Using our free sound effects for relaxation videos and if it’s okay seems to be one of the most common questions we get asked. Maybe it’s because more and more of us are feeling the stress of the pandemic or our increasingly stressful lives are leading us to find ways to wind down and de-stress. With more and more relaxation videos popping up on YouTube and as demand grows for nature and calming sounds, I wanted to write a short article about how you can and should use our sound effects for this purpose.
Can our sounds be used for relaxation videos?
The short answer is yes, you can. However there are a few things you must adhere to when you do. Our License Agreement states “Sound effects must be embedded or synchronized with your production and not be the primary value of your project”. But what does this mean?
Our sound effects (and music) are supplied on the basis that it is used to enhance your work and add value. A great example of this done the right way is a filmmaker who shot a scene in a city. In post production, they now need to layer up sounds to make the city sound like a city. So they might add traffic sounds, distant dogs barking, car horns, people walking etc. It’s quite obvious that the primary value of the filmmakers work is the movie they are shooting, not the sounds they’re adding in to enhance the scene.
Another example is a game developer who has created a fantastic interactive game and now they need all the action sounds such as jumping, collecting items, bonus awards and level ups. Again, our sounds are enhancing the game and are not the primary value.
One last example… A graphic artist who has created an abstract animation and now needs to bring it to life with atmospheric drones and other audio effects. Their hard work designing and creating the visual effects are the primary value here, not our sounds.
Relaxation videos, especially some we see on YouTube using our sounds are often someone just looping a single file (like rain, wind or other nature sounds) continuously without adding any value themselves. In this case, it’s clear that the primary value of the video is our sound effects, because the creator hasn’t added any artistic creativity to the work themselves, but they’re simply using our sound, looped continuously to gain views and subscribers. While it’s a grey area and a thin line to tread, without adding any other elements, it’s clear our audio is the primary value of the work.
However, let’s say the relaxation video contains music composed by the creator, or SFX they’ve recorded themselves and they need to enhance that with a few extra from ZapSplat, then their work is the focus of the video and our sounds are simply enhancing it. In this case, it’s fine.
So, hopefully this clears things up. If you’re a musician who has composed music and you need to enhance your music with sound effects, perfectly fine. If you’ve filmed a relaxing scene and need sound and music to enhance it, also fine. Maybe your videos are guided meditation and the dialog is the focus of your video, again using audio from ZapSplat as a background to this is again perfectly fine.
If you’re simply looping a sound from our library continuously and adding no artistic or creative value yourself, then typically, the answer is that goes against our License and is not something you can do.
If you have any questions about this please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We are a friendly bunch here and are more than happy to help you in any way we can.