If you are a vocal lover like me, you will have most certainly asked yourself the question already on where to best find vocals & singers for hire for your productions. In this article we will look at all available options. There has never been as much choice as nowadays!
If you are trying to be unique and want to get signed with the best labels in your genre, I would always recommend to go the extra mile and get vocals done exclusively for your track. Noone else will ever be able nor be allowed to use these vocals on their tracks. You will stand out. Also, most commercial hits do have vocals. So if you are aiming for that, there is no way around exclusive vocals.
There are a handful of sites where you can find vocalists for hire that work on an exclusive base. Let’s have a look at those.
SoundBetter is my absolute go-to choice when it comes to discovering and hiring singers. For me it’s really the best source to find vocals. There is a wide selection of singers (& other musicians). You can even find some of the more popular musicians over there. I offer some of my services on that website as well. Recently, I have written a small review about SoundBetter. The search could be a bit better in my opinion as it doesn’t give you too many filtering options. But other than that it is a great website.
You can get up to $20 discount off your first order if you register on SoundBetter through the following link and do a project transaction of at least $150 in the first 30 days. The actual discount is 8% and will be capped at $20. So in order to get the full $20 discount, you will need to do a project transaction of at least $250 in the first 30 days after registering. Most singers will not work for less than that anyway. Do the registration here:
Fiverr is a good option if you don’t find any suitable singers on any of the other platforms or if you prefer using the Fiverr network in general. Generally speaking, less singers and vocalists seem to offer their services on this platform than on the other platforms. What I like about Fiverr is the search. The filter settings give you the option to look for singers according to their gender, genre, location, budget and delivery time. Please remember tk make a sensible decision in regards to who you want to work with. Check the reviews, check their work and references. Listen to your gut feeling. Then you cannot go wrong.
CollabPlug has quite prominent Google rankings when you search for singers for hire. That’s why I had to check it out. At first, it looks like they have a good selection of studio musicians and vocalists and the website is well thought of. But then you realise that the site has quite a few flaws. I don’t like that there is no proper filtering function. Even when browsing for singers, you can only see the name of the singer and a dollar amount but you also don’t know what it stands for (lyrics, recordings, topline etc.). You cannot see the singers gender, location, genre or other additional information at first glance. You basically have to go through all available singers in all genres and open their profiles in new tabs to get more information. That’s a big downside in my opinion as it can take quite a bit of time to find the right singers.
If you would like to give it a try nevertheless, follow this link:
Vocalizr is another platform where you can find vocals. One unique feature on this website is the ability to host gigs. Several vocalists can apply for these gigs with recorded demos. You can then choose your favourite vocalist based on those demos. This is a great idea. Although obviously, you will most likely have more of the not (yet) popular vocalists apply for this. Popular or very busy singers will certainly not apply through a gig to work with you, unless you are a big name that can offer lots of benefits to them. This is simply due to the fact that these kind of singers usually already have a very busy schedule or would want you to reach out to them or their management to work with them.
Follow the link if you would like to give it a try:
Exclusive & Non-Exclusive Vocals (Acapellas)
Some websites actually offer you exclusive and non-exclusive vocals. These are already pre-made. So you basically license an acapella and build your production around that. It definitely has its benefits working this way. First of all you already know that you have a strong vocal. Secondly, you can build production around the vocal and make the two components gel better.
On Vokaal you can buy already pre-made acapellas, either exclusively or non-exclusively. Exclusive vocals on Vokaal are 100% exclusive. They are only sold once. There is no concept of offering exclusive and non-exclusive licenses for the same vocal. The quality varies, but there are definitely some hidden gems.
I like the filter functionality on the website. As a first step you can choose whether you want exclusive or non-exclusive vocals. And then you can choose bpm, key or gender as a next step. After that you can filter one more time by BPM, key or gender.
I have personally bought an exclusive vocal here on this website. The process is seamless and you have the stems in seconds after the payment. Also, with my vocal purchase I am able to retain 100% of label income and publishing. It was a complete buy-out. Highly recommendable!
This website has a very similar concept to Vokaal. The fee varies depending on the licensing format and the singer themselves.
One thing to note here is: If you buy a vocal exclusively on that website, do not think that you are the only one who is entitled to use the vocal. If someone before you already licensed the vocal non-exclusively, they will still be able to use it. So if you want to be the only one using the vocal, you will first need to reach out to the vocalist and ask if it has been licensed before. If not, then you can go ahead and license it exclusively.
The overall quality on this website is great. It is a great starting point if you want to play around with vocals that not everyone has access to. I really like it!
Non-Exclusive Vocals (Acapellas)
If you are a beginner and new to the game and just want to practice, then non-exclusive vocals can be ok as well. You can also use non-exclusive vocals as a reference for your vocalists that will then do exclusive vocals for you.
Splice is a great platform for when you don’t need exclusive vocals for your tracks. Maybe you want to save costs or you want to make the process simple with already pre-cleared samples. Either way, Splice will be your platform. You can find samples very quickly with the filter function in their search where you can put the key, BPM, gender, kind of vocal etc. It can even work to find vocals on Splice that you will use as a reference for singers that you are going to work with. Personally, I have used a vocal from Splice in the past, wrote new lyrics for that vocal and then gave that to a new singer to re-record. It worked out great!
The only annoying part is the search on Splice. You will first have to type in “vocals”, after searching for that you will only be able to select the Vocal tag and do a new search based on that with your filter criteria.
Landr offers a very similar service to Splice. To be honest, I like Landr’s website and filter functionality way more. The amount of available samples is about 20-30% less compared to Splice, but a lot of sample packs are distributed to both sites. When I did a test search for vocals in A Minor between 120 and 124 BPM, I found 776 samples on Landr. On Splice I found 1,072 samples for the same search.
Loopcloud is another cloud-based service that offers very similar functionalities compared to Splice and Landr. When doing a test search to find out how many vocal samples there are in A Minor between 120 and 124 BPM, I noticed that the filter for the BPM is a bit fiddly. You cannot type in values and have to use the bar to set the minimum and maximum BPM.
Another way to practice working with vocals could be to download acapellas and do unofficial remixes and bootlegs. There are websites that offer a wide range of acapellas but most of these are pirated, so we cannot recommend them here.
However, you can also take part in remix contests and accumulate a nice database of remix packs that way by yourself. For example, you could enter the “Losing My Mind” remix contest:
Conclusion – The Best Website to Find Vocals & Singers for Hire
As a producer you have a lot of options these days. When starting to write this article and doing my research, I actually didn’t even know that there were that many great options. It’s easier than ever to find vocals for your productions these days. This is why I love technology!
Enjoy using these websites and let me know in the comments below which ones are your favourites!
- Boy Shouting In Microphone: Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay