Wow! This album has been a long time in the making. It was about 3 years ago when Paul suggested that we should record an album together featuring the fabulous violins of Evan Smith. AND, it was about a month ago that I started this post. 😉 How time flies when you are creating new things!
18 months after this whole adventure got started, I went to Louisiana to record this album with Paul Anastasio nearly. And NOW, it’s all coming to fruition! Some of you wouldn’t believe how many steps are involved in bring an album to completion. Indulge me for just a moment.
- Inspiration Strikes Album Idea Takes Seed. Paul makes his Weiser proclamation. “Vi let’s make an album using Evan’s Fiddles to help him market his great violins.” – CHECK!
- Musicians Acquired, Stickerville Stomper style. – CHECK! (Albanie Falletta, Ben Fox )
- Studio Chosen. Sometimes this takes longer than you think because getting timing to work out on things like this can be more complicated than you might think, but CHECK!
- Tunes Chosen – CHECK!
- Schedule Recording at a time that works for everyone involved – CHECK!
- Schedule travel and Accommodations for recording session – CHECK!
Now we can actually start the project! WOOHOO!
- Prepare tunes for recording – CHECK!
- Travel to Louisiana – CHECK!
- Rehearse songs with musicians – CHECK!
- Work out song arrangements – CHECK!
- Practice song arrangements – CHECK!
Now we can go into the studio! WOOHOO!
- Record the tracks – CHECK!
- Fix anything that we don’t like – CHECK!
- Add any additional parts: guitar solos, bass solos, octave violin. We can only play one instrument at a time. 😉 – CHECK!
Now we have done the fun stuff. And it’s time to do the work that is required to make the album sound good. It’s not enough to have great musicians in the studio. The engineering has to be great too.
- Engineer sends over first mixes for review – CHECK!
- I listen to the mixes, make some comments, there are a couple of parts that are missing. OOPS!
- Local musicians come back a couple more times to add or patch a part or two that we missed during the initial recording session – CHECK!
- Engineer sends over second round of mixes! Now we’re getting somewhere.
- I listen to the album 3 or 4 times, and make notes each time. I listen on my earbuds, and listen in my car, and listen on my studio monitors.
- Send the notes back to the engineer.
- Engineer sends over third round of mixes! It’s definitely better, and some of the tracks are pretty close to ready.
This is where it often gets difficult for me. We are about 75-80% done with the recording and mixing, and we are deep into the musical production tunnel, and I can’t yet see the end of the tunnel. I’m in a hyper-critical listening mode, and nothing that I have played sounds good enough to me. AND, of course, all of the time that I have spent on the album has been adding up as time away from all of the other projects that need to be done. On some albums I have been able to power through this, but this wasn’t one of those times. I hit an emotional wall, and I stopped hard. This project totally stalled out around this point for about 6 months here. And, that is 100% on me. Finally, I pulled myself together and climbed back on the horse.
- Of course, at this point, it’s been 6 months since I really listened to the album, but I picked the album back up, and gave it a couple of more listens. I made the appropriate notes about final tweaks, and sent them back to the amazing Joel Savoy.
- And, then I did it one more time before I was really happy with every track. This may seem like a lot, but there was another album where I had 10 or more mix reviews on some of the tracks. 🙂
- I Scheduled the Mastering Session. Since we are in the times of Corona, I couldn’t attend the mastering session myself (which I love to do).
- And the Amazing David Glasser at Airshow Mastering took my tracks, and added his magic mastering fairy dust to the album, and made it shine like a new penny!
- NOW, it’s time to do all of the fine details that make the album functional online!
- Secure a UPC
- Assign ISRC Codes
- Get Amazing Album Art – Special Thanks to the Amazing Christina Gressianu for that!
- Upload the Tracks to Digital Distribution – I have used CDBaby and DistroKid for this over time.
- Add all of the Album Meta Information so that the other performers and contributors to the project get credit.
- Add Song Lyrics to any Songs on the Album so that they can be displayed on spotify and other services.
- Purchase Mechanical Licenses from HarryFox.com for any covers on the album – otherwise they are illegal.
- Schedule the Album Release Date.
- WHEW! The mixing is completed. The Album art is submitted. The Mastering is completed. The UPC is assigned. ISRC Codes have been assigned to all of the tracks. The tracks are all submitted to DistroKid for my digital distribution. Now it’s time to make it real!
- Upload the Tracks to the Production House – I use OasisCD.com. They have been generally great to work with, but this last album had some delays – probably due to the Corona.
- Upload the Album Art to the Production House
- Add the UPC and ISRC’s to the Production House
- Proof the Artwork.
- Send it to Production.
AND Now’s the time you can wait…. Or is it. We are now about a month before the album is going to be released. And, this is no time to rest! This is just the beginning. 😉
- It’s time to get started on the promotion!
- Email all of the Radio DJ’s who have interviewed me in the past.
- Order mailers for mailing out the album to DJ’s. Make them interesting.
- Make a One-Sheet for the Album.
- Create something fun to include with the album. This time it was a postcard.
- Print out mailing stickers and return labels.
AND, while you are at it, check on the album production, and make sure it’s on schedule – or find out that it isn’t.
AND, don’t forget to create a product on my website for preordering the album. And of course I have to create an email to send out to my friends about how the album is available for preorder.
I’m getting exhausted just thinking about this! It’s no wonder I was so tired.
The release date is almost here. It’s time to start the radio mailing! And, since the production ran late, we really have to rush. Thankfully, Colin was really a trooper and helped me get all of the envelopes stuffed and off to the post office in record time.
Of course, we aren’t done yet, because it’s release time.
We have to.
- Create promotional videos for the tunes to post on social media.
- Actually attend those radio interviews.
- Send thank you messages to people who graciously played my new album on their radio shows.
- AND, maybe get some sleep.
If it weren’t the times of Corona, we would add to this scheduling an Album Release party, getting some extra merchandise to go along with the album for the show – album themed of course.
AND, when it comes down to it, all of this work is done so that we can create something and bring it into the world, and share it with as many people as possible.
Thank you all for being along with me on this journey, and for all of your support along the way!
I appreciate you more than you may realize.
And, if you want to download Swinging at the Savoy – or buy it in Genuine Physical Form, just click the button below!