Test your music products before you go to market

Test your music productsTesting and feedback should be part of the process of getting your music products into releasable form. Testing material on your most likely fans, and making necessary improvements and decisions before committing your time and money to the recording, manufacturing, distributing, and promoting it. Without market research, you could easily spend hundreds (or thousands) of your hard-earned dollars recording music that’s unmarketable to music supervisors, labels, radio stations, and even your own target fans! Read more.

Format options for your audio master

audio master formatsWhen 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.

Planning your album: your CD release (and post-release)

CD release tipsIf 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.

Planning your album: get permission for art, text, and cover songs

planning your album guide 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.

‘Tis The Season (To Sell CDs)

Make CDs and sell CDs this holidayThe 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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The New Release Schedule

Music 3.0M3.0 requires new thinking regarding song releases.

If we go back to the ’50s, vinyl singles had a notoriously fast manufacturing turnaround time, despite the labor-intensive process required to make a vinyl record. At that time, it was not uncommon to have a single (the small 7-inch “45” with a song on each side) on the streets within days of recording (and sometimes even writing) the song! Read more…