All too often I see artists overcome the common hurdle of funding their recording budget only to fail miserably at project management. They’re engrossed with recording a full length CD so they focus on how to achieve that goal within their budget parameters. They choose quantity over quality.
Professionally this is a poor choice.
What’s your intent?
Do you want to be received as a professional artist or do you want to record a vanity project?
If you intend to sell your project you need to accept the fact that you are competing with all your favorite artists, the ones who inspired you.
Your mother and your friends will understand how and why your project sounds amateur.
Consumers won’t care.
If the songs don’t blow them away and the record doesn’t sonically sound amazing they won’t buy it.
If they’re not listening to the music that means you have a vanity project.
Vanity means it’s just for you, your friends, and your family.
Which is totally fine.
Unless your dream was to make a living making music.
This requires commerce.
It’s confusing to me to hear artists wax on about how they want to record albums like their heroes did, back when they “made the records they wanted to make”. However, the artists they speak of were on major labels with incredible infrastructure in all aspects of the record making process.
These heroes wrote world class songs (often with hit songwriters).
They worked with world class musicians (often not the same musicians in the band)
They worked with professional engineers, and producers.
Then they recorded in world class studio facilities.
So they “made the records they wanted to make” with a quality-tested team of professionals who earn a living every day making records (which is a vastly different skill set than recording music)
Don’t you think this is an important fact to consider?
I mean this is your dream, right?
These are your babies, aren’t they?
If you want your project to be competitive you will not be able to accomplish this in a home studio all by yourself.
Your undying admiration for music and a Pro-Tools rig is nowhere near enough, you’re going to need experience.
The good news is that it is easier and less expensive than ever before to access quality professionals and create your epic masterpiece.
A little consideration towards project management can go a LONG way to making the dent you need to attract major attention in this business.
Attention from consumers.
Attention from the industry.
Quality over Quantity
Was the dream really to record 10 songs, or was the dream to be a professional artist who finds an audience and makes a living selling their music to their fan base?
The problem is a smaller budget won’t allow for quality AND quantity so they erroneously choose quantity and go “shopping” for a place that will take their limited finances and deliver a 10 song CD.
I promise, if you are looking for a studio that will charge $250/song or $25/song YOU WILL FIND IT. Your tracks will suffer greatly but you will indeed have a 10 song CD.
Did you win or lose?
What if you focused on quality instead of quantity?
CASE STUDY: We were approached by an amazing Canadian singer/songwriter named Tanya Marie Harris. It was time for her to record her next project. I remember her saying, “Johnny, for what you and Kelly are charging me for 2 songs, I could record a whole CD up here in Toronto.” I remember preparing my usual response of “Well, we aren’t your guys then” when she followed up with “but it would be mediocre and I need something awesome. This is my last shot and I want these tracks to blow people away.”
We did exactly that.
Tanya recorded 2 songs and is currently building a real career on the strength of those tracks. She recorded “A Woman Scorned” and “Secondhand Dreams” which currently has almost 2 million YouTube views and is getting more spins on radio every day.
Tanya is touring constantly.
Tanya signed a deal with a Nashville management company.
She made a dent.
Professional recordings mean that you’re a professional.
How nice would it be to hand someone your recordings WITHOUT a disclaimer?
To quote Steve Jobs, “Quality is better than quantity. One home run is better than 2 doubles”
FYI, he put his money where his mouth is. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak built their very first run of Apple computers out of Wozniak’s garage. They had a limited budget and chose to manufacture 50 quality computers over a quantity of 500 of a lesser quality. The rest is history.
What are you after, home runs or doubles?
Find a quality team.
Stay in tune.
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