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.
Testing 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.
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 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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Before scheduling your album release, plan for the steps that lie between songwriting and CD manufacturing. This DIY album release checklist will help. Read more.
The first quarter of the year (Jan to March) is often the best time of the year for a new artist to release an album, as it’s the least competitive. Plus, the Valentine’s Day period is one of the biggest sales periods of the year. Read more.
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…
There are conflicting fundamental truths when it comes to success in the indie music universe.
It’s true, of course, that tools and opportunities exist now that did not in the past. Legitimate worldwide distribution is available through the web, shattering the barriers that existed a scant 10 years ago. Read more…