ifaq (Infrequently Asked Questions)

When I check to see what search terms brought viewers to my blog, I find some people would have been frustrated to get here and not find the answers they were looking for. Here are the answers:

What is the cause of the buzzing sound when recording through a microphone to a camcorder?

Maybe it is a loose connection. Another likely explanation is that you are listening using headphones while the audio output setting for your camcorder is set to AV. If this is the case, the buzzing is not recorded and is easy to get rid of. Most camcorders have a function for switching the output from AV to headphone.

Where can I find copyright-free instrumentals? Where can I find public domain music for advertising?

Almost nowhere. This is because with music recordings, the music and the recording are both copyrighted. What you are looking for is:

  • Royalty-free music (which means you pay for the music, quite often as part of a CD collection, but are allowed to use it when creating videos or for other purposes)
  • Music issued under a creative commons license that gives you the right to use the music under certain conditions
  • Music  for which the composer/performer gives you the right to use the music under certain conditions
  • Music which has been released into the public domain by the composer/performer (this almost never happens)
  • The music and the recording are so old that they are already in the public domain (this is also very rare—most recorded music is simply not old enough). Depending on the country, recordings enter the public domain 50, 70 or 95 years after the death of the copyright holder (in the US it is 95 years, but due to a legal technicality most sound recordings made in the US will not enter the public domain until 2065.

So basically, you only have the first three choices. Here are some links to help you:

Is YouTube the public domain? Are all videos posted on YouTube in the public domain?

Absolutely not. No No No. Negative. Nyet

How do I import an After Effects project in Premiere Pro?

There are two ways.I think the best way is to simply import the composition. In Premiere Pro, select File – Adobe Dynamic Link – Import After Effects Composition and then choose the After Effects file (and composition you are working with). I like this method because, you can change/edit the After Effects file at any time (just don’t rename it or move it) and the changes will appear automatically in Premiere Pro. The other method is to render the After Effects composition as an AVI file (Composition –  Add to Render Queue)

If the form(s) of documentation you listed in the previous problem is (are) missing, why will an assignment be plagiarized?

This is a research paper question. In research papers, the sources cited in the text must exactly match the ones listed in the references section; otherwise, it may appear that a student is making up the citations and/or references.

A Good Poem about a Fisherman?

My own poem is about a specific person and is a little negative. Try this one instead:
Trout Fishing by Eunice Lamberton

Give me a rod of the split bamboo,
a rainy day and a fly or two,
a mountain stream where the eddies play,
and mists hang low o’er the winding way,

Give me a haunt by the furling brook,
A hidden spot in a mossy nook,
No sound save hum of the drowsy bee,
or lone bird’s tap on the hollow tree.

The world may roll with it’s busy throng,
And phantom scenes on it’s way along,
It’s stocks may rise, or it’s stocks may fall,
Ah! What care I for it’s baubles all?

I cast my fly o’er the troubled rill,
Luring the beauties by magic skill,
With mind at rest and a heart at ease,
And drink delight at the balmy breeze.

A lusty trout to my glad surprise,
Speckled and bright on the crest arise,
Then splash and plunge in a dazzling whirl,
Hope springs anew as the wavelets curl.

Gracefully swinging from left to right,
Action so gentle- motion so slight,.
Tempting, enticing, on craft intent,
Till yielding tip by the game is bent

Drawing in slowly, then letting go
Under the ripples where mosses grow
Doubting my fortune, lost in a dream,
Blessing the land of forest and stream.

Rochester, N.Y.
December fifteenth, 1873

Can I remove or reduce voice vibrations (vocal vibrato) with Premiere Pro?

Removing vibrato is not a run-of-the-mill audio recording process, so  I think you would need specialty software or plug-ins for that. There is a discussion of the various methods and software available here:


It is basically a kind of auto-tune feature, so while you maybe be able to reduce or eliminate vibrato, you might end up with electronic-sounding artifacts. Generally, I am inclined to agree with the posters who suggest that it is much better to re-record the vocals than to heavily process them afterwards to fix any problems.

Preview & Download Background Music Tracks 1-23

Here are songs 1-23 in the Free Background Music series.
These songs can be used for free for non-commercial projects as long as they are properly credited (for my songs, add the credit “music by longzijun”, but for songs by other musicians who have submitted their work, you should follow the crediting guidelines on the download page for that particular song). You can refer the more detailed Terms of Use for more information.

Background Music Songs

For the download links to the MP3 and WAV files, select the page under the video.

23. Chillvolution (4:45, 90 bpm)

This is a pop & R&B influenced track. This laid-back jazzy hip hop groove is suitable for a wide range of uses. It is good for vlogs as the melody is barely noticeable and the music is quite upbeat and not distracting. If you keep the volume low in the mix, the song will simply bubble away on the background. However, it is not overly repetitive, so it can also stand alone as the only audio in a video. For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to:

Background Music 23 (Chillvolution)

22. As longs as a word remains unspoken (2:14, 65 bpm)

New age, classical piano. The tempo is actually 130 bpm, but the feeling is more like 65 bpm. This is a very gentle piano instrumental with a slightly East-Asian feel to the melody. For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to:

Background Music 22: As longs as a word remains unspoken

21. Rachmaninoff Prelude in E-flat Major, Op. 23, No. 6: Performed by Tong Chi-ling (2:57)

Crediting Information
Composer: Sergei Rachmaninoff (Date of Composition: 1901-1903); Performed by: Tong Chi-ling (2012); Producer: longzijun

This is a flowing piano work from the late Romantic period. The overall feel is gentle and meandering but there is a louder and more more dramatic parts as well. Please note that it is possible get false Content ID matches and copyright claims YouTube for original performances of public domain work (like this recording). The linked page contains information on what you should do if you get such a claim. For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to:

Background Music 21: Rachmaninoff Prelude in E-flat Major, Op. 23, No. 6

19. Transect (6:55, 120 bpm)

This is combination of techno, trance, rock & pop. With its mix of electronic and rock styles and quickfire bassline, it’s a good choice if you want to add energy to your video. The use of tremolo guitar, rock riffs and jazz-drum-breaks makes it stand out from typical techno songs. You can also download an alternate version without the guitar solo at the end. For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to:

Background Music 19 (Transect)

18. Rock Funk Beast (3:33, 95 bpm)

Rock. This is exactly what it says on the tin. A straightforward rock track with a touch of funk. This is a loop based composition. For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to:

Background Music 18 (Rock Funk Beast)

17. Elegy (4:53, 77 bpm)

This is a synth-piano ballad. This is a slow and slightly melancholy keyboard piece that was composed in memory of one of my former students who passed away suddenly a few weeks before. I didn’t want a really sad, heavy and depressing sound, however, as the girl was very sweet and cheerful. Therefore, the song was written in a major key and the arrangement is kept very light. For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to:

Background Music 17 (Elegy)

16. San (3:43, 112 bpm)

This is a kind of electro-pop song. Bubbling synth sounds make up the bass and harmony creating a light and upbeat sound that contrasts with a gentle melody. For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to:

Background Music 16 (San)

14. Arpology 2 (6:10, 71 bpm)

An ambient synthesizer-based piece. This is a very peaceful song without much going on it in, so it is suitable to use if you want the music to stay out of the way and remain completely in the background. For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to:

Background Music 14 (Arpology)

12. Dreams (10:40, 120 bpm)

A minimalist (piano, synthesizer, drums). This is the most popular song in the series so far. The minimalist style is suitable for lots of different styles of videos, and though it is over ten minutes long there is enough variation to maintain the listener’s interest. The main melody is influence by Balinese gamelan music, giving the song a rather unique sound. The first three or four minutes strictly follow a pentatonic scale. For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to:

Background Music Songs 10-12

Note: A rapper that goes by the name X’es Evol’i  has ripped off this song and is using an excerpt of it as an into in his online album. If you get a copyright claim, you should dispute it. The instructions are here: Disputing Content ID Matches on my Songs.

11. Safe Harbor (5:12, 80 bpm)

Minimalist (piano, cello, acoustic bass, harp, flute, French horn. clarinet, drums). In this song the piano lines propel the song forward, the wind instruments add colour and the cello adds a touch of melancholy. The drums come in around two-thirds of the way through the song to add a dramatic flourish.

When used in YouTube videos, this song sometimes gets false Content ID claims because the piano loops have been used in other songs. If you get a copyright claim, it is a false match and should be disputed. You can refer to this page for instructions: Disputing Copyright Claims on My Songs.

There are two versions: the main version has drums and the shorter version is without drums. Here is the shorter version.

For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to

Background Music Songs 10-12

10. Little Ape (3:00, 135 bpm)

Electronica/pop (synthesizer). This song has an retro lo-fi sound and, despite being in a minor key, it has a cheerful, upbeat (though slightly nostalgic feel. It was written to accompany lo-fi video shot with a toy camera. For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to:

Background Music Songs 10-12

9. GIS (3:00, 109 bpm)

Electronica, chill-out (synthesizer, drums, percussion, bass). This is a gentle but rhythmic song (that I am surprised is not used more often. The drums and bass provide an upbeat rhythm, that contrasts with the a wistful East Asian-style melody. For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to:

Background Music 09 (GIS)

5. Mime This (2:27, 140 bpm)

This is an alt-rock groove (electric guitar, bass, synthesizer, drums, percussion). It is perhaps best known as the theme song for a series of popular Dota 2 gameplay videos. For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to:

Background Music 05 (Mime This)

4b. Snacks and Watches – Short Version (4:42, 120 bpm)

This track is rhythmic but mellow (synthesizer, piano, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, acoustic bass. electric bass, Asian fiddle, drums, percussion). There are quite a lot of variations in this song. For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to:

Background Music 04 (Snacks & Watches)

4a. Snacks and Watches – Full Version (7:21, 120 bpm)

This is basically the same as the shorter version but has an extended intro with a clockwork-like feel and a longer coda at the end. For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to

Background Music 04 (Snacks & Watches)

3. Cool Jazz Vamp in D Minor (1:42 & 6:30, 120 bpm

A cool jazz vamp (120 bpm) with a walking bass line, gentle drums and congas, a sparse piano and simple guitar chords. The 16 bar progression repeats three times in the short version and nine times in the long version.
For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to

Background Music 03 (Cool Jazz Vamp)

2. Versatile (3:28, 120 bpm)

This is one of my liveliest songs. It is upbeat & lively with funk, jazz, pop and reggae influences. The instrumentation features electric guitar, horn section, synthesizer, drums and percussion. For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to

Background Music 02 (Versatile)

1. SD SFX-Chill (2:20, 100 bpm)

Minimalist, quite calm but with a beat. The instrumentation features piano, flute, English horn, Asian fiddle, drums and percussion). For MP3 and WAV file download links, go to

Background Music 01 (SFX-Chill)

Most of the above compositions were created as soundtracks for video projects, animation or computer games. Some songs (especially the earlier ones) were created mainly using loops while other songs are mainly played using a Korg MicroX or M50 syntheszier. Most of the songs were put together using Cakewalk’s Sonars Home Studio 7.

Return to Music

Three new free background music tracks

Three new free background music tracks (Songs 10-12) have been added to the Free Background Music Series

You can use these music recordings for any non-commercial projects that you are working on (e.g., video, animation, presentations, etc.); just provide  credit (music by longzijun). You can refer to the Terms of Use for more information.

Background Music 12: Dreams

Dreams (www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRtHl9n-G3o)

This is the most popular song in the series. It was originally composed for a video done by students in my school’s Creative Media Studio team. They interviewed people about their dreams in life (see their video: (www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbLf9QZ-njY). The song was mainly composed on a Korg M50 synthesizer and is influenced by Indonesian gamelan music and minimalist music.   

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