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Written by Ramsey Brown.
If you are an extreme Spotify advocate like me, you may have come to the realization that the company constantly has something genius up their sleeve. Of course, I enjoy Spotify for music streaming purposes, but furthermore I really appreciate their innovativeness and ability to stay 3 steps ahead of the music industry at all times.
Spotify has made numerous acquisitions in their time, launching various different branches of the company that go way beyond just streaming. They now have dabbled into the worlds of podcasting, music analytics, live audio chat rooms, and also audio production and music collaboration marketplaces.
As we all know, collaboration and the ability to work with others is a crucial part of what makes the music industry so lucrative. But all too often artists, engineers, songwriters, and producers alike are unable to reach their full potential because they don’t have the right collaborators or connections to make their projects complete.
Shachar Gilan, founder and CEO of SoundBetter recognized this problem but couldn’t understand that if there was such a mutual need for connections on all sides of the music spectrum, why there wasn't a platform or marketplace already established to solve this problem. Well, back in 2005 these sort of websites were not nearly as common as they are today. Gilan then used his previous knowledge in tech, music production, and business to create SoundBetter.
Fast forward to 2019, streaming giant Spotify acquired SoundBetter for an undisclosed amount, adding yet another extremely useful tool for artists to their book. That was just a brief history lesson on the company’s origin and how exactly Spotify came into play. Now that you know the background of the platform, the more important questions arise — What actually is SoundBetter? What can it offer to users? Is it a legit way for musicians to monetize online? Or is the platform a complete waste of time?
Well, we’ve done our research and are here to answer all of these questions in this review. If you are a singer, songwriter, engineer, producer, instrumentalist, or anything in between, keep on reading to learn more about SoundBetter and if the return from the platform will be worth your investment.
SoundBetter is an online marketplace that allows musicians of all types from all across the globe to come together and exchange music services for a fee. SoundBetter has a large database of audio mixers, mastering engineers, professional singers, and many other musicians for hire that anyone can easily find and connect with through their website.
On SoundBetter, you can find exactly what you need to create or finish your own musical masterpiece — all on a professional and safe platform. For further peace of mind, the musicians on that platform are reviewed by their previous clients, so you can read what others had to say about their service before you actually commit to working with them. It’s kind of like Yelp, just for musicians. This way, an artist who wants to inquire about hiring a specific producer will have the assurance that he or she is reliable and has been approved and ranked by previous artists who have worked with that person.
In addition, SoundBetter is in full collaboration with Spotify for Artists. Meaning, approved and verified Spotify Artists are able to post their services on the platform, proving they are vetted by Spotify to ensure they are professional and produce work of high-quality only.
Beyond this, SoundBetter offers services from Grammy, Oscar, and Emmy winners around the world. They offer users the chance to work with premium big name musicians — an opportunity you can not find anywhere else. If you want to work with Kanye West’s producer, Hoobastank’s drummer, Beyonce’s songwriter, Joe Cocker’s bass player, or The Killers’ mixing engineer… you can do this all on SoundBetter.
The operation of SoundBetter is really simple and anyone with musical talent and a minimum budget can access the platform and enjoy all the advantages it has to offer. It could be said that this website has a similar feel to other websites that offer freelance jobs, such as Fiverr or Upwork, where users just register or sign up, set their professional preferences or services they are looking for/can provide, then the search filter will show what options match up and are available for hire.
To start with, the interested artist should log in to the main search page and start searching through the different job options available based on their own preferences: instruments they play, production and musical style. Based on that, he/she will have to choose an artist to propose to work together through a formal invitation (the platform itself has a button to send it) and explain briefly what the musical project would consist of and the approximate budget available to carry it out.
All projects that are carried out through the platform will be securely funded by Soundbetter and all payments will be made via Paypal. This avoids fraud and ensures that all interested parties receive their money in the time and amount agreed at the beginning of each project.
If after that first contact the artists reach a formal agreement and decide to create their own musical project through the platform, both will be able to start sending each other logical files for the development of the work, such as scores, mp3 files, audio recordings, etc. It should be noted that all these files will be protected by the web that will prevent them from ending up in the hands of others who intend to plagiarize and appropriate the work of others.
Finally, when the project is considered finished and ready to be shared on the main social networks and streaming platforms such as Spotify, the funds agreed with the provider will be released via Paypal and the work will be finished. It is important to inform that the platform will always take a small commission for each payment, a minimum and fair percentage that it demands from the artists for providing them with the means and the opportunity to work together on a professional music project.
After that, both artists will be able to continue in contact through the platform for future collaborations and share their work to promote themselves and advertise the platform that has helped them make it happen.
This is perhaps the most important issue for many artists, especially if they are starting out and their economic possibilities to invest are scarce, but do not worry because like other platforms in SoundBetter there are several payment options and even a totally free version with which you can take your first steps without problems.
One of the great attractions of SoundBetter compared to its main competitors is the free version offered to its beginner subscribers, which allows them to include their biography, professional experience and demos so that others can visit their profile and see their work before being encouraged to collaborate with them.
Although all these steps are free indefinitely, if that user gets a job and gets paid, they will still have to pay the 5% commission established by the platform. However, this will only happen if a client invites you, since this plan does not allow you to contact other artists or request to work with them, it simply allows you to expose your work and wait for other paying clients to be interested in it and want to invite you to work together.
The premium plan is full of advantages over the basic plan, something logical given the fee of $50 per month. In this plan you will not only be able to directly send collaboration requests to other artists, but your work will always appear higher in the list of results so that you have more chances to be seen than your main competitors in your specialty. On the other hand, users of this plan are also assured that all their work proposals are previously analyzed by their quality team, something that will allow you to accept a collaboration with more confidence and know if the artist you have chosen is worth it.
SoundBetter is a great concept and can provide many opportunities to musicians who are in the market to collaborate with other musicians. Most any artist could use some extra cash, so why not use any and every platform in order to do so?
As a musician, you can find the right professional to help you finish your songs, including producers, mixing & mastering engineers, singers, songwriters and more, hire and securely pay for services directly through SoundBetter.
Our team at Omari MC definitely recommend you trying out SoundBetter in order to advance your professional career as a musician. Comment below with your experience on the platform, or if you have any other music collaboration platforms that you would suggest to others.
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I agree,,,I put my song on an ad on sound better and I got a proposal from a producer within 24 hours.
I checked out her profile and it had all 5star reviews.
So I decided to go ahead and accept her proposal to mix and master my track.
Honestly,the service I have received so far has been very amateurish and careless.
After 4 attempts I’m still not satisfied with her work.
I thought I was going to get a well polished mix with punchy base ,crisp treble and well tuned vocals.
Instead of that all I’m getting is very low quality mixing.
I’m sure I could mix and master it way better myself.
What I thought was going to be money well spent ended up being money well wasted.
USE WITH CAUTION. The SoundBetter ‘team’ is HIGHLY UNPROFESSIONAL. They offer no protection to clients who get taken advantage of from greedy producers and musicians. When an issue comes up, you MIGHT be lucky to get an e-mail response to your issue. But don’t expect any more than one. I have sent too many e-mails following up on an issue that continues to get ignored.
They will not solve your problem. They most likely won’t give you a refund, as I’ve found out too late after I was scammed, and talking to others who used their services who also got scammed. Why would they? They get a percentage of the payment on hired producers and musicians. They don’t care if you get scammed, as long as they get their cut. They don’t want to give it back and lose that profit.
They won’t actually look into your problem. They see very surface level, won’t actually read what you say has been going on, just a brief skim to get it over with.
For my situation, I hired a producer to create, mix, and master my song with existing vocals, ready for release. I gave him very specific references, and how I wanted the energy to be. He would refuse to do that. Eventually I had to settle on something completely different. He showed me an incomplete track he had previously made, so he did not create it for me. I had to settle with that after I realized he was not going to do what I asked, and straight up told me he wouldn’t. After that, he continued to refuse to do anything I wanted to complete the track, and was clear he was going to do what he wanted to do. Especially since he wanted his name in the main title. He saw it as his project, not mine. He made some adjustments based on how he wanted, things I never asked and had to ask to undo, continuing to ask for the same basic things I wanted from the beginning he would not do, or ignore. He was also horrible with communication. Large gaps in communication. Many errors with missing instruments, timing was off, would not fix an issue with the vocals. Eventually, after months of me asking for the same specific things he would never do, he demanded extra payments to do what I wanted. When I eventually gave in, because I already spent almost 2 THOUSAND DOLLARS, he STILL DIDN’T DO THOSE THINGS. Eventually he refused to finish it, and that he would no longer discuss it. And he just stopped responding, leaving my messages on ‘seen’. For months. No finished product….AND GUESS WHAT? NO PROTECTION FROM SOUNDBETTER. Refund refused. Every e-mail after that ignored. It wasn’t until I tried months later, and I got my bank involved who opened a case with SoundBetter, that a second member of the team offered me a partial refund. Then, the first team member replied when I asked why only a small amount when barely anything was done, and then the e-mails were left ignored. And the other 5 follow up e-mails ignored. The partial refund never came. Keep in mind, it has been what, over 6 MONTHS since I first e-mailed them. I’ve maybe had responses to 2 e-mails out of over a dozen spaced out over time. NOTHING.
I’ve been absolutely shocked at how they can let this happen, allow the people who abuse their services to continue to scam multiple people without taking action, allowing that same person to repeat behaviour.
But what’s the most shocking is how unprofessional they are, how they purposefully ignore e-mails, follow up responses. And IF they offer you a partial refund, they won’t actually end up giving it to you. Even if you send 5 follow up e-mails, they will ignore it and not do anything.
In October 2020, I hired a producer on SoundBetter to produce, mix, and master a song to my existing vocals. Long story short, he never did what I asked. He wanted his name on the track, it was clear he saw it as his project and not mine. Even though I paid close to $2,000 CAD. I had to settle on an unfinished track he had made previously. It was not made for me. Any adjustments I asked to finish it, he would refuse to do and only make some small adjustments he wanted. Barely anything done. Large gaps in responses to my messages. After months of me asking for the same things, he would demand more money. I eventually paid. He still didn’t do it. Then, he refused to do any more, refused contact, ignored my messages left on ‘seen’. No finished product. I contacted a client that had given him a bad review, this was not the first time he did this.
Contacted SoundBetter. Refused refund. Almost all of my e-mails left ignored. One person offered partial refund. Never came. Enables scams.
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© 2023 Omari MC, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
© 2023 Omari MC, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
2 replies to "SoundBetter Review: Worth Joining Or A Waste Of Time?"