About this project
Anatomy of an Album:
Recording and Promotion Total Cost= $20,380?!
Several people have asked over the years, "how much does it cost to make an album?" Being that I am also the curious type that likes to know how things work, I decided to include our recording and promotional budget for the upcoming album here:
Making the Record:
Airfare for 3 people to Nashville: $900
Lodging in Nashville- 1 month for 3 people: $600
Hospitality for Studio Musicians and Engineers (food, coffee, etc): $200
Studio Rental Fees: $1500
Recording Engineer Fees: $1000
Studio Musician Fees: $4000
Mixdown Engineer Fees: $1200
Mastering Engineer Fees: $900
First Print of 1000 CD’s: $2500
Recording Total: $13,300
Promoting the Record: Radio and Print Media Campaign
Publicist: $3000 for 2 month PR campaign
Publicity Mailings: $600
Radio Promoter: $2800 for 2 month radio campaign
Radio Promotion mailings: $480
Industry Mailings: $200
Promotion Total: $7,080
Recording and Promotion GRAND TOTAL= $20,380
At over $20,000 to produce and promote the album we are staring up at a pretty big mountain, especially as an independent band. But having the opportunity to make a great sounding record with some of the best musicians and engineers in the business is unquantifiable, and being able to share the music that we're so proud of with all of you is priceless.
And if that weren't exciting enough, we have the opportunity to work with a wonderful publicist on this record (one out of Nashville that I have tried to get on the last two album releases)! She will be in charge of promotion and publicity to print media and digital review outlets here in the United States. In addition, a well respected radio promoter out of New York City has expressed excitement about working on this project as well, so he will be orchestrating that aspect of the campaign this time around.
Both these opportunities add to the overall cost, but having a chance to work with respected industry professionals that can take us a level up in our ambitions as artists and as performers, enhancing our national profile now and into the future is, again, something that you can't put a price tag on.
It begins to feel like it's all coming together... :)
Risks and challenges
There are definitely many challenges along the road to producing a great album. Beyond gathering the budget to pay for it all (which is always the hardest part!) making an album involves thousands of tiny decisions, and several big ones. In the end you always look back and hope you have navigated your course well.
For example, we are committed once again to capturing great live performances in the studio with few to no edits. This means we will be recording all six performers at once like they did in the old days, not overdubbing parts later as is sometimes done in modern projects. To do this successfully, we all have to be on top of our game from the moment the tape rolls, delivering great performances every take, because you never know which one will have that special charisma that makes the record.
I remember on the last album I had a vocal take that I felt was the best I had in me, but the band was still feeling through the song and didn't completely have it yet. I had to regroup, dig deeper, and deliver the best I had again and again. It was challenging, but in the end we got the take we needed and that's all that matters.
Having recorded 6 albums in the past, I bring a lot of experience to this project, and I have learned what works and what doesn't work so well relative to the sound I want to achieve. Also, having worked with this Nashville group on the last album "Summer Nights", I feel confident that we can build on the musical rapport and friendships that we forged during that project to make this record something really special.
In the end, the most important decision you can make is to bring the best community of professionals into your project that you can and to focus on making something together that is meaningful and sincere. If you have great talents on board, and if they are all committed to the task at hand, I have always found that the quality of the final product is greater than the sum of its imperfections.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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