For those of you who tend to be musically inclined and therefore are considering producing your own instrumentals, the process is becoming easier and easier and no longer calls for buying thousands of dollars worth of hardware. Nowadays all that's required to make a beat is a computer, some creativity, and a good DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) like Reason, Cubase, ProTools, or FL Studio. All of these programs are relatively cheap considering the punch they pack compared to the competition, and if you want industry quality beats I suggest learning one of these programs.
Even if your just starting out, the programs I listed above are quite simple to learn with no real in depth training. Watching some how to videos and reading the manual always helps, but most people will be able to get them up and running without these guides.
The first step will be to obtain a demo version of these four softwares, available from the company in most cases, which will allow you to become better acquainted with the product before you make an informed purchase. Experiment with the different synthesizers and effects, find out which features you like and which ones you don't. Before you buy anything you should be somewhat familiar with all four of these programs, and have a clear idea of which one you want to spend your money on.
These programs allow producers to create very unique and personalized tracks with the help of a computer, especially once they have become fluent in its use. If you play an instrument and own a microphone you can also add an even more personal touch by placing live instrumentation over your tracks. If you play the piano there are keyboards that can be wired into these programs via MIDI cables and an interface that will allow you to play any synthesizer in the program live. This combination would allow you to create something truly personal and distinctly yours, even with the most basic musical background.
The best software would ideally have a number of functions you understand and feel comfortable using to their fullest extent. What's the point in having an industry level powerhouse if your only going to use the presets and never experiment with it? Producers can also acquire many professional drum kits and synths online, so there is no excuse to settle with a "Stock" DAW in todays production scene.
Layering is a technique that can add a lot of personality to a track. If you need your snare to have more crunch to it, try layering it with a clap sample. If you need the kick drum to have more of a bass boom try adding an 808 sample a couple decibels lower than the main kick to give it that low end knock that hip hop and rap have become so well known for. You can make your very own custom drum sounds that will blow any stock kit out of the water by simply layering your samples together until you get what your listening for.
You will find that the four programs I suggest in this article sell for hundreds of dollars. Quite simply this is because they are the best in the business at what they do. There are several different programs that are available at a much lower cost, but they often do not have the same level of features and raw power that these software companies have. Some of them do not even allow for the import of your own samples and synths, so you are stuck with the "Out of the Box" experience no matter what. Keep this in mind and make sure to do your research before spending money on any production software.
Number One - Bad Content And Set Up
A lot of up and coming producers base their company on sites like Myspace or Soundclick, post a handful of beats, hope a buyer will stumble across their page, and contact them for purchasing information. In all reality this isn't going to happen no matter how many potential clients come to your page if your site is not set up correctly. The good thing for you is that this is easily avoidable, and will skyrocket your sales retention if they were going to buy at all.. All you have to do is make it easy for the customer to buy your beats. SIMPLE. Go get a Paypal account and use their free merchant tools to set up a Buy Now or Add To Cart Button, then outline on your site exactly what each licensing option gives the artist. If your site is easy to understand and easy to buy then you have made your first real step towards making money with your music.
Number Two - Wrong Target Market
This happens all of the time to new producers, it's not that your beats aren't hot, they just aren't what people want right now. Make sure to cater to a paying clientele base if you want to make real money online. If your making great music that sounds like it belongs in a movie or video game then shop it to the appropriate parties, don't go on a rap forum and expect to make a sale. The main types of beats that seem to always sell on sites like MyFlashStore and Soundclick are Sampled Beats, Hardcore fast tempo beats, R&B Beats, and Club Bangers. I have checked the top sellers charts for the last several months and this is consistently true from week to week. If you want your company to start turning a profit in a short order make sure to have a good selection of these genres for your catalog.
Number Three - Bad Information
Gathering information and feedback from the wrong sources is one of the worst mistakes you can make. I don't know how many people there are online who think they know it all, and are more than willing to tell you what to do to run your company straight into the ground. I don't mean to sound mean but if your hearing the wrong information from the wrong people, and your convinced it's valid, you have nowhere to go but down. If somebody says your work is hot, it doesn't really count unless its a rapper or producer that knows what they are talking about and is making money. Not every artists opinion counts, I don't want to seem cynical or biased but it's true. People are quick to say one thing and do another, so don't take someone at face value online unless you see some proof.
This information can do a lot for you when you understand it fully, I hope it helps a bit and gives you a place to start if your not making any sales, or think you could be making more. Make sure to keep grinding and remember than learning how to market your music is almost a bigger undertaking than making the music itself so don't get discouraged along the way.
If you would like more information on this topic please see the articles section.
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