Epidemic Sound review (all the nitpicky pros and cons)

Epidemic Sound review (all the nitpicky pros and cons)

I interrupt the regularly scheduled trip reports to bring you this very special review of Epidemic Sound. Although this review is aimed squarely at my fellow AvGeeks who are in need of high-quality music for their aviation videos, it’s important to know that it’s a music service loved by creators (of all niches) around the world.

What is Epidemic Sound?

Back when I was just getting serious about video production, I discovered a company out of the Netherlands called Epidemic Sound. It’s a subscription-based music service built specifically for content creators (YouTube, Tik Tok, Instagram, etc), and well, it’s glorious. Epidemic Sound has one of the largest audio libraries anywhere on the Internet (35,000 tracks at the time of this writing) and for one small monthly fee ($15), individual creators like me have access to all of it. Unlimited access.

epidemic sound homepage
The end-all-be-all for really awesome travel video music: Epidemic Sound.
Amazing for YouTubers!
Epidemic Sound
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The pros and cons of being an Epidemic Sound subscriber

I’ve been using this service for a few years now (my YouTube channel can be found here) and I’ve got quite a bit to say about the experience of being a subscriber. Without dragging this out longer than it needs to be, let’s just jump in with a brutally honest “pros and cons” list highlighting everything you’d want to know to help you determine if Epidemic Sound is a right fit for you.

Pro: The eclectic library

As I just mentioned, their library of quality music is one of the best and most extensive on the Internet. Best of all, it covers nearly any genre you can think of. From classical to trap to Muzak, It’s not difficult to find just the right piece to accentuate all of your amazing travel footage.

epidemic sound genres
Just a small example of all of the genres in the Epidemic Sound library. Who double-dog-dares me to add some “Circus & Funfair” tracks to my next video?

The eclectic library of Epidemic Sound music has even broadened my horizons a little bit – which says a lot considering how stubborn I can be sometimes. When I first started making videos, the only thing that felt right to me was to play high-energy dance music over top of everything. Like a total newb, I was oblivious to how annoying that was. Did you know that most of the music for SANspotter videos these days is classified as 2010‘s pop and folk?

Pro: The extensive search tools

Let’s say you’re putting together the most incredible United Airlines CRJ-200 review ever, and you need to start it with angry high-energy metal as a way to amplify your anger for having to take such a poopy flight. But as the video draws to a close, you need to bring things down a bit and end it on a weepy and sad vibe that’ll have your viewers crying along with you for having had to endure yet another UA CRJ-200.

With the search functionality built into the Epidemic Sound website, you can search not only for things like “angry” and “sad”, but you can also attach that search to specific genres of music – and various tempos as well. It’s really powerful stuff. As you can imagine, it never takes long to find just the right piece of music for your emotional trip report videos.

epidemic sound search
Ah yes…an angry vibe (without vocals) will come in real handy for my next Spirit Airlines review.

Pro: The library is growing daily with high quality music

An active and growing music library is a really good thing if you’re cranking out a lot of videos and you want to keep your content fresh and unique from upload to upload.

epidemic sound latest tracks
Epidemic Sound “Latest Tracks” (updated weekly). Always nice to see some Pinch Punch with more dreamy beats!

I normally produce one SANspotter video every week, and each one contains 3 to 4 different tracks. Lately I’ve been having pretty good luck finding all the music I need from with in the “Latest Tracks” section. That’s an incredible timesaver for me, because I don’t have to go rummaging through the entire website trying to find something that I haven’t heard before.

Pro: The ability to download only the portions of each track that you need

This is a biggie, especially for anal-retentive people like me who don’t want to use vocal tracks in their videos.

epidemic sound download partial tracks
Quite possibly the best feature of Epidemic Sound: the ability to download only the parts of the tracks you need! This is incredibly useful for stripping out mushy “love song” lyrics from otherwise dope music. There will be no love songs in any SANspotter video, I can promise you that.

Epidemic Sound gives subscribers the ability to pick apart every track available, and to strip it down to extract only the portions (stems) they need. And because I don’t want to use vocal tracks in my videos, it’s easy for me to strip that portion out of any song that I find.

Pro: The niche-related curated playlists and themes are a huge timesaver

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I’ve never been a big fan of anything “curated” because more often than not I find computer software algorithms to be clumsy and…well…kind of dumb. The good news is that the curated playlists and themes on Epidemic Sound are put together by humans who actually understand what kind of music is good for each type of use.

epidemic sound playlists and themes
Fact: Epidemic Sound curated playlists and themes make me sound cooler in my videos than I actually am in real life.

Need some happy music for your upbeat daily vlog? Or how about sad violin music for a very depressing United CRJ-200 trip report? Epidemic Sound has got you covered. I’ve found these albums to be extremely useful when in a time crunch and I don’t have time to sit and search for music. You’ll also be happy to know that there are a lot of really good curated albums for travel videos as well, which are (for the most part) spot-on in terms of mood and energy level fit for exploration and adventure.

Con: There are signs of growing pains

After spending just a few hours poking around Epidemic Sound for the first time, it was clear to me that their quality standards were much lower in years past. This means that you’re going to have to wade through some cheap-sounding “midi” music in your regular searches. You know – the kind that you created yourself as a child when Mom and Dad bought you that cheap keyboard way back in 1987.

Con: Overlapping categories

Every now and then I get the feeling that there are too many “mood” categories, which results in some overlap in my searches. I would expect to see different results when clicking on “hopefull” than I would when choosing “happy”, but a lot of times it’s just the same music being shown to me over and over. I definitely think it would be worth them spending some time cleaning that up.

Conclusion

If you’re a YouTuber in search of quality music that is going to help you reach the big time, look no further than Epidemic Sound. This is a company that has been around for years, and they are passionate about what they do and the service they provide. I’ve found support to be top notch, and every question I’ve ever had via email or Twitter has been answered within 12 hours.

You should also feel comfortable knowing that you will not receive copyright strikes from YouTube if you use Epidemic Sound for a while and then decide not to continue with the service. As long as you’re a subscriber when you post the video, you’ll have rights to that music forever – whether or not you continue as an Epidemic Sound subscriber or not.

As I said, I’ve been an Epidemic Sound user for just over a year now and I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have about the service. Just let me know!

Comments (10)

  1. Tyson

    November 1, 2019
    • SANspotter

      November 1, 2019
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    December 18, 2019
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      December 18, 2019
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    April 21, 2020
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    July 29, 2020
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    August 24, 2020
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      August 24, 2020
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    November 5, 2020
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      November 5, 2020

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