As an artist, you don’t want to get distracted from your art. But we live in a commercial society, and copyright claims are on the rise. It’s easy to get tricked into taking a bad deal to get a new beat. Costs, licensing, and producers can all be something other than what they seem. That’s why we’ve put together these 7 simple tips to help you find the perfect hip hop instrumentals. This way, you can get back to making art instead of wasting time worrying.
1. Use Trustworthy Sites
There’s a lot of sellers and resellers out there. You want to make sure you’re buying from a legitimate, trusted site.
The most trustworthy websites will be verified and certified. You need to keep your eye out for:
• Paypal verification
• BBB certification
• Antivirus certifications
These certifications can potentially be falsified. So, do some extra research using online sources to check them yourself. The good news is, you’ll only have to do this once! Once you’ve found a trusted source, you can keep coming back.
2. Know Your Licenses
A license is a way of describing how you can use the beat you’ve bought. Most beats you find are protected by some kind of license. You might be familiar with the term ‘public domain.’ Be aware that anything protected by a license is the opposite of that.
Beat licenses break down into two broad categories. Different sites might use different terminology, though. So, read agreements carefully.
Non-exclusive rights mean that the seller retains the ownership of the original beat on purchase. But that doesn’t mean you won’t own the tracks you make with it!
This license essentially means the seller can continue to resell that beat to other buyers. It also means they can place limitations on how many units you can sell of a derivative work. They can even limit how many derivatives you can make.
What’s a derivative work? This is what we meant by ownership. You own the copyright to anything you make using the original track if you’ve modified it with lyrics or other music. It basically means you’ve created an entirely new piece of work.
But the original agreement of the license still stands. So, you need to pay attention to any restrictions included in the license.
Don’t want to deal with the burden of non-exclusive rights? Purchasing exclusive rights could be the answer.
By purchasing exclusive rights, you’re purchasing the right to do whatever you like with the beat. This will usually remove any cap on derivative works or copies sold.
But you should also be aware that sellers can still put certain restrictions in place. You might have to credit them, for instance. Or you could be prohibited from selling the rights to yourself.
You might have to credit them, for instance.
3. Pay for What You’re Getting
Now that we’ve talked about licenses, let’s talk about paying for what you’re getting.
Simply put, a lot of sites will charge over the odds for the license they’re offering. If you want a beat but the price seems high, check what rights you’re receiving. It could be worth it if they’re exclusive rights and it’s a beat you’re going to do a lot with.
But if the rights are non-exclusive and the beat is being sold at a crazy price, it might be time to walk away.
You could encounter a middle-ground, in which case you want to see if the rights suit you.
A high price might be justified on non-exclusive rights if you can make unlimited derivations, for instance. Nobody can make that decision for you. So, being savvy will help you make the right call.
Use testimonials to find the best sites.
Don’t just take a site’s word for it that their hip hop instrumentals are the best. Dig deep and see what other artists are saying. Look out for testimonials about their prices and the quality of their service.
The best sites will have other artists raving about them. Don’t be afraid to ask in the community, either. You’re sure to get some recommendations you can use.
6. Bulk Deals
Don’t just find the beats you want and then buy them straight away.
You want to check the producer’s site first. A lot of them offer bulk deals! That way, you can get more beats for the same price.
Bulk deals are often short-term bargains that change frequently.
You should keep checking back to stay up-to-date. You can also hold off on picking up a beat until you need it. That way, there’s more chance of it entering a bulk deal and you can pick it up for cheap.
7. Buy Straight from the Producer
If you find a a beat you like, you might be tempted to buy it wherever you found it. But hold up!
Beats can be purchased and resold. They can even be circulated in less scrupulous ways. If you can, it’s best to find the original producer of the beat and buy directly from the source.
By going to the source of the beat, you’re more likely to interact with a legit business. You might even find it’s a name you can recognize and trust.
Watch out for Samples
Sampling is popular in hip hop instrumentals. It’s the act of ‘quoting’ another song in a new track.
But sampling can cause some serious licensing headaches. If you’re purchasing a beat, you might not know about the samples it contains. You could be hit with a copyright claim for a track you thought you owned outright.
The derivative nature of your track won’t help you here. Since you don’t hold a license to the song being sampled, you aren’t protected.
If you’re purchasing rights to a track, be absolutely sure you know about any sampled works it contains.
Finding Your Hip Hop Instrumentals
So you can tell that staying alert and informed is important when it comes to finding hip hop instrumentals.
But, it’s not impossible! Keep the above points in mind and you can find the perfect beat for your next piece of art.
Be sure to follow our blog for more hip hop tips and tricks!
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