Selling beats online has become easier and easier over the last decade, thanks to a number of reasons. The first and foremost is how the internet has expanded into every facet of our lives – no one could have predicted the outcome and influence for producers. The second is how music technology has improved. Access, ease, and versatility with these programs is the best its ever been.
Producers can create beats on their phones, and rappers can record lyrics as well. When left to the devices of internet savvy individuals, Type Beats where an inevitability. Type Beats began because someone decided to throw the name of a more famous artist onto their own beat.
“Jason Derulo Type Beat,” would garner far more attention than a song named with personal meaning from an unknown producer. It’s simple marketing. Attach yourself to a trend, or something with more reach than yourself. In essence, the Type Beat revolution began as a way to benefit rappers and producers alike.
Rappers looking for beats similar to their idols could easily find them, no one seemed to mind that mimicry. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all. Eventually, producers would find a way to monetize these imitations and step into professional circles.
The copiers would do so well they could start making beats for the rappers they were referencing in their work. And as the cycle repeated itself, those who advanced would become the ones being copied.
This created an ecosystem that survived and thrived on the internet. Producers could upload beats online, advertise them online, sell them online, and transfer them online. Their success would eventually be heard offline, some lucky enough to be heard on the radio.
From top to bottom we now live in an era where music is consumed via the internet, it is only natural that artists can sustain their hobby by feeding into the cycle. In this article we will go over what exactly a type beat is and how you can get started on your career today.
We’ll share with you a few of the most popular ways to get started. We won’t get into the technical aspects of production but focus instead on workflow. If you are interested in learning how to make beats or up your skill, check out our classes here.
First, you’ll want to get yourself a DAW (digital audio workstation). There are plenty available ranging from free to a hundreds of dollars.
- Ableton Live
- Logic Pro X
- Pro Tools
- FL Studio
- Studio One
- Digital Performer
Once you decide on one, learn how to use it. You can take classes at a school like ours, take private lessons, study on your own, or have a friend show you the ropes. What matters is that you become comfortable enough to work by yourself or in teams.
Working by yourself can utilize the same workflow as with teams but it may take a bit longer. That’s okay, as long as your beats are fire.
To get started, find a reference track. You want to make a Type Beat? Well which type? Choose an artist or sound that inspires you and download one of their songs to emulate. Working with reference tracks is a classic technique used by producers in and out of the Type Beat game.
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Mark up the song so you know where sections begin and end. This is how you create an arrangement. Then, find your samples.
If you want to sound like the pros you’ve got to get pro sounds (or make them yourself). You can use any number of sample libraries to do this. Splice.com is popular, Sounds.com, Loopmasters, DrumBroker, you could even use Apple Loops if you go with Garageband/Logic Pro.
Here is where you can take artistic liberty – how much do you want to sound like your reference track? You can aim to match it exactly or just go with the general area. Make a decision and keep making that beat.
Ideally, you don’t want to recreate the reference track, you want to capture the feeling. Part of that will come from copying the arrangement and part will come from the samples/instruments you choose. There are so many genres and subgenres nowadays that it will be both be harder and easier to emulate your idols.
All hip-hop generally comes from Boombap, Trap, or Funk. That’s pretty much it. The details will come down to the Type. Follow arrangements and pay attention to the sound choices.
There are as many workflows as there are producers, each may or may not work for you. Some producers aim for making a certain number of beats per day, per week, etc. Some producers aim for creating parts and then expand from there.
A popular method, whether alone or in teams, is to dedicate time to each part of a song – we’ll split it up into drums and melodies. So you could spend a week creating melodies, and a week creating drums. Now you have X number of loops to get your songs started. Scroll through them until you feel inspired.
Once you’ve made your beat you need to mix it, and master it. After that, you’ll want to create a few different versions for selling. Make the following:
- mp3 version with stamps
- WAV or AIFF version with stamps
- mp3 version without stamps
- WAV or AIFF version without stamps
- Stems for higher priced sales
What is a stamp? A stamp is an audio phrase looped throughout the song separate from the beat. Things you’ve heard like “DJ Mustard” or “MikeWillMadeIt,” are stamps. You need to put these on the songs you upload publicly so people cannot steal your songs and sell them as their own. Also, it’s great for promotion if you repeat your name throughout the song, it’s good to remind the listener.
The versions without stamps are for when you’ve licensed or sold the beat! Congratulations! But don’t get ahead of yourself, export these versions first and upload them to as many websites as you like.
There are a lot of great websites for selling beats online. The list below is just a few of the ones we’ve heard of:
Each website has a varying level of control over how you can customize your seller page, choose as you please. The websites will also have their own flavor of how they take their cut (if at all). These are the places you’ll be selling your beats and building your reputation.
Promoting your beats is the next step of the process. You could have a million of the dopest beats ever, but if no one has heard them or knows about them then you won’t be selling any. There are multiple promotion channels but the most affordable we’ve compiled below, and included some strategies for you to use.
There is of course Social Media, that is an extremely common and effective promotion channel if used properly. It also requires a bit more constant maintenance. Use these more or less depending on how social you are and how often you can tolerate posting.
The most obvious way to maintain your presence is post an image/video clip of your beat once you’ve uploaded it to your seller’s platform. That way your promotion is as constant as your output.
Youtube is the most streamed viewing platform on the internet. Not only can you advertise beats for sale, but you can make ad money from all those views! Double-dipping at its finest.
After making your beat, find artwork to accompany it, then make a video using iMovie or Windows Movie Maker (or just Movie Maker 10). Bring in your beat to the program, then apply your artwork to the video’s full length. If you have a logo this is the place to slap it, we’ll talk about branding in a few paragraphs.
After uploading your video you’ll want to get the tags and titles all correct to best promote your video. To take advantage of Youtube’s promotional potential you’ll probably need help gaming the system so-to-speak. Tools like TubeBuddy and VidIq.
They work in similar ways but an alumni of the school uses TubeBuddy so got some screenshots for you to see. You can type in keywords and find the best results for making your videos rank higher than others.
Once you’ve optimized your Youtube video’s tags and rankings, you’ll be able to drive traffic to your preferred beat-selling platform.
Part of being an artist, and business, is your branding. You’ll want your branding to be consistent across the various media platforms you use to sell your beats. Youtube, Instagram, Beatstars, etc. – they should all be recognizable as belonging to you.
Let’s take a look over at our friends DoomSquad Sounds for inspiration. As you can see from their Instagram page, it looks just like their Youtube channel.
Every image has the logo in the same place, and the images themselves all carry a similar aesthetic. These posts correspond directly with the Youtube Channel’s posts, each of which corresponds with a beat on BeatStars.
This effort will pay off as more and more people begin to recognize your brand. Once you’ve established yourself as someone who can produce quality beats, more people will want to buy them.
Whether you’re aiming to make it big in the songwriting world or just bring in some extra cash on the side, selling your beats is a viable option for your beats. Following this guide is just the start, keep making beats and improving your sound. Eventually, people will want your beats for your style and no longer want imitations.