How Loud Should My Beat Be For Someone To Rap Over?

How Loud Should My Beat Be for Someone to Rap Over? |

This article will look at how loud your beats should be when you send them artists to rap over. 

We will look at why loudness matters, and towards the end of the article, we will look at some frequently asked questions related to sending beats to artists and selling beats online. 

How loud should your beat be for someone to rap over?

In general, you should leave around 4-8dB of headroom in your beats. The key thing to remember when mixing your beat to send to an artist is headroom.  Headroom is the space between the loudest peak in your beat and 0dB (decibels). It is essentially the space you leave for the engineer to work with.

If you send a beat to an engineer with 0dB of headroom, they will have to reduce the volume of your beat significantly to create their own space to work with. Not only does this make the mixing process harder for the engineer, but it will also negatively affect the sound of your beat

Reducing the volume can badly affect the punchiness and dynamic range of your track, and in many genres like Drill, Trap, Hip-hop, and RnB, punchiness is a key factor of the beat. The engineer can always attempt to bring the punchiness back, but that’s just more work that could have easily been avoided if you left headroom.

If you’ve sent the beat that’s been limited at 0dB, Clipped, and Compressed, then you’ve already got less dynamic range on your beat. When the engineer adds the vocals and their Limiters and Compressors, your beat will sound squashed and bad due to poor dynamic range. 

The simple way to leave headroom in your mix is not to hit 0dB. But of course, there is more to it, but keep that in mind when mixing your beats. 

The consensus is to leave around 4-8dB of headroom in your beats. Most of my beats hit around -4dB at their peak and sit at around -6dB to -8dB. Some engineers may prefer more headroom, and that’s fine; if your tracks are hitting below -3dB to -4 dB at their peaks, then even if the engineer does reduce the volume slightly, your dynamic range will not be as negatively affected as it would if your beat was hitting 0dB.

Why does it matter how loud your beat is? 

The Loudness of your beat is important because it can negatively affect the overall track if it’s too loud or quiet. Most beginner producers think it doesn’t matter how loud the beat is because the mix engineer can always reduce the volume of the beat during the mix stage.

This is true; however, if your beat is sitting at 0dB, the engineer will have to reduce a significant amount of volume. Doing so will negatively affect the beat’s dynamic range and reduce some punchiness. 

Why do some producers have a different version of the same track?

Some producers have two versions of the same track as the one they post online doesn’t have to be as specifically mixed as the one they send to an artist, allowing them to make the one they post online sound as loud and full as possible. 

When mixing your track, you could consider making two versions, one with the additional headroom and a vast dynamic range for an engineer to work with and one for online platforms with less headroom and less dynamic range but with more punch and volume.

People do this as the version you upload online is meant to catch the listener’s attention as opposed to the version you send to the engineer, which needs to be more specifically designed to allow for the Artist’s vocals to sit nicely on top

How loud should your beat be for YouTube, BeatStars, and other platforms? 

When uploading beats online, you should always check the preferred loudness of each platform, as some may vary in how they affect the audio files you upload. You should leave at least 1dB of headroom in your tracks. The beat you upload to YouTube, BeatStars, and so on can differ from the beat you send to an artist.

You can have a separate mix for these platforms because you don’t need that extra additional headroom. 

Having your beat sit at around 0dB to -1dB means you can have a nice loud and punchy track online to catch the attention of artists. Of course, some producers think this is cheating, but at the end of the day, once the engineer has fully mixed and mastered your Artist’s version of the track, it’s going to sound even better than this version.

What type of files should you send to Artists?

You should be sending either MP3 or WAV files to artists. Of course, there are many different file types within the realm of digital audio. MP3, AAC, WAV, AIFF, DSD, and many others. However, we are going to look at the two most popular file types and their uses, and these are MP3 and WAV.


The most common format that you will find producers and other musicians using. MP3 files are good quality and small, making them ideal for quickly sending files.


Considered one of the best quality formats. WAV files are undoubtedly better quality than MP3 files but are significantly larger.

When sending beats that haven’t been purchased to artists and other producers, it’s best to use MP3. Not only are MP3 files smaller, making them a lot easier to send around quickly, but lower quality means people are less likely to use these beats within their track without paying you for the WAV version. 

When sending beats that have been purchased to an artist, then WAV is a clear choice. Almost all artists will want WAV versions of the beat in their tracks so sending them first without the Artist having to ask for it is a good way to secure repeat customers. 

Some producers will charge extra for a WAV lease as opposed to an MP3 lease, and this is a good route you could take if you want to earn a little more for each beat sale or lease. 

What are Track-outs? 

Track-outs (also known as stems) are the individual tracks for each instrument within your beats. Many mix engineers prefer having track-outs as it gives them much more freedom during the mixing process. Track-outs usually have around ten different tracks: Snare, Hi-Hat, Kick, Percussion 1, Chords, Pad, Lead, Subbase, Top Base, and Percussion 2. You will also need to send effects like risers and so on. Of course, track outs are not limited or expected to have this number of tracks as some beats could have well over 30 different tracks throughout, and some could have as little as 5.

There are two types of track-outs: one with all the plugins bypassed and one with all the changes and effects you’ve made. When all the plugins are bypassed, the engineer has complete control over how the beat will sound. When all your plugins and effects are on the files, the engineer will be able to adjust the volume levels to their liking during the mix.

It’s important to remember that you don’t have to send track-outs with your beats if you don’t want to. However, this may affect whether the Artist purchases the beat or the lease, and you can also charge a higher fee if the Artist is requesting track-outs.


I’d recommend you leave around 3dB-8dB of headroom in your beats when you have an artist adding vocals. It can be different for every engineer; some require more, some require less, but generally, 3dB-6dB of headroom is a reasonable amount of space for the mix engineer to work with.

Readings that you may like: 

DAW Related:

Best DAWs For Musicians Available (With FREE DAWs)

How To Develop DAW Software?

What’s The Most CPU Efficient DAW? – 5 DAWs Compared

How To Make Music Without Using A DAW?

Pro Tools Guide: How To Use AutoTune & Pitch Correction?

Ableton Review: Is It Worth The Money? (Cons & Pros)

Logic Pro X Review: Is It Worth It? (Cons & Pros)

How To Use Auto-tune & Pitch Correction In Cubase?

How To Fix Ableton Crackling, Crashing & Freezing? Step By Step


Plugin Related:

What Are Audio Plugins? Different Types of Plugins Explained

What Are The Best Tools To Develop VST Plugins & How Are They Made?

Cost of Developing Audio VST Plugin: Several Factors (With Table)

VST, VST, AU and AAX – What’s The Difference? Plugin Formats Explained

Complete Guide To Noise Gate – What It Is, What It Does & How To Use It?

How To Clip My Drums? Here Is How & Audio Teasers (Before/After)


Complete Guide To Limiter: How To Use It (+ Best Plugins & Analog Limiters)

Mixing With Reverb: How To Add Life To Your Mixes

Linear Phase vs Minimum Phase EQ – Full Guide

Difference Between LUFS, RMS & True Peak Loudness Meters

How And When To Use Algorithmic And Convolution Reverb In Your Mix?

Difference Between Active EQ, Passive EQ and Dynamic EQ


Headphones & Studio Monitors:

Do headphones get worse with age?

Monitors vs Studio Headphones For Mixing & Mastering

Top 10 Room Calibration & Headphones/Speakers Correction Plugins 

Does Heat Damage Headphones?

Are Noise-Canceling Headphones Good For Music Production?

Can Headphones Break in Cold Weather?

Why do headphones & cables get sticky?


Can Wearing Headphones Cause Hair Loss?

How Do I know If My Studio Monitor Is Blown?

Side Effects Of Sleeping With Your Headphones On

Do You Need Music Amplifier For Studio Monitors or Studio Headphones?

Do Headphones or Earphones Damage Your Brain?

Can Headphones or Earphones cause Deafness or Toothache?

FarField, MidField & NearField Monitors – Their Uses, Pros & Cons


MIDI & Synths:

Should I Buy A MIDI Keyboard Or Synth? (Are Synths Worth It Anymore?)

Why Is Audio Gear So Expensive? (Especially Synths)

Top 12 Synth Brands – Analog, Digital & Modular Synth Manufacturers

11 Tips How To Choose MIDI Keyboard 

Should I Buy MIDI Controller Or Keyboard? Cons, Pros & Tips


Guitar/Amp Focused:

Can I Put Nylon Strings on a Steel-string Guitar?

Do Electric Guitars Sound Good Unplugged?

Buying Your First Guitar: 2 Things To Know

Are Tube Amps Worth It? (Tube vs Solid-State Amps)

How Often Does A Guitar Need a Setup?

Can I Play Classical Guitar On A Steel-String Guitar?


How often guitar necks need reset?

Can You Play Two Guitars Through One Amp?

Can a 6 String Bass Be Tuned Like A Guitar?

Can I leave My Guitar Tuned Down a Step? Yes, But Is It Safe?

Should I Learn 4, 5 Or 6 String Bass Guitar & Why?

How To Know If your Guitar Amp Is Broken?

How To Fix Distorted Bass Guitar Sound?


Do Fender Guitars Appreciate In Value?

Should You Put Stickers On A Bass Guitar?

How Acoustic And Electric Guitars Are Made?

Is Electric Guitar Too Loud for an Apartment?

Does a Preamp Improve Sound Quality?

If I Learn Acoustic Guitar Can I Play Electric Guitar?

How Many Hours A Day Should You Practice Bass Guitar?

Do I need an AMP/DAC To Run Bookshelf Speakers?

How to Record Electric Guitar Into Logic Pro X?

Do headphones get worse with age?


Recommended Gear:

Top 12 NearField Studio Monitors On Any Budget

Top 10 Midfield Studio Monitors For Home Recording

Best Biggest Studio Monitors (FarField Monitors)

Top 10 Guitar Pickups for Low Tunings 

Top 10 Analog Compressors For Mixing & Mastering (On Any Budget)

Top 12 USB Audio Interfaces Under 150$, 200$, 300$ 400$ (Any Budget)


Top 12 Hardware Equalizers (Analog EQs For Mixing & Mastering)

Top 6 Analog Hardware Limiters 

Top 6 Solid State Bass Amps (On Any Budget)

Top 6 Ribbon Mics On Any Budget (For Vocals, Drums & Guitars)

Top 6 Cheap Dynamic Mics For Vocals Under 50$, 100$, 200$ & 300$


Top 6 Chorus Guitar Pedals (On Any Budget)

6 Best 61-Key MIDI Keyboards (On Any Budget)

9 Best 49-Key MIDI Keyboards Under 100$ & 200$

Top 5 Best 25 Key MIDI Keyboards (On Any Budget)

Top 12 Acoustic Drums (Best Kits/Sets On Any Budget)


Plugin Roundups:

Genre Focused:

Top 10 EDM Plugins  (And 10 Best FREE Plugins For EDM)

Top 10 Plugins For TRAP Beats (And 5 Best FREE Trap Plugins)

20 Best Plugins For Rock Musicians (+ 6 FREE Plugins)

Top 14 Trance Plugins (Uplifting, Tech, Progressive, Vocal, Dream, Hard)

Top 10 GOA & PsyTrance Plugins (Best Psychedelic Trance Tools)

Top 7 Plugins For Dubstep (With 10 Best FREE Effects & Synths)


Top 20 Synthwave Plugins (+ 11 Best FREE Plugins)

Top 15 Plugins For Techno, House, Electro, Tech House, UK Garage

Top 6 Plugins For Latin Music  (And 4 FREE Tools)

Top 12 Plugins For Hip-Hop (+ Best Kontakt Libraries)

Top 7 Plugins For Game & Film Scoring  (+ 6 Best Kontakt Libraries)

Top 10 R&B And Pop Music Plugins & KONTAKT Libraries 

30 Best Free Plugins For DnB, EDM, IDM & Experimental Music 


EQ Plugins

Top 12 Free EQ Plugins For Precise Mixing & Mastering

Top 9 Mid/Side EQ Plugins  For Mixing & Mastering (+ 2 Free Tools)

Top 7 Graphic EQ Plugins  (With 3 Best Free EQs)

Top 7 EQ Plugins For Mastering In | And Best FREE Mastering EQs

Top 6 Passive EQ Plugins (Klevgrand, SPL, UAD, Waves, IK Multimedia)

Top 11 Plugins For Making Metal (Best Guitars, Drums & Effects)



Top 5 Audio Metering Plugins (LUFS, RMS, LRA, True Peak)

Top 6 Spectrum Analyzer Plugins  – Spectral Analysis Tools

Top 6 Oscilloscope Plugins To See The Waveforms

Top 5 Key Detection Plugins & Software  (+ Best FREE App)


Kontakt Libraries

20 Best Kontakt Libraries For All Categories (Synths, Drums, Vocals)

Top 7 Drum Libraries For KONTAKT (And 4 Freebies)

Top 7 Trap Music Kontakt Libraries (And Best Lo-Fi Kontakt Library)

Top 7 Metal & Rock Kontakt Libraries (Best Guitars & Drums)

Top 10 Guitar Libraries For Kontakt (Acoustic, Electric, Bass & Freebies)


Top 7 Trailer Scoring Plugins & Kontakt Libraries 

20 Best Free KONTAKT Libraries For Various Instruments

Top 9 Piano Kontakt Sample Libraries  (And 5 Best Free Pianos)

Top 10 Percussion KONTAKT Libraries  (And 3 Freebies)

Top 7 Kontakt Libraries For Horror & Thriller Scoring (No VSTs)


Audio Restoration, Calibration & Utility:

Top 6 Noise Reduction Plugins (And 3 Best Free Tools)

6 Best Audio Restoration Plugins & Software 

Top 7 Phase Alignment Plugins To Fix Your Bass & Drums

Top 10 Room Calibration & Headphones/Speakers Correction Plugins 


Instrument Plugins: 

Top 6 Vocoder Plugins (Effects & Synths + FREE Vocoder)

11 Best Rhodes VST Plugins (AND 5 Free Rhodes Plugins)

Top 12 Randomizer Plugins Including FREE Plugins

Top 6 Kick Drum Plugins (Best Kick Designer Tools)

Top 12 Woodwind Plugins (And KONTAKT Libraries)

Top 10 Double Bass Plugins (Best Upright Basses)

Top 5 Strings VST Plugins (AND 4 Best Free Instruments)


Top 6 Sampler Plugins (And 3 Best FREE Plugins)

Top 6 Classical Guitar Plugins & Kontakt Libraries (And FREE Guitars)

Top 7 Wavetable Synth Plugins 

Top 12 Sub Plugins (Best 808 & Bass Tools For Massive Low End)

Top 10 Plugins On PluginBoutique (And 7 Best Free Plugins)

Top 11 Plugins On Plugin Alliance 

Top 7 Acoustic Guitar Plugins (And 4 Best Kontakt Libraries)


9 Best Bass Guitar Plugins (And 2 Best Freebies)

Top 6 Electric Guitar Plugins (Best PAID & FREE Picks)

Top 10 Arpeggiator VST Plugins (Best Synths, MIDI Effects & Tools)

Top 10 Modular Synth Plugins (And 3 Best FREE Plugins)

Top 6 Choir Plugins & Sample Libraries (And 3 Best Free Plugins)

11 Best Percussion & Drum VST Plugins (And FREE Plugins)


Top 8 Piano Plugins (Best Sounding Pianos & 5 FREE Piano Plugins)

Top 6 Organ Plugins Ever Made  (And 3 Best Free Organs)

Top 14 VST Plugins For Beginners (And 9 FREE Plugins)

Top 9 Drum Machine Plugins (And Groovebox Plugins)

4 Best Banjo Plugins (Best Banjo Instruments)


The 5 Best Ukulele Plugins & Kontakt Libraries 

Top 13 Synth Plugins (And 5 Best FREE Synths Plugins)

Top 13 Sequencer Plugins  (Synth, MIDI & Step Sequencers)

The 10 Best Multi-Effect Plugins (And 3 Best Free Plugins)

Top 12 Plugin Bundles For Musicians (Synths, Mixing & Mastering)



Processing & Sound Design:

8 Best Lo-Fi Plugins (PAID & FREE)

Top 11 Plugins For Mixing Vocals  (For Home Studio)

Top 12 Saturation Plugins (Best Mixing & Mastering Tools)

Top 6 Pitch Shifter Plugins (And 3 Best FREE Pitch Shifters)

Top 6 Chorus VST Plugins For Musicians (And 3 FREE Plugins)


Top 6 Limiter Plugins For Precise Mastering & Mixing

The 8 Best Filter Plugins For Precise Cuts & Boosts (+ 5 Free Filters)

6 Best Autotune Plugins To Improve & Enhance Your Vocals

Top 10 Transient Shaper Plugins (VST, AU, AAX)

Top 7 Enhancer Plugins (For Bass, Drums, Vocals & Harmonics)


Top 6 Flanger Plugins (And 5 Best FREE Flanger Emulators)

Top 7 Phaser Plugins (And 3 Best FREE Phasers)

Top 10 Plugins For Mixing Drums (And 3 Best Free Plugins)

Top 7 Bitcrusher Plugins (And 4 Best FREE Bitcrushers + 3 Bonuses)

Top 6 Plugins For Voice-Over & Dialogue Cleaning (Post Production)

Top 10 Stereo Imaging Plugins (Best Old & Modern Picks)


Top 5 Multiband Limiter Plugins 

Top 7 De-Esser Plugins For Better Vocals (And 4 FREE Plugins)

Top 7 Clipper Plugins (Best Limiter Alternatives)

Top 6 Chord Generator Plugins That Inspire Melodies (+ FREE Tools)

7 Best Exciter Plugins For Mixing & Mastering

Top 7 Channel Strip Plugins (And 2 Best Free Plugins)


Top 11 Distortion Plugins (And 4 Top Free Plugins)

Top 5 Comb Filter & Resonator Plugins | Melda, Kilohearts, Tritik

The 7 Best Vibrato VST Plugins | Audec, Audiority, Melda

The 7 Best Tremolo Plugins | Eventide, Melda, SoundToys, Kuassa…

The 7 Best Harmonizer Plugins | Eventide, Melda, Aegean Music

7 Best Sidechain Plugins (VST, AU, AAX) | Xfer, Cableguys..


Top 10 Noise Gate Plugins (And 6 FREE Free Gate Tools)

The 6 Best Ring Modulator VST Plugins | KiloHearts, Melda

7 Best Autopan VST Plugins | CableGuys, Melda, Waves, Soundtoys

The 6 Best Frequency Shifter VST Plugins

Top 11 Granulizer Plugins For Future Sound Design

29 Best Sound Design VST Plugins


Compressor Plugins

Top 11 Free Compressor Plugins (VCA, Vari-Mu, FET, Digital)

Top 7 Multiband Compressor Plugins (And 4 FREE Plugins)

Top 5 Diode-Bridge Compressor Plugins 

Top 6 Mastering Chain Plugins: Complete VST Solutions 

Top 10 FET Compressor Plugins 

The 7 Best VCA Compressor Plugins (VST, AU, AAX)

Top 11 Mastering Compressor Plugins (And 2 FREE Plugins)

Top 10 Opto Compressor Plugins For Transparent Sound

The 7 Best Vari-Mu Compressor Plugins (And 2 Best FREE Tools)


Reverb & Delay Plugins:

Top 12 Reverb Plugins (And 5 FREE Reverb Plugins)

The 6 Best Spring Reverb VST Plugins | AudioThing, GSi, u-he, Eventide

Top 12 Delay Plugins For Music Production In (VST, AU, AAX)

Top 10 FREE Delay Plugins (VST, AU, AAX)

The 10 Best Convolution Reverb Plugins 


Amps & Preamps:

Top 10 Guitar Amp Plugins (And 5 Best FREE Simulators)

Top 10 Bass Amp Plugins (And 5 Best Free Simulators)

Top 9 Preamp Plugins (For Vocals, Guitars & More!) + Free Preamps

Scroll to Top