A few weeks ago, I went to Catalina’s in Hollywood to see Cheryl Bentyne (www.manhattantransfer.com) and my pal Mark Winkler (www.markwinkler.com) perform. I wrote a column about it and now it seems that Mark is doing a seminar on how to record your own CD.
He’s written us a page of hints and the info for the seminar is at the bottom of the page. Enjoy and maybe I’ll see you at the seminar?
On Fri, Sep 17, 2010 at 8:21 AM, <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
I've been working as a songwriter and singer for 30 years-- I've made 10 CDs as an artist (most of them co-produced) and I've produced about 15 CDs of all types--Through all of this,I've made plenty of mistakes, and I have done some things right. Here's 5 things that can help you make a better CD (and not go broke)!
1. Don't do 12 or 13 songs on a CD-- Each song increases your cost from $1,500-to $5,000 dollars. Record 10 good ones! My latest production "A Special Taste" by Dolores Scozzesi has 10 tracks-- and it's one of the most added jazz CDs in the country! Not one person has mentioned having too few cuts.
2. Do not have your cousin or your children take your picture to put on the cover. The first thing people will notice about your product is the packaging. It is fairly easy to get wonderful graphics for a good price-- but don't cut costs on this. I once had a labelmate of mine put her daughters refrigerator crayon sketch on her jazz CD- It sold about two copies. But do go to local universities and see if you can work with art students there to do your CD packaging--
3. Making the CD is the last step in a very long process that should start with you performing live and recording your performances on audio/video equipment. I can't tell you how many artists I mention this too-- and they say "I hate to watch myself"-- Well I say "Get used to it, it's your business". It will show you many things-
For one-- which songs you sing go over well and which don't-- Literally count the beats of the applause- whistles and audible cheers count. Then focus on those tunes that consistently get the great response. These are the ones people like you singing, not the ones you want to sing-- sometimes two very different things-- which leads us to ....
4. Who are you as an artist? You can not be all things to all people. Recently a very talented singer in one of my seminars sent me her already finished CD -- and she basically wasted a lot of money. Why? Well, she sang great, had wonderful musicians on it, and it was recorded well.
How she blew it, was that the CD was like a schizophrenic-- one half was a swinging jazz vocal CD and the other half was full of nostalgic swing songs from the 40s. I told her to drop the novelty swing songs-- and record some more jazz stuff- but her budget was gone. We live in a very specialized time. You've got to go with your best shot and not waver from it.
5. Don't sing a note, without getting a great headphone mix. Sounds perfectly easy and natural-- but I can't tell you how many times the singer is the last thing considered. Make sure to take the time to hear yourself perfectly and have the band mix exactly the way you want it-- and the engineer/producer should do it with a smile--if not Hit The Road Jack!
Well, that's just 5 things! I've got a million-- actually 3 hours of taking you from the very beginning of making a CD to the marketing of it-- and in this internet world-- this changes everyday. I promise you you'll save money and make far fewer mistakes if you take my workshop-- and I haven't even told you about the Ugly CD covers I've collected thru the years. And yes, lots of handouts and the whole lecture will be given to you after the class as an attachment!
It's this Saturday Sept. 18th
WORKSHOP WILL BE IN GRANADA HILLS
AT CATHY SEGAL-GARCIA'S STUDIOS
SATURDAY SEPT. 18, 2010