Independent artists rely on the tangible media that is the music CD. As a physical representation of their hard work, a means of increasing revenue, and to establish their brand, independent musicians use CDs in ways major label artists don’t. Read More.
In life, and when making an album, things happen. The more you understand about the process and the more detail-focused you are, the better your chances for success. So here are some things I wish I had been told before I started putting together an album’s worth of material to be pressed and distributed. Read more.
All too often, I’ll see an artist find the funding for her recording only to fail miserably at project management. Too many independent music artists are engrossed with recording a full length CD, so they focus on how to achieve that goal within their budget rather than making the most of the money they’ve raised. Read more.
It’s not always easy to know what you should be releasing as a musician. Should you go all out and create a 14 track album right away? Should you release a single as soon as you’ve recorded your first track? Here is a plan I’ve seen work well for many independent artists. Read more.
The process of transforming your musical ideas into a finished product you can share and sell begins with your audio recording sessions and continues through to the delivery of your packaged CDs or vinyl records. The choices you make at each step affect the quality of your final product, so familiarizing yourself with this process at the earliest stages will help you produce the best possible results. Read more.
Even though CDs and vinyl records both make use of similarly-proportioned circles and rectangles in their design templates, each format presents unique opportunities to create graphics that your fans will love. Here are some tips from experienced designers and album manufacturing product managers to help you craft an album design worthy of the music enclosed therein. Read more.
Most bands do a traditional media campaign (newspapers, magazines, radio), as well as a new media campaign (podcasts, music blogs, MP3s). Music publicity is not just compiling lists and following steps mechanically, it should be fun and is a chance to channel the same creativity you put into your music to build a buzz. Read more.
When deciding how to prepare and submit your audio master for CD manufacturing, there are several format options to choose from. A complete body of work on a CD-R, individual audio files such as WAV or AIFF (with any variety of bit-depths and sample rates), and DDP 2.0 file sets are the most popular formats. An analog reel to reel master or DAT (digital audio tape) also provides high quality, though used less frequently with the advent of newer digital options. Read more.
If you’re sitting down to tackle making an album, there’s a lot to think about; from clearing the rights for your cover songs to converting the cover art to the right format. When you get your manufactured CDs in hand, there are still a lot of things you need to do – namely, releasing the album for sale to the public. While your music is at the heart of what you do, your identity, image, brand, website, web presence, merchandise, and publicity is what you use to connect with your fans. Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan have revised our popular Planning Your Album From Beginning To End guide. Here’s an excerpt from the revised guide. Read more.
Before we can mass produce copies of your disc, there are a few legal issues to clear first. You are required to sign a release form declaring that all the music on your album is original and “owned” by you. If all your music is original, you’ll check that box and move on. However, if you record any cover songs or incorporate any copyrighted samples or loops, you have to provide proof that you received the proper permissions. Read more.
You’ve heard the term “ISRC” thrown around, but what is it, and why do you need it? An ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) is a 12-digit alphanumeric code that serves as a unique and permanent identifier for any sound recording or music video. So where a UPC is tied to the “carrier” of the track – e.g. the CD or LP – an ISRC identifies individual tracks. Read More.
The market for vinyl has grown 35 percent per year for the last five years, Still, vinyl records represent a niche market in the music manufacturing world, and because of its dramatic strong growth, production capacity has lagged behind. Enter (or should we say re-enter) Disc Makers, the pioneers of vinyl record production for indie artists. Disc Makers again offers high-quality 12- and 7-inch vinyl records. Read More.
There’s a unique pleasure in seeing a vinyl record getting pressed. The glob of vinyl between the stampers, the press closing and squishing the vinyl out the sides, pulling out a beautiful shiny disc. Legendary artists like DJ Jazzy Jeff, Celia Cruz, Big Black, Salt-N-Pepa, and Wu Tang Clan came off our Hamilton presses. Read More.
If you’re an independent artist, you’re probably already functioning as your own label. Keep making music and take advantage of the resources you have. Research blogs and reach out to the ones that post music you like that also matches your sound. Follow up. Build and keep relationships with bookers, bloggers, whoever seems to care about what you’re doing. Try to build a network of support around your music. Read more.
The holiday season, especially the golden month between Thanksgiving and Christmas, is the most lucrative time of the year for retail sales. As an independent musician, it can be a time for you to move a ton of product – professionally manufactured CDs, merch, and more. There are many ways to take advantage of this time of the year, and our new guide answers questions about how to prepare your order and make your new release something special for the holidays.
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