Top 10 Things I Learned at the "Making a Record" Workshop

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the "Making a Record" workshop at Gadgetbox Recording Studios (the event was co-sponsored by SCRS). In addition to getting to meet some amazing musicians, I learned a lot about the reality of the recording process. I thought I would share some of my favorite gems with you.

  1. Make sure the band is ready and well rehearsed before you book time in the studio.
  2. Having guest artists on your records is a great way to not only enhance an album, but give you other avenues to market the record in once it is released. For example, your guest artist(s) might already have a large fan base that will be interested in your CD because of their involvement.
  3. Not all of your songs need to be on the album. There are so many opportunities to use songs not on the album for digital download, digital bonus tracks, giveaway, etc.
  4. It might be better to do a 3 song record, 3 times a year, rather than a full length record once every 2 years. It can be the same time and $$ in the studio, but the first option gives you a lot more fresh content to market to your fans.
  5. Listen to your final mix for at least 2 weeks before mastering.
  6. Master your CD outside of the studio it was recorded in (this will allow a last set of fresh ears on the project before it is complete).
  7. Most new artists press 1,000 discs in their first run. Popular duplication companies include Disc Makers and Oasis.
  8. At least 3 months (but the farther out the better) before your CD is ready to be mastered, you should be thinking about what you are going to do when you get it.
  9. Prepare your digital release well in advance of your CD release (it can take 6-8 weeks for digital tracks to be uploaded to iTunes, Amazon, etc.).
  10. Having the final CD is only the very first step, doing it justice in the world is another major journey, and another workshop.