Recording karaoke - where to get tracks

Hi, sorry if this question is not what the forum was designed for however I was hoping someone could help.

I have a small home based recording studio with a booth. Ive recorded a few ppl but mostly used it for my own recordings. As I'm a drummer I feel the booth is getting underused and almost abused when I go in to sing. I've seen many other studios offering star for the day type packages where anyone can come along and record their favourite track and get a recording and was hoping to offer the same thing (once the whole lock down thing is don't with) . .

My question is about where can I get backing tracks to popular songs. I've contacted karaoke version and asked them about this and they advised I would have to pay them 25 bucks per song to include recording copywrite . Is there anywhere else that people who offer the same service use to get karaoke or backing tracks and what would the cost be. It's a small set up but with these tracks not being the originals having ppl change there mind about the tracks could end up being costly if they are unhappy with the backing track and I guess I'd need an up front deposit before booking to make sure the cost of the track is covered.

Any advice about offering this service would be much appreciated
 

VomitHatSteve

Hat STYLE. Not contents.
You can buy karaoke tracks on CD. (So it would be something like $15 for a dozen or so songs)

You should definitely do some research on what your licensing requirements will actually be. If you're recording friends for fun for free, you shouldn't need to pay a license fee.* But this sounds like a commercial application you're working on (even if it's a limited one)

* Copyright prevents you from publicly performing or distributing someone's song without license, but I don't believe there are limits on recreating it for private use.
 
You can buy karaoke tracks on CD. (So it would be something like $15 for a dozen or so songs)

You should definitely do some research on what your licensing requirements will actually be. If you're recording friends for fun for free, you shouldn't need to pay a license fee.* But this sounds like a commercial application you're working on (even if it's a limited one)

* Copyright prevents you from publicly performing or distributing someone's song without license, but I don't believe there are limits on recreating it for private use.
 
Hi Steve. Thanks for the reply.

It would indeed be classed as commercial as I'd be looking to charge folk. Karaoke version wanted 25 per track but if I'm offering say 3 songs which would take about hour n half that's 75 bucks right away before even charging for my time n studio rental. And buying karaoke cds would also be an expensive game as 15 quid for but 10 to 15 tracks I'd need about a thousand cds just to have an OK selection. Chances would be that someone would want to record a song I don't have which again would be extra cost.

Being a small studio I don't think I would be able to charge £100 plus for up to 2 hours work. Maybe it's not doable but trouble is I've seen other studios offering it. That's studios with overhead costs which I don't really have being a home based studio.

If there were somewhere I could order songs from per track and pay around 10 then it may be feasible but 15 per track is totally limiting
 
Hi Steve. Thanks for the reply.

It would indeed be classed as commercial as I'd be looking to charge folk. Karaoke version wanted 25 per track but if I'm offering say 3 songs which would take about hour n half that's 75 bucks right away before even charging for my time n studio rental. And buying karaoke cds would also be an expensive game as 15 quid for but 10 to 15 tracks I'd need about a thousand cds just to have an OK selection. Chances would be that someone would want to record a song I don't have which again would be extra cost.

Being a small studio I don't think I would be able to charge £100 plus for up to 2 hours work. Maybe it's not doable but trouble is I've seen other studios offering it. That's studios with overhead costs which I don't really have being a home based studio.

If there were somewhere I could order songs from per track and pay around 10 then it may be feasible but 25 per track is totally limiting
 

VomitHatSteve

Hat STYLE. Not contents.
$100 for 2 hours of studio time isn't necessarily unreasonable.

You might also be able to buy tracks individually (off - say - Amazon music or iTunes) if you're able to ID what CD they're on.
 
$100 for 2 hours of studio time isn't necessarily unreasonable.

You might also be able to buy tracks individually (off - say - Amazon music or iTunes) if you're able to ID what CD they're on.
Thanks again Steve. I'd love to be able to charge that amount but with £75 going straight to the copywrite holders (which may well be fair enough) id be making around £15 per hour not including the extra hour it would take to mix them, print cd's off and was also looking to offer a picture of the customer in the studio to add to the CD cover. Id probably end up earning around or less than min wage. But thanks for the help. Ive just (cheekily) emailed one of the studios in my area offering the same thing asking about list of there backing tracks and some info from them so may get a clearer picture when I get a reply back. They are offering 1 song for £99 and 3 for £199 but they are a much larger studio with no doubt better equipment
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
You seem to be getting two totally different things mixed up. Recording costs are separate from licencing, always will be I guess. So you record the track and charge what it costs, the person has the recording but rights to do anything with it. Pretty much the end distribution sets the costs. Counries all differ in how it's done and how the system works and how much it costs. Some routes demand a licence they will supply, some demand a license that you supply and some just get you to accept the blame if it goes wrong. With many platforms using Shazam or similar fingerprint systems, the karaoke track you bought might be a problem, or not. I always charge the licensing to the client, or just persuade them to do it themselves. Don't forget that the recording can also be licensed - so for my work in the studio I go to the UK PPL site, log the date of the recording, my name for the arranger and engineer, their name for artist or featured artist. Then if it does well, I can get a small extra payment! With karaoke tracks, some ban this kind of use, others just charge for it. Your job is to explain licensing and offer to do it, or not - and if you do it, that's a record company type charge. It is certainly NOT easy.
 
You seem to be getting two totally different things mixed up. Recording costs are separate from licencing, always will be I guess. So you record the track and charge what it costs, the person has the recording but rights to do anything with it. Pretty much the end distribution sets the costs. Counries all differ in how it's done and how the system works and how much it costs. Some routes demand a licence they will supply, some demand a license that you supply and some just get you to accept the blame if it goes wrong. With many platforms using Shazam or similar fingerprint systems, the karaoke track you bought might be a problem, or not. I always charge the licensing to the client, or just persuade them to do it themselves. Don't forget that the recording can also be licensed - so for my work in the studio I go to the UK PPL site, log the date of the recording, my name for the arranger and engineer, their name for artist or featured artist. Then if it does well, I can get a small extra payment! With karaoke tracks, some ban this kind of use, others just charge for it. Your job is to explain licensing and offer to do it, or not - and if you do it, that's a record company type charge. It is certainly NOT easy.
 
Hi Rob. Thanks for the reply.

You could definitely be right about me getting things mixed up. I'm not looking to publish anything that's recorded but essence ally just offering to record someone singing along to a backing track.

I know you can get mp3 backing tracks/karaoke tracks by downloading them from youtube. Would it be better that I ask the customer to source the backing track from either YouTube or something like karaoke version and just charge for the recording. I defo wouldn't be giving them authority to use the track to make money from it however I'm guessing that most ppl would want to perhaps put the track on social media in a non profit way by just saying look at what I recorded and how great it sounds.

Is a way around this just recording the track and letting them know they may not be able to upload on social media or use the track by releasing it for profit? Or advising that they do so at their own risk
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
The reality is better than the system. Technically by selling it, you're doing the dirty deed - you cannot absolve yourself by even getting them to agree to take the rap and do the time. You transfer is, bung it on usb sticks or email it to them - the deed is done. However, there is sense out there to a degree. If you give it to them and they stick it on YouTube, what is likely to happen is you (they) get a notice from YouTube saying the track is the subject of a copyright claim by A&M music or whoever. They will get the advertisement revenue generated by the ads YouTube stick on. It still stays up, and they take the money and everyone is happy. Occasionally (like Metallica discovered recently) the record company say NO - and the audio is removed or replaced. This is quite rare. It does mean that radio play is almost certainly not going to work. They could sort it, but in most cases, the paperwork will make it unattractive.
recording somebody singing to a track is not a 'just'. If you buy some karaoke tracks they are licensed only for home use. How many sing at home? A charity gig in a pub is not domestic. It means a licence - distributing it is a different license. It's very complicated to do legally - hence why so many people don't!
 
The reality is better than the system. Technically by selling it, you're doing the dirty deed - you cannot absolve yourself by even getting them to agree to take the rap and do the time. You transfer is, bung it on usb sticks or email it to them - the deed is done. However, there is sense out there to a degree. If you give it to them and they stick it on YouTube, what is likely to happen is you (they) get a notice from YouTube saying the track is the subject of a copyright claim by A&M music or whoever. They will get the advertisement revenue generated by the ads YouTube stick on. It still stays up, and they take the money and everyone is happy. Occasionally (like Metallica discovered recently) the record company say NO - and the audio is removed or replaced. This is quite rare. It does mean that radio play is almost certainly not going to work. They could sort it, but in most cases, the paperwork will make it unattractive.
recording somebody singing to a track is not a 'just'. If you buy some karaoke tracks they are licensed only for home use. How many sing at home? A charity gig in a pub is not domestic. It means a licence - distributing it is a different license. It's very complicated to do legally - hence why so many people don't!
 
Ye I get you. I'm looking for ways to try get my studio earning and I'm kinda located in a remote location so getting original artists here is limited. Not really been much of a focus over the last while tho as been working but work may well be coming to an end and need to find ways to make some cash. My thinking was there are probably way more ppl out there that like to sing and wud like to have some experience recording in a vocal booth to there fav songs than there is musicians that have written n looking to record something. Think I'll try contact a few other studios offering the same thing n try fish for information from them. Tried it the other day but never really stated where they get there tracks from just that they have access to millions of current n popular songs. Seams that if there was a better way of doing this making it more attractive to studios they may be missing out on some extra revenue however 25 bucks per track seams to me that they have overpriced them self's out of this extra cash generating
 

jimistone

long standing member
Get the spodify premium package. There are thousands of karaoke backinf tracks there. If someone wants to record their self singing "the gambler" by Kenny Roger's. It is there at you finger tips instantaneously. You can pay whatever licensing fee there is for using the track on the tail end.
 
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