How Much Do Beat Makers Make?
Beat making has grown wildly popular in the last few decades. Today, there are more beat makers than ever before. Many beat makers are very successful. Many, if not most, are hobbyists who create music for fun. Whatever your goals, there is an opportunity to earn some extra money with your beat making skills.
How much do beat makers make? Beat makers can make anywhere from zero dollars to millions of dollars, depending on skill, reputation, and experience. The term “beat maker” holds several definitions. To further explain, we must examine what a beat maker is exactly.
What Is A Beat Maker?
The term “beat maker” was popularized by modern-day music culture, and is a slang term for someone who creates the beat structure and melody using digital tools such as samples. However, beat making is much more than this. Creating a finished song is much more complicated. First, let us explore the different types of “beat makers,” along with the money-making potential of each.
Musicians are the original “beat makers.” They have been around since the beginning of known man, and are the essence of how a beat is born in the first place. Take the drummer, for example. Before a sample is used to make beats, it must first be engineered. This is where musicians come in.
Musicians will play the instrument live as it is recorded by a recording studio professional, such as a sound engineer. Musicians are hired for their talents in this process. These musicians can charge whatever they want for this type of service.
However, it usually depends on how much the project manager is willing to pay for that musician. For example, say you are a bass player, and you see an ad online that is looking for a bass player to record some riffs at a recording studio, you may be paid a flat rate. If the bass player is a well-known artist, such as Robert Trujillo, known as the bass guitarist for Metallica, then that bass guitarist is going to be paid a ton of money.
It really depends on the goals of the project, and what type of sounds are needed to be captured, and for what the purpose of the plan is. The sounds of the instruments are captured by a sound engineer, which we will discuss next.
A sound engineer is the guy that takes the sound and develops it using a recording studio and DAW (digital audio workstation). Studios can range from a few hundred dollars to millions of dollars. There are a lot of technological instruments that are working simultaneously during the recording process.
Let us revisit our bass guitarist example. The musician is strumming away at his bass guitar, while the music he is creating is being captured through a microphone. This music is essentially a sound wave. Now, that sound wave travels through several technologies such as a compressor, for example, to manipulate that sound wave and make it sound its very best.
This process takes years of experience to develop the skills necessary to capture and create quality sound samples. Sound beginners can essentially create a bundle of sound samples, called sample packs.
Sample packs can be developed and sold to those looking to create their music using these pre-recorded samples. Some samples may come with effects already added to them. Then some may be in what is called “raw form.” Raw form samples are instruments that have been recorded in their purest, most unaltered way but without compromising on the quality of that recording.
Capturing sounds is not limited to recording a musician playing an instrument. Sharooz Raoofi (better known just as Sharooz) began taking vinyl records and recording samples from them to create his own production works.
Sharooz’s use of records is an example of how limitless this creative process really is. The marketplace for samples is huge, and giants such as Native Instruments and Splice have dominated this industry.
Consider Going to School
It is important to note that sound engineering can be a scientific and involved process, and if you are interested in this part of the beat making project, then a school such as Full Sail University might be a great route to start.
Some other schools offer similar courses. If school is not something you can afford, you might try asking a successful sound engineer if they will teach you in exchange for small labor such as cleaning or whatever help they may need.
If you would rather skip the whole process of creating samples, then being a music producer is probably best.
A music producer is probably the most closely synonymous name for a “beat maker.” Just like sound engineers, music producers have a digital audio workstation (DAW) such as Cubase, or Fruity Loops. Music producers take those samples and export them into their DAW to manipulate and create beats and melodies. Since music production is the focus of today’s topic, we will go into how music producers aka beat makers make money at length.
How To Make Money As A Music Producer
Before we begin, let me just say that selling your music is all about branding yourself. Making money off your beats is all about building your reputation; your reputation is your equity. I recommend studying how to build your brand by doing lots of research. Now, let’s get started.
Make sure your music is out on all the streaming platforms. This includes and is not limited to YouTube, Vevo, and Spotify. While many of these subscription platforms are used mostly for people looking to listen to the playlist and not composition beats, it is still a great idea to release your creations.
Spotify, for example, could pick up your music and add it to a major playlist without you doing anything, which will help to get you known and promote yourself and your brand.
Several industry professionals swear by using a service called Distrokid which uploads your music to almost every online music store and streaming service imaginable. But, at the very least, make sure you’re using sites such as YouTube, which has the ability to generate ad content after a number of views.
Do some research on YouTube’s “Content ID Tracker,” which follows if your music is used in an ad that can also create some streaming revenue. You work hard making your music, be sure no one is using it without giving you the credit you deserve.
Selling Your Sounds
Not everyone knows how to create music, but designing and placement of loops and splices are much easier, especially for beginners. Music producers can create their own sound loops and sell them online. Using the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), music producers can create loops for others to use to create their own music productions. Loops are small sections of sounds that are repeated continuously. Sample loops make it super easy to create projects and songs.
There are so many ways for you to increase your brand awareness and increase your revenue potential through collaborations. Collaborations can happen in a number of ways and are some of the most intuitive and effective ways to promote yourself and others. Music producers can collaborate with other music producers, or musicians, or any number of music production-related companies.
For example, if you wanted to collaborate with another music producer, one of you could work on the beat while the other works on the melody. Then if you both wanted to collaborate with a singer, you could send the track to the singer and have the singer record some vocals to your track. Now you have three artists on one project, and three times as many people promoting the finished product.
Alternatively, as a music producer, you could collaborate with brands that manufacture music production products. For example, Ableton is a popular brand and many producers use their products. If you are a music producer using Ableton, reach out to that company for promotional collaborations and opportunities. See what other music producers are doing with products and follow in their footsteps.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to highly successful music producers and ask them how they landed their collaborations. Most are happy to help the up-and-coming beat makers, and may even consider collaborations with you simply by asking. Promoting yourself is all about motivation. If you’re lazy and you do not want to promote yourself, no one will want to collaborate with you.
Placements are considered to be one of the most sought after ways to make money on music productions. Placement is essentially when you sell your music to another artist, usually well known, and they use it to sing over and put in their album. Or if a TV show uses your music in the background.
The Upside: Placements pay good money. The downside: Achieving placement can be a lot of work, requiring a lot of research and networking. If you’re looking to get a beat placement for Nikki Minaj then find out who you have to contact to get your stuff heard and make sure it is the right people. Also, be sure your music is top-notch quality.
Be sure you’ve spent a lot of time and invested in your skill before you began reaching out for placement. Also, many times celebrities will ask for artists to send them their productions. Be sure you’re following artists on social media and looking for these opportunities. Spend a good amount of time researching what music placement is, including well-known terms and conditions.
License Your Tracks
When you license your music, you basically are registering your content for use by third parties and you get paid each time that content is used. Think about the theme song to the introduction to your local morning show for example.
To do this you can register your work on a Performance Rights Organisation (PRO). There are several and you can find them by searching for them on the internet. Each time your track is used, you get paid a license fee.
A new music producer is born every day. That means you have the opportunity to teach them all of your awesome skills. As a skilled and experienced music producer, is always someone who is searching for something that you know how to do already. Teaching is probably one of the most overlooked and underappreciated ways to get your name out there in the music industry.
Make it a habit as a part of your music creating process. Each time you finish a track, go back over your process and think to yourself, which part of that process was most difficult, or would be most difficult for someone just starting out as a new music producer. Then, turn that into online content with your music production name all over it.
This could be a blog where you simply explain the process. Or it could be a video tutorial using a screen-share program that records your monitor and shows exactly how you make one part or all of a track. Some of the most well-known names in the music production industry are using these techniques, and not only will it make you a better music producer, but it will make you look like an expert.
You may be wondering, “How does a video tutorial make me money?” Well remember that making money as a music producer is all about building your brand, and in order to build your brand, you must first build awareness of your brand. This is an excellent way to just that. Plus, if you get enough views on your YouTube channel, you’ll start to see some ad revenue trickle in.
As your audience grows, so will your following. If everyone in your city has heard about you and your mad music production skills, then it might be time to take it to the next level: Live Performances. Live shows are increasingly popular among music producers.
This allows you to take your skills on the road, and if you have a good following, then bars and nightclubs will welcome you. The bigger your following, the more money you can potentially make, from a few hundred dollars to opening up at a nightclub, to thousands of dollars as headliners at festivals.
These days, music culture is strong in live performances using music production techniques. You can also create your tracks and DJ them as a live performance.
Social Media Strong
Staying on top of your social media is crucial. Your social media platforms are hubs that connect your fans and audience to your streaming sites and content. It also serves as a place to create opportunities for social interaction.
It is important to utilize these social interactions as ways to get to know your audience. Without knowing who your audience is, how can you give them what they want. Social media is a place for your fans to chat about your brand.
This is so important because when you have fans chatting about your brand then you are essentially creating a brand culture. When you have a brand culture then you are definitely on the rise to being a star.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised by the number of artists who are trying to sound like everybody else. One of the most effective ways to get into the music idustry successfully it just by being your authentic self. Do not try to reinvent the wheel when it comes to music production. There is so much content out there that sounds the same and sounds so completely generic.
Try to take what makes you unique as a music producer and develop it as your brand. This could be done in any number of ways, depending upon what you’re most good at. Maybe you have a signature sound you like to use in your music. Maybe you are awesome at teaching others how to create beats and can develop a huge following on YouTube and other streaming and social media platforms. Whatever your talent may be, find it, and hone in on it, and utilize it.
Forget The Haters
I saved the best for last. Forget the haters. I repeat, forget those haters. This is so important because, the more you put yourself out there to the world, the more susceptible you will be to criticism.
If you let what mean people say on your YouTube comments get your down, then you’ll be held down by criticism, and insecurities and you’ll never feel motivated to keep pushing your music. Unless every single person is giving your music a “thumbs down”, then do not listen to those terrible internet trolls.
In fact, if someone criticizes your music, make an even better move than ignoring them by reaching out with a personal message and politely asking for some more constructive criticisms that a simple comment such as, “Your music blows.” In the world of brand management, the complainers actually present more opportunities for improvement than the ones who praise your music. Just be sure not to let negative talk bring you down.
Dr. Dre, one of the world’s most well known and successful beat makers, once said, “No matter how hard you work to bring yourself up, there’s someone out there working twice as hard to put you down.”