I Sell Beats Online Should I Get Them Mixed and Mastered?

by Andre Gonsalves

So you’re doing the sell beats on soundclick thing. Cool. Entrepreneurial. Awesome. Amazing. You go boy!

Now the question is should you get your beat mixed and mastered before posting it for sale online? You don’t want your beats sounding like shit otherwise no ones going to buy it.

Should I get the beat mastered?

I defiantly don’t think you should get your beat professionally mastered, because firstly its going to cost you too much and secondly you shouldn’t master a beat before an artist records to it. It is the artist’s job to get the complete song mastered. Also if you get the beat mastered and an artist records to it, it’s going to be tough for them to mix it, not to mention master it later (imagine a song getting mastered twice? Not going to work). This is because the first time the beat is mastered, the mastering engineer will take away all the headroom from the beat, leaving little space for an artist to do their thing. It can be done but the results will be sub-standard.

Should I get the beat mixed?

Yes if you suck at mixing, get your beat mixed, because when artists go to your site and play your beat and it sounds like shit, they’re not going to buy it. But if it sounds amazing, something like Kanye would rap over, they’re going to buy it and word will get around and you’ll get more and more sales and can buy a Ferrari from your soundclick earnings (Okay maybe not a Ferrari, maybe a corolla). It’s ultimately a business decision. You want to have a higher quality product than your competition: other soundclick producers.

Now here’s the dilemma. When you go and get your beat mixed, it is going to even sound worse than when you had it unmixed. Why? Because you don’t know what you’re doing. All the great producers and even the okay producers, have learned to mix their beats as they make them. It not only saves time and money (which you or I or anyone have) but it also allows you to see which beats are actually good and worth putting online. This is getting confusing, at least I’m confused. Let’s use an example.

What Should Tyrone Do?

Tyrone is a “producer”. Okay he’s just starting out. He has the cracked version of fruity loops or reason or whatever. He makes a beat. Heck, he makes 1000 beats. He knows nothing about mixing. He hasn’t even trained his ears. He decides he wants to sell his beats online like “insert popular soundclick producer whose supposedly making a killing” but he knows his beats don’t sound as good. He thinks a better mix is the answer. He pays someone to mix his beat and his beat is mixed good and to “standard” (whatever that means). However, his beat now sounds like shit and he knows it. He can’t put it up online and he can’t sell it. What went wrong?

What went wrong is that Tyrone doesn’t know how to choose sounds and furthermore doesn’t know how to mix those sounds well enough so that when they are mixed by someone that knows what they’re doing, the finished product doesn’t sound like Tyrone’s vision.

Get it?

So what should Tyrone do? He’s got to pay beginner’s tax. Unfortunately for Tyrone he’s got to pay someone to mix the first 10 or 20 beats he makes so he can train his ears to what sounds good. Sure he may not sell any of those beats, but that “training” will hopefully translate into beats he can sell into the future. Ideally, you want to learn how to mix your on beats and at the same time when making beats learn how to pick sounds and chords that sound good together.

Hope this helps.

Andre is the head audio engineer at ADG Mastering, which he helped found in 2012. For the last 10 years, he has made it his mission to empower aspiring artists and musicians from around the world. You can see more of Andre's writings on our Blog.


  1. Great Article!

    In my experience as an up and coming producer you must diversify your sources of income in the music industry. Focus on strengthening your musical brand across the board because the stronger your brand, the more you will able to sell.

    Co-Founder of LaunchDon.con “#1 resource for the music industry”

    Instagram : @NeimanSamuel1

  2. Question related to article: how much headroom should I leave in the mix of a beat that I plan to sell online? Should I normalize to 0db and let the artist’s producer figure out the proper level or should I leave let’s say -4db to -6db? Thanks.

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