What Are The Alternatives?
If you want to make music and need rap beats to do that, the alternatives go something like this: you can make your own. You can buy someone else’s. You can use someone else’s without asking (but there are serious risks to that approach), or you can find a source of royalty-free rap beats that is inexpensive, yet provides you with enough of a sound catalog to do what you want to do.
To make your own rap beats, you’ll need a synthesizer, a mixing board and other equipment. You may also need actual instruments and still more recording equipment. You’ll also need editing software that you can use for post-production work. If you think that route sounds expensive, it is.
We’ve already covered buying someone else’s catalog of sounds. That gets serious really fast. At $25-$50 a beat, you can easily spend thousands of dollars assembling the catalog you want to work with.
You can “sample” someone else’s tunes to get the beats you’re looking for. Up front, that’s the easiest thing to do. The problem comes in later… sometimes much later. If you hit and people start listening to your music, someone eventually will find your self-serve sample. And you’ll get sued. The law isn’t on your side. In fact, some of the biggest names in the rap industry have been sued for copyright infringement. If the original artist can prove that you took their work without asking (which is a nice way of saying “without paying for it”), you’ll lose and you can lose big. The courts can require your song to be removed from the store shelves. You can also be forced to turn over all the profits from the song that uses the work. If the song happens to be your big hit, that can be a big hit to your wallet!
There is one more option. You can work with a software package called Sonic Producer. Sonic Producer has a built-in catalog of thousands of royalty-free samples that you’re free to use. Once you’ve made your music, the music is yours. You don’t owe anyone anything, and you own the rights to the work. Sonic Producer’s catalog alone is worth the price you’ll pay for the software, which is available for both Mac and PC. No extra equipment to buy, no license fees to pay, and everything you make is yours. What’s not to like about that?
Photo Credit: _J_D_R_, via Flickr