Releasing an EP


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sammo_boi
02-15-2011, 06:06 AM
My band is planning on self producing a 4 song EP and want to put it to good use to gain gigs, fans etc. We have everything to do it ourselves and it shouldn't be too far from studio quality, with cubase, superior drummer and good vst software etc for guitars.

A few questions:

1. Should the whole thing be recorded in a single Cubase file and then into another program to set master volume (cubase exports seem to be quiet), split tracks, add silence and then properly burn to CD? Anything on burning to CD's and what formats and stuff would be a great help.

2. How should we go about actually releasing it (getting it out there)? Clueless to this question.

3. When we get a gig, how much would be appropriate for us to sell our CD for?

Thanks for any help!

SlackerBabbath
02-15-2011, 06:42 AM
Sorry, can't help you with the first one... ask axemanchris.

2. Make lots of copies and go around as many record stores as you can offering a sale or return deal with the store owner taking a small percentage from sales.

3. About 3 times the cost of producing each CD, that way you (a) recoup your costs, (b) make enough money to produce more when needed and (c) make some profit.

sammo_boi
02-15-2011, 06:53 AM
Sorry, can't help you with the first one... ask axemanchris.

2. Make lots of copies and go around as many record stores as you can offering a sale or return deal with the store owner taking a small percentage from sales.

3. About 3 times the cost of producing each CD, that way you (a) recoup your costs, (b) make enough money to produce more when needed and (c) make some profit.

There aren't any record stores around here. Only chain stores which I doubt would do such deals. But I guess that extends to local music shops aswell. That I can do.

Thanks for the advice!

SlackerBabbath
02-15-2011, 06:58 AM
There aren't any record stores around here. Only chain stores which I doubt would do such deals. But I guess that extends to local music shops aswell. That I can do.

Thanks for the advice!

You could always ring around out of town record stores to sort the deals out then if any agree, mail the the CDs to them.
Make sure you send plenty of advertising posters too.

dmiwshicldply
02-15-2011, 06:26 PM
You may know this but I didn't see it mentioned in your post, But your going to want to get it mixed by someone who knows what they're doing. You can't just simply record and burn it and expect it to sound like studio quality, for a demo that would be ok but for an album that your asking money for not so much.

Damascus
02-15-2011, 07:05 PM
1. Should the whole thing be recorded in a single Cubase file and then into another program to set master volume (cubase exports seem to be quiet), split tracks, add silence and then properly burn to CD? Anything on burning to CD's and what formats and stuff would be a great help.


I hope the following won't sound condescending - I get the impression from your post that you're much more a musician than a mixer/engineer, so assuming the following is news to you, if not, apologies:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mastering
Firstly, that might help as an introduction as to why 'cubase' is sounding quiet for you. Commercial CDs (even the ones that haven't been mastered to be as loud as they possibly can be) become loud because they're recorded by engineers who set recording levels pretty much as high as they can go before they peak, mixed by people who automate the level of the track to pull the quiet bits up and the loud parts down so everything can go up, compressed (often in stages, or in parallel) so the loud parts are turned down even more so that the overall volume can be brought up, EQ'd so that unecessary frequencies are removed (and therefore, as a 'side' effect, the entire track can be turned up louder without peaking), then compressed, EQ'd and volume automated again at the mastering stage.

What I mean is, there's a reason why engineers, mixers and mastering engineers have jobs and, unfortunately, why your CD is always going to sound quiet in comparison to something commercial. dmiwshicldply has a point - if it's possible to get someone who knows how to mix to mix your CD, do that.

EDIT: Sorry, I didn't mean to give the impression that making sounds louder is all engineers/mixers/masterers do :haha: They'll make it sound more awesome in other ways too.

sammo_boi
02-15-2011, 07:58 PM
Ok we might look into getting it professionally mixed then. Does that mean we could record it on our own and send the raw files to them?

smokeysteve22
02-15-2011, 08:08 PM
1.

Record it in cubase at the best mix you can get.
Dont bother about how loud you can get the mix at this time you wont be able to compare to the biggies without Compressing and limiting your mix to shit!

You need to export the mix as a 44.1khz 16bit .wav file, then reload back into a fresh cubase project and tweak the overall mix with EQ n compression if needed/or Burn to CD (depending on your CD's lol).

Honestly i dont think you should worry about the loudness for right now just focus on getting a really nice sounding mix.

Make sure you keep the master mix out of the red and leave some headroom like -3dB on the meter.

You can try to master it yourself so to speak but mastering engineer equipment is serious stuff in comparison.

Try using some Cubase limiting presets on the master channel to get it equally bit louder, just be careful to not destroy your mix though its very easy to do so haha.

Good luck!

EDIT :

Didnt realize people would pay for it, i would suggest you get it professionally recorded at a studio then mastered.

sammo_boi
02-15-2011, 08:16 PM
We're not quite sure yet. We haven't played any gigs. We have recorded a couple of scratch tracks and the mix sounds really good. The link in my sig has a demo song.

A recording studio would seem like a waste of money at this point.

smokeysteve22
02-15-2011, 08:18 PM
Ok we might look into getting it professionally mixed then. Does that mean we could record it on our own and send the raw files to them?

Your better off just going racking up and getting it done professionally, by you sending them raw files they can only work with what you have recorded.
Meaning if it doesn't sound to great they cant make the mix outstanding.

No offense intended but you can't polish Dog shit.

AlanHB
02-15-2011, 08:31 PM
We're not quite sure yet. We haven't played any gigs. We have recorded a couple of scratch tracks and the mix sounds really good. The link in my sig has a demo song.

A recording studio would seem like a waste of money at this point.

Recording an EP also seems like a waste of time and money if you have no gigs...

sammo_boi
02-15-2011, 08:35 PM
yet... it would be good to have something to give away/sell at gigs. forget i said EP. It is a demo

LazarusOnGrave
02-15-2011, 10:24 PM
I hope the following won't sound condescending - I get the impression from your post that you're much more a musician than a mixer/engineer, so assuming the following is news to you, if not, apologies:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mastering
Firstly, that might help as an introduction as to why 'cubase' is sounding quiet for you. Commercial CDs (even the ones that haven't been mastered to be as loud as they possibly can be) become loud because they're recorded by engineers who set recording levels pretty much as high as they can go before they peak, mixed by people who automate the level of the track to pull the quiet bits up and the loud parts down so everything can go up, compressed (often in stages, or in parallel) so the loud parts are turned down even more so that the overall volume can be brought up, EQ'd so that unecessary frequencies are removed (and therefore, as a 'side' effect, the entire track can be turned up louder without peaking), then compressed, EQ'd and volume automated again at the mastering stage.

What I mean is, there's a reason why engineers, mixers and mastering engineers have jobs and, unfortunately, why your CD is always going to sound quiet in comparison to something commercial. dmiwshicldply has a point - if it's possible to get someone who knows how to mix to mix your CD, do that.

EDIT: Sorry, I didn't mean to give the impression that making sounds louder is all engineers/mixers/masterers do :haha: They'll make it sound more awesome in other ways too.

Pretty much what happened with Metallica's Death Magnetic (though they aren't the only ones).

Put simply: Don't crank up the volume in the mix. You lose the dynamic range (difference between loud and quieter parts) and run the risk of clipping (creating an annoying distortion). A good audio engineer will know not to brick-wall the mix. If it sounds too quiet, turn the volume knob up, don't crank it in the mix itself. Our ears have an odd way of perceiving high volume as better sounding.

As for selling the CD, take a look at CD baby. Last I saw, it was a $40 fee, plus a flat $4 cut from every album sold so you can sell CDs or digital downloads online for whatever price you choose. If you think you can sell a fair number, might be worth looking into.

http://www.cdbaby.com/

axemanchris
02-15-2011, 10:36 PM
My band is planning on self producing a 4 song EP and want to put it to good use to gain gigs, fans etc.

Point noted that you revised this to a demo. The purpose of a demo is to gain gigs and maybe some fans. That's fine.


We have everything to do it ourselves and it shouldn't be too far from studio quality, with cubase, superior drummer and good vst software etc for guitars.

Okay.... here we go.

Anyone who has recorded anything had the same thinking you did at one time. Myself, I remember going to the music store, seeing a Cubase demo and being blown away. "Man, with that on my computer, I could make some kick@ss recordings!" Mmmm... yeah... and then you learn that the software is the least of your worries.

A studio quality recording comes from great front-end gear (mics, preamps, etc.), great know-how, a great room, great monitors, etc. Hell, you could make a great recording with Audacity.

Consider this... you've never played guitar before. You've seen people play guitar, saw a TV show and watched some YouTube videos. You even hung out with a friend at his house a few times while he played guitar. You buy a Les Paul and a Marshall stack. Will you produce a studio quality performance? No. Of course not. Will you produce one next year? No. In two years.... alas, still no. Get the idea?


A few questions:

1. Should the whole thing be recorded in a single Cubase file and then into another program to set master volume (cubase exports seem to be quiet), split tracks, add silence and then properly burn to CD? Anything on burning to CD's and what formats and stuff would be a great help.

Each track should have its own project. Export each final mix (with NO compression, EQ, limiting, etc. on the master bus) to its own file. The higher the resolution the better. I wouldn't go to 16 bit just yet.

Bring each mixdown track into a single project where you will "master" them. (note: Yay! Another thing to learn! Just because you can play guitar, it doesn't mean you can play ukulele. Get the idea?)


2. How should we go about actually releasing it (getting it out there)? Clueless to this question.

You should NOT release a demo. A demo is... well... a demo. It is an unfinished product. You don't sell a half-baked cake, do you? How about a chair that's got the first three legs done on it? Nope. Give it to club owners to help nail down gigs. That was one of your goals. Put it on your Reverb Nation profile or MySpace or whatever. People can listen to it (but don't let them download it!). It's a demo. But it should not be sold.


3. When we get a gig, how much would be appropriate for us to sell our CD for?

Thanks for any help!

You don't sell demos. I mean, I'd be pretty p!ssed if I walked out of a store, having paid for a product, only to find out that it wasn't fully done yet.

And if I was told, "hey, it's a sample... a tester..." then like any other sample/tester, I want it for free. No, not the whole thing. Just a sample...

CT

sammo_boi
02-15-2011, 11:39 PM
Ok so we will record everything ourselves and call it a demo. Hand it to clubs, friends, myspace etc etc. And we get ourselves some gigs :p:

Thanks for all the help!

iwannabesedated
02-19-2011, 12:13 AM
Yeah, unless you're going for the "we're really hardcore and underground" thing recording stuff on your own should be considered a demo, when you get a professional to help, then consider selling it.