How to Live Only Working With Music: Part 1 – Sound Design

Over the past year and a half, I’ve been living FULL TIME working only with music and I’ve learned so many things that I want to share a few with you. Today, you’ll learn about one of my passive income sources and a way to begin your full-time music journey with Sound Design.


1. Start developing your own presets right now! You don’t need to be a kickass sound designer to develop amazing presets. As with any skill, the more presets you make, the easier, faster, and better they will come along. At the same time, when you’re planning to sell presets, you have to be able to make presets that will bring new sounds to producers, not only replicating sounds that are already in the market. Try to make sounds that will push the limits of creativity for producers while also keeping the tonality familiar. Normally, I like to develop sounds that are familiar, but also with one or two macros that completely changes the tone of the sound. Therefore, start by making cool initial presets and use the macros to enhance the creative uses for these presets so, in a sense, you deliver many presets in one.

2. Develop your own preset pack and sell it to companies. When I started working with Sound Design, I wasn’t even that good at it. But, I developed my first preset pack and sold it to Splice, and without much effort, I was in the Sound Design business. Diva, Serum, and Vital are the major VST Synths nowadays, so choose one of them and start developing presets that you can later pitch to major companies like Splice, Black Octopus, Production Music Live, etc. If you don’t know anyone in these companies, reach out to them asking if they have any opportunities there, as that’s how I developed my packs for Splice, Freshly Squeezed, Black Octopus, and Production Music Live.

3. Set up your own store and sell your packs by yourself. If you don’t want to sell these via major labels, you can always set up a store on Buy me a Coffee, PAYHIP, or Ko-Fi without any costs and start selling your presets. Both platforms only charge you a small percentage for every sale, but you don’t have any fixed cost, so you can leave it there and you’ll only pay fees when you sell a product. The good part about self-releasing is that you control everything (pricing, promo, marketing) and your customers belong to you, and not to another company, which makes it easier to promote future packs as well.

4. If you’re setting up your own store, you will need to build an audience to sell your packs. While labels sometimes ‘buy out’ your whole pack without any royalties, more often they release them under a royalty agreement, where you get paid per sale, and you can benefit greatly from selling your pack with labels since they have huge audiences and there’s GOOD money involved. On the other hand, if you’re selling by yourself, you will need to promote these presets alone, and that takes a lot of effort. You can do this, for example, via Youtube recreating presets from other producers (sounds familiar?). As with any piece of art, it takes a lot of effort on the marketing side to make a masterpiece be seen as a masterpiece.

5. Lastly, with better sound designing skills, your tracks will get AMAZINGLY better. The problem we have while producing is translating our ideas into ‘paper’ in our DAWs, and understanding how synthesis works will help you a lot in developing your own unique sound, mixing them and also standing out from the crowd with Sound Design. I’ve mentioned many times that some songs I know were signed on major labels mainly because of a unique sound design, so this is definitely something to practice. If you want to learn more, check this post about sound design.

As you all might know, I develop presets for a bunch of companies and for myself, and if you have any doubts on this matter, hit me up and we can talk more about it.


What kind of producer are you?
1. Design all presets from scratch? Good! So, gather your presets in a pack and start selling them as well to make some side money from sound design;
2. Do you tweak presets to your taste? Hone these sound design skills and you’ll begin to develop your own presets and differentiate your sounds even more;
3. Do you use presets as they come? Here’s an opportunity to learn more about sound design, enhance your songs even further from where they are and make a few bucks as passive income.

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Leo Lauretti

Born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, Leo Lauretti has been producing since 2013. With releases on SONY Music, Armada, Enhanced Music, Leo Lauretti accumulates multiple supports from artists like Above & Beyond, Ferry Corsten, Cosmic Gate, Nicky Romero, and many others all over the world.

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