For today’s aspiring artist who are looking to invest in their craft. Buying beats online can be a bit overwhelming at first. Not knowing where to buy or how much you should spend are some of the most common concerns amongst artist. As well as understanding your buying options with terms like leasing rights, exclusive rights and knowing which of the two are best fit for you. To help ensure you're getting the best value for your money. here are 10 things to know when buying beats online.
1.Free Download - This option allows an artist to audition tagged instrumentals before buying them. This is common practice amongst producers, as it creates advertising opportunity. For other potential buying artist who will hear the vocal tag announcing their brand throughout the beat.This is a system that helps artist who are just starting out and may need some time to develop their sound. You'll be able to download free beats and display songs that you've recorded. As long as you agree to use them for non-profit in exchange for giving the producer appropriate credit. For those who are making a full-time living with their music this option wouldn’t be as beneficial as it would to an artist that is just starting out.
2. Discounts and special offers Now if your left feeling uninspired with the style of beats available to you as free download. Then its time to narrow your search and look else where. There are tons of producers with their own web sites that have a mailing list. That you can sign up for and receive info on special offers and discounts available. Find a producer or two with beats that will inspire you. And most important keep you updated with emails when they've uploaded new beats.
3.Where to find good producers -Finding the right producer can be a bit of a struggle if you don't know where to look. To help narrow your search. You can start out on you tube and enter an artist name whose style may appeal to you. For example if you're looking for beats that resemble a similar sound to Ryan Leslie. Type in “Ryan Leslie type beat” and start your search from there. As you'll find a wide range of producers who are selling beats and will likely to have links to their websites.
Another approach would be to go through some of the more establish third-party sites like “Soundclick, “My Flash”, “Beat Stars” and “Soundgine”. As most producers with their own websites have a profile selling beats on each of the sites mentioned. Each of these sites have a chart system showcasing the top producers. This will give you an idea of who's bringing their a game.
4. Using trusted websites -While buying beats online can be convenient three’s always the risk of having a bad experience. This goes for anything you buy on the web. Always contact and try to get a feel for who you're buying from. For example when I come across a new website the first thing that I look for is the frequently asked questions or the contact form. Now the websites I mentioned earlier are all reputable beat selling sites. When it comes to a producer's website you may want to contact them and take it from there. You'll usually come across sites with embedded players from either “Myflash”, “Beat Stars” and “Soundgine”. Where the transactions are fully automated with payment processing that is done by “Pay pal” “2checkout” or “Stripe”. All of which are secure payment processing companies.
5. Beat prices -You won't have to pay too much for beats if your leasing them. You'll find leasing that will usually range from $20.00 USD- $60 and up on online. The only time you'll spend more buying beats will be on Exclusive rights, which can cost anywhere from $250-$5000 and up depending on the producer.
So if you're putting together a project and not sure whether to spend $20 or 60 for a lease, then here are a few things you should know. The price of a beat lease will determine the quality and permission you'll have with the audio file you'll be receiving. Every producer will have their licensing options with detailed descriptions of what is offered with a particular lease. It will all depends on the type of Artist/ song writer you are and your needs. An Artist who is putting out their first mix tape /project might go for a $20 mp3 lease. And an artist who is putting out their 2nd or 3rd project will usually go for the $60.00 and up Wav leases for the best quality.
6.Leasing Rights- This is the most affordable option for an artist who is either just starting out or looking to build a buzz. Leasing rights is when a producer grants an artist limited usage rights to their beat(s). This will often include a detailed contract agreement of what your limitations are using their beats. A preview of what most producer's have for licensing options:
- Standard mp3 lease $25.00 $30.00 Premium wav lease $50.00 Pro mix.Wav
- High quality mp3 Higher quality wav file Highest quality wav file
- sell up to 5,000 copies sell up to 10,000 sell up to 15,000
- No Ownership No Ownership No Ownership
- No voice tags No voice tags No voice tags
- The more you pay for a lease the more time and less limitations you'll have to use their beats.
7-Exclusive rights - This is expensive because the producer is giving you full unlimited usage rights and ownership to a beat.As a result the producer will no longer be able to lease or sell the beat to anyone else and will be marked as sold. If the beat was leased to other Artist before you bought it. This will not effect your agreement with the producer because lease agreements have limitations and an expiration. So when you obtain exclusive rights you'll have complete freedom to do whatever you want except resell the rights to the beat. Opportunity’s with song placement are now possible. You'll be able to get the song you've made with the beat placed in films, Tv, radio, video games and more.
You'll also receive track outs of the beat also known as stem files of the beat you've purchased. Theses are the individual wav files such as the kick, snare, piano, strings, etc of the beat. This is extremely important to have as it will allow you to have full control over the quality of your sound. With these files you can have your song professionally mixed by an engineer.
The producer who sold you the beat will often include a contract that states their entitlement to royalty percentages. This is common practice amongst Artist and Producer to have an agreement to where percentages of royalties are split. There's never just one person that takes credit for a great song. The idea, inspiration, had to have been evoked by something and in most cases it's the beat. Song creation isn't just about lyric writing. It also has to be produced well to compliment and complete the idea of the song. Even the mix engineer will want to receive back-end compensation from the work they contributed that helped complete your song, but it has to be in writing. The producer will want you to succeed with your song so that they get their fair share of royalties.
8.-Sampled based beats - Now if your leasing beats that contain samples for mix tape purposes and will only be released on a promotional basis. Then there's no issue especially if you're not expecting to profit from it financially. But when you obtain exclusive rights, this is where it becomes an issue. The rights to the sample need to be cleared before its commercially released. It's always a good idea to ask the producer if they used any samples in the beat you plan on purchasing. Getting as much information as possible on the beat you plan on buying exclusive rights to that contain samples are vital. In the event that your song becomes a great success and you begin to make serious profits. You don't want the owners of the original song that you sampled from to take legal action against you over of an uncleared sample. The legal repercussions of this can be draining financially and mentally for an independent artist. As for Major labels that will have better resources and connections, have an easier time clearing samples then an independent artist would.
9-As I've mentioned earlier with leases the more you spend the less limitations you will have. This also applies to the quality of your songs. When you purchase a Wav file over a mp3 file you'll have more control with the quality of your recordings. Then you would with a mp3, do to the nature of its intended use. Because of its low file size, reduced quality and its unique ability to sound like the original uncompressed wav file Mp3 is the preferred audio format for consumer audio, web and video streaming. This is what the consumer aka your fans will be listing to. Throughout the entire song creation process from beat making to vocal recording, the format that is used is Wav. This is how songs by recording professionals are made. Now you'll want to know that your hard-earned cash is being put to good use. Then you'll want to go with the best audio quality available to you. Most producers understand the importance of sound quality and will offer either stem files or the UN mastered mixed single Wav. File as a leasing option. Something you definitely want to consider if your serious about the quality of your sound.
10.-Professionally mixed Beats While we're on the subject of quality. Make sure the beats you're buying or leasing are well mixed. Poorly mixed beats will affect the quality of how your songs will sound. Now if you're not sure what to listen for when a beat is poorly mixed. Here are a few characteristics that will let you know a beat is poorly mixed: Muffled or cloudy sounding mixes. Either the producer didn't take the time to properly EQ the bass frequencies in the beat or didn't use any EQ at all. As result leaving you with muddy and un detailed sounding mix.Unbalanced mix is where the instruments sound like they're competing with each other. Now a well mixed beat will have balance and clarity with instruments sitting in their own space. Another way to identify a good mix would be to compare it to a mainstream beat. Now it won't be as loud or as full as a mainstream beat but the characteristics should be present amongst the two beats you are comparing.