Great – How to clear samples – 6 easy steps

How to clear samples

Sampling in music is not something new. So if you are a music producer whether urban or electronic, it’s more than likely that you may use samples in your track. 

We are going to share important information about samples in the music and most of all the basic rules involved that must be followed to remain within the law’s framework. 

While rapping, it’s not unusual for producers and artists to take samples from other recorded works. It is very common. But don’t worry as we will help you understand this in detail. 

What happens if you don’t clear the sample for your songs? 

If you are releasing music without clearing samples then it is the choice you are making at your own risk. While clearing samples, many factors are taken into consideration like- online availability, etc. 

In cases, where the samples are found, just remember that you can be sued and asked to pay fines by the copyright holders for making use of uncleared samples. 

In such cases, your music could be pulled from streaming from different platforms and stores. Just because if something is easily available online on the internet does not mean that you can use it anyway. 

How to clear a sample for your song? 

This process isn’t complicated but there are few things you should remember- 

– Do your research 

Be aware that your song needs two types of sample clearance

1. Master composition 

2. Sound recording 

This means that you need to clear the sample with the label as well as the publisher. You can begin your research by looking up artist information on all major platforms. From here you can find all the details related to the song like a publisher, artists, website details, and a lot more. 

– Get in touch with the publisher of the original song 

Identify whom you should get in touch with for the clearance of the sample. If you can’t find anyone then use the contact form available on the website. While drafting your message or an email you can include the following details

1. Information you found on the platform about the track. 

2. Information on track you sampled

3. Link of your song 

4. Length of your song and when you plan to release. 

The more information you can provide the better it is as it may help in expediting the clearance process. 

– You may be asked for negotiation and it shouldn’t be a challenge for you. 

How much will it cost to clear a sample? 

As discussed above, most of the things come down to negotiation. Few publishers or labels may ask for an upfront fee, royalties. It will depend on them. Regardless of their approach, just recognize there is always room for negotiation. 

It has been observed that most publishers would look for- 

● The track that is being sampled 

● Whether the specific sample has been removed 

● The length of the sample 

How long will it take to clear the sample? 

It will solely depend upon the information you have provided to the publisher. It can take from a few days to a matter of a few weeks. It all depends. 

Understand the clearance terms clearly 

Even if the sample has been cleared and you have received the heads up, it does not mean that you can use it anywhere. So it is important to understand the terms. There could be restrictions on licensing and payment deals as well. Some important tips are- 

● Plan your release 

While doing this, don’t wait until the last minute to deal with legal proceedings. Clear your sample as soon as possible. 

● Always look out for alternatives if you are not able to clear the samples. 

● Samples clearing can sometimes be a lengthy process and can be costly. It can make it difficult for you to release on time and can hurt the sentiments of your fans as well as your reputation. It is essential to determine if the sample is important for your music and its success. 

How to clear samples in a song or mixtape? 

Clearing the sample is more straightforward than ever. That does not imply that there won’t be any cost. You may get plenty of ideas about beats or music. But if it’s the sample that you want, then go ahead and do what it takes to get the clearance. 

The current reality of sampling today! 

There are plenty of musicians as well as producers who are releasing their music without clearing samples these days. This practice has become common considering the difficulty and cost of clearing the samples, copyright issues, changes in music distribution & technology. 

Whatever the situation may be, avoid using the samples that are not verified or cleared to avoid any legal hassles and your song being removed from music platforms. So clear those samples if you can and if you are not able to then come up with another musical element that works in its place.

How to clear samples

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AMAZING – What is harmony in music? 1-2-3

What is harmony in music?

When it comes to music, it is not necessary to know everything about it to be creative. But there are a few basic elements that are important and required for improvising your songwriting talent. And to achieve that harmony is one of those important elements. 

It is one of the most important elements of any song and is equally hard to get it right. 

Whether you are a well-established music writer or just a beginner, it is important to understand the basic creative fundamentals of music. So today, we will help you explain what “harmony” really is in a piece of music. 

What is harmony in music? 

Music contains 3 main elements- rhythm, melody, and harmony. The first two elements rhythm, melody are responsible for making any song memorable. Harmony occurs when two or more differently pitched notes are brought or played together at the same time. 

In simple words, you can refer to it as an arrangement of different individual pitches in a chord. In general theory, it means and refers to the building of chords, chord progressions, and chord qualities. 

Harmony in music is applicable to occur only to the pitched instruments and you can also associate it to vocals when they are produced on multi pitched instruments like guitar and piano. 

Why is harmony important in music? 

It is the central element of music and creating a song through engaging harmonies is an important skill. 

How does Harmony work? 

Understanding Harmony requires deep theoretical know-how but you can get familiar if you start learning a little bit of music theory. 

In music, it is represented by roman numerals. All you need to begin with is just replace the chords name with a roman numeral that refers to its scale degree of its root. Roman numerals refer to what category a specific chord belongs to and chord categories tell you the function of the chord in music. 

Tonal music comprises 3 categories-Tonic, dominant, predominant 

Tonic chords 

Tonic chords are referred to as the resting places where harmonic actions seem to be stable. 

Dominant chords 

They are the opposite of tonic chords and come from the triad which gets built on the 5th degree of the scale. The pleasing tension built between tonic and dominant forms the basis for harmonic progression in music. 

Predominant chords 

They are the chords that are used to bridge the gap between I and V. 

How Harmonic Analysis is done? 

To understand this, it is important to see the relationships in action. This is done by writing the roman numerals underneath the chords of the songs. 

When we write roman numerals instead of the chord names, it is then called harmonic analysis. It helps you understand the structure of a song so you can understand how it works. 

Pick up any song, and start with the harmonic analysis, this way you can easily see and understand the smooth progression from tonic to predominant to dominant and back again. 

This flow is the actual functional harmony! 

Once you understand the harmonic outline of the song as an example, you will find out how to use it in your own version. 

How can you Harmonize a melody? 

When you are writing a song, you can begin with chords and roman numerals. If you are composing on a chordal instrument then it becomes quick. 

When you are adding a harmony note just above or below your main melody. It simply needs to “agree” with the chord underneath it. In simple terms, it means that cannot be a dissonant tone far outside the scale. 

All you need to do is identify the chord’s role with roman numeral and then see which notes you can make use of to harmonize with your melody. 


As you are in the process of developing harmony, you will begin creating another melody line on top of the original track. This discipline is called counterpoint. Most of the pop songs don’t contain sophisticated counterpoint. 

There are 4 different kinds of motions in a harmonized melody in which a line can flow- 

● Parallel motion- means when two voices move while they keep the same intervals. 

● Similar motion – means when two voices move according to the same melodic contour. 

● Oblique motion- Here one voice moves while the other stays in place 

● Contrary motion- As the name implies, it is when two voices move in the opposite direction. 

One of the more simple ways to understand harmony is that it deals with the ‘vertical’ aspects of music and if you notice rhythm and melody deal with horizontal aspects 

These are some of the basic elements of harmony which would be helpful for you to understand how it works and to be honest it is a very deep subject. 

Harmony- forms the basis of music theory for analyzing every type of music from classical to pop! Once you are able to understand it, you will be in a position to do better in depth analysis of the songs.

What is harmony in music

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What is a Distribution Deal? 8 Pros & Cons to Great Success!

Distribution Deal

Distribution is an important part of the music industry and with changing times, now music distribution has become a digital process. Digital mediums have surpassed the sales of physical mediums of distribution. 

Whether you are a budding artist or an established one, you must have a digital distribution in place so that you can reach all your potential fans. It helps you increase your network as a brand by reaching as much audience as possible. 

So here we bring to you everything that you need to know about distribution deals. 

With the advent of technology, the role of distributors and music record labels have changed considerably. People have started spending more time online and less on buying physical stuff. 

Whether you are a musician or producer, once you are done with your latest track, the next step is to push the music for release. For the artists who are already signed by the labels, the release activities are taken care of by them but for the independent artists, they need to execute all their tasks independently. 

What is a distribution deal in the music business? 

Just beware and be clear about the distribution deal. 

– One type of deal is a simple agreement between a distributor and an artist. This allows access to specific online streaming platforms. 

This type of deal that allows musicians to release their stuff on streaming platforms is beneficial for independent artists. It allows you to upload your music to the distributor’s online platforms and they can further use their distributor account to upload the music so that the numbers can be increased and you can start receiving the royalties. 

The ‘deals’ are in the form of Terms & Conditions of use, which you will typically find in the small print of the website or with the link at the bottom. So read all the terms and conditions properly so that you don’t end up with nasty surprises. 

– Then comes the actual distribution deals that are quite alarming. In this, the dealers typically promise to utilize their network and contacts to you more streams and results. 

In exchange, they will take a lot of royalties somewhere between 20%-30%. These agreements keep you in a lock-in period which means you could be tied up for several years. 

The problem which many faces through these deals is that they often dilute the royalties especially when both you or the distributors are taking the cuts. 

On a specific note, if you are just looking for streams then instead of distribution deals you may think of considering radio or other modes as an option. You can also get in touch with playlist curators or the synchronization agents. 

– Third comes the traditional distribution deal, which is often not relevant to you as an artist. The record label’s role helps to deal with the recording, producing, mixing and mastering services, etc. of music, as well as its promotion and marketing. 

This deal is however less prevalent now as the industry is moving towards online platforms. You are now required to hand over your copyrights with most deals in exchange for a range of services and distribution of your music is part of that process. 

If you want to retain all rights by yourself then self-distribution is the only way but that is not possible as you have other important things to do. 

In a nutshell, distribution deals are between the music distribution companies and labels which provides the right to the companies to sell record label products. 


● Distributors are in a better position to sell and promote you as well as your music as a brand. 

● They can help you network and leverage their connectivity in the industry. 

● They can offer you better equipment, equipment in terms of shoots, recordings. 

● They can help you close on favorable deals which might not be possible if you plan to do so independently. 

● Bigger budgets and broader connections also help major labels get the best deals on manufacturing, advertising, and other expenses since they do business in bulk. 


● Major labels sign up with numerous artists therefore, you might end up fighting for your place or position if your music isn’t selling. 

● When you sign up with a major label, most of the time the bargaining power is against you. 

● Your dependency is entirely on external factors. This means relying on other companies and working as per their terms and conditions. 

What are record companies looking for in an artist when signing up deals? 

There are several music distribution companies eyeing for talented artists. Here we will help you understand what record labels are looking for in an artist when they plan to sign up. 

● Great combination of music and talent. 

● They are more interested in your music and would be interested to check the play counts. If they are viewing unreleased demos then they might be interested in the portfolio of work you have done before. 

● They are interested in building a brand out of you. Hence, they will be looking out for what is unique in you. Is there any interesting story to tell your fans about it? Having a great combination of music, story, and super visuals in a killer in itself. 

Should you sign up a distribution deal with a label? 

Distribution deals for an independent artist may differ from a band. 

We would suggest that as an independent artist or a producer keep distribution deals aside for a while. You can sign that later when you are in a position to negotiate on better terms that could be beneficial to you. 

In the interim, you can start reaching out to your potential fans on your own and once you have stabilized yourself you can then leverage the other contractual options. 

Signing up with any record label requires understanding and knowledge about what exactly they are looking for. So keep building your true fan base and understand the psychological order of the events before you tie up with one.

Distribution Deal

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What is a 360 Deal? Beware

360 Deal

360 Deal in the music business 

Before we begin discussing 360 deals in the music business, it is important to understand what exactly are 360 deals? 

So guys, remember the contracts in the music industry that allows any record label to receive a percentage amount of any earnings from specific bands or an artist are referred to as 360 deals.

With changing times, there have been a lot of changes in the industry and therefore, these deals have become increasingly common now. 

Recorded music which once was considered very popular has recorded a dip in sales in the last few years, therefore, deals like 360 are much in demand. People love music but there are not many fads left in buying the recorded CDs the way it used to be earlier. 

There has been a significant rise in the music tours where the bands and artists are making money through merchandise and endorsements while they perform live. 

Live streamings, online radios are doing quite well. Due to the change in preferences of the audience and how the industries are working, 360 deals are here and are being chosen over the other deals. 

How does a 360 Record Deal work? 

It is also referred to as “multiple rights deals”. In this, record labels receive a percentage of revenues under different categories. It covers the following: 

– Digital sales 

– Concerts, tours, and live performance revenue 

– Sales made through Merchandise 

– Endorsement deals with the artists 

– Appearances and participation in the movies and television shows 

The idea of the big brands is that they will commit towards the promotion of the artist or the band and in exchange will take a bigger cut from the artist or the band they are representing. 

On the same hand, they will actively be involved in building more opportunities for the artist. They will be responsible solely for managing the activities around the artist’s career rather than focussing on selling the records. 

With 360 deals, they can acquire the copyrights of the artist recordings they also cover the traditional deal agreements where the net sales, foreign sales, reductions for packaging, are all deducted from the artist’s royalties. 

360 deals pros and cons 


● You may not have to cover up all your costs 

● With some of the contracts, you might end up where all the costs are covered by the label. 

● You get an opportunity to develop as an artist 

● Provides you with access to the best people in the industry through their networks. 


● Record labels will take a percentage of everything 

● They may lay claim to the copyright 

● You may also have to give control in terms of your creativity.

Issues with 360 deals 

These deals have been under a lot of controversy for a lot of reasons. 

They are looked upon as money grab deals and are more profitable for labels. As in most cases, it offers the label the financial interest in everything the artist does in the entertainment biz. This has spurred the labels and they wish to participate in all the possible revenue streams generated by an artist. 

Since most labels and affiliates are demanding association with 360 terms and conditions, therefore, artists are often left with no choice. 

Should you sign a record deal? 

These deals are coming up with plenty of pitfalls but with an option of 360 deal vs no deal, they may still be worth accepting if properly negotiated and only if major pitfalls we have discussed can be avoided. 

For the beginner or emerging artists, a major label deal can become a path to be successful as they may be able to utilize their already built network. 

How can you improve your 360 deal? 

Today there are numerous artists with 360 deals. If you want to sign one then it all also depend on your ability to negotiate the deal. For example- if an artist is already earning from other sources, then he may rope in a legal advisor to carve that stream out of the 360 deal. 

● Aggressively negotiating 

If the label is not providing support in terms of the income stream, then the legal advisor can discuss the exact advances for each stream. 

The ideal would be if the lawyer can also negotiate that as soon as the label releases each advance for each stream then the right of the label for the commission for that specific stream terminates the label’s right to commission that income stream terminates. 

● Avoid Cross-collateralization 

The lawyer should make sure that the label cannot cross-collateralized each stream. This means that the label should not be able to take money from one stream to pay for balances for another. 

● Percentage on Net income 

If the artist is offering a percentage of his earnings to the label then it should be based on net and not gross. 

360 deals often suck for artists. But they may be worth accepting only when they are discussed and negotiated properly. An artist should never enter into an exclusive recording contract, without taking the assistance of capable counsel. 

In a nutshell, 360 deals vary on a case to case basis. In some cases, they might be the perfect opportunity right at your door as it can take your career to the next level. In other cases, it might not. 

So we would advise you whenever you sign any contract, get roped in an experienced entertainment lawyer who can advise and make you understand the obligations. 

Understand everything before you sign any deal.


360 Deal

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How To Write a Rap Song – 8 New Steps to be great

How To Write A Rap Song

How to write a rap song? The most popular genre of music in the past few years has been Hip-Hop and love for the genre is constantly growing. 

If you look at the recent trends you will notice that the competition has become fierce, hard and most of the songs rising to the top are the hip hop ones. This clearly proves just how much popular rap songs are and are being loved. 

If you are one of those who really love listening or writing these tracks then here are a few important handful tips which might be useful for you when it comes to the question how to write a rap song. 

Dig into the listening mode 

Your journey must commence by listening. If you want to switch from being just a fan of music to creating one then you should actively listen to the tracks and understand them deeply. 

When you are writing rap song lyrics, chances are you must have listened to a lot of hip-hop tracks but you should try listening to different other tracks as well. You should explore more before you start creating a version of your own. 

Understand and learn the song structure 

As a musician it is important to understand that music is an art. 

Learn, read as much as you can, and understand the lyrics. You will be able to understand the context in which they have been written. If you are a beginner then understand the basics of the music, different parts of the song, notes, etc. 

Have a theme 

Have a theme in mind and decide what you want to talk about. As a mindful exercise, just pen down your thoughts and understand what topic or idea attracts you. Once you are done with it, then decide about writing something substantial. 

Pen down the ideas for your lyrics 

Takedown your idea and put it in writing. It is not easy as it seems as you will have to go back and forth when it comes to writing. Just put down and take note of everything that comes to your mind. 

During these brainstorming sessions, you will realize, some relevant parts slowly coming into existence. So whether it is a complete chorus or a small part just take note of it. These all can be compiled later. 

Arrange and rearrange your songs 

This is an important part of the songwriting process. Collate the ideas and the lyrics you have jotted down. While you are rearranging them you will notice new ideas may crop in. 

Arranging the lyrics is one of the most energizing and at times a frustrating experience. 

Put down your words 

Once you are done with the rearranging part, you should have the lyrics right in place. You can create options and see which works best for you. Choose the beats that you feel are right not just to your ears but to your heart as well. 

It should set perfectly with the tone of the song and should be a perfect match. 

Structure your song 

Now you have to put up your lines together into verses and chorus sections. You need to have different sections. However, as a standard most of the songs are structured like the following


Verse 1 

Pre-Chorus (if required) 

Chorus 1 

Verse 2 

Pre Chorus (if required) 

Chorus 2 


Chorus 3 


– Keep editing 

Once you think you are done with the preparation of the first draft make sure to cross-check if anything is still missing, When you feel you have a solid track ready then you may go ahead and record the same with a professional recording studio. 

Rap songs today! 

Today, rap songs are more about the vibes and the flow they set in and the most important of all being the melody. Melody is what makes the music catchy and draws people’s ears. 

Rap for beginners 

When you are trying to write a rap song, you need to understand where you want to focus on lyrics, vibes, or both. Once you are done with your song go ahead and feel free to take several takes. As a beginner don’t be afraid to give it a shot. 

You never know you may come up with the best rap song version right in the beginning. 

Get your recordings done at a reliable professional recording studio in New Jersey. Track Garden can help you record the finest version of the rap song. We have one of the best teams of experts available to assist you in recording of song, mixing and mastering services & lots more. 

Just remember, keep writing and you will master the art of bringing up the best lyrics and music. And of course you will develop the art of perfecting a song.


How to write a rap song

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Hip Hop Song Structure – 101 GREAT

Hip Hop Song Structure

Hip Hop song structure 

Structure of a song 

Music has been there for centuries and certain factors have already become standard when preparing a musical piece. And one of the most common in any musical segment is the song structure. 

Structure is a typical way of describing how different pieces of the song would come together and make it complete. A standard song structure involves

Intro|Chorus|Bridge|Final Other parts like “breaks” and “pre-chorus” are widely used in pop and rock. 

– Introduction 

Every song should have an introduction and this part places a few sounds. It lasts no more than 4-8 compasses. 

– Chorus 

It is the most important part of the song where you are actually delivering the message or emotions to the audience. It is the strongest part of the song and can last up to 4 -8 compasses. 

– Bridge 

It does not last more than 8 bars and appears after the second verse and chorus. Its objective is to change the normal song to help the listeners engrossed in listening. It is done to avoid predictability for the visitors. 

Typical structure of Hip Hop song includes 

Introduction |verse|pre-hook/pre-chorus|hook/chorus|bridge|outro 

Here, we bring to you a few Hip Hop Songwriting tips and techniques! 

● Get into the writing mode 

Take some time, relax and get into the writing mode. So it is important to keep yourself a little free and focus on writing peacefully. 

● Choosing the beat of your song should not take much time. The simplest way to do this is by imagining the environment of the song where it needs to be played. 

● Identify the chorus 

While writing the hip hop song structure, it is important to identify the chorus. Beats makers are usually aware of the song structure length and based on that they program the expected chorus into the beats. 

● Once you are done with the chorus, continue with the preparation of the rhyming scheme for the first two bars of each verse. This means we need to have a smooth transition between the tension release of the chorus. 

● Finish verse 1- Once you are clear of where the chorus is placed, you have then the reference track of flows. Post this you can work on verse 1. 

● Complete the Bridge, outro, and extra parts (if required) 

After you have completed verse 1 and chorus, you can prepare to write the third and fourth sections which will appear before verse 2. To implement and fix this, write the bridge or outro. 

● Complete Verse 2 

Once, first verse, chorus, and bridge are completed, all you need to do is fill the verse 2. 

● Get ready to record your song 

Now that your song is completed, you can start working on a recording of the whole track. Depending upon your prior experience in writing and singing, it may take 2 hours or more to complete the process. This does not include mixing and mastering. Also, if you are new in the recording studio, you may need more time to get comfortable in the vocal booth and the recording process. A good engineer will help guide you and make the process much easier. 

Benefits of having song structure 

– Helps to maintain balance in the song. 

– Helps the listener to remember the melodies, track, choruses, and other elements. 

– Keeps the listener engrosses. 

Hip hop music, has been with us for more than 2 decades. Once you can understand the basic format then you will be able to drive it as per your artistic vision. 

One of the best reasons for its popularity is that rules to design it are open-ended, flexible, and allows a lot of creativity. So what are you waiting for? Start practicing and help the world discover your hidden gems.

Hip Hop Song Structure

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Music Publishing Deal – Learn 5 Powerful Steps

Music Publishing Deal

One of the most intriguing concerns of most of the music artists is whether they should sign the music publishing deal or not? 

As an artist we are sure, you must have also come across such situations where you need to take a call on music publishing deals. But before that, it is important to understand briefly what a music publishing deal is and how they work? 

Music Publishing Deal 

It is typically an agreement between the publishing companies and the artists. They often control certain aspects of your work. For example- mechanical rights, performing acts rights, and synchronization. They are also responsible for helping you network with other performers or directors. 

If you are an aspiring songwriter or musician then signing up for a music publishing contract won’t be a bad idea. They are the experts in the field and know very well how to price your project in the market. They can help you as an artist to meet your goals by spending on promoting your records. 

Why should you sign a music publishing deal? 

Before signing a music publishing agreement or deal, it is important to understand the pros and cons of the details. If you are confused then you can consider these aspects of why working with the publisher can be a boon for your career. 

– Doing it all by yourself can be tricky. 

So go ahead with the music publishing deal. Dealing with licensing, accounting, royalties can be tedious. Publishers can deal with all these very effectively and seamlessly. They can also help protect your rights based on their industry knowledge. 

– Utilize your time effectively. 

Buy the time. Publishers make things easy for you, in the meantime, you can utilize your time to deal with your new tracks. You can delegate all the management related work to the music publishers. It is cost-effective to take help and outsource your tasks to the publishers. 

– Take advantage of their networking. 

Trust me, networking always helps. A company that is already established can help you network and generate more work. 

– Negotiation. 

They can help the songwriters negotiate your interest and maximize your share. 

– Help you with your growth and creativity. 

Certain music publishers help with a hands-on approach to their artists while assisting them in their growth. 

Publishing deals – will involve the passing of copyrights of your work to the publishers. This will allow them to use your composition and in return, you can get royalties that are collected by the publishers. 

Music publishing deals- What to consider? 

Administrative management through the publishers can help you as an artist grow immensely. This is the reason certain artists prefer going ahead with the major levels. So while dealing with it, you should consider many aspects and learn how to navigate- 

– Organized 

While dealing with music publishers, you need to stay organized. Keep track of all your important documents like deal memos, contract copies, etc. 

– Learn before signing anything. 

Have clarity in mind before you sign up for anything. If you have clarity in mind, then you can make the right decisions. 

What do you need to consider? 

Everything sounds perfect, but you need to understand and take out time if you really want to go ahead with the music publishing deal. Parameters to consider a deal can include the amount of support, royalties, and the experience of the music publishing company. 

There are several top music publishing companies but choose the one which suits you carefully. Once you have reached that level in your career, and you feel you need to move to the next level then you are ready to work with the publisher. 

So before you go ahead with signing any deals, make sure to get your collection recorded right and through the best recording studio. 

Track Garden studio is your one-stop solution for recording, mixing, production, and mixing/mastering services, through an excellent team. Go ahead and give a kickstart to your rewarding career

Music Publishing Deal

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