Far too many Hip-Hop music producers who have talent and skills are not making money from their selling beats and productions. The worst thing you can do as an artist is giving up on your dreams, that is why you need to get your hustle on.
In this article you’re going to learn how to start selling loops online, so you can make money to feed your beat-making lifestyle.
Musicians have been hustling since the days of Rock & Roll and Jazz. Way back before the golden era of hip hop was birthed in the Bronx, country singer legend, Johnny Cash, made a great living selling his vinyl records out of his car before anyone knew who he was. And that was before the internet and social media existed.
He did not want to sign with a major record label at that time in his singing career. Even back then Johnny knew that once you sign that contract, you lose all of the rights to your music.
If you’re looking to make some extra cash like Johnny but you’re not ready to start selling vinyl out the back of your Cadillac (or selling beats on platforms like Airbit and Beatstars), then there are still many ways to make money online as a beatmaker and music producer.
Let’s dive deep into the business of selling loops online.
How to Sell Loops Online
To follow along with this article, you will need:
- Experience in playing a melody instrument and a percussion instrument
- Access to music instruments and a DAW
- Music theory knowledge
- Experience using all of the controls on the MIDI
- Laptop + internet access
- Social media accounts
- Persistence, determination, and a hustlers attitude
- A love for sound design, layering textures, and mixing loops
Putting out great music that sells and generates money can be challenging. It does not matter that you love music so much that you chose a profession where being surrounded by music is your life.
If loving music makes a very successful Hip-Hop music producer, the customers who purchase your loops would mix it themselves.
This blog will give you step-by-step guidance on how to sell sample packs online.
How to Make Money Selling Sample Packs
Create a Sample Pack
The first thing you have to do is create a sample pack. You do this by choosing which piano chord you’re going to be stacking more melodies and other instrument’s progression chords on.
This first piano chord is going to be the background music behind your percussion drum beats.
- Group your piano chords the way you like them.
- Choose your WAV format or template you want your melody recorded in.
- Now is the time to add in blank tracks in case you have to go in and fill in extra layers later.
- Experiment with the same chord progression you recorded for your first layer, but change the second level. Make the second chord progression deeper or fuller or lighter by changing octaves or playing the chord in a higher or a lower note.
- Now you have two-chord progressions to work with. You will hear the first chord and then right after it the changes you have made to the second chord. You blend the two chords together.
- The next several steps will be your preference to create the sound you want. Do you want a delay, echo, or shorter tones…It depends on what you want.
- Then, when you have your first chord progression sounding the way you want it to, highlight it, save it and record it.
- You can either add more melody progression chords or you can start layering your beats.
Repeat all of these steps with layering all the other instruments you wish to add.
Double Check Your Work
- Make sure your work is in WAV or AIFF format so users can access the broadcast standard loops.
- Keep it within two bars: Occasionally you can use four bars but it needs to have recognizable rhythmic patterns. The Hip-Hop culture is also a dance culture and Hip-Hop customers look for repeated rhythms they can move to.
- Recheck your work. If your loops are going into each other, add short fades or crossfades.
- Use a title that describes the tempo and key so the resellers know what to expect. When the resellers see the label of your loops, this is what they should see at a glance:
- Name of the company
- Tempo (# of BPM)
- Type of sound (bass, vocal, etc.)
- Description of sound (e.g., kick drum)
- Musical key (C minor, C major, etc.)
- Be very good at labeling and keep handwritten notes in case the resellers of your loops request a more detailed labeling strategy.
- Make a very detailed file structure. When setting your files up, create empty spaces to add more files in case you add more layers than you originally planned.
- Take absolutely no chances when it comes to copyright music. You never know how the artists or other music producers will use the loop they bought from you.
The ideal situation is that the musician who buys your sample will take it and work with it using what you created only as a resource to get started: But you cannot always count on that happening. The music industry will go after anybody and everybody involved.
Once anyone in your circle gets into court, no one will want to use your loops anymore. Do not even use a breakbeat belonging to anyone else in your loops.
Now Your Loops are Ready to Sell
Now that your loops and samples are ready and available to customers, don’t make the mistake that a lot of aspiring producers do.
There are many producers that think if they just advertise on their own social media platform that they will start to sell beats. If you had ONE MILLION followers and carry the name of Sony, that might work. But if you really were Sony, you would not be making loops.
Here are some ways that will teach you how to sell sample packs:
1. Social Media
- Social Media is the place where you will do your most effective marketing. YouTube is number one for selling music loops; followed by Facebook and Instagram
- Be RESPONSIVE on social media. Respond to all comments, questions, direct messages, and voicemails in a timely manner.
- Build networks and relationships with your followers and companies that are affiliates. There are many of them: SendOwl and Splice are two examples of affiliates.
These companies are platforms that have big following bases. If they agree to promote your product on their social media, your loops will be seen by their followers. For every sale you make, you will split the profits with them.
Many music producers do not want to split the profits: But consider that you will be making a lot more money than what you are paying them. Just like you want to get paid for your services, the people offering their music services deserve to get paid too.
Constantly promote your products. You must always create and put out new mixes. Just like the music artist on tour has to constantly come up with new albums if they want to continue to sell music and make money with music.
Follow music artists and rappers on Instagram. Direct message 100 accounts a day offering them a buy one beat get three free offers.
Expect no responses, rude responses, and no sales for four months at least.
Then when one customer responds, they all do.
Look and create loops that will attract sponsorships. This is when a company will pay you to use your beats to promote their products in their advertising. This can be anything from clothes to cars to music-relevant products such as Shaun T’s Hip-Hop Abs or Beach Body workouts.
Be open to accepting “Placements.” This is when an artist will contact you, ask to use your beats, but you get no money upfront. You split the commissions with the artists that they make from your beats. This requires an attorney. You maintain the ownership of your beats, copyright them. They are not royalty-free.
6. Customized Loops
Sometimes an artist will contact you and ask you to make a customized loop for him or her. You give up all the rights for this one. You get paid a much higher price upfront. Get an attorney to see over the agreement.
Be prepared that the same arrangements will not be identical with each client. You will have to adapt to each individual situation.
Selling loops online can be the fastest way for Hip-Hop producers to become established and build a reputation in the music industry.
It just takes hard work, persistence, and a real love for sticking with trying out non-working marketing strategies until you figure out what works for you.
What works for someone else may not work for you.
You have to love the idea of creating beats for your own enjoyment until you have practiced enough to make your loops marketable. There is money to be made by selling beats online because Hip-Hop culture is a money-making culture.
We wanted to write this article to inform Hip-Hop beat-making producers how to go about making money selling loops online, and let them know they do not have to be signed with a major record label to make money.
Selling sample packs, beats, and MIDI files online can most definitely get them signed with a major label.
Check out our beginner’s guide on becoming a music producer!
Now get out there, and start hustling!
May 30, 2022 – updated internal links
April 27, 2022 – updated links, minor content edits