CD in Production

April 6, 2007

I would like to think I support independent music. I buy their CDs and I hope I can get mine out there soon.

I have noticed.. many of the indie CDs I have ordered are lacking…DON’T GET ME WRONG. I love and respect these artists. That is why I buy their CDs. I understand that a it can be expensive (Oh believe me I understand this…) I understand that just because you are a musician, does not make you a graphics designer or a CD Replication expert, or a distribution professional.Or for that mater a recording engineer.

In this post I will attempt to touch on some of these elements. keeping in mind that I am a musician. which does not necessarily make me a… (See list above) I have however been giving great thought to these topics mainly because I am in the process myself.. Currently producing a CD.

The CD starts with songwriting

Before you start with anything else you have to have quality songs. I won’t pretend to tell you what is “quality” but as an artist, you know what songs you are proud of and what is filler.

Recording and engineering

I know I am going to get into trouble on this one.. there are 2 major schools of thought on this from the Indie artist. The home brew VS. Studio grade recordings. Naturally you want the best recording possible given the gear you have in your home studio.. And that is exactly why I think the home brew approach does not hold water. If your aim is to make as close to a studio grade recording as you can. Then everything less is a compromise . I understand that compromise is a part of life.. So its OK… but if you can afford it.. upgrade your Equipment/Engineering prowess or go to the studio. 1 caveat to home recordings being OK… you will be doing yourself a huge disservice if you release recordings with clipping and digital distortion.. The best songwriting and performance will never over come a truly bad recording .

It’s what’s on the outside that matters.

Another unpopular view. We would all like to think that the music is all that matters…Truth is.. First impressions count. They count even more then I used to think. The music industry is taking a turn, big labels keep producing more and more homogenized content.. and we are getting board with it. so we come to places like Myspace and Second life to listen to new music.. But the product we find there is not to par with the commercial product.. In terms of originality and pureness of art I think Indie excels…. in package and marketing however…. If we intend to compete with the machine, we need to give the impression that we are more than just a bunch of musicians in their spare bedrooms with an inkjet printer and a computer. That said…. Look at what I did on my computer and inkjet printer…

I think I have the CD art the way I like it.. Leave me comments
Tangled in strings CD CoverinsideTray card

So this has been a long post.. I don’t know…. maybe I am missing the point completely.. Maybe being truly Indie is home made paper sleeves and a myspace page.. maybe a great song doesn’t require quality recording to get you to sing along and tap your foot.

Or maybe I have touched on a few things we can all consider before releasing our next CD


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  • Song List

    1. Just Like You Said It Would Be
      Sinead O'Connor
    2. Darkness Within
    3. Posers and Prims
    4. Wonderfull Tonight
      Eric Clapton
    5. 5000 Days
    6. Another Day Another Night
    7. Black Boys on Mopeds
      Sinead O'Connor
    8. You Give Me Vertigo
    9. I have a song to sing
    10. Turn the Page
      Bob Seager
    11. Streets of Portland
    12. Waiting For My Time
    13. Show Your Love
    14. I Put a Spell on You
    15. Karma Police
      Radio Head
    16. Fire and Rain
      James Taylor
    17. Coffee Shop
    18. Last Day of Our Aquaintance
      Sinead O'Connor
    19. Drift Away
      Dobie Grey
    20. Can't Always Get What You Want
      Rolling Stones
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