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Royalty-Free Vocal or Exclusive Vocal, Which One is Better?

Let’s say you have decided to add a new element to the latest track you produced and you are currently looking for a nice acapella to put on top of your already done instrumental. If you do not yet have the possibility to work with a vocalist your options are limited to either using a royalty-free vocal or an exclusive one. So what are the differences between the two?

What is Royalty-Free Vocal?

A royalty-free vocal is pretty much what the name itself says: A vocal for which no royalties must be paid, meaning that once you download or purchase the vocal you are free to do whatever you please with it. You are not required to give credit to the singer and you do not need to split any royalties with them. However, there is a catch here. 

Royalty-free vocals are not limited to one purchase only and therefore many people can obtain them and use them in their songs. At first, this does not seem like an issue, but then there happen to be multiple songs with the exact same vocalist and lyrics and this could get confusing and troublesome for the producers. 

Also more often than not digital distributors would have trouble differentiating between tracks with the same vocal and this could lead to possible copyright claims and legal troubles even though both producers paid for that vocal. On the bright side though, royalty-free acapella are easier to find (a quick Splice search gives countless results) and much more affordable than custom one-use-only vocals.

Pros and Cons

Royalty-free vocals can be an excellent option for producers and content creators looking for affordable and easily accessible vocal samples for their projects. Here are some pros and cons of using royalty-free vocals:


  • Cost-effectiveness: Royalty-free vocal samples are often available for free or at a very affordable price, which can be ideal for producers on a budget.

  • Flexibility: Since you have legal permission to use royalty-free vocals without having to worry about licensing fees or restrictions, you can use them in various projects as you, please.

  • Accessibility: Royalty-free vocal samples are available from a variety of sources and can be easily downloaded and used without any legal hassle.

  • Wide selection: There are many websites and platforms that offer royalty-free vocal samples, providing you with a vast selection of sounds to choose from.


  • Limited exclusivity: Because royalty-free vocals are available to everyone, there's a risk that other producers or content creators may also use the same vocal sample in their projects, which can affect the originality of your work.

  • Quality issues: Some royalty-free vocal samples may not have the same quality standards as those created exclusively for a project.

  • Legal limitations: While royalty-free vocals allow you to use them without worrying about licensing fees, there may be some legal limitations regarding how you can use them.

  • Difficulty in finding high-quality samples: As mentioned, finding high-quality royalty-free vocal samples can be challenging.

What are Exclusive Vocals?

Now with that said, if you do have extra money to spend you could opt for the second option which is exclusive vocals, whether they are custom or prerecorded.

Then you would not have to worry about other producers using the same acapella as you, as you would be the only one with rights to that particular vocal. Nevertheless, you will need to consider other things, such as finding the right vocalist to do the job for you, or negotiating royalty splits with the singer.

If you are currently looking for an exclusive vocal for your next track, look no further than Ghost Vocals, our newest feature that offers you the chance to purchase an exclusive, one-use-only acapella from one of our professional session vocalists. Each acapella you buy includes a dry and wet version and is guaranteed to add that extra touch to your track.

Pros and Cons 

Exclusive vocals refer to vocal recordings that have been created specifically for one project or client and are not available for use by anyone else. Here are some pros and cons of using exclusive vocals:


  • Unique Sound: Exclusive vocals offer a unique sound and are tailored to fit the needs of the specific project, giving it a personalized touch.

  • Ownership: The person who purchases exclusive vocals has complete ownership over them, which means that they can use them however they see fit without any restrictions or limitations.

  • Professional Quality: Exclusive vocals are often recorded in a professional studio with high-quality equipment and experienced vocalists, resulting in a polished and refined sound.


  • Cost: Exclusive vocals can be expensive compared to other types of vocals. The price usually depends on the experience of the vocalist, the amount of time spent recording, and the exclusivity of the license.

  • Limited Use: Since exclusive vocals are tailored to one specific project, they cannot be used for any other purpose or by anyone else. This can limit the flexibility of the vocals and restrict their use.

  • Time-Consuming: Creating exclusive vocals can be a time-consuming process. This is because the vocalist and the producer need to work closely together to ensure that the vocals are tailored to the project's specific needs.

In summary, exclusive vocals offer a unique and professional sound, but they can be expensive and time-consuming to create. It's important to weigh the pros and cons carefully when deciding whether to use exclusive vocals or other types of vocals in a project.

Royalty-Free Vocals vs Exclusive Vocals

When it comes to how to choose the right vocal between royalty-free vocals and exclusive vocals, it all depends on your needs and budget. Royalty-free vocals allow users to pay a one-time fee for lifetime legal usage of the vocals without worrying about license fees or legal issues. This option is often more cost-effective and flexible since you can use the vocals in multiple projects without additional fees or restrictions. 

On the other hand, exclusive vocals mean that only one owner can use them, although ownership can be shared. This option tends to be more expensive since it offers more control and exclusivity. It's important to note that the cost and quality of vocals can vary depending on the platform or service you use. 

Edmwarriors offer premium-quality vocals that have been edited by industry-leading vocal editors and verified artists. Ultimately, the choice between royalty-free and exclusive vocals comes down to your specific needs and preferences.

Both Royalty-Free and Exclusive vocals have their advantages and disadvantages. If you're working on a tight budget or have a quick turnaround time, Royalty-Free vocals may be the better option. If you want more creative control over your project and a unique vocal recording, Exclusive vocals may be the better option. Ultimately, the decision depends on your individual needs and priorities.


In conclusion, choosing between royalty-free vocals and exclusive vocals depends on your specific needs and budget. Royalty-free vocals are affordable and easily accessible, but they can also limit exclusivity and originality, and their quality may not be consistent. 

Exclusive vocals, on the other hand, offer a unique and professional sound tailored to your specific project but can be expensive, time-consuming to create, and limit flexibility. Therefore, it's important to weigh the pros and cons of each option before making a decision. Ultimately, choosing the right vocal can greatly enhance the quality and originality of your track.


What is a royalty-free vocal?

A royalty-free vocal is a vocal sample that can be purchased or downloaded for a one-time fee and can be used in multiple projects without additional fees or restrictions.

What is an exclusive vocal?

An exclusive vocal is a vocal recording that has been created specifically for one project or client and is not available for use by anyone else.

Which one is better: Royalty-free vocal or exclusive vocal?

It depends on your needs and budget. Royalty-free vocals are more cost-effective and flexible, while exclusive vocals offer a unique and professional sound but can be expensive and time-consuming to create.

Oct 12 2021
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Edmwarriors Team