Rapping and producing beats are two very different skill sets. It’s rare for someone to be talented at both. This means that buying and selling instrumental beats is a great way for producers and rappers to have a mutually beneficial relationship.
Selling beats allows producers to turn their talent into cash flow, and buying beats gives rappers great material to rap over. This article explains everything you need to know about buying beats and selling beats online.
🚨Beat Licences 101 Everything you NEED to know about Beat Licensing 📚 🤓
The Beats Generally Are Not Exclusive
Unless you’re paying a lot of money for a beat, you probably won’t have exclusive rights to them. When selling beats for a reasonable price, sellers will need to sell the same beat multiple times to make a decent income.
This means that you can expect to hear other rappers using the same beats as you. If you want to have a beat for your own exclusive use, you’ll need to negotiate with the seller. You can expect to pay a lot more if you want the sole right to a beat.
Original Style Beats Don’t Necessarily Sell
While you might think that the most original, groundbreaking beats will make the most cash, this isn’t always true. Often, an artist has a particular style in mind when they’re looking to buy a beat.
For example, they might want to buy a beat that sounds a lot like Dr Dre. For this reason, it’s common to list your beat as a “type beat.” So let’s say you’ve made a beat similar to Dr Dre’s productions. You may list your beat as a “Dr Dre type beat.”
🔥 OMG My Song BLEW UP but it’s from a Leased Beat – What Do I do?! 😱 🔥
If you want to make money in the beat-making game, it can really pay off to be good at emulating particular producers or styles. While it may not be the most fulfilling thing to do from an artistic perspective, you should try to make similar beats to the most popular tracks in the charts.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that productions in your own unique style won’t sell. But, if your primary aim is to make money, you need to make beats with commercial appeal.
The Beat Isn’t the Full Production
One thing to keep in mind when you buy beats online is that the instrumental beats are not a complete production. You’ll need to put your vocals onto the beat. Those vocals will also need to be mixed and processed to make them gel with the beat properly.
This can be problematic for a few reasons. If you’re buying a beat that someone else has made, you might only have access to the track’s full mixdown. When it comes to mixing your vocals, this could cause problems.
Certain elements in the mix could clash with your voice, meaning that the track needs to be remixed to accommodate the vocals. If you don’t have access to the multitrack recordings for your beat, this is pretty much impossible.
A good beatmaker will know how to leave the perfect amount of space in the mix for the rapper, but you won’t necessarily know until you try to mix your track. Consider asking the producer if you can get the multi-tracks for the beat. In some cases, this might cost extra.
Another issue is that getting a professional vocal sound is challenging. Even the most professional-sounding beat will fall apart if you try to layer low-quality vocals over it.
To record your vocals, you’ll need to have a high-quality microphone in an appropriate space. You’ll often see rappers in the studio in “vocal booths” with padded walls. This is to reduce the amount that the audio bounces around the room. If the space you record your vocals in isn’t “dead” enough, you’ll end up with a poor quality recording.
Even if you have the ability to record good quality vocals, it still takes skill to properly mix those vocals into the beat. Not only do you need to set the levels right, but you also need to think about applying effects such as delay, reverb, and compression.
For this reason, you may need the help of another producer to record and mix the vocals. The best way to get good results for this is to record at a professional studio. The room you record in is incredibly important, and quite often, it’s simply impossible to get a professional sound at home.
If you’re lucky enough to have a home studio setup, you might be able to come to an arrangement with the producer who made the beat. Most producers would be glad to help you mix the final product with all your vocals. With that said, they will almost certainly charge for their time.
It’s your FIRST time buying beats? Please read this newbie guide 📖
Less Is More
When producing a beat for sale or looking for a beat to rap over, remember less is more! A beat is meant as an accompaniment to a rapped vocal, so it shouldn’t be too distracting.
The best beats will generally sound quite sparse or even boring on their own. It’s when you add the vocals that they really start to come together. If a beat sounds too good on its own, that suggests it might not be suitable for rapping over.
As a rule of thumb, listeners can generally only focus on 3 different musical ideas happening at once. This means that the perfect beat will only ever have 2 different musical elements happening at once.
Also, rappers tend to favor beats that have consistent drum rhythms. Excessive drum fills and drum beat switch-ups make a beat much harder to rap over.
Get Some Instrumental Beats
As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when buying or selling beats. As a rapper, you need to be aware that buying a good quality beat is only half the battle. You’ll also need to properly record and mix in your vocals to get a good sound.
As a producer, you can make yourself very useful to your clients by offering a full mixdown service. You should also make sure you keep your beats simple to leave plenty of room for the rapper or vocalist.
If you’re interested in buying instrumental beats, take a look at our services page.