A Blog about Music Production, HipHop, and Life

How To Make Money For Your Studio

Posted by Ms.Tris On August - 7 - 2008

Good morning all!~ It’s 9:30 am EST, and I’m preparing for an early morning session. We usually start around 10:00 am. Yeah I know.. to early to blast some music, and you are feeling for the neighbors. No need to worry…. this is not an ordinary session. I am renting my studio to a hot producer, as well as teaching him how to use software. I don’t charge much, 1/2 price of the average recording session, and it works great for both of us.

There are tons of ways to make money while pressing on to that multi platinum production deal. Although we’d all like to do music just because we love to, I don’t see anything wrong with making a few dollars along the way. Especially when there is equipment to buy and software to upgrade.

I’d like to share with you a few ways I am supporting my career. I realize that not every producer can do everything, but there are many that you can learn to do.

1.Sell and Lease Beats:

( this will be the longest to explain)
Well you can see across the net this has become super popular for producers. I sold my first beat in 2002 for $50.00 exclusive rights. Yup I started affordable, and I began to build my resume fast. Today my prices have grown with my resume. It’s really up to you on how much you want to sell your music, and where you’d like your music career to go. You will see I lease beats very low. I did not settle on this for a looooong time because like all us producers, my music is priceless ….(thats a little truth and jokey joke :-)).. Seriously, I love to make songs, not just beats. We are all semi local at this point. Not all emcees have money to buy beats at exclusive prices, and who but industry artist would pay 350.00 for a mixtape beat?

This can be a very touchy subject. Music and money, eew! lol…I love to do music/ art, and music is my career. I value my music, and I value my career. If I wait around until I get the Jay Z’s, T.I.’s, and Lil Wayne’s, that means I’d have to work a 9-5 until they compensate me fairly. There is nothing wrong with that, and I have done 9-5, even 12- 12.. since I was 14 with a work permit. Today music happens to be my job as well as expression. This means I have to make money to eat, pay mortgage, buy gas, and up keep the studio,all from music/art.

I have also learned that people value services they pay for more than what’s given for free. Imagine one of your friends saying ” I will buy you a full tank of gas to drive me around the city”. Most likely they would “expect” you to take them a lot of places covering several miles. You would probably drive any route, not thinking about short cuts etc., just enjoying the ride.To your friend there would be a certain “value” on your service. Now if “YOU” paid for the gas, I am sure there would be less stops, and less miles covered. Your friend wouldn’t expect you to burn your full tank, and you may think about the shortest routes to save your gas. Your friend may not think twice about your gas, but YOU would place a certain value on what you paid for…

Although I do work with artist for free a lot, I notice when they lease or buy music, the songs seem to get completed faster and efficiently. My production is as important to them as it is to me. I also give back to local artist by going to shows, and buying cd’s. For my online artist, I offer promotion on the various music sites I am affiliated with. Leasing and selling turns out to be a win win situation for both me and the artist. ( woo glad that’s out )…

2. Studio Sessions:

I honestly don’t like engineering recording sessions, but it’s one of the things I am learning. Local sessions run between $ 25 and $ 125.00 per hour. Since I don’t record vocals, I rent my studio to a few who have skills but not the equipment they’d like.

3.Design Cd Covers/ Graphics

Can’t draw? No problem there are several cool programs that cost about 30.00 which can get you on your way to doing cd covers. I started with PrintShop Deluxe 22
Very easy to learn and use. It works for mix cd covers, business cards, banners etc.

4.Created Some Hooks/ Became Songwriter

Yes, if you have the skills to create catchy hooks, put them to work. If you know you write hot 16’s, or beautiful love songs, artist often need these as much as the beat.

Last but not least for todays post..
5. Started My Own Website

You are reading the newest addition to my income. Although this site is a baby, it has started helping to keep my studio running too. You will notice sponsors, and adverts have been added, along with the beats and drum kits. So when you get your site up and running by all means check out the networks and sponsors.

Okay so there is no need to be a starving producer now :-)..Keep in mind these are just a few ideas and they work for me. This isn’t the complete list..I mean you remember I puppy sit too ;-)… lol

What about you? Have anything to share with other producers and artist?… feel free to comment below ….

Happy Beat Making To All..
Pz Til Later

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3 Responses to “How To Make Money For Your Studio”

  1. SBK says:

    This is a great article and I enjoyed reading it. I found it to be very insightful as I’m a beginning music producer that’s searching for ways to make money for my studio and such. After reading this article I just had a few questions to ask you.

    I was wondering if you could explain to me the difference between selling a beat and leasing a beat to an artist?

    I read that you said it’s up to the producer to determine the price that they want to sell their beats. So as a beginning music producer, what do you think is a reasonable price to start at? I’m thinking about $200 a beat, but for some that might be too high of a price. Also, when do you know when it’s time to start increasing your price?

    These are just some questions that I had after reading the article. This is a great site though that I found out about yesterday after searching the internet for information about tracking beats.

  2. Ms.Tris says:

    Hey SBK Thanks for taking the time to comment and ask questions.Let’s get to the answers:

    Selling or Leasing..
    This is basically the same as leasing or buying a car. If an artist leases a beat they are sort of renting the beat for use under the terms the producer has stated. For example an artist may lease/rent/ pay to use a beat for a certain amount of time like 2 years and be able to sell up to 2000 copies. After the terms of the lease are up the artist may pay for another lease or opt to buy the beat.

    Selling a beat usually means the producer sells the beat exclusively to the artist with out time constraints or limits on sales. An artist may pay 1500.00 for a beat exclusively. Depending on the producer agreement, the artist now owns all rights to the beat and is able to sell as many copies as he or she wants.

    With both options the producer must be clear on the terms of use.Always copyright your music first.

    There are many options when deciding on a price and when to increase. If you are selling beats locally, you’ll need to get an idea of how much other producers in your area are selling their beats. As with any product or service, market research will help in the set price. Online works the same. There are thousands of beats for sale and lease online. I settled on a 40.00 lease because I searched, and studied what artist seem to be able to afford for a lease. 40.00 is also in the basic price range of what other producers online are leasing beats.

    When I first sold beats I started extremely low. I didn’t increase my price until I established myself both locally and online. After six years, I’ve come up with a price range that is good for local artist and ideal for industry artist as well. Again this is from study. Some of the best producers in my area sell beats between 250.00- 1000.00, I sell mine locally for 350.00.G-Unit, Jim Jones, etc have purchased beats from new producers in the price range of 2000-5000. It wouldn’t make sense for me to say pay me 10,000 because they’d most likely keep it moving to the next new producer who said 2500.00.

    You can see there are many options to weigh. I sold beats for 150.00 from 2003-2006 and increased as my music became more in demand, and keeping up with the average price of other producers. Music is not all about money for me. I must make it clear that there are a lot of beats that I just collab with the artist on too. For each producer the situation may be different.

    A final note; I know I can make a hit. Artist locally know I can make a hit. I think a hit is worth 350.00 if it will help you sell cd’s, and make money off shows. The artist who buy my beats at 350.00 know they can easily make the money back from selling the music. If an artist can’t afford 350.00 to purchase the beat he or she may lease it for short term use for 40.00. It takes hard hard work but you have to establish your name, get on every cd you possible can, support artist, and make some hits!~ This places that value on your music as I stated in the post. I hope this helps…..

    Pz Til Later

  3. SBK says:

    Thanks a lot for the answers and response Ms. Tris, it really helped me out. I completely got what you were saying about establishing yourself first as a producer and getting your name out to the public so that you can become more in demand with artists. I now understand the difference between leasing and selling beats and what I should be doing to determine a starting price for my beats.

    I noticed that you mentioned I should get my beat copyrighted first. I definitely know how important this aspect is especially in leasing and selling beats. Should I be trying to get every single beat I produce copyrighted as soon as I produce them or should I wait to copyright then when an artist is interested in leasing or purchasing a beat? I know that there is a fee for every time you copyright something and that would seem like a lot of money for each beat or can you send multiple beats in on one form?

    Do you think it’s best to use an entertainment attorney for when it’s time to establish terms/producer agreement on beats with artists whether leasing or purchasing?

    How do I go about researching what other producers are selling locally? I reside in Chicago which is a big city and it seems like there would be a ton of producers that I would have to research. Should I just go about it by asking the producers personally? I know that online I can just go to the site like Soundclick to see what producers are charging.

    I think I’m going to do like you stated though and start off selling my beats for a low, reasonable price that’s fair for both myself as a producer and the artist, and then increase my price as I become more in demand as a producer and my stock rises. Thanks again for the great advice!

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About Me

Introducing Ms.Tris Beats a Hip Hop Producer, Artist,and Blogger from Baltimore, MD. Currently producing for a host of Maryland\'s hottest Mc\'s, and artist from all over the country. Her music is in demand to the who\'s who in Baltimore Hip hop. Please enjoy your visit as Ms.Tris takes through her musical journey of production, hiphop and life....



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