Recording a record is a big deal. It takes tons of time, a bunch of money, meticulous coordination, not to mention the artistic energy to create the songs and arrange them with your band and/or producer. So it’s easy to forget some things once you’re in the thick of it and laying down your songs. Here are four things you definitely want to do before you leave the recording studio that will set you up for the future.
1) Make sure you’ve been recording all the bloopers- the “making of” videos make for great webisodes, or vlogs, to give to your fans. If you were running a fan-funding campaign on Kickstarter or Pledge music, these videos make great content for exclusive prizes. Include shots of the studio, the engineers (with their permission), some fun closeups of the band playing their instruments, and any band banter that your fans won’t be able to see elsewhere!
2) Get mixes and masters of your instrumental-only tracks. More than 70% of my 40+ TV placements were of my instrumental tracks. Ads and TV shows often have voice overs and/or dialogue that need to be heard, so while your lead vocal and the lyrics may be totally sweet, they will distract from what is really going on. Music paired with the moving image is meant to enhance, not take away, from what is going on on-screen. So make sure you have these available if a licensing campaign is in the album’s future.
3) Get everyone’s name for the album credits. This is SO much harder to do once you are out of the studio. Include everyone that lifted even a pinky for you, and that includes the interns who brought you coffee during your late-night sessions. Trying to go back and find everyone is super tricky so I advice having a list you keep current.
4) Register your songs with your PRO (ASCAP, BMI or SESAC) and make sure all co-writers or co-publishers are on the same page as you in terms of how you’ve split of the shares of both (Writers and Publishers). Again, this is one of those things that is hard to iron out after the fact, so stay on top of it before it becomes an issue. Make sure your producer is in on the deal and that you’ve cleared up if he is getting points (percentage of the album’s income) on the record or being paid up front (or a combination of the two). Also, register your album as a “body of work” with the copyright office as well as SoundExchange.com and Gracenote.
Taking care of the business before it becomes history and you dive into the next phase of your record (marketing it, touring, releasing it, music videos, etc etc) will help smooth out the process and leave you with what’s important: an awesome record to promote!
Lastly, here’s a cool new resource for you that will take you through the whole process of making a record, from writing to recording to marketing (complete with an invaluable 40-point checklist!). Click here to get the whole course at a nice discount, just for you!