Frequently Asked Questions
- How does the Customer Satisfaction Guarantee work?
If you can't use the sound / music that you have licensed from us, please contact us about this within 30 days of your purchase. We will first try to help you with the problem that's causing you not to be able to use it. If we are unable to fix your problem, we will ask you to confirm in writing (by email) that you have deleted the sound/music from your computer(s) and that you weren't able to use it, and a short explanation of the reason. We will then refund your money in full.
Our guarantee is: Customer satisfaction, or money returned.
- How do I place an order / license a track from this site?
- Go to our site www.Shockwave-Sound.com and either Sign In or Create a user account.
- Once you're logged in, find the track you want to license by using the "quick search" box in the top left corner, or the other music browsing buttons below the quick-search box.
- Once you find the track you want, be sure to hit the little "play" button so you are sure this is the right track. If you want to know more details about the track, click on the actual track title. When you know you want to license this track, click on the little "shopping cart" icon next to the track/version you wish to license.
- The next page asks you which License Type you wish to buy. Click the right options here, and then scroll down all the way to the bottom of this page, and click the "Add to Cart" button. Now, the track is in your shopping cart, with the license type that you selected.
- Repeat 1-3 above for any additional music tracks that you also wish to license.
- Now click on "View cart" or "Checkout" on the right-hand side of our site. You will now come to a page where you input your name, company name, email address and other information.
- Also on this page, you need to choose between three different payment gateways: Paypal, Worldpay or Stripe. These are just three different companies that we use to take payment on our behalf. Each of them accept all major credit cards. So choose one of them, tick the mark to confirm you have understood and accepted the Terms and Conditions, and then click the PROCEED button.
- Now you will be taken to the web page for whichever payment company you selected. You are now on Paypal, Worldpay or 2CO. You provide your credit card information only to that company. We at Shockwave-Sound.com don't get to see your credit card number.
- Once you have paid, the payment company (Paypal / Worldpay / Stripe) sends an "immediate signal" back to our web server, and now our web server automatically finalizes the order, and sets it's status to "Paid". Our site automatically sends out an email to the email-address that you input in point 5. above, and that email contains a link to the "Pickup page" (download page) for this order. That's the page from which you download the music, and the license document.
- Go to our site www.Shockwave-Sound.com and either Sign In or Create a user account.
- After I place an order, how long does it take to get a download link?
There is no waiting time to receive your download. When you have paid, click "Return to Lynne Publishing" and then click "Proceed to your product download page". You are then taken directly to the page where you can download your product and your official Invoice and Music License Certificate.
Additionally, an email is automatically sent out to you. This email has the subject: "Your Shockwave-Sound Order Is Ready" and it contains a link to your product download page, so you can go back to that page later to re-download your product any time you want. This email is sent out immediately on payment completion. You should receive it within 1 minute of having finished your payment process online -- but please wait 30 minutes before asking for help, because sometimes email can be delayed by high volumes of net traffic.
Can't find your download? If you got lost along the way and you cannot find the email that we sent to you with the download link, you can still locate your download links using the My Orders page.
- I made an order, but I didn't get a download link
You don't actually really need to receive the email with a link to the download page for the order you just placed.
You can just go to our site, make sure you are signed in, and then click on "My orders" on the menu on the left-hand side of the page. That will take you to a list of orders you've placed on our site. From there, click on the order number to get to the download page for that order.
- I downloaded the music OK, but now I can't find it on my computer.
We do not decide where on your computer a downloaded file will end up. This is a setting that is made on your computer and it is outside of our control. If you can't find a file after you've downloaded it, look in your web browser's "Settings", "Tools" or "Options" pages and look for a setting that determines where downloaded files will be stored.
In FireFox, click on the "Tools" menu and select "Options" from that menu. Find the "General" screen and there is a setting there for "Downloads"; e.g. where to store downloaded files, whether to ask for location each time or just save them to a pre-determined folder.
In Google Chrome, click on the wrench tool in the top right-hand corner of the browser, and choose "Options" from that menu. Then choose "Under the hood" in the menu on the left-hand side, and on that page you will find "Downloads - Download settings" where you can see and change the folder for downloaded files.
In Internet Explorer (v.8), there is no actual screen or setting but you can view or change the default download directory for downloaded files by editing the Windows registry as per the instructions given on this page. Also, files downloaded with Internet Explorer usually end up in the "Temporary Internet Files" folder which can be found under C:\Documents and Settings\(Your name)\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files
- I just want to buy a track so I can listen to it, and I don't want to pay $30 for that!
Shockwave-Sound.com is a Music Licensing business. We are in the business of licensing music for commercial and in-public use. When you buy our music, you get rights with it, allowing you to use the music in things like online videos, TV and radio broadcasting, games, apps and more. We are not in the business of selling music to people just for listening to it. Music just for personal listening can be obtained from Spotify, Amazon.com, YouTube Music and many other such places.
Licenses and License Terms
- Will I get a real Music License Certificate and Invoice with my purchase?
Yes. All our customers get real official Music License Certificate documents, which is also an official tax receipt. This is created automatically by our shopping cart system and is available to download from the order download page (the same page where you download the music or sound effects you purchased).
- What exactly is "royalty-free" music?
Put very simply, Royalty Free Music is a term used to describe music that you can use as much as you want, after having paid one single license fee.
With traditional music licensing ("not royalty free"), a film- or media producer either had to "hire" music library per-month or per-year, and/or pay a fee for every minute, second, or every cue that the music was used in a production. Typically, a producer would pay an annual fee to have access to a music library on CD's, and whenever they made a programme or a project of some sort, they would then keep track of exactly how many seconds the music was used in the project, and then pay an additional fee (a "needle-drop" fee) in addition to the annual fee. If they used the same music more than one place in the programme, they would have to pay a needle-drop fee for each one. Additionally, they might then have to go and obtain a synchronization license as well, for the right to combine the music with the visuals. And on top of that, or as an alternative, they might also have to pay a royalty to the music library, based on the amount earned, or copies sold, of the product in which the music was used. Administratively, it could be a bit of a headache.
"Royalty-Free music" was first introduced in the 1980's, and the concept is that a producer pays a one-time license fee for the rights to use the music, and that's it. The producer is then free to use the music as much as needed, drop it into a production in several places without having to keep track of that, and without paying any further fees. The same music could even be used for several different programmes (say, for the intro-sequence of a 10-part series), without any extra payments. This would normally work out both cheaper and a lot easier to administer than the traditional music licensing system.
It's important to remember that "royalty free music" does not mean that the music is "copyright free" or that anybody can do anything with it. There are still rights, copyright, legal rights and limitations as to what you are allowed to do with the music. Somebody still owns the rights to the music. It just means that the licensing of that music is done as a one-time, up-front payment, rather than incremental earnings made later, as a result of sales or performances.
When you buy a piece of music from us, your purchase gives you a license to use the music in a variety of different projects (See License Terms for details).
Whenever music is used in a broadcast or public performance (such as a TV documentary, TV show, radio show, advertisement, etc.), or exported for the purpose of being broadcast abroad, the producer needs to fill in cue-sheets detailing the music used in the program. This ensures proper distribution of so-called Performance Royalties which is not an extra cost, but is paid by broadcasting corporations as a set annual fee. The cue-sheets simply ensures the right distribution of money already paid, and causes neither the producer nor the broadcaster any additional cost.
- If I buy a music track from you, can I use it for *anything* I want?
As with any other music library, there are limits to what you can and cannot do with our music. Most importantly, you can't trade in the music itself. You can't put the track on a music CD and sell it as a music product, even if you add vocals or instruments to it.
For more detailed information about what exactly you can do with our royalty-free music tracks and music loops, please see the License page.
- I'm a musician and I'd like to use your tracks/loops within my own music productions. Can I do that?
No. Our music tracks and music loops are not meant for music producers to use within their own compositions.
What you need is a Sample Library, ACID loops, Sample CD, or drum loops that are made for music producers.
That’s not what we sell. At Shockwave-Sound.com we sell music that is already finished, complete. It’s not for musicians. Our products are for television producers, film makers, web site designers and multimedia designers who need finished music to use within their TV programs, films, web sites, Apps and Games, and multimedia displays.
In fact, it is illegal to use our music or music loops within any kind of music creation / composition. Ref. License, "You may not create derivative works". You may also want to see this blog post which explains why we do not let our music be used as a basis for music composition or song writing.
- Could a music track that I license from you be used by a different company too?
The licenses that we sell from our website are all Non-exclusive. So yes, it is possible that the track you are interested in has been used by a different company, and we would still have the same song available on our website now. We don't remove a song from our catalogue after it has been used by one client. If we did that, we'd have to charge much, much more for a license. For the price that we charge for a license, we rely on being able to sell/license the same track to many different clients.
Having said that, keep in mind that we have thousands and thousands of different tracks in our catalogue, our clients are from all over the world, and the projects that we license our music to ranges across many different areas and platforms, such as Mobile apps and games, Facebook games, Audio books, YouTube videos, installations and live applications, in-store music and telephone on-hold music, video games, arcade machines and slot games, Podcasts, TV underscores / background music, TV- and radio commercials, special interest DVD discs, and much more. So whilst it is possible that the track you are interested in has been used in a similar market, for the same audience, in the same country, it is extremely unlikely.
- Can I use your music on YouTube, Google Video, Vimeo and other similar video hosting sites?
As long as you have purchased a license to the track you are using, yes you may. Your purchase with us includes a License to use that track in your YouTube videos - including monetized videos / commercial rights.
If you have not purchased a license to the track you are using, you may not use our music on YouTube, Vimeo or other similar video sites.
- Can I use the music in multiple videos?
Yes, you can use the music in multiple videos.
Under the Standard License agreement, you may use the music only on one YouTube Channel (though in multiple videos on that channel).
To use the music on multiple YouTube Channels, you would need to buy the music with the Extended License option.
- I paid for a track, and still got a "copyright claim" on my YouTube video
Copyright claims on YouTube are completely automated. YouTube's computer systems automatically recognized the music in your video, by using "audio fingerprint" technology. YouTube's automated systems do not know that you have bought a license, so that's why you're getting the "copyright claim". The copyright notice can easily be removed by using the "Dispute" feature on the YouTube copyright notice page to provide documentation that you've purchased a license to use the music in your video. Usually within 24 hours, the copyright notice on your video will be removed.
In an ideal world there would be a way to provide License information at the time when you upload your video to YouTube, but so far that is not the case. So the process is: (1) You upload the video -- (2) YouTube automatically finds our music in it and generates a "copyright claim" -- (3) You use the Dispute link on the YouTube page to provide documentation that you have licensed the music -- (4) The copyright claim is removed from your video. It's a little bit of a hassle, but it's not dramatic.
If you still have trouble with this, fill in our contact form and let us know (A) the link/URL to your video, (B) details of your license order, such as order number or customer name so that we may find the order, (C) information from the copyright notice screen on YouTube which displays the track title being found in your video, the artist and the company claiming administration of the track. We will help you to look into the matter, possibly contact the artist to get them to help as well. If you are a paying customer, we will definitely get the copyright notice removed from your video(s).
- I want to add my voice over your music, to use as a Podcast intro. Can I do that?
Yes, you can do that, no problem.
Some people are confused over the part of our License Terms that say:
"2. To not create derivative works of our Tracks: This means that you cannot buy our Tracks, add your own voice, instruments or sounds, and then treat that as your own music. What you are doing then is to create new music that is partially built on our music, i.e. a “derivative work,” and this is not allowed under ANY license type."
What we mean is that you may not based on our music. So if you are a rapper or singer, you can't take our music, over our music, and then try to release that music as . Or indeed, to play instruments over the top of our music and then treat that as "your music". This is what is called "creating a derivative work", you are making music that's really based on our music, just with your own voice or instruments over the top. And trying to pass that off as "your music". That's what we don't allow.
Using our music behind their own spoken words in things like Podcasts and instructional videos is fine - we don't have a problem with this at all.
- Do you offer a Subscription model?
Although we don't have links to buy a Subscription type model on our site, we do have the means to set up this, and we sometimes do this as a custom-made agreement with some customers. This is discussed case-by-case with each customer and we will do our best to find a solution that works for you, and is fair for us and our musicians. Contact us to discuss.
- Why do I have to pay to use classical music - if the composer is dead, isn't the music copyright free?
There are always two copyrights in a music recording: One in the composition, and one in the recording.
When a composer has been dead for 75 years, the copyright in the composition expires. After that, anybody can make their own arrangement and recording of that music, without paying anybody any royalties.
If you hire an orchestra and record your own recording of a piece of music by Beethoven, then you get the copyright in that recording. Other people cannot take your recording and use it without your permission.
We have invested a large amount of time and money to arrange our own versions of classical music pieces. Now, we own the copyright in the recordings that we created.
If you sit down with a piano and play “Für Elise” by Beethoven, and you record the sound into a tape recorder, then you own the copyright in that recording. Even though the actual composition is copyright free.
For a little more insight on this subject, you may want to read this article.
- What are "PRO Tracks" and "Non-PRO Tracks"?
PRO-tracks means that the music composer and/or publisher is a member of a Performance Rights Organization (PRO). These tracks are royalty-free for nearly all types of use without the need for any further licensing but, in some circumstances, these tracks may require additional licensing from the PRO in your country. Examples of this would be to use the music at a trade show in Germany or to play the music in a shop in some countries (not all countries). TV/Radio broadcasting requires that you file a cue-sheet when this music is broadcast, but this does not cause any additional costs or additional licensing required, as the broadcaster already has a PRO license.
Most "royalty free music" websites don't even tell you when a composer/publisher is a PRO member, because it's only in exceptional circumstances that such membership actually causes additional licensing requirements.
Non-PRO means that the composer/publisher is not a member of any kind of Performance Rights Organization. This music is completely royalty-free for all uses covered by our license.
To read more about this, please see our article General Royalty-Free vs Completely Royalty-Free.
- If I have bought the Standard Licence for a track, and used the track in a video, can I post the video on both my Youtube and my Facebook account?
Yes, you can.
Listening to previews and downloading previews
- Can I download a preview file (a "temp" file) and try it out in my project?
Yes, you can. When you are browsing music tracks on our site, you can see a little icon that looks like this:
Click it, and an MP3 file will be downloaded to your computer. This MP3 file has an occasional voice saying "Shockwave-Sound... Preview..." to remind you that this file may not be used in any final release product, or used in any form of distribution, free or paid.
- Can I download preview files without the 'preview' voiceover?
We have a special area of our website where it is possible to download non-watermarked preview files, to test the music in a project without the 'preview' or 'shockwave-sound.com' voiceovers. Access to this area is limited to: Large volume customers / Long standing repeat customers / High profile, large companies / Other companies that we feel it is in our interest to grant that level of trust. All downloads of non-watermarked preview files are registered by your login and IP-address. If you wish to apply for access to this area, please follow this link.
Technical issues and file formats
- Should I choose the MP3 or the WAV version?
What's the difference between WAV files and MP3 files?
WAV files are uncompromised and uncompressed, original master recordings. They are in true broadcast quality.
MP3 files have been compressed to make the files smaller, thus faster to download. MP3 compression uses a clever technology which discards some information from the audio file - audio which is deemed to be inaudible to the human ear. So in making the file much smaller, some audio signal has been discarded, but we will say this: Our MP3 files are made to a very high standard, and we have yet to hear from anybody who has ever been able to actually hear the difference between our MP3 files and the original master WAV file.
To sum up: WAV files are very large files that offer the very best sound quality, and can easily be converted to AIFF format. MP3 files are much smaller files, and still sound great.
The "music loops" are only available in WAV format, not MP3. This is because of the very nature of the MP3 file format. When a sound is stored in MP3 format, there is always a tiny bit of silence at the beginning and end of the sound, and this causes the sound not to loop seamlessly. If you try to loop a sound file that has been saved in MP3 format, you'll hear a short "hiccup" at the loop point. This is why we offer the music loops in WAV format only. The WAV music loops will sound completely seamless at the loop point, without any "skip" or pause at all. To learn more about music loops, please read "What are music loops and how do they work?"
- What are the "Music Loops" and how do they work?
A "music loop" is a short piece of music that can be played over and over again in a "loop" so it sounds like a never ending music track.
A music loop is typically 10-40 seconds long. When it reaches the end, it instantly jumps back to the beginning and starts playing again. The start- and end-points of the loop have been cleverly edited to make it sound like it didn't "jump" back to the beginning at all, but simply continues to play.
Music loops are most commonly used for web sites or in Flash presentations -- which is why they are sometimes called Flash loops or web site loops. They are also often used in apps and games.
On a web site, you want visitors to be able to see and hear the site as quickly as possible after they arrive. You don't want to have to send too much data to the visitor before he/she can experience your site, because you don't want your visitor to have to wait for large amounts of data to transfer to their computer. Because the music loop contains only enough data for a few seconds worth of music, there isn't a lot of data that has to be sent to your visitor before he/she can hear it. You can just send a few seconds worth of music, and that's enough for the visitor to be able to listen to music for as long as he/she is on your site. That's why loops are often used on web sites.
If you are looking for music for media that's not going to be put on the internet, you're probably better off using the "full length version" of the music, rather than the loop. Although loops are great for web sites because they are so small, it can become a little monotenous to listen to the same 20 seconds of music over and over again. So if keeping the file sizes to a minimum isn't a real issue for you, then go for the "full length version" of the music, which will be more varied and have different sections and variations throughout.
- I bought a music loop, but it doesn't loop seamlessly. It kind of "hiccups" at the loop point. Why?
All our loops play completely seamlessly, without any stutter, jump, skip or hiccup at the loop point, if used correctly.
There are two things that can "ruin" a seamless loop, and cause it not to loop seamlessly during playback:
1) Converting the loop to MP3 format. A seamless loop cannot be stored in MP3 file format, because of a limitation in the file format itself. The MP3 file format always includes a tiny bit of silence at the beginning and end of a file. This is why we don't offer our customers to download loops in MP3 format, only in WAV format. As soon as you convert a loop to MP3 format, it starts to hiccup at the loop point. This is not a weakness of our loops, but of the actual nature of the MP3 file format. If you are using Flash, you should always import the WAV file into Flash, and then use Flash's built-in compression settings (File, Publish Settings) to compress the audio.
2) The other possible problem with a hiccuping loop is that the actual playback program isn't jumping right back to the beginning after reaching the end, without taking a little pause first. This is a well known problem with, for example, RealPlayer, Quicktime Player and Windows Media Player. If you ask these programs to play the sound in a loop, they do, but only in the sense that a CD-player does it -- i.e. there is a little pause while the program "re-locates" back to the beginning of the file. Again, this is not a weakness of the file, but of the playback method.
The best way to use a music loop is to import the WAV file (without converting it to MP3 first) into Flash, and then use Flash's built-in compression settings (found under File, Publish Settings) to compress the audio.
- What is the difference between the full-length versions, 60/30-seconds versions, and loops? Can the 30-second version loop?
We present most of our music in different cuts/lengths: Full length version, 60-secs version, 30-secs version, and "loops".
The full-length version: Typically plays for 2-8 minutes, and is quite simply the "whole" music piece. It begins, plays for a few minutes, and ends. If you play it with the loop setting ON, it will begin, play for a few minutes, end, wait a few seconds, and then begin again.
The 60-secs and 30-secs versions: These begin, play for 60/30 seconds, and end. If you play them with the loop setting ON, they will begin, play for 60/30 seconds, end, then wait a couple of seconds, and begin again.
The "loops" are typically 10-30 seconds long each. The beginning and end of the file is cut/trimmed in a clever way to make the end jump right back to the beginning in such a way that it sounds like it just keeps playing. If you play it with the loop setting ON, it will play for however long you want, or forever, until the viewer exits the page. Every time it reaches the end, it jumps immediately back to the beginning, and it does this without any skip or jump, it sounds like a never ending piece of music that just keeps playing.
The loops are practical for use on web sites and in mobile apps & games, because you are only actually dealing with a few seconds worth of music, there isn't that much data that has to be transferred to the viewer's web browser, and this helps to keep your site/game loading fast.
To learn more about music loops and how they work, see "What is a music loop and how does it work?".
- How big are your files? I need to know before I can put them on my web site.
Typically, a full music track in MP3 format is about 3-7 MB, and in WAV format maybe 30-70 MB, depending on the length of the music track. A "music loop" WAV file is maybe 2-4 MB, again, depending on the length.
However, we don't expect people to put it on their web site in full CD-quality. Most people will downgrade the sound quality and make the file much smaller before they put it on a web site.
Our clients use our music for a wide variety of purposes, from national advertising broadcasts (full CD/broadcast quality required), to looping background music on web sites (small files required). We give out the files in the highest possible sound quality, so that the customer can then downgrade the sound quality as required, and make the file smaller if he/she wants to.
The process is comparable with images. If we had sold royalty-free photos, we would have given the photos to our customers in full-size, maybe uncompressed 6000 x 4000 pixels, and the file would be very large. But we would not expect people to put it on their web site at this size. Instead, for customers who wanted to use the photo on a web site, we would expect them to reduce the picture down to maybe 320 x 200 pixels, thus massively reducing the file size. But they might still want to keep a copy of the full high-resolution version of the image, if they want to use it for something else (magazine print, etc.) later.
This is exactly what happens with our music as well. We give you the music in very high fidelity audio files, and they are large. If you want to use the music on a web site, it is likely that you will want to downgrade the fidelity, and thus the file size, first. (See below).
- How do I reduce the file sizes?
If you've got a music file in WAV format or high definition MP3 format, you may want to consider "compressing" the sound file, to make the file smaller before you put it up on your website. This to make your website load faster and for the users / visitors of your site not to have to wait for a long time before the audio starts playing, or to experience a stuttering or glitchy sound stream, if their internet connection is not able to stream the high speed data stream required for WAV or high definition MP3 audio.
To reduce the size & bandwidth of a WAV or MP3 file, the best way to do that is to compress it down to a small size MP3 audio file, at a cost of audio quality / fidelity. We recommend using a tool called dBPowerAmp to achieve this. With this tool you can convert a WAV file or an MP3 file into an MP3 file with lower bandwidth / resolution (for example, 80 kbps) which can give you a good trade-off between sound quality and efficient / user friendly file size and streaming bandwidth.
- What's the difference between normal CD-quality and High Definition 24-bit files?
Most of our music and sound effects are now being made available in High Definition, 24-bit sound files. However, some of our back catalog is still only available in regular CD-quality (16-bit, 44.1-khz).
When searching and browsing for music / sound-FX on this site, you'll get more search results by including both HD/24-bit files and regular CD-quality files in your search. But if you're working on something that really needs 24-bit audio fidelity, you may want to limit your search to only 24-bit / HD files.
A purchase of 24-bit/HD file also includes a file that is downgraded to regular CD-quality / 16-bit, 44.1-khz. You download a .zip-file that contains both the High Definition 24-bit file, and the normal CD-quality 16-bit file.
If you want to learn more about our High Definition 24-bit royalty free music and royalty free sound effect files, please see this article.
Other - misc
- I heard a music track on the radio. Do you have it?
No. We don't sell music tracks by "popular" artists such as John Mellencamp, Dollie Parton, 50 Cent or any other artist or song you may have heard on the radio. All our music was composed by our on-staff composers and producers.
If you want to try to license the use of a popular music track, one good place to start your quest would probably be at the Harry Fox Agency, where they at least should be able to get you started.
When you sign up for a user account with us, you are asked to provide the information we need to fulfil any orders you place on our site.
We never share your information with any third party. Only Shockwave-Sound.com staff will have access to the data.
The data will be retained on our server until such time as you as a user ask to have it deleted.
You have the right to be forgotten. Should you wish to have your user account deleted, please contact us to request this, and we will promptly delete your user account from our database.
If your user account is deleted, your information will still be stored as part of customer data on any orders you have placed with us, because the order history is not deleted even if we delete a user account. Should you wish to have the information about your past orders also deleted, please specify this in writing, and in this case, we will also delete the customer information from any and all orders you have placed on our site. Such action will completely eradicate any trace of information about you or your purchase history on our site, so it will be impossible for you to re-download your past orders, invoices, license documents, or to obtain from us any proof that a license purchase ever took place.
Being contacted by Shockwave-Sound: We send out newsletters a few times per year (no more than once per month) with major new releases, announcements and special offers. If you do not wish to receive such newsletters, please log into your Shockwave-Sound user account, go to your Profile page, and switch off the option to receive newsletters. OR, simply contact us and tell us that you do not wish to receive updates or offers from us.
At Shockwave-Sound we never get to see any financial data such as credit card numbers. These are gathered and processed by our e-commerce partners PayPal, 2Checkout or WorldPay. For information regarding their privacy policies, please refer to their websites.
If you wish to make a complaint about how your data is being stored or used, you may complain to the national data authority.