You’ve got a band. You’ve got a collection of songs written. They sound pretty good. Your friends/family/girlfriends/boyfriends/wives/husbands really seem to like your music. Maybe you’re having some success with gigs.
So it’s time to go to a recording studio and make a record, right?
Probably So, But Why?
The answer to that might well be yes. But before you can answer it, you need to ask yourself a fundamental question: WHY are you recording?
Do you need something to help you book more gigs? That’s a common, and usually the first, reason a new artist records something. It’s hard to get people to book you if you can’t demonstrate what you sound like. If this is why you’re recording, then what you need is a Booking Demo.
What about if you’re interested in getting music industry professionals to invest in you? Want a label, publishing, management, or booking deal? You might need to record a Single or two. You might also want to consider coupling that Single with a Music Video for maximum impact (video can generate eight times the click-thru rate of audio alone).
Is it time in the evolution of your project to put out an independent EP or album? If so, the question then becomes what the project’s goal is and what the total budget is.
If the primary goal is simply to have an album to sell to existing fans and others who will see you perform live or online, then you can afford to take the bulk of your total budget and put it toward production.
If the goal is more centered around using an album to make a major promotional push in order to actively acquire new fans, then you have to balance the type of production plan you pursue against the necessity of having enough resources left over with which to execute a proper release strategy.
A lot of artists that approach me about making records start with questions like, “how much does it cost to record an album,” or “how much for one song?” As frustrating as it is, I always have to reply to them that that question depends entirely on what the goals of their project are.
So I’m left with no choice but to turn the question back around on them and ask them the same question I’m asking here. Why Are You Recording? Once you’ve answered that, you’ll be a lot farther down the road toward a successful project.
Stay tuned! In my next blog post I will start delving into the specifics of how to approach various projects based on the goals you define as you answer the question posed here.