Custom Beats VS Sampled Beats

It’s not uncommon for customers to ask us to use sampled material in beats. A sample is basically a recording of another song which you may or may not have the copyright’s to, which you can then flip into another type of beat or song. Kanye West’s “Gold Digger” for instance, as well as much of his music actually, uses a sample from another popular song to make up the beat.

While we are more than capable of making these types of songs for clients, we want to make sure you understand the differences in production and how to avoid complications.

First of all it’s important to note that a sampled song does not automatically come with the right to sell, but you always have the right to promote it for free. While promoting your free mixtape or single on a sampled beat is certainly an option for you, but you might get held back in certain regards. For instance if you’re promoting your song as a YouTube video, copyright infringement rules may take place and would disable you from putting ads on your videos.

If you use sampled music you can’t sell it or make money from it until the sample is cleared. Sometimes this is a free process, and other times it costs big money. There are multiple sample clearing agencies in the state of California which may be able to help you clear certain samples, but for the most part if you’re trying to make money from your music then you better have a plan in place to clear them.

It’s not the easiest thing in the world to clear a sample, but it might be worth it if you’re truly obsessed with a certain sound or sample and you just don’t want to drop it.

However we do custom beats for clients and almost always we are told to make them original. Original music is when there are no uncleared samples used and you can virtually have a totally custom sound. If you’re looking for custom beats be sure to contact us because we are known for our great custom services! In fact the vast majority of our clientele are repeat customers who pay for custom production.

The #1 Place to Make Money with Music

When it comes to making money from selling music a lot of people seem to have it all wrong. Instead of focusing on trying to make money on album sales, maybe you should be focusing on other forms of income. The fact is you’re not going to make the amount of income you want from simply selling albums online. You can earn some income from this but it’s not going to be enough to pay all your bills unless you have other forms of income as well.

One of the best ways to promote yourself and make money is through various types of online advertising. One of the easiest ways to earn cash is simply to advertise your YouTube account and videos. You can earn money from advertisements you may place on your website using Adsense, a platform through Google which allows you to post advertisements for other companies on your videos. You get paid 68% per click, and since some clicks can be worth $2-$10, these can stack up quickly.

The fact is you’re going to need to pull together several sources of income if you want to sustain a reliable music career. YouTube and advertising is a great way to do that. Adding more services or products to your line is always a great way to get business and to have things pick up as much as possible. Selling merchandise, selling beats, selling albums, YouTube advertisements, streaming services and bundles/package deals are a great way to increase your income.

But what’s my favorite path to making income from your music? Definitely placements. A lot of people don’t understand that getting placements is actually not that difficult. But the problem is that you need to own the rights to your music. Obviously I am a music producer that runs Beats4Legends LLC so you can find plenty of beats and instrumentals on our home page for sale. But just because we have instrumentals for sale doesn’t mean that is the only thing you’re going to need. But connections are not as important as you might think.

While getting your music into the right hands is most definitely important and necessary to get placements, there are actually opportunities all over the internet and offline for getting your music into the right hands. There are even services that help you get out there like Taxi.com, which you pay a yearly amount or monthly for your music to be in a database that publishers can get ahold of.

This is for serious musicians only. You better not be using samples, have your music copy-written and have recorded your music professionally. But Taxi is not the only service available to help you achieve the results you want in terms of big boy publishing deals. But this is where the REALEST money in the industry is, and it is the easier way to earn a couple thousand, increase record sales and more… All from publishing.

Your Music May Not be Marketable

There’s an interesting concept in music that I think a lot of people like to avoid like the plague: marketing in music. I think that a lot of artists tend to believe that they have to make music for the love of it. That in NO WAY can they think about how they’re going to actually sell it, or else they would be “selling out”. First of all I’m not even quite sure what “selling out” means. If you want to make music as a hobby that’s great and good for you for sure. But don’t think for one second that because you’re not selling, that you haven’t sold out.

Selling out is a concept that changes in description depending on who you ask. If selling out is about making music to make money, does that mean that you’re equally selling out by refusing to involve marketing in your music making process? You’re basically selling out to the idea of making money from your music. But don’t you think that selling music should be a part of your music process?

Your music might not be marketable. If you’re asking yourself whether or not your music is going to do well, you should first ask yourself what exactly makes your music unique and special when compared to other artists? Making great music about the topics you personally want to shed light on is part of the process. You should feel free to make music about whatever topic you want, and you definitely don’t have to succumb to creating music just for the radio. You don’t have to do that at all, and when I talk about marketable music I am certainly not talking about the radio.

On the radio you hear a lot of music that sounds a lot like the next song that’ll come on. There’s tons of similarities and so trying to sound like them doesn’t exactly make your music marketable. It’s much more about what makes your album or song stand out from others in the same field.

The THEME of your music, meaning the topics you write about and how you write about them, is what makes your music marketable. You should be appealing to a certain niche audience so you can promote the song easily in those niche settings. A song about gay rights would gain a lot of traction easily if promoting to the right social groups, such as Facebook groups and others.

The same goes if you make a song about racial discrimination, cops in America or around the world, or virtually any other topic that has major traction in today’s trending topics. You can find ideas on what groups you want to make songs about by going to Google Trends and figuring out what people are searching for on a daily basis. But this kind of niche marketing research is what’s going to separate your music from countless others.

How to Market your Music Online

Learning how to market your music online can seem to be a mystery to many artists. A lot of people put out music projects but have no idea how to make their music succeed in the online market. There are some good encouraging statistics to help you feel like you can do this. First of all, independent music is coming up big time, and a huge percentage of music sales online in recent years has been from independent artists. Getting distributed on music platforms such as iTunes is easier than ever and promoting yourself can be done online easily.

If your budget is minimum, you’re going to have a harder time than somebody who has more money to spend. Getting a website done by our partner company ConvertingLayouts can help you achieve results, but even if you don’t have money to invest in web design, you can set up online properties to help you promote yourself.

Build a Mailing List to Market your Music

Personally my favorite way to promote myself is to simply building a mailing list. If you’re trying to market your music online then this is one of the best possible ways to do so. Building a mailing list is something you can do no matter how small or large your campaign currently is. You don’t have to be selling a lot of music to start building your list.

If you’re going to begin working with nothing else, sign up with Aweber. I mention it multiple times in my many blog posts but I do so because of it’s sheer power. You can create sign-up forms that Aweber itself will host on it’s own website. That way you don’t need any other tool to enable yourself to build your mailing list.

You can also set up automatic emails to be sent back to your prospects who sign up to your list. For instance you can provide them with a free song for joining your list or a sampler of your music CD. If you can build a fan base and actually sustain it by marketing to that list, you can continue to build your reputation among that list.

Keep the Fan Base Growing

market your music online

Keeping your fan base growing is extremely important if you want to sustain results. But if you’re growing a mailing list, even at just one new subscriber per day, you can build a mailing list of hundreds of people within a single year. Getting four or five subscribers a day means thousands of opt-ins per year.

You don’t need a huge marketing budget to start doing this. Social media and other forms of advertise are also great ways to market your music online. Before you can do that you must own the rights to your beats. Feel free to buy beats on our website’s homepage to help support the movement, or scroll through some of our other blog posts, such as 10 tips for Recording to get Top Quality Sound, and how to get your music heard online.

The Copyright Process and How it Works

This is an important subject for everybody to understand on a pretty deep level if you expect to make music and stay safe with your campaigns. Obtaining a copyright through the Copyright Office in Washington DC is important if you want to make sure your rights are fully protected. The problem is there’s so much confusion when it comes to how the process works and why it’s important.

First of all you need to understand that technically the second you make the instrumental, art or work from scratch with your own designs, you already own the copyright technically. Whoever creates the work is by default the owner of the work. The problem becomes proving it in court. If somebody else signs a copyright for your work, though it is fraud and can have severe consequences, it becomes extremely hard to prove that you made the work.

A copyright is a way for you to make sure that you own your music and nobody can question it. If somebody tries to copyright your material and you’ve already got a copyright filed, you’re golden. That is great legal proof and will hold up in court flawlessly. If not, you’re forced to try to prove your ownership through other means which may not be very easy.

If you’ve uploaded your music to your website, it doesn’t mean that will hold up in court. Websites can be manipulated and it’s not really adequate proof of anything being factual. The only thing you have going for you in this kind of nightmare of a case is having all the full files to the song. Even then, though, the dates and time stamps won’t matter. So if the other person who is trying to copyright your material fraudulently has the same files, you’re screwed.

This is why it’s so important to have your instrumentals copywritten and actual proof set up so you can win in court. The copyright process itself is very easy and you should not be afraid to try. Instead of going through an expensive company which will do it for you, why not try to actually print the forms yourself and copyright your music correctly? That way you learn more about how the process works. I do my own taxes every year and the first couple years I did taxes I missed out on all sorts of write-offs. But I keep doing my own taxes because I truly love learning, and on the other hand this way I don’t have to spend my hard earned cash on somebody else doing it.

I’ll take knowledge and hard work over spending money and remaining dumb and blind any day. The first step is to go to Copyright.GOV. There’s plenty of information there to help you get going. However, you will need to sign up for an online-based account if you want your process to be smooth and well documented. In my opinion, this is the best way to do it. You have to make an online account with Copyright.gov to proceed.

Once you’ve got that, just fill out the appropriate paperwork. The cost is only $35 for a single song, or if you want to be a little more efficient you can actually copyright an entire project for only $55. I mean, would you rather copyright just a single song for $35 or 20 songs for $55? Put together a product, make an album cover too if you can, and copyright it all as a project. That’s going to be your best bet.

The copyright process is essential if you want to get your music making royalties through ASCAP, BMI or other publishing payment services. Don’t you dare start submitting your songs to labels without full copyrights to your music, you will regret it!

Count in for more information. Buy beats online instantly from our homepage.

The Music Industry is Based on Connections

Today I wanted to write an article about the music industry and what it’s really made of. In my opinion I think the entire music industry is based on connections. When I say that, I don’t mean the traditional sense of the word. Most musicians hear “connections” and automatically assume I’m talking about knowing people who are high up in the industry. But it doesn’t have to be that way and for independent artists it’s definitely not that way.

You don’t need any special players in your corner to exceed with your music and your music business. I think the biggest problem most people face is they think they can just keep coming out with music and they’ll end up getting “picked up” somewhere along the line. But how accurate is this? If putting out great music was enough, I think that the majority of good artists online would be signed by now. But with the expansion of the internet, we’ve seen a lot more artists coming up who are truly talented, yet less people seem to be getting signed.

So if putting out great music isn’t all it takes, then what exactly does it take? Well, first of all, obviously putting out good music (product) is going to make selling easier. There’s no doubt that your music should be as good and marketable as you can get it. But if you don’t have a business plan in place to make more money from your projects, then you simply may not ever find the results you’re looking for.

When I say the industry is based on connections, what I mean by that is you need to be networking with others. You’d be amazed how many musicians and producers who may not have a very big name actually have produced tracks for some of the most famous artists in the world. There’s no telling how many opportunities you may be passing by simply not working with others. Never be afraid to work with others and put in your efforts in a way that helps the overall group while still proving yourself as a useful member.

If possible you should be making these kinds of trades on a near daily basis. Do your best to always find new opportunities for trading your skills or adding to somebody’s campaigns with your own work. If you have something to offer, whether it be your music, web design skills, marketing skills or any other type of skill, just hone your skills and get them to a higher level of quality and then barter your way through the networking world.

Networking is the simple act of talking to others who have similar interests to you. Sometimes you can get a good idea of the kinds of skills which would be most useful to have for trade in your market by simply going around to individuals of all types in the music industry and simply asking them what their biggest problems are. You may find that you can first-hand help with many of the problems musicians or labels are facing. Nearly half of all record sales are made through independent record labels now, so there’s no reason on Earth that you can’t get a hold of some of these people and simply network.

I hope this helps. Be sure to check out our new supply of beats over on our home page and purchase beats when you can.

Revenue Streams for Artists

Today I wanted to write a blog post about possible revenue streams for artists. Be sure to support our website by buying beats on our home page, we’ll be posting new beats shortly. Here is a quick list of the top revenue streams for artists to tap into in today’s day and age.

1. Touring

I put this at number one but honestly it’s not something I would do. It’s number one because I feel like most people in the industry look to touring as a revenue stream so I wanted to talk about it first. One of the easiest ways to make money from your music is to plan full scale tours and do show after show throughout your local area. For this though you need supplies and lots of hard work into planning the shows, if you don’t have an agent doing that work for you. Another problem with touring is the consumption of time.

While you stand to make good money on tour, you have to practice and perfect your show. So that means you’re spending time not only traveling, waiting and performing, you’re also investing additional recreational time into practicing your act.

Another thing is if you’re in a group and you’re touring, the money is much lower than if you tour with just yourself and perhaps one more person. The more people in the band, the more split up the money has to become. This can be a good or a bad thing. If it’s a good thing, it’s good because everybody in the band can put together their resources. Maybe one person has a great van for the trip, while money can come from all the members of the band to fund initial expenses like gas and food.

With these expenses actually it becomes hard to make good money. Especially because touring is notoriously intertwined with drugs, alcohol and partying, you can bet that there is room for error. Sometimes people get cheated out of money or worse. It’s good to expect these sorts of things and hopefully your tour doesn’t have much bad luck.

Needless to say, while touring can make you money, there is initial investment involved and it becomes a game of “will I profit?”

2. Album sales and digital sales

I put this at number two but really it’s not a huge revenue stream. Let’s be honest here. It costs serious money to put albums into production, and to sell them off these days is even harder with the exception of if you’re performing and those performances are going well, then you can sell merchandise at the shows as well as albums. This is your primary means for selling albums without having to run up to random people on the street advertising your CD.

The fact is with iTunes taking roughly 30% of every sale, if you’re using iTunes as your primary funnel for making money from your music then you’d have to sell something like 500 full albums every month just to earn a full time income. That’s tough especially considering more than half of your audience will be buying the singles they like instead (unless you don’t give them that option for instance, which is a possibility for you).

Not only that, but iTunes doesn’t pay out until two months later. So if your album sells 100 copies in November, you’ll get your payment sometime in January. While if you sell on Amazon instead, the payment is pretty much just a few days wait away. Luckily though it’s inexpensive to get on these websites and more, which is why I put it at #2 for making money. Getting distributed is as easy as signing up to Tunecore. That’s who I use anyway, and you can get your music in Amazon and all the major online stores.

Personally I think selling through Amazon, if you set it up correctly, can be the better way to go.

3. Licensing

Licensing your music to TV shows, movies and commercials is a great way to earn income from your music. This is my personal favorite because it’s zero cost (with the exception of getting your music under legal copyright so you can avoid scams, costs $55 per album) and you can get licensed really easily if you know where to look. There are trade secrets on how to get licensing deals, but usually those who get licensing deals stay pretty silent about it.

The lucky thing is, though, that the information is right in front of your face.

I hope this article helped! Be sure to buy beats on the home page!

Advice to rappers… Who wants a record deal?

Today I wanted to share some thoughts on what is holding back artists in general from getting signed to a record label. The truth is a record label will not sign somebody who doesn’t already have skill to please an audience, a buzz, and something that makes them different.

Luckily for you the independent industry is actually on a full up spin and has been for some time now. It was back in 2009 that I found out 50% of all record sales the whole year had been independent artists. At the same time major labels are falling off the map quickly and companies all over the place are failing.

That was the rumor anyway, in 2012 though it showed to be more like 33%, which was still more records than any of the major labels made (including Universal, Sony and others).

These record labels are basing their strategies on old age failing techniques, while on the other hand it’s so easy for independent artists and labels to begin doing new forms of advertisements to bring themselves to a more successful state. It’s time to completely redefine the way music has been sold and this is something everybody is starting to catch onto.

Record labels are seeing this, and you need to as well.

If you plan to survive in today’s day and age you would do well to understand this. Here is the chart I found for you to see for yourself:

Billboard chart via A2IM

So how is it that indie labels are making such a big movement in the scene now? Well with the invention of the internet has changed the way artists have done business, but before that even happened there was MTV. When music became much more televised it became about the image more than the artist. This entered a whole new market by itself.

But the independents have become successful because they are aware of things like download piracy. The fact is you can’t keep the same old tactics going and expect to succeed.

So this is, of course, going to bring you to a new simple question which you might appreciate knowing the answer to. That question is…

So what exactly are record labels looking for?

This actually isn’t the easiest question to answer right now only because record labels are still adjusting to finding new ways to promote and market their artists. With so many major labels falling off the map completely, it’s easy to see why everybody seems to be trying new things and being bold.

What labels are looking for is simple.

You need to be able to bring in an audience in a way that separates you from the thousands of other artists just like you. How are you different? Being a rapper isn’t good enough, you have to appeal to a certain audience so powerfully that you become a viral force.

Without the ability to become viral you will surely fail in this industry, as the majority of internet fame currently is coming from YouTube stars and the like. If you are able to create music that people share, spread and excitingly promote, then you are already on your way to becoming signed.

Every rapper seems to talk about the same things, have pointless flows and most importantly, they don’t resonate with an audience that has a high state of passion.

Macklemore, a musician from my city of Seattle, WA (who I actually did shows with before he made it famous, when we was local) is now one of the most played artists on major labels. He did this without even getting signed, by staying totally independent.

However he reached a very specific niche audience with his two hit records from his last album. “Same Love” appealed to the gay rights movements which is extraordinarily emphasized in today’s society. The gay movement is most definitely winning the battle for gay rights all across the USA as well as many other countries as well.

By making a song that reached out to this audience it was easy to see why it went viral so quickly and made him much more famous, finally breaching the major radio stations. This not only made him a celebrity among those who didn’t know who he was, it also made a lot of people in a very committed, passionate community (the gay community) share and post his song everywhere. His fame was imminent and record deals came flying from every major label, none of which did he sign.

Macklemore’s other hit single, “Thrift Shop”, tackled the youth all over the world. The truth is most of us don’t have the money necessary to pay top dollar for expensive clothes. But going to a thrift shop is just as good because you can get top quality brands for a fraction of the price.

By targeting this group of people, he had decided on yet another strongly passionate audience. The poor and middle class of America, which just happens to be… Well, nearly everybody.

If you want to get signed to a record label, you need to resonate with an audience of high passion and tap those markets. Not doing so can be your biggest weakness in today’s independent and major market.

10 Tips for Recording to Get a Top Quality Sound

Today I wanted to shed some light on some of the best ways to record for the highest possible quality in your sound. To do this I simply wanted to explain my top 10 tips for recording music.

Before I get started talking about this I do feel as though I should explain a little bit about myself. Many of you may not know this but I, being CEO of Beats4Legends, actually started as a rapper before I ever made a beat. I’ve been recording professionally for over 10 years, I’ve been featured in XXL Magazine, Murder Dog Magazine, #1 on Soundclick with over 5,000,000 plays and 300,000 downloads.

That would be just a start of my resume of course, considering I also own two music-based internet businesses, Beats4Legends LLC and SellBeatsNow. One thing that separates me from other producers is that I actually have always had a team of producers behind me. That means that I have vast experience in looking at music from an outside perspective.

One major problem that most producers have, rappers and beat makers alike, is that they are always looking at everything from a single perspective: the artist. This is an issue because you can easily trick yourself into believing something is exceptional when it’s mediocre, AND you are more likely to THROW SOMETHING AWAY that is actually phenomenal!

It goes both ways and I bet a lot of your producers out there already know this.

So, let’s get right down to a list of 10 tips for recording the highest quality sound possible.

1. At least use a condenser microphone and a pop filter.

This one is pretty obvious, I know, and actually to a high class mixing artist a lot of these may seem basic, but this is essential if you want to record high quality sound. You can work with what you have and make a pretty good sound, but not having a pop filter to put in front of your microphone will seriously effect your sound. A pop filter eliminates “popping”, which is in reference to when you create “w” sounds and the sort. The way your mouth moves when you say certain words can create massive distortion on any mic without a pop filter.

Also at bare minimum you should have a condenser mic to put behind that pop filter! Don’t skimp when it comes to microphones especially because there are so many options at so cheap.

If you need a microphone under $100, the AT2020 Audio Technica Microphone is definitely your best bet in my opinion, check this one out by clicking the link in this sentence!

I used to own that microphone and it’s done me wonders! But if you have a little bit more money to spend, I would highly suggest getting this Shure KSM32 Microphone, which I’ve owned for years now and it’s truly got a great sound you won’t find for cheaper than $1000.

If you have a budget of around $1500, you could always go for the classic $1,000 Neumann TLM-103 which is of course a tube microphone not a condenser mic and will get you a really top notch sound, being my first pick of a microphone over just over $1,000.

Of course if money isn’t an issue then you could go a little more crazy and get a microphone even Kanye West wouldn’t mind using. Get the mic that all the major labels use (it’s $3,200+ though, I will warn you).  That microphone is the best there is under $4,000, and you’re going to get an impeccable sound from recording.

DON’T GO TOO CRAZY ON THE MIC, THOUGH! Get the one you think would best suit your needs, because to record you’re going to need more equipment then that. You need an interface and a software to record in. Finally the obvious part, you’ll need a computer. But we’re not going to go too deep into equipment. I just needed to mention the microphones as well as the interfaces, because in reality you can’t record top quality music without a setup including these things.

2. Have a good interface setup and use a tube pre-amp.

If you don’t have a tube microphone, definitely go to the extra expensive of buying a nice tube pre-amp as well. But you’re going to need a good interface setup to be able to record into your software. If you are using a condenser mic instead of the more expensive tube microphone options, then definitely get a tube pre-amp. It’s not expensive and it will dramatically raise the quality of your sound.

In fact, dare I say if you combine one of the condenser microphones mentioned above and you combined it with the same tube pre-amp which I have and only cost me $70, the Art Tube MP Project Preamp, you can easily increase it’s quality so dramatically that you’ll think you’re recording on a tube microphone instead of a condenser! I know I sure feel that way using this easy set up.

3. Mind your voice, calm down!

I think it is a pretty wide spread belief that underground rappers seem to have that screaming at the person listening is a good way to make your songs sound good. In fact this is actually a way to make your songs sound a lot worse and it is not good for you to focus your energy in such a way. I used to be one of the artists guilty of doing this and I have since seen that my audience seems to respond much better if I am cool, calm and collected. You want to be the “cool guy”, not the “loud guy”.

Listen to any of the major hit artists and you’ll see that similarly they all rap in a calm tone of voice. Snoop Dogg got famous with N.W.A. because they were the first gangster rappers to rap about things like shooting people, selling drugs and prostitution, in a calm and relaxed voice as if it wasn’t even a big deal.

So seriously, see what happens when you start controlling your voice more, screaming less and overall sounding more professional. Not to mention if you mind your voice and are able to control it you’ll be able to make a much more diverse overall recording. For instance instead of being loud and obnoxious the entire time you could punctuate and actually change the energy of your voice throughout the verse to make certain parts “build” better.

The basics of creating music applies to rappers too. You can make your voice an instrument of an annoyance. Your choice. Though, of course, certain songs require a louder voice, I would think a song about love or addiction doesn’t need you screaming on it.

4. Be the “cool” guy (or girl) when recording.

You know, I might as well call this “swag” because I feel like people would identify with that word more. But you want to sound like the cool person on the track. You should stand out as an artist to be somebody that sounds like, in general, they are actually cool. You do this through your voice, through your lyrics and most importantly how you distribute your lyrics.

Why would you want to record the same type of thing over and over again? The fact is you can make yourself a lot better in terms of your recording quality just by experimenting with different types of flows. Nobody wants to listen to the same repetition over and over again for several minutes, let’s be totally honest.

When it comes to the beats used in recording a great, top quality song, they can’t be too repetitive either UNLESS it is easy to listen to for several minutes in a row. What I mean by that is, the majority of simple songs will not be fun to listen to for more than a few seconds. You can’t just “copy and paste”, regardless how you think major artists do it, they definitely punctuate and make sure that everything sounds live.

If it doesn’t sound live, it won’t be cool and you won’t win.

5. Learn how to use a compressor and a limiter 

A compressor and a limiter are very similar things. Some major producers swear by only using limiters, while others swear by only using compressor’s. You could technically use both but that would probably end up sounding way too over processed.

I’m not going to go too deep into this because I’m thinking about coming out with a course on how to mix, master and record. If this blog post does well then I will gladly create a video course where I take you right into our own recording sessions and show you exactly how to record, mix and master.

What a limiter does is simple, it brings the volumes closer together. This is how you get that “crisp” sound from your vocals instead of sounding like you’re recording in a closet or a basement or something.

But before you use a limiter or a compressor, there’s another thing you need to do. Which brings me to #6.

6. Use some sort of filter for eliminating background noise.

Usually this will be called “Noise reduction” or “Noise cancellation” in your recording software. There are usually several different options like this, such as “Hiss eliminator” and “Pop eliminator”. Remember earlier when I talked about “popping” the microphone if you don’t have a pop filter? Well you can get different types of pops in the recording from other things, most of the time it’s a flaw in your setup if you get glitches. You might want to research into the setup of your own equipment.

I know that I certainly had an incredibly hard time with this at first. It took me several tries to get my entire system working together in perfect harmony (meaning my software, my interface, my tube pre-amp, my microphone and the settings within all of those).

If you’re having pops on the recording, try to see if you can pinpoint the issue within your settings of your recording devices. Check the input and outputs, start there and research into your equipment. From what I’ve seen you want to  make sure that the right amounts are going to the right places above all else.

But the noise reduction will simply take away the background noise, such as clothes ruffling and other low volume items. It works in decibels (dB), so you can actually eliminate just sounds up to a certain volume level.

7. Write from the heart. Whoa, not that though.

Honestly I think this is one really should be important to everybody. If you don’t write from the heart then you’re not going to be able to get your music understood by an audience. But the problem is a lot of rappers think that writing from the heart means talking about how hard it is to be a no name rapper who has no money and nobody wants to help you out.

I mean let’s be honest. That’s about 50% of all the songs that come out in the under, under underground. From the small guys who are trying to make it but probably never will.

The reason this will not resonate with a wide audience is because most people don’t rap. So every song being about being a struggling artist really isn’t helping you in any way except for perhaps therapeutic purposes for yourself. However I would never spend hours and hours doing something just for myself but that’s just me. When I make music I make it for the world and I make it in order to market it.

Eminem’s song “Lose Yourself” is an example of a song that does resonate with others who have struggled though, and that’s great. The thing is the subject matter of that song is about the same as the subject matter of these underground rappers, so why does it not work for others?

It’s because the content of the lyrics do not create a descriptive presence.

When you listen to “Lose Yourself”, you can tell it’s written from the heart. But you can also see that the descriptive methods he uses in his song are to create an actual image in your mind that you can relate to, like his line:

“Knees weak, palms are sweaty, there’s vomit on his shirt already, moms’ spaghetti, he’s nervous. But on the surface he looks calm and ready to drop bombs, but he keeps on forgetting…” Eminem, Lose Yourself

Allow me to dissect that small section of lyrics a little bit. He’s not just talking about how it sucks to be a rapper who’s not going anywhere with his music, is he? Look at the actual words he uses and you will see they each connect to an actual thing on this Earth that every single person can relate to.

“Knees weak, palms are sweaty”. Now I don’t know about you but that’s a feeling I’ve had before. Whether it be waiting for a job interview that could make or break your entire career, or it be going on stage to perform in a contest with other contenders who are competing with you for the top spot.

He also uses words to describe the exact areas of his body are feeling. This means that while you listen, you might notice your own palms get a little sweaty or your knees feeling weak, as you relate to your own experiences with those exact same feelings.

He then describes vomit, which admit it, as soon as you hear the word you visualize a pretty powerfully disgusting thing. He even describes what’s inside the vomit, so that feeling gets taken even deeper.

Also as if none of us have experienced being calm and ready on the surface, but in reality it’s just a front because we’re shaking in our boots?

This is what separates the same song content that other users make, and turn it into something that actually resonates with your audience.

8. Use Equalizers on your Vocals

Usually taking out the low end for the most part is going to help you achieve the results you want. I will attach an image I really like to use to actually see what equalizer properties you should bestow on each type of vocal. As you can see from the graph (attached below), male and female vocals actually have different properties. But in general, the super low stuff you can take out, and it adds some good quality to the sound of the vocals if you add a little bit of high-ends.

Having said that, if your vocals seem a little too “thin”, you can always experiment with the mid-high ends, which is where most of your vocals lie. So putting an equalizer on a vocal and adding a little in the mids can actually create a stronger sound.

Frequency Chart

 

9. Don’t record anything you can’t perform.

This is a tip given to me by my friend Craze who is also a rapper and it’s a good tip. You want to sound natural when you’re recording and for that reason, never stuff so much into a verse that you can’t even perform it. In fact if you have to chop your vocal up several times, recording bits and pieces, I would tell you to practice your verse more and work it out.

You shouldn’t find it so difficult to record the sound you want, and so remain in control with your vocals and your lyrics. Plus you need to be perfectly on beat or even the average listener will notice.

10. Never stop learning.

When it comes to recording, mixing and mastering, the industry just recently shifted to digital from analogue and the equipment coming out these days as well as the software is always becoming more powerful. So never give up on learning more about the art of recording because it is a never ending learning experience.

I hope this helped somebody! If you did, please let me know because I will come out with more of these blog posts and even create an entire video course on how to record, mix and master, as well as promote and other things. 

 

How to Get Your Music Heard Online

Today I wanted to try an experimental blog post to see how much you are interested in learning about how to get your music heard and promoted. If this blog post gets a fair amount of traffic then I will certainly come up with more blog posts in the near future. Please enjoy!

First of all you wouldn’t believe how many artists out there want to get heard. If I had to put a number on it I would venture to guess it’s in the tens of millions worldwide. It’s no wonder why, either, because it’s a basic reality for artists that you want to earn some income from your music or at the very least gain recognition.

SO how do you achieve this?

Well there’s plenty of methods and I’m actually going to simply touch on a couple here. However if this blog post leaves you yearning for more, please feel free to contact me and let me know so that we can come out with more blog posts in the future.

1. Know your promotion strategy.

Gaining followers on any social network doesn’t have to be a big deal. You don’t have to sit around waiting for success to come to no avail, either. On most social networks which include Soundcloud, Twitter, Tumblr and others, there’s a distinct follow-back rate of about 14%.

So one way to gain followers is simply to follow other people who are targeted to your niche. If you follow 100 people per day on these networks, that alone can build your following by hundreds per month.

After you’ve followed, be sure to unfollow the sorry suckers who don’t follow you back. That way you make room for connecting with others. This is a powerful method by itself because it can easily be a way to connect with producers, sell more of your music to artists and more.

2. Have rights to your beats.

I know this may seem cliche since I am a music producer myself and we offer rap beats for sale on our home page, but the fact is if you don’t have any rights to your beats then you are going to be having serious trouble right from the start.

How can you post your tracks on iTunes without having some sort of rights to your beats? Even if it’s just leasing rights, you want something in order to achieve success. How can you get people involved if you don’t have any projects distributed on iTunes? It’s like a business card almost. You can basically show people your iTunes link and that’s a great way to get people involved, not to mention make back some income.

Which brings me to point #3.

3. Distribute yourself on iTunes, Amazon and more.

There are affiliate programs I could make money on by promoting distribution services which are not as good, but… The truth is that I use Tunecore, which takes 0% of your sales and distributes your projects on all the major platforms for only $50 per year. In fact I know they have a $35 deal for the first year of distribution.

Again I could have just linked you to some place that would award me an affiliate commission worth taking, but instead I just linked to the right choice, which is Tunecore. Just keep in mind that when I say they take 0% commission, well that’s true but the fact is iTunes for instance takes over 30% commission on each sale. Pretty wack, right? That’s no matter who you distribute through, with the exception of certain major labels which surely have better deals in place with the big “i”.

4. Build up an email list with your own website.

We own a web design company, WebDesignMarketer.com, and so if you don’t have a website contact us ASAP with a budget in mind. We’ll work with you to get your website online for a great price.

The reason having your own website is so very important is simple: you need it to build an email list and a social media following. By building an email list you have a collective of all of your leads in one place. Meaning every time somebody says they like your music, you can add them to your mailing list and keep in touch with a click of a button.

The best email marketing service provider (which will give you the opt-in forms you need, and the ability to send to all your email contacts at once with a single click) is definitely Aweber Email Marketing Service. This service will allow you to build your mailing list following quickly and easily.

If you need a website, mixing, mastering or beats, contact us today. If you enjoyed this blog post be sure to stay in touch and show love by sharing this page. We’ll come out with more blog posts in the future if this one gets good feedback. :)

Finding Exclusive Beats for Sale

If you’re trying to find exclusive beats for sale than they’re a few things he you probably need to understand before looking. Rap beats are definitely easy to come by using the Internet but there are a few things you need to understand truly before you get started. You definitely don’t want to get ripped off when it comes to your music so be sure to read this article all the way through before you buy beats online or even try to find free rap beats.

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Why Buy Rap Beats Online

If you’re looking to buy rap beats online then you absolutely need to read this article.

You will learn plenty about hip hop beats and how to find rap beats online. There’s nothing like progress, and the fact you can buy rap beats online is a huge accomplishment!

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What To Know When You Buy Beats Online

There are many situations where it is optimal for the rapper or singer to buy beats online. This allows them to purchase the proper background music for the lyrics they already have. The right music can go a long way in making the song a hit. If you are considering this option, there are a few things you should know before you get started.

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Free Download Policy

Free downloads do not come with rights of any kind with the exception of those which specifically are advertised as a single "free lease" for joining the mailing list.

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