#1
Obviously im not asking in terms of getting a huge profit out of it. Or getting personal satisfaction. I would love to record a professional sounding album just so i can have it in my hands and caress it like a newborn child. What im thinking is, does recording an album help your band in other ways? My reasoning is that a professionally recorded album makes your band seem way more serious than just having a 4 song amateur demo. But i does it actually help with getting gigs, finding new band members when you need to, getting your name out there more.... Stuff like that.

Discuss!
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#2
I find that a good quality EP is a good balance.

Our band did a good quality EP, then we did a good quality album and now we're just going to do the song by song release as we record them. It's a lot simpler that way.

We didn't get anything out of the album that we didn't get out of the EP. no one cares, anyways
#3
As cynical as it sounds, Flexiblemile is right, no one will care either way. Unless you are really damn good and bringing something really unique to the table it will only be important to you. My band Time Relapse does all our own recording, mixing, distribution, etc. We have 23 albums consisting of heavy psychedelic instrumental and songs with lyrics, both acoustic and full band, and if we had done them in a pro studio we would have spent a million dollars probably. Just do it song by song. If you can get one song to sound amazing its better than having 4 songs that sound ok.
#4
I agree with Flexiblemile. A good EP would be a great solution.
Yes, people care about the music that is released, but do not care about the quantity of the music released. If you are able to show that you have released something, people will tend to book you. However, if you have released 23 albums and they haven't heard about a single one of them, they will think that you're a failing band, while having a single EP will have them think you are an rising star and they are one of the first to discover you.

It's all a kind of psychology, isn't it?
#5
Just reinforcing what other people have said, if you have a budget and you want to get the best possible quality out of your budget, record as few songs as possible. Like do between 3 and 5 at the most. That way you have a small collection of professional level material, rather than twice as many amateur level productions.
#6
The answer to the question depends on your overall goals for doing the album to begin with. If you are doing it to use as a showcase to get more jobs playing, that's one way to go. If it is to promote the band to a record company, that's another way to go. My partner and I chose a third way. I have long had my own home studio so we don't have to incur any recording costs and my background as a full time studio engineer (years ago) allows me to record and master our stuff in-house. Last year we bought a CD 4 drawer duplicator and an Epson printer that prints directly to printable CD's then got a friend who is graphic designer to create artwork and we duplicated an initial run of about 400 CD's. We were able to put the whole package together for a few hundred dollars and still have the equipment to make as many copies as we want or do more projects (album or EP).

So the question is, in what way does it help the band? Since we do gigs on regular basis we decided not to sell the CD's but give them away in an effort to increase our following. Over the past 11 months since we started giving out our CD's we have seen a very noticeable increase in our following. More people means happier club owners who give us more gigs and in turn more money. It also serves as a professional looking demo to club owners and agents and lastly I have to admit, it just feels good to have a nice CD that you put together from sctach to shrink wrap to hand to someone who says they enjoyed your band..
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Last edited by Rickholly74 at Apr 28, 2016,
#7
Quote by gorkyporky
Obviously im not asking in terms of getting a huge profit out of it. Or getting personal satisfaction. I would love to record a professional sounding album just so i can have it in my hands and caress it like a newborn child. What im thinking is, does recording an album help your band in other ways? My reasoning is that a professionally recorded album makes your band seem way more serious than just having a 4 song amateur demo. But i does it actually help with getting gigs, finding new band members when you need to, getting your name out there more.... Stuff like that.

Discuss!


My view now is that an "album" is unnecessary - restrict your release to a 5 song EP tops .

I'm a music nut and I can't sit through 8 songs from the same artist anymore, even those I admire. Classic albums are fine, and there are some exceptions, but for most new music it's overkill. I'm debating how to release my material as well and I've come to the conclusion that smaller releases are preferable - we're in the age of You Tube and very short attention spans - small clusters are better for that.
#8
I would recommend a quality EP over an album. I've done both and the EP always works out much better, cost wise, time wise, etc.
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#9
A good album with a good *music video* is how you get noticed. But the music video has to be eye catching, can't just be "look at the band play their instruments" (unless you're Obscura, then you can do exactly that and it's eye catching).
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#10
Quote by qrEE
A good album with a good *music video* is how you get noticed. But the music video has to be eye catching, can't just be "look at the band play their instruments" (unless you're Obscura, then you can do exactly that and it's eye catching).


It's far more effective to cut an EP, then spend the rest on recording a super quality video. An EP is more or less say, 5-6 tracks? An album 12? Unless you know a local recording/mixing guy who's rock solid, I'd want to pay at least $1500 for a rock solid mixed+mastered EP. Then spend another maybe $1000-1500 for a solid video.

Stuff ain't cheap If you want to get picked up by labels these days you've got to have a lot of shit figured out and ready to go, they're far less interested in developing people in this modern era. They want a product ready to go that they can just publicize
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#11
Well my budget estimates are around 2000-3000€ to record the album and another 1000€ for a video. The album budget is also strictly for recording, mixing and mastering. The graphic design is gonna be made bz me, since i work in a print shop and that is my actual job, and i can get the cds and booklets made pretty much whenever i want, so we wouldnt need to shell out for like 500 cds at the same time. And i suspect they wouldnt sell that well anyway.

The EP sounds like a good idea, although i do want to have a full album of songs, just for personal satisfaction. I also dont wanna go down the home recording road, because i would need to buy a bunch of equipment anyway, and the songs simply wouldnt sound good because of my lack of knowledge. We recorded a demo at my place, and i mixed and mastered it, and even with my best efforts it still sounded like shit.
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#12
I would strongly push you towards an EP over an album - I appreciate your desire for an album but even these days mega bands struggle to shift a collection of songs that are album length. And to be honest labels tend to have more interest in an EP, the irony being they'd rather listen to something short than something long. Then they'll go and complain no one listens to albums anymore. That's the music industry for you To be honest i'd even say a string of singles is more preferable, a constant stream of single releases is, I feel for this time in the industry, is without a doubt the strongest way to go.

A while back my band ordered 100 CDs and charged $5 for them, we sold a few, probably around 50%? I know some bands give CDs out for free, and well, both sides can work. A lot of it can depend on the show you're doing. I think for small venues/pub/bars giving CDs out can work wonders, but if you're touring or supporting a band that's selling tickets for more than $10 then definitely push your price up to match or be a touch lower than their prices. Another irony is that if you're supporting someone bigger and sell your stuff dirt cheap, people won't buy it. They'll assume it's low quality, pretty funny eh?

My advice would be:

1) Get a solid EP recorded, 4-5 songs, spend around 1500 (or a touch more)
2) Get a great music video made by a professional company, spend around 1200-1500 (ensure this involves a director, a location finder, good lighting, and possibly even make-up/set design)
3) Your graphic design is free, but make sure it's quality matches the video and music
4) Get around 50-100 CDs made of the EP (this can vary in cost), and remember, the packaging is just as important. Yeah clam shell CDs are cheap, but it doesn't look like an 'official' CD like you'd find in stores by big bands. So you'll want to mimic what's out on the market already as best you can (packaging wise)
5) Get other merchandise made, t-shirts (mixed sizes, two designs at least), badges, stickers etc
6) Use Distrokid to upload your EP and singles onto iTunes and every other digital music platform
7) Drive Facebook traffic as best you can, this includes paying for online advertising, spend maybe $15 a month promoting the page itself and then spend another $15 if you have a good show coming up, but make sure you focus the advert to hit people in that area (set if to people who have been to the city or whatever recently, as opposed to people who live there; there's a lot of commutes going on)
8) Oh and you might even want a professional photography session to have for things like event posts etc, this can be 'staged' or actually pictures from gigs, I tend to prefer gigs as they're less cheesy and more like you're a band that's touring

//

If some bands/people are reading the above and thinking 'I just don't have that much money', the entire thing is scale-able. For example:

1) You can make your own t shirts quite cheaply: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDDE8VvViFo

You can purchase cheap pre-made shirts from any cheap clothes seller, they can even cost as little as $5 a shirt. If you're in a band of three, you can easily cobble together $50 each, that's 30 shirts in mixed sizes you can hand make. There are some t-shirt printing vendors who can make things quite cheap at higher quantities, but not every town/city is going to have that; and sometimes their prices can be outrageous.

2) You can get a 'decent' EP made by finding someone local who runs a home studio. This guy works in his free time because he's interested in being a producer/audio engineer. They're still learning, so they're prices are generally pretty low. The quality reflects that they're learning but it's better than nothing, and it'll give you studio like experience. Just be nice to the guy, he's doing it because he loves it just like you. Check local music stores, or just post online trying to find someone, even ask around. You could get a 4-track EP made for $200 if not less.

3) You can then take your recorded EP and burn it to CDs yourself, you can bulk buy cheap CDs and CD cases so it's not too bad. Just be sure to have some artwork to put on the front of the CD case - don't worry too much about burning artwork onto the physical CD.

4) Facebook adverts can work wonders, but if you're low on cash just drop $5-10 for a big show you have coming up at a nice venue. The advert can reach 3000-6000 people depending on your location. If a 1/20th of those people turn up, you've got a good show on your hands.

5) You probably have a friend who does photography or has a nice camera. Get them/pay them to take some photos at a recent gig that was worth taking photos at. That can work as your EP artwork and Facebook cover photos etc
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