How to source music for your podcast

Music can really help take your podcast to the next level and enhance the listening experience, whether you’re using it to intro or theme your show, or incorporating stings or sounds effects.

Content is Queen’s studio and production manager Amber has done an absolutely killer job on the new sound design for season 4 of Wanna Be. Read on for her tips on how to choose and source music for your podcast.

1. Do your research

Select a ‘music library’ based on your need, eg. full tracks, stings, sound effects. Then you’ll need to consider how much you can afford and how long the project will last. Great starting points include Epidemic Sound and Soundstripe.

2. Think broadly

When choosing theme music for your podcast, don’t limit yourself to just one genre. Listen to a range of styles and see which one compliments your project the best.

3. Don’t be afraid to edit

If you find a great piece of music but some elements are not to your liking, see if you can access the stems. This provides a breakdown of the music and the instruments which you can pick and choose to make your own unique mix.

4. Check your license

If you’ve chosen music from anywhere on the internet or from a library without paying for it, you’ll need to check the license. If in any doubt, stop using that track. Use the ‘FreeSound’ website to learn about licensing and what works for your project.

5. Outsource

If you want a unique sound bed for your podcast, why not reach out to sound designers or maybe even a musician that you know or follow? You can then commission them to create an original track for your project.

For a deeper dive into sound design, we’ve got a 3-part series of masterclasses with award-winning audio artist Axel Kacoutié available when you sign up for community membership. Find out more here