedia productions. The music and images are 100% original, with new composers, new tracks and new images added everyday. Productiontrax.com is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Productiontrax.com Expands Browse Options for Royalty Free Music and Sound Effects

Productiontrax.com, a leading database of downloadable royalty free music and sound effects, has added several additional music genres and categories to help site visitors find royalty free music faster and easier. Among the additions are a new Blues subcategory within the Jazz main-category, an entire section devoted to electronic music, including styles of Dance, Ambient, Trance, and Techno.

Productiontrax also just made finding royalty free sound effects on its site even easier, dividing sfx tracks into sound specific categories, including Machine sounds, Transportation sound effects (boats, trains, planes, cars), Musical Instrument sounds, People sounds (including crowds, ambiences, laughing, and talking sounds), as well as Nature sounds (including rain, thunder, ocean sounds, waves, and animals – who doesn’t love a good monkey sound effect?), and general ambience and noise.

Visitors will find that their search for sounds will be smoother and faster than before, as the site can quickly narrow the scope of relevant music and sound effects tracks down to as little as 3 possible tracks instead of 300 tracks.

As always, visitors to Productiontrax.com can search and browse sounds by category, instrumentation, emotional content, suggested film genres and more.