The Problem with Free Accapella
Word Count: 674
Time to Read: 00:02:41
Here I am – this is me with another blog post – hitting where it hurts. I have been working with free vocal samples since the beginning of the year and created roughly ten release-ready tracks. Many people are unaware of the truth about free acapella, but it’s important to share it. I have realised this. This post will help you understand the inherent problem with Free Accapellas.
What is an acapella? Accapella is singing minus the instruments. What are free acapella? Accapellas are “limited” and “Easily accessible and free” to use online to music producers on a “little to no budget”. Please pay special attention to the words in quotes. This is where it gets interesting!
Let’s explore the quotes one by one:
Limited – it is obvious – because not everyone wants to do charity. If one has the talent to showcase their skill, then what better way to monetise it? It is understandable for such individuals hanging to eternal hope to collab with someone landing them the big break.
What hampers their reach, according to me – they are not good enough, choose an incorrect platform to showcase their skills, lack consistency and quality, and not being persistent enough. Sometimes, it could be all of the above reasons.
Music producers like me who are on a budget cannot pay in dollars. I would hire local talent and pay them in cash or kind. So, unless an acapella is marked as “Free Commercial Use”, I will not touch it.
Some music producers may plagiarise the song or rip it off the website. It is important to show respect for the creative efforts of the original artist. As a man of principle, I respect that so should you. How would you feel if someone ripped off your music? At some point in our creative endeavours, we may eventually and unexpectedly encounter it. It is only a matter of time.
Easily accessible and free-
Let us first be grateful for the internet. Artists and music producers can conveniently bypass record labels and launch their music careers through distribution services. All services are now available online making the reach possible.
Searching for free samples online is difficult. It is true when you have to scout many websites to check and double-check the license requirement. It can take hours and days to look for the right content. Even if you do find one, the acapella must sync with your tastes. You must abide by the singing – otherwise, your efforts are futile.
The wonderful access to the internet also means that many music producers think the way you do. If you have found one sample, then chances are hundreds of others there have found it. Some of them may have already released their tracks online.
When a listener listens to 10 different songs having the acapella sample, it will sound like a remix to them. The limited knowledge the listener has will compel them to look for the original song online. They will scratch their heads looking for the original not realising the vocals were freely available online. Music producers have taken advantage of the acapella’s public domain licence to make their songs a reality.
Little to no budget-
I will be honest here. If I had the budget to buy vocals online, would I have bought it? My answer is no. I would prefer encouraging local talents as stated earlier. I would not opt for professionals who charge a hefty sum. I would rather collaborate with little-known artists or launch one of my own. Ultimately, I would pay them in kind until I generate enough revenue to sign a contract.
Why did I start including acapella in my tracks in the first place? I could not make good melodies initially like the way I do now. I still cannot do it creatively. Accapellas were (and still are) a fantastic way to accommodate in a track with little to no melody.
The other reason: I can write songs myself and have already written (un-released) four songs.