Most of us in the music world now know and understand that the state of the music business has shifted to the independent way of life. Today, rather you are a recording artist, producer, engineer, or manager you have been forced to now learn the ins and outs of the music business with a “hands on” approach. Of course the first step in making the magic happen in this business is the product which is music. The music must sound great before anything else, the music must grab attention and sound professional.
That brings me to the point of this article, once you as a recording artist decide to enter the music business you need two things primarily: studio time and beats. These two components decide how the world hears you when you give away those cds, post on MySpace, Facebook, and do shows. Both must be great but the beats behind you hold the most weight out of the two… Why? Simply because if you get a bad mix from one studio you could take that mix to another studio and clean it up or just re-record the song, if you have music that does not sound great it can and will hinder your progress as an artist. Furthermore, buying beats can be more expensive than studio time in the long run so you want to get the best beats for your money. As an artist you also want to gain a source to get good beats consistently so you know you always got a chance at getting a hit.
Most recording artist start out having a cash flow issue and a lack of knowledge of the music business in general so when it comes to buying beats you have to learn how to not spend a lot of money and not get jerked around on the business end. I recommend buying beats online because today everyone is tied to the internet in some way so naturally there are a ton of producers on the web selling beats. The best part about buying online is that because there are so many producers selling beats the prices have been lowered drastically, I remember eight years ago you could not get a producer to talk to you without at least having five hundred dollars to start with and that was local guys nobody knew. Today, you can lease a beat for ten to twenty dollars or get exclusive beats for less than a hundred dollars, times have changed.
Music is now more affordable but there are some things I look for when shopping for beats online and some guidelines I follow which I know can help you. First, look for producers who have there own website or webpage, I do this because it shows they are serious about this business and you can get to know their sound better than if you on a site with a million producers. Second, look for sites that give you the option to lease or buy beats outright. This is important to understand because leasing the beat does not mean you own the beat but you have the right to use the beat for your demo, mixtape, album (would not suggest before buying outright) , or showcase which may fit you in the beginning of your career. Leasing is also cheaper than buying outright so if money is problem leasing can help you get started. If you chose to buy outright then you will pay more but you own the music and the producer can not comeback and ask for royalties if you happen to blow up, you might want to have the producer sign an exclusive rights release when doing this kind of deal.
Last but not least I look for sites that consistently have industry-level beats, meaning I want beats that sound like they could be on the radio in the states as well as overseas right now. I also look for sites that have some beats that are looking to where music is going not just where it is today, you know mix it up. Beware of sites that just have a lot of beats but not enough beats that really sound like they could make it pass your neighborhood, look for quality not quantity. Hopefully this was helpful and I will see you at the top.