Recording your own CD can be wonderfully rewarding as well as painstakingly arduous. With me nearing completion of my third project at the time of this writing, I figured I might as well share some of my thoughts with some of you that desire to do the same. Whether you are approaching the point at which you are ready or whether you’re just considering taking on this task, there are some very important factors to keep in mind that a lot of musicians don’t initially think about. I’ll just touch on a few and elaborate in future columns.
Have you set up your own publishing? Are you a writer or do you need outside material? If you are a writer, have you protected your material by copyright? Can you producer & arrange or do you need assistance in this area? Are you proficient at playing all of the instruments necessary to record? Are you good with graphic arts and computer savvy or do you need a graphic artist to create your CD cover, inserts, and tray card? Do you own or have access to studio recording equipment and can you engineer and master or do you need outside assistance? And do you have a company in mind to manufacture your product or do you own duplication equipment?
Publishing – You can join whichever publishing organization that suits you (BMI, ASCAP, etc.), easily obtain info via the internet, and set up your own publishing company. Get the money that is rightfully yours as a writer and publisher for anything you create through radio play and sales tracking.
Copyright – Through the Library Of Congress, learn how to copyright your material to protect it. You can obtain “how to” info and forms you can download from the site as well.
Bartering – As for outside writers, producers, arrangers, musicians, graphic artists, engineers and studio facilities, bartering is a great tool for getting the job done and saving a truck load of money. If you have a talent whether it is musical or not and you can offer it in return of the service that you need, than you are in a good position to barter. I do it with my musician friends all the time. I offer to play on their recording if they play on mine. And say you have a friend that is a graphic-artist, you can offer to play for a special occasion or even create music for a webpage they’re working on in return for their services. It’s as simple as that.
As for manufacturing, just go to a bookstore with music magazines and look at all the ads for CD duplication and call them all to send you samples and a quote. Or you can simply check online and see what works best for you and your project.
So I’ll ask the question once more… Are you ready to record?