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#61
18th March 2012
Old 18th March 2012
  #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donsolo View Post
You took me out of context, I'm merely referring to Labels expressing the EP as cute and the LP as a finished product. If you spent the time, you'd see I was talking about this in terms of labels. Before criticizing my point, please make sure you understand what I'm saying. Don't put words into my mouth.
I'm not sure that any labels, bar really small ones, would regard a self funded LP as a "finished product" - however good it sounds. The same small labels would be just as inclined to put out an EP, the majors would still want to put their oar in.

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Originally Posted by donsolo View Post
I've been on all 3 sides as well, buying the music, making/selling the music and watching the music being sold. Here's what happens, if the music is great, you buy the record if it costs $20, $10, $5 etc. If you don't dig the music, you're not buying the record and saying cost was the reason is only saying you didn't like the music enough to spend $10 on it. If you're on the fence anyway, are you really a fan or are you just adding to your collection? If the music is good enough, wouldn't you rather people LOVE your music than people who merely SUPPORT it?
I agree artistically. Realistically, I'd want to make my recording appealing to both groups - they're not mutually exclusive.

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Originally Posted by donsolo View Post
I use 20% because the last EP I put out, every copy I sold, I could have easily sold them the LP because they just wanted the music for later. $6 or $10, they didn't care, they liked the music. The only thing that kept me from charging $10 for the EP is my personal ethics about insane profit margins. $1 a song or less at a show, that's my standard. They were throwing more in the tip jar than they were spending on the record. I've also seen EPs flop because the band wasn't very good, I engineered a couple of them. It wasn't that they heard the record and decided not to buy, they heard the band live and decided not to buy.
Fair enough. Your experience isn't my experience of audiences at gigs. Mind you, we don't have tips jars either - it's cover charge and that's it. Maybe the US tipping culture influences that? I would argue since Mike is likely to be playing most of his gigs in the UK, that experience of the UK music scene is possible more relevant?


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Originally Posted by donsolo View Post
All of this is speculation. Because music is subjective, audience reaction is going to vary. You can't have 2 of the same record, one an EP and one an LP and run a controlled test. I can't prove my theory to be more right than either of you. Arguing about my numbers being made up or me pointing out that your opinion on whether to buy a record equals the majority of an audience is just exhausting.

But, you called my numbers made up. You're on freakin' gearslutz, do you really think you are the average consumer? You care about stuff like preamps, converters, microphone placement. The audience only cares about whether they like the song/frontman/art etc. Having a good sounding record helps them like the song (Spoon full of sugar to help the medicine go down) but really, there's so much more involved than how many songs to put on the record that there's no way to know unless we try.
Of course. My numbers are made up too - deliberately on the low side though, based on my experience of selling EPs in the UK. FWIW the band I know that gives their demos/EPs away seemed to have the biggest following...could be isolated of course, they're good but not THAT amazing.

As for being the average consumer, at a gig, I'm not interested in how they record - or even if the recording is good quality. Like everyone else I'm only interested in the band. I'm a bit more picky sure, but I'm not judging how good their recording will be if I choose to buy it!

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Originally Posted by donsolo View Post
If it fails, I'd rather it fail making $8 a copy than $3. It at least helps mitigate risk. I stand by my statement about labels though. EPs don't get distributed, LPs do.
And I respectfully disagree. Heard of Arctic Monkeys? they did quite well with a few EPs...and that was pure distribution of an existing product (my good friend Mike Crossey produced them unsigned). If the EP is good enough, it'll get pushed. If it's not, it won't. Albums won't necessarily be distributed, just because they exist. Of course, if you've got an album's worth of good songs, it's more likely you can make an EP of amazing songs, should you feel the need.

It's just opinion, based on personal experiences. If you disagree because your experiences tell you so, fine. But you can't tell someone they're wrong just because their experiences (and it IS experience) differs to yours! I'm just sharing advice based on my experience of the UK music scene - no more or less than that.
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#62
20th March 2012
Old 20th March 2012
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeTSH View Post
Again, I wish people would have really read what I wrote.

Studio's in the USA will give me good drums sounds. I was worried about shitting sounding drums over here in the UK. It was a bit of a self-medicating rant that's now solved itself.
Doesn't matter so much the room, it's how we'll they've been miced + how we'll they've been tuned!! So long as you've got some one who knows how to mic' a kit well you shouldn't have a problem. If overheads sound good, sample replacement can work wonders if you're not happy with the rest of the kit and vice versa.

But if you're worried about how the UK drum recordings will stack up to the USA ones (as I suggested before) just use a decent drum library and get the drummer to score the MIDI in or record his performances using V-Drums triggering the samples OR there's an even better solution. You can convert audio performances (kick, toms, snare + hi-hat) to MIDI using handy DAW features or software. It'll be exactly as the drummer originally played it. Don't forget most of the library's have been recording in some of the biggest recording studios in the business by big names. So you don't have to worry about the sound..

Besides, every song is it's own and has its unique flavours. Loosely speaking It's the imperfections, or differences, that make the music IMO.. and if you've got a good mixing engineer working on the tracks, that can translate the message across well, then you should't have a problem.

EDIT:

As far as CD sales go, if the music's good people will buy it regardless if it's a 4 Track EP or a full album. If it's not doing it for people the only people who will buy it are your friends and the odd fan. My advice would be start with a low price and see how it goes. If no one buys it, at say $3 then something wrong...
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#63
20th March 2012
Old 20th March 2012
  #63
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Exactly. And as I like to say, "there's no taste in nothing". IE. you give it for free, it'll seem free and respect isn't there. This applies EVERYWHERE.
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#64
20th March 2012
Old 20th March 2012
  #64
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To be honest with you, I think that you may be approaching this the wrong way.

It's wonderful to work with great producers, but, that will not make much difference as to whether your project will be successful.

The whole project hinges on how good you are as a band, how good your material is, and if you have something that lifts you out of the ordinary.

If I had a pound for every recording I've heard produced/recorded, by major names, in big time studio's, that never saw light of day (in the terms of reasonable recognition, radio play, chart success, etc) I would indeed be wealthy. All engineers, at all levels, have projects they would rather nobody new they were associated with, for all the reasons mentioned above.

Many great records have been made on relatively meager budgets, in studios that had pretty poor reputations, even by some pretty mediocre engineers and producers. What these record did have, were bands with great songs, a real vision of what they were doing, and something that lifted them above the usual "dross".

If your drummer is good, has a great kit, there are a lot of studios that could make a decent fist of recording them, some of them working at relatively silly rates. It's all about garbage in, garbage out. Even if he has a wonderful kit, well tunned, etc, etc, it's all down to the player. I've heard great players make really average kit's sound great and vice versa, average players making great kits sound cheap! Great drummers also, in my experience, know how to get a great sound out of there kit, drum tech's can help, but are usually used to sort out real problems, or on the road, where there is a lot of work to be done and the drummer needs help to relieve the workload.

As to all the arguments about making money from EP's as against Albums, I can assure you that once you take your recording costs and other associated production costs (including manufacture) it's pretty impossible to make anything from an EP, however, many bands have successfully, supplemented there gigging income from Albums, I know this from the position of having supplied both to hundreds of bands over the last 25 years.

Of course, if it's about sitting in a big studio, with a big time engineer/producer, who happened to work with one of your favorite bands rather than your music, you are going to have to compromise your music. If you have anything that is really good, there will be plenty of other opportunities to work with him when you have had some success and made a little money...........
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#65
20th March 2012
Old 20th March 2012
  #65
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Jim Wirt isn't actually too expensive (cheaper than ANYTHING I could get ahold of for decent quality over here). The issue is that I'm the one paying for the US sessions alone, this being a solo project before it was a band one.

It's not much a MUST HAVE to work with a name producer, it's just a bloody lovely addition to press.
#66
20th March 2012
Old 20th March 2012
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I could give you a list of people that have worked with many big named stars, recorded albums that have sold in their millions, worked with legendary producers, and would record you and your band for about £250 a day. I could also vouch for the fact that they really know how to record drums, guitars and pretty much any other instrument you care to mention, going to America to record this isn't likely to make much difference, but by the time you have included session fee's, etc, that will cost you a whole lot more, even if Jim does it for free.

Mike, I'm sure you are a lovely guy, but your post's do come across more like this is a "vanity session" rather than a serious attempt to get your music out there. If you have a band that you think is serious, they are going to get "cheesed off" with your go it alone idea, whatever they may have told you to your face, it's human nature....

As a small footnote, I can also add, that I've had client's and friends that have done the "go to Nashville, get the vibe" thing, and almost to a fault, they come back with relatively mediocre results. Nothing wrong per say, but with music that doesn't often mean that it is right.............
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#67
20th March 2012
Old 20th March 2012
  #67
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I did include session fees and it's still cheaper!

Believe me, music isn't a damn vanity session - would I have spent the past 7 years writing stuff and performing in all manner of places if I didn't want this to go somewhere? I've wanted to work with Jim for years and I've now finally got the means of doing that.

The band were my best friends when we formed and we still are. We're totally honest with each other and they're entirely cool with doing the single in the USA - they *would* go if they could. It's the reason I'm making the majority of the record over here - this is a band thing, it's just means that got in the way of having the whole band in the USA.

But to be honest, that "vanity" comment really fricking stung.
#68
20th March 2012
Old 20th March 2012
  #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland View Post

Mike, I'm sure you are a lovely guy, but your post's do come across more like this is a "vanity session" rather than a serious attempt to get your music out there. If you have a band that you think is serious, they are going to get "cheesed off" with your go it alone idea, whatever they may have told you to your face, it's human nature....

As a small footnote, I can also add, that I've had client's and friends that have done the "go to Nashville, get the vibe" thing, and almost to a fault, they come back with relatively mediocre results. Nothing wrong per say, but with music that doesn't often mean that it is right.............
You know, vanity is being used here as an industry term (I hope.)
Jim does great work, and I suggest you go look Mike's work up in spotify/iTunes etc before questioning his abilities and motives. If anyone around here has a grasp on his goals and the drive to achieve them, it's him.

You don't really know the band or the situation. It's my impression that these guys would have been cool if Mike did the whole thing without them and brought them in after the record to play the tunes live. Mike has 3 releases under his own name prior to this and he is the songwriter, booking agent, manager, web dev etc for the band. At this point, I'd think the other guys would just be happy to be invited to record on the UK sessions.

Back to the word "vanity."

You either mean it similar to the way producers set up a tier 3 "vanity" label to develop an unsigned act with the goal to sell their contract to a major or second-tier, major-funded label as in "not needed per se, but it helps the process."

OR you mean it as an ego-boost in regards to bragging rights.


Will this help Mike? My opinion is, and always has been: yes. Press is more likely to talk about your album when there's an interesting story behind the making of it. Traveling halfway around the world to work with a name producer is a legitimate story. Then again, "we did this all on an iPhone" was interesting once as well. Mike hasn't been on X factor, England's got Karaoke talent or any other show of the sort. Every single one of those finalists get offered deals and they get press when the record comes out. Obviously there is more involved when it comes to record sales as many have flopped. But, I think we can all agree that press = sales. I'm the king of doing a record on the cheap. Admittedly, it's because of the town I'm in, the more you need to hire, the less budget you get to keep and the budgets suck already. Even still, I hire where needed.

As for your "Majors don't do P&D deals," clearly you don't have any experience with Universal, Interscope or Warner. Most records are P&D now across most genres. Not everyone is Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber. Most Indie bands being released under major label are P&D, almost all hip hop is, I'm almost certain all modern electronica is as well. It started back around the time of Modest Mouse, Squarepusher, and The Mountain Goats. Pop Punk hasn't gone P&D yet, which to me screams "do it now, be where the puck is going, not where it is"

Mike gets to go to a label and say "Hey, if you like what I've done already, you get to save at least 100k and limit your financial exposure on this release." P&D deals also don't get shelved. They either get released or the deal doesn't happen.

For better or worse, Rebecca Black was a P&D deal which is why the lawsuit came about as copyright wasn't properly established.

The LP as a traditional format may be on the outs in terms of the mega-hits but the EP certainly hasn't replaced it. The single has. Keeping this in mind, Mike gets to take 12 chances instead if 4 and the cost is almost the same. Why wouldn't you?

Of course, this is an Internet forum and I don't want to pull out my d*ck and wave my credentials around nor my wife's who spent time in Warner's LA office. I suggest you look at the credits on your CDs (or look them up for your mp3s) before giving mike what I consider to be short-sighted advise based on an incomplete picture of the situation and the trends in the industry. I give my advise to him as a friend who has to look him in the eye if it fails. You simply get to remain an anonymous Internet poster with a strong opinion and questionable industry experience (working at guitar center doesn't count). I can't help that Mike comes here looking for an extra opinion, but the number of posters in this thread are surprisingly small which gives him a false sense of consensus. Thank god he's talking to people outside of GS.

You don't think Mike has an LP worth of good material because you haven't heard his music. Does he have 12 killer tracks in him? Yes. They're already written. I'm getting to work on my personal favorites. I'm lucky that way. I hear the hit-possibilities in these. I can't speak for anyone else working on the record because we aren't exactly having staff meetings about it. Mike is doing his own A&R.
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#69
21st March 2012
Old 21st March 2012
  #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeTSH View Post
Exactly..
Not quite.. what I'm trying to say is.

If it was my bands first CD I wouldn't go to a big studio and have a fairly expensive recording done. I'd get a good cheap 4 track EP recorded because It's A) a cheaper option and B) A safer one. (unless you're on a label that'll pump the money into you)

Some bands only end up with 1 or two popular songs and the rest leave's a lot to be desired... and from a punters P.O.V why would they pay $10 for an album with 1 or two good songs? If the EP goes down a storm THEN think about an album.

I've seen many bands (including friends) make the mistake of paying x-amount of money for an amazing sounding album made with 'some producer' hoping that alone will sell it. It's the music that sells, you can spend all the money in the world and still get nowhere, or maybe get some success but not long lasting. Unless of course you're rich enough to keep pumping money into a project just to keep it alive... If the music isn't there it wont sell period. A huge waste of time, effort and money.

Always a good idea to test the water with a 4 track EP because if it dosen't work out then at least you're not totally broke It's very rare a bands first release (as an album) sells like hot cakes unless their, fairly known on the circuit and have something everyone's talking about..

I'm talking generally BTW not directly about you..
In any case hope it works out!
#70
21st March 2012
Old 21st March 2012
  #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donsolo View Post
You know, vanity is being used here as an industry term (I hope.)
Jim does great work, and I suggest you go look Mike's work up in spotify/iTunes etc before questioning his abilities and motives. If anyone around here has a grasp on his goals and the drive to achieve them, it's him.
If he is the best singer/songwriter since Peter Gabriel, Leonard Cohen, Frank Zappa, that isn't the issue here.


Quote:
You don't really know the band or the situation. It's my impression that these guys would have been cool if Mike did the whole thing without them and brought them in after the record to play the tunes live. Mike has 3 releases under his own name prior to this and he is the songwriter, booking agent, manager, web dev etc for the band. At this point, I'd think the other guys would just be happy to be invited to record on the UK sessions.
Possibly, however, I know people, and they either feel part of a band, or hired guns. Even amongst session players, when someone get's called in on their regular gig, they often feel maligned, even the ones smart enough to bite their tongues. A famous engineer/producer who was a subject of one of the QA sessions held on Gearslutz told me about how a regular client recorded an album with someone else and he was aggravated by it, in spite of the fact he is more than well aware how this industry works!

Quote:
Back to the word "vanity."

You either mean it similar to the way producers set up a tier 3 "vanity" label to develop an unsigned act with the goal to sell their contract to a major or second-tier, major-funded label as in "not needed per se, but it helps the process."

OR you mean it as an ego-boost in regards to bragging rights.
I'm talking about how he came across as being dead set on doing these 4 tracks with Jim, even though it is obvious from his post that he hasn't got the money to do the rest of the record even half decently.

Quote:
Will this help Mike? My opinion is, and always has been: yes. Press is more likely to talk about your album when there's an interesting story behind the making of it. Traveling halfway around the world to work with a name producer is a legitimate story. Then again, "we did this all on an iPhone" was interesting once as well. Mike hasn't been on X factor, England's got Karaoke talent or any other show of the sort. Every single one of those finalists get offered deals and they get press when the record comes out. Obviously there is more involved when it comes to record sales as many have flopped. But, I think we can all agree that press = sales. I'm the king of doing a record on the cheap. Admittedly, it's because of the town I'm in, the more you need to hire, the less budget you get to keep and the budgets suck already. Even still, I hire where needed.
I've met many, many people who have recorded with great and famous producers/engineers. Does it get you taken any more seriously, not that I've ever seen, for every successful, major album many of these people do, often they record a load of others you will never hear about.

Quote:
As for your "Majors don't do P&D deals," clearly you don't have any experience with Universal, Interscope or Warner. Most records are P&D now across most genres. Not everyone is Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber. Most Indie bands being released under major label are P&D, almost all hip hop is, I'm almost certain all modern electronica is as well. It started back around the time of Modest Mouse, Squarepusher, and The Mountain Goats. Pop Punk hasn't gone P&D yet, which to me screams "do it now, be where the puck is going, not where it is"

Mike gets to go to a label and say "Hey, if you like what I've done already, you get to save at least 100k and limit your financial exposure on this release." P&D deals also don't get shelved. They either get released or the deal doesn't happen.

For better or worse, Rebecca Black was a P&D deal which is why the lawsuit came about as copyright wasn't properly established.
Well I certainly didn't say any of the above, to be honest, most deals are going the P&D way now, record companies don't have any budgets for artist development, indeed, I've heard stories of artists going to record companies with finished product and the record company asking to be paid towards pressing and promotion in return for access to their distribution network.

Quote:
The LP as a traditional format may be on the outs in terms of the mega-hits but the EP certainly hasn't replaced it. The single has. Keeping this in mind, Mike gets to take 12 chances instead if 4 and the cost is almost the same. Why wouldn't you?
Ignoring the fact that CD sales have declined dramatically in the last few years, CD singles traditionally lost record companies huge amounts (not that they cared while sales were good as they cross collateralized), album sales made money, EP's tend to fall almost into the CD single category. In terms of making money, CD's, singles, EP's or albums all cost about the same to manufacture, the only difference is the resale price and the cost of the recording. There are, of course, always exceptions to the rule, but nobody pay's around £10 for an EP, realistically it's about half. If you sell through distribution, by the time the shops had it's margin there is little left, albums make profit, downloads, used to sell more as single tracks, though this might have changed or be changing.


Quote:
Of course, this is an Internet forum and I don't want to pull out my d*ck and wave my credentials around nor my wife's who spent time in Warner's LA office. I suggest you look at the credits on your CDs (or look them up for your mp3s) before giving mike what I consider to be short-sighted advise based on an incomplete picture of the situation and the trends in the industry. I give my advise to him as a friend who has to look him in the eye if it fails. You simply get to remain an anonymous Internet poster with a strong opinion and questionable industry experience (working at guitar center doesn't count). I can't help that Mike comes here looking for an extra opinion, but the number of posters in this thread are surprisingly small which gives him a false sense of consensus. Thank god he's talking to people outside of GS.
Mikes original post was a "skewed" idea, if you want to make an album you have to look at your budget and get the best overall deal. Doing four "wonderful" tracks and a bunch of poor demo's and calling it an album won't wash, certainly, a record company will spot that straight away. I've heard albums recorded for around £3,500 ($5,000) that will cut the mustard for release on an industry quality, it's not easy, and you have to know your stuff, but it can be done without resorting to doing it in the bedroom.

Quote:
You don't think Mike has an LP worth of good material because you haven't heard his music. Does he have 12 killer tracks in him? Yes. They're already written. I'm getting to work on my personal favorites. I'm lucky that way. I hear the hit-possibilities in these. I can't speak for anyone else working on the record because we aren't exactly having staff meetings about it. Mike is doing his own A&R.
This is irrelevant, I've heard some great albums that have sold less than 1,000 copies, I've also heard some terrible albums that have sold over 100,000. I remember meeting a "famous" songwriter, that had one major hit that get's played on radio time and time again. He lives off the royalties of that one record and has spent the last 20+ years making an album that he has never completed. This is reality in the music business, these type of stories are common place.

I wish Mike all the best and good luck with his project, however, I would seriously recommend that he thinks again as to how he's going about it and looks at how best to do the work within his budget. This is meant as constructive, friendly, Gearslutz forum advice, based on my experiences over the last 32 years in this game. Make money, lose money, it's not going to effect me, my family or my friends. I'm not working with him, so I don't have a horse in this race.
#71
21st March 2012
Old 21st March 2012
  #71
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Originally Posted by donsolo View Post
It's my impression that these guys would have been cool if Mike did the whole thing without them and brought them in after the record to play the tunes live. Mike has 3 releases under his own name prior to this and he is the songwriter, booking agent, manager, web dev etc for the band. At this point, I'd think the other guys would just be happy to be invited to record on the UK sessions.
That works up to a point.
I've been in this situation many, many times.
At the end of the day people don't like to be perceived as the 'b team'. Of course success will carry you along, but only for so long.

Quote:
Press is more likely to talk about your album when there's an interesting story behind the making of it. Traveling halfway around the world to work with a name producer is a legitimate story.
It is a legitimate story, but it's been done so many times and for so many years it's really not that big a deal any more. Likely it will interest local press, but mean nothing much to national press.
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#72
21st March 2012
Old 21st March 2012
  #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland View Post
If he is the best singer/songwriter since Peter Gabriel, Leonard Cohen, Frank Zappa, that isn't the issue here.




Possibly, however, I know people, and they either feel part of a band, or hired guns. Even amongst session players, when someone get's called in on their regular gig, they often feel maligned, even the ones smart enough to bite their tongues. A famous engineer/producer who was a subject of one of the QA sessions held on Gearslutz told me about how a regular client recorded an album with someone else and he was aggravated by it, in spite of the fact he is more than well aware how this industry works!



I'm talking about how he came across as being dead set on doing these 4 tracks with Jim, even though it is obvious from his post that he hasn't got the money to do the rest of the record even half decently.



I've met many, many people who have recorded with great and famous producers/engineers. Does it get you taken any more seriously, not that I've ever seen, for every successful, major album many of these people do, often they record a load of others you will never hear about.



Well I certainly didn't say any of the above, to be honest, most deals are going the P&D way now, record companies don't have any budgets for artist development, indeed, I've heard stories of artists going to record companies with finished product and the record company asking to be paid towards pressing and promotion in return for access to their distribution network.



Ignoring the fact that CD sales have declined dramatically in the last few years, CD singles traditionally lost record companies huge amounts (not that they cared while sales were good as they cross collateralized), album sales made money, EP's tend to fall almost into the CD single category. In terms of making money, CD's, singles, EP's or albums all cost about the same to manufacture, the only difference is the resale price and the cost of the recording. There are, of course, always exceptions to the rule, but nobody pay's around £10 for an EP, realistically it's about half. If you sell through distribution, by the time the shops had it's margin there is little left, albums make profit, downloads, used to sell more as single tracks, though this might have changed or be changing.




Mikes original post was a "skewed" idea, if you want to make an album you have to look at your budget and get the best overall deal. Doing four "wonderful" tracks and a bunch of poor demo's and calling it an album won't wash, certainly, a record company will spot that straight away. I've heard albums recorded for around £3,500 ($5,000) that will cut the mustard for release on an industry quality, it's not easy, and you have to know your stuff, but it can be done without resorting to doing it in the bedroom.



This is irrelevant, I've heard some great albums that have sold less than 1,000 copies, I've also heard some terrible albums that have sold over 100,000. I remember meeting a "famous" songwriter, that had one major hit that get's played on radio time and time again. He lives off the royalties of that one record and has spent the last 20+ years making an album that he has never completed. This is reality in the music business, these type of stories are common place.

I wish Mike all the best and good luck with his project, however, I would seriously recommend that he thinks again as to how he's going about it and looks at how best to do the work within his budget. This is meant as constructive, friendly, Gearslutz forum advice, based on my experiences over the last 32 years in this game. Make money, lose money, it's not going to effect me, my family or my friends. I'm not working with him, so I don't have a horse in this race.
When I said single, I meant digital download. LPs are still king in terms of physical copies.

As for the other players, they're so new to the group that it's not really established one way or the other. If they're not cool with it, they would have spoken up already.

As for the other tracks being demos, I take offense because I don't make demos and turn away demo gigs because going in with that attitude leads to a poor result. Mikes results are above and beyond demo quality and once he starts using other players, the quality will improve. You're basically saying I'm making demo quality results with him, I hope you'll eat some crow when you hear the result. Alas, this is an Internet forum. So easy to tear down and not own up to your words later...

Jim's doing I think 1-2 songs, I'm doing 4-5 I think. The money is definitely budgetted for both of those sessions to achieve the result we're looking for. As for the UK sessions, Mike gets great results in his bedroom, put him in a studio and he'll do fine. From a cost standpoint, it's not expensive for those sessions.
#73
21st March 2012
Old 21st March 2012
  #73
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I'm sorry but too much of this comes across as appearance. The full length for the sake of appearing to have a "real product" and Jim Wirt for the sake of press. Bands that get to this stage usually do so by their music and touring. Not because there's a full length or a name producer involved. Almost every band worth mentioning has an EP produced by an obscure producer (who then got a lot of recognition) that got them signed. I see a lot of local bands do this to appear big to other bands and they usually look stupid at the end of the night (after they insisted on headlining) when they're rocking out to an empty room, home made light show, banners, et al.
#74
21st March 2012
Old 21st March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jordanvoth View Post
I'm sorry but too much of this comes across as appearance. The full length for the sake of appearing to have a "real product" and Jim Wirt for the sake of press. Bands that get to this stage usually do so by their music and touring. Not because there's a full length or a name producer involved. Almost every band worth mentioning has an EP produced by an obscure producer (who then got a lot of recognition) that got them signed. I see a lot of local bands do this to appear big to other bands and they usually look stupid at the end of the night (after they insisted on headlining) when they're rocking out to an empty room, home made light show, banners, et al.
While I'm not for a minute suggesting that this is what mike is doing, there's a line between worthwhile production and professional approach, and trying too hard to seem bigger than you are. Sometimes that line is easy to spot, sometimes it's very blurred.
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#75
22nd March 2012
Old 22nd March 2012
  #75
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I honestly believe we have enough solid tunes for a record and then some. I'm adamant that we be an incredibly tight act, so we've been doing 4 hours practices twice a week for the past 2 months. I want us to be the best damn band going and I really want to make something of this.

It's not vanity and it's doing it just for the sake of doing it. It's a case of if you can, why not? We won't necessarily release the full length immediately, dropping one song at a time to gain traction and get a video of some sort filmed for the Jim Wirt single and stick it on our YouTube page, play as much as we can and promote the hell out of it over the net and in things like Alternative Press if we're able to get any space in there.

Jim heart my tunes over 3 years ago and wanted me to get over there but obviously being 16 at the time and with no job, it was impossible. I'm finally able to do what I've wanted to do for years, and to work with a producer who worked with my favorite band is amazing, even from just a personal standpoint.

Either way, record or not, I'd still want to go to America - I'm fascinated by the place, so for me it's not only just a chance to actually see a real set of studios in action and (finally) not have to wear every hat like I do when I'm making the demos, all the while experiencing a country for which I have a lot of affection despite never setting foot in it; I know people hate on America but there's lots of stuff over there that I literally cream my pants for it, to put it bluntly.
#76
22nd March 2012
Old 22nd March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeTSH View Post
IWe won't necessarily release the full length immediately, dropping one song at a time to gain traction and get a video of some sort filmed for the Jim Wirt single and stick it on our YouTube page, play as much as we can and promote the hell out of it over the net and in things like Alternative Press if we're able to get any space in there.
In that case, I would hold off on recording more tracks, because if you're just going to sit on them, they'll most likely be out of date by the time you actually do want to do something with them. Do your tracks with JW and Donsolo here, then promote the hell out of those. If you need more material, do it then. By that point, you'll be even better as a band, you'll have developed arrangements through gigging etc, and you'll have better production ideas.
#77
22nd March 2012
Old 22nd March 2012
  #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
While I'm not for a minute suggesting that this is what mike is doing, there's a line between worthwhile production and professional approach, and trying too hard to seem bigger than you are. Sometimes that line is easy to spot, sometimes it's very blurred.
I'm the no-name producer for the record.

In this case, it's about blurring the line. Plus, Mike has some fans and has had encouraging recognition in the past (Radioplay and some mp3 sales specifically), it's not like he's in MY band where I'm lucky to play to a dozen people (then again, I play jazz.)

It's a tough distinction but I think in the end, having a name involved is going to help. Not so much from a direct sales standpoint as most consumers don't know who Jim Wirt is. What happens though is that it creates the interesting story for the press and Jim does great work. So it's probably a little of this and a little of that.

If you weren't trying to portray yourself as a bit bigger than you are, you wouldn't take epic album cover photos...
#78
22nd March 2012
Old 22nd March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeTSH View Post
It's not vanity and it's doing it just for the sake of doing it. It's a case of if you can, why not? We won't necessarily release the full length immediately, dropping one song at a time to gain traction and get a video of some sort filmed for the Jim Wirt single and stick it on our YouTube page, play as much as we can and promote the hell out of it over the net and in things like Alternative Press if we're able to get any space in there.
By the time all the songs come out individually online will people still be interested in having them all packaged up months later as a full length?
#79
23rd March 2012
Old 23rd March 2012
  #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donsolo View Post
I'm the no-name producer for the record.

In this case, it's about blurring the line. Plus, Mike has some fans and has had encouraging recognition in the past (Radioplay and some mp3 sales specifically), it's not like he's in MY band where I'm lucky to play to a dozen people (then again, I play jazz.)

It's a tough distinction but I think in the end, having a name involved is going to help. Not so much from a direct sales standpoint as most consumers don't know who Jim Wirt is. What happens though is that it creates the interesting story for the press and Jim does great work. So it's probably a little of this and a little of that.

If you weren't trying to portray yourself as a bit bigger than you are, you wouldn't take epic album cover photos...
Having a name involved doesn't mean beans in this game. It might sell 20 more albums, but Jim and all the other big name players and producers record thousands of records a year between them, as has been pointed out by many other people in this thread, it isn't news. Record companies see big names on records all the time, so it doesn't cut with them either.

What really makes a difference is quality of the music, or someone that has something different to say, something really special. I've had clients that get regular national radio play in the UK, but still only sell a couple of thousand albums.

Mike say's he's open to other suggestions, however, it has become fairly obvious that he has set his heart on doing it this way, and is really looking for other people to endorse his view, unfortunately, even on Gearslutz, there are enough people with sufficient knowledge to know that it deosn't work this way.

For example, Mikes assertation that he's going to have trouble recording a good drum sound over here, is frankly complete garbage. He wants to go work with Jim, it's his money, his career, I hope it turns out to be what he hopes........
#80
23rd March 2012
Old 23rd March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
In that case, I would hold off on recording more tracks, because if you're just going to sit on them, they'll most likely be out of date by the time you actually do want to do something with them. Do your tracks with JW and Donsolo here, then promote the hell out of those. If you need more material, do it then. By that point, you'll be even better as a band, you'll have developed arrangements through gigging etc, and you'll have better production ideas.
I know you don't want to hear it Mike but recording a full album as a new artist with no real following is a mistake. You might think people want that much material from you but they don't (yet!) and they certainly won't pay for it.

A nice EP for a handful of change is a much more realistic sell. Also an EP is more useful in my opinion for building buzz. If you give away everything right at the start then there's nothing to build up to.
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#81
23rd March 2012
Old 23rd March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland View Post
Mike say's he's open to other suggestions, however, it has become fairly obvious that he has set his heart on doing it this way
I wish you knew how many times I've gone and doubted the whole album idea because of the advise on here. I AM listening.

And we wouldn't release an album all at once, no one is that stupid. A couple singles/videos and gigging our asses off whenever we can to promote those singles and build buzz for a release. I wanted to work with Jim partially for the name but mainly because I know him to be a great producer - the lead singer of Elliot Minor is a friend of mine who speaks nothing of good about Jim's work, and Alex tells you exactly what he thinks of someone, an admirable trait.

I didn't say we couldn't get a good drum sound here, I had a middle-of-the-night panic about where near us for a reasonable amount could do drum tracks. It was stupid panic, because frankly we found a place by the next morning. Fear over. Done.

But please don't say my mind is set on anything - I overthink as much as it is, those who know me would honestly be amazed if this wasn't conflicting me more than it already is.

And honestly, by the logic most of you are putting forward, why not just a record a damn single, not even an EP? I am confident that my tunes will stand out - this isn't a "I'm gonna face the world, I'll show you!" kind of thing, it's just out of 5/6 year's worth of material I'm picking 11/12 of them to be on a record. We'll gig our asses off, sleep on floors, promote the hell out of it. If it doesn't work, at least I can say "we tried". Honestly, makes a lot more sense than pissing about on this thread bickering over doing 5 more tracks when honestly I believe the number of tracks to be irrelevant now, just the quality of the tunes.

The argument given here WOULD be valid from you guys if all the tracks were costing the same. But they're not. The single with Jim is around 60% of the budget, with Don costing the next amount and then over here costing less. I don't even know how we'll release it at this point because, again, I'm overthinking everything as I always do. However, in the situation I'm in, with a large collection of songs written and a budget that could do this amount comfortably, it makes sense to get a ton of recording done and then just go out there and play to kids who love pop rock. I started to enjoy playing stuff live a million times more recently anyway.
#82
23rd March 2012
Old 23rd March 2012
  #82
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I wouldn't be surprised if the UK tracks end up being demos.
If your goal is a label deal, a label could well listen to the Wirt or Donsolo tracks and suggest you go back in with one or both of them to complete a first album, especially if those tracks cause a stir as you hope/think they will.

I don't know anything about you, but every debut artist I've worked with says they have up to two albums worth of killer material. In the end that's probably something the audience passes judgement on. The overwhelmingly safe option is to discuss with Jim and Donsolo which songs to concentrate on, and put together an EP, or 'showreel' of your best songs.
Really there is probably no need to plan beyond this US trip anyway.
See how it goes, and see how the sessions turn out.
Take it from there.
#83
24th March 2012
Old 24th March 2012
  #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
I wouldn't be surprised if the UK tracks end up being demos.
If your goal is a label deal, a label could well listen to the Wirt or Donsolo tracks and suggest you go back in with one or both of them to complete a first album, especially if those tracks cause a stir as you hope/think they will.

I don't know anything about you, but every debut artist I've worked with says they have up to two albums worth of killer material. In the end that's probably something the audience passes judgement on. The overwhelmingly safe option is to discuss with Jim and Donsolo which songs to concentrate on, and put together an EP, or 'showreel' of your best songs.
Really there is probably no need to plan beyond this US trip anyway.
See how it goes, and see how the sessions turn out.
Take it from there.
The safest option is to do music that you are passionate about, till you are happy with it, and hope that other people like that too. Trying to "manufacture" hit records is a high risk stratagy, few have ever done it successfully.

He could alos go to the States and come back with tracks that just don't work well, record some demo's in the UK that people go wild about. Doing a track to a professional standard, doesn't mean that it's going to be a hit, or that the public are going to like it, if it were that easy, we would all do it!
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#84
24th March 2012
Old 24th March 2012
  #84
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Exactly, but with the gigs we've been playing people have been asking where they can buy our tunes, with the one we're doing with Wirt being the one that's the most requested. We only have a demo at the moment that I recorded but I don't want to get into an issue the band Wirt worked with, Elliot Minor had - their lead singer is now a producer and practically did exactly what I'm doing. The point is, their demos got so widespread over the internet via P2P sites or just on YouTube that the people that stole the music didn't hear the "real" versions and some of the fans, myself included, became attached to many of things that were in the demos that weren't in the final versions, even though the studio versions were 1000x better.

We're not trying to manufacture a hit, but then half of you on here go "the songs must be good". When I say "the songs are good", you then go "No. etc etc etc". The points here would be valid if the cost of recording were the same as Jim the whole way through the recording process. And don't think we're self mixing or mastering either. Nope.

Like I said, I just want something I'm incredibly proud of. I am proud of my music and I'm not ashamed to say it. I have gigged, I have seen the reception some tunes get to others (I've written 4/5 new songs since this band formed so we'll have to see how those get received when we next play our string of shows in May/June).

I'll say one thing though, being in a band is way more fun than being on your own. Doing stuff solo is fun to an extent and it's cool being the only one to be pleased with the work, but I find that since I've been thinking consciously "will the other members like/be able to mess with this tune" I've spent more time throwing away the crap and going for the catchy-catchy-catchy stuff.
#85
24th March 2012
Old 24th March 2012
  #85
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What type of gigs do you do? Even getting a booking agent and getting onto the toilet circuit seems like a wasted game in this country these days.
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#86
24th March 2012
Old 24th March 2012
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At the moment it's been bars and stuff, but we've done things for radio events like Heart.FM, Wave 105 etc, both playing on the air and at things where they're associated on their stages and stuff.
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