Recording a CD

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by cornetcheese, May 14, 2006.

  1. cornetcheese

    cornetcheese Member

    Just a quick query for those of you who have embarked on CD recordings with your band! I've been discussing the possibility of doing a CD recording with a group I conduct, but I was looking for some information to pass onto them. I've played in a couple of recording sessions, but unfortunately I know nothing of the financial cost of doing them (say for a sat & sun all day). Does anyone have a stab-in-the-dark average price for this? Also, anyone know of any recording companies who are reasonably priced and of good quality? I know Egon are ver good, but interested in finding out about others!

    Thanks in advance - I never get involved in organising these things, I usually conduct and let others get on with it so I'm a little ignorant about this!
  2. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

  3. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    I'd recommend getting a few quotes, but definitely speak to Keith Johnson. He's a member here (as Brassneck says his user name is KMJ Recordings) so you can contact him via PM. He's a knowledgable and helpful chap, and should be a good person to chat to if this is your first time organising a recording (don't forget to spell my name correctly on the cheque, Keith....;) ).

    You may also find Keith's recording a CD thread useful reading. There was also another discussion about CD recordings which was a pre-cursor to this thread, but I can't find it just now, and I'm due to start work. I'll have a look at lunchtime to see if I can root it out.

    Good luck :)
  4. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Just as a FYI: tMP is working with Keith on a few projects and comes 100% reccommended so I guess you could say that this is an official tMP endorsement.

    He's a good guy and you won't go wrong talking to him.
  5. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Gosh, thanks chaps :oops: .

    Give me shout for anything you need :D
  6. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    This may be the thread that Ian was referring to.

    Briefly, the costs that are involved in making CDs can be split into two bits - the recording and the manufacture.

    Dealing with the easiest first, for maximum compatibility with (usually) older CD players it's usual to recommend that you have your CDs pressed from a glass master. There is a minimum order of 500 units for this process, and it works out at around £600-630 depending which was the wind is blowing. That's based on a 4 sided [4+1] booklet, Jewel case (black tray), [4+0] tray card and two colour onbody printing. The MCPS Licence required for those units comes out at around £325, assuming a £10 selling price (it varies with selling price and the number of units manufactured).

    That said, if you want a smaller run, it's no problem - but the cost per CD rises, particularly for the same spec paper parts.

    For the recording, the costs you've got to consider are:

    1) Venue - which could be anything from free to several hundred pounds for the weekend;

    2) Producer fees - for the best possible results, use someone who has an in depth knowledge of brass bands rather than picking a random name from a phone book;

    3) Engineers fees - be careful with this one that there aren't hidden charges, such as extra editing fees, mastering charges and so on (and it goes without saying that it's preferable that the engineers have experience of bands as well, although a good one should be OK with anything they face ;) );

    4) Travel / Accommodation bills (depending on radius) - as an example I'm recording in York with the Shepherd Building Group Band this coming weekend (I'm based just south of Manchester), but because of the ease of access there's no accommodation bill for the Band.

    It's these latter bits that vary from place to place, and they all depend on market position, overheads etc - so usual business things.

    I can go into specific costs if you contact me by PM or phone.

    Last edited: May 15, 2006
  7. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    :tup yup that was the one Keith. Thanks mate :)
  8. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    CD recording is getting to be very popular

    BBSBB did one two weekends ago as did Cresswell and Old Silkstone (though not together) - Stannington are doing one this weekend - looks like my collection of Brass Band CD's is about to swell considerably and my wallet shrink.
  9. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Yes it is, and that can only be a good thing.

    The only thing I'd say is make sure you choose carefully who's going to do it for you or you could end up with something that's not worthwhile - what this doesn't mean is that you must pay over the odds or that cheap(ish) isn't cheerful, just ensure that you know that you'll get the best possible product within the budget you set.
  10. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Actually, no, I'll say something else ;)

    When you're choosing your company, try and not get caught up in all the technical hype.

    It's very easy in the age of the information highway to be influenced by phrases like "Industry standard", "When only the best will do", "these XYZ have graced more recording studios....", "Revolutionary new techniques".

    Phrases like this can be misleading - just because something is inside a recording studio doesn't mean it's ever turned on, and something may be an industry standard just because it's modular and easy to repair not because it's the best in its class. Protools may be an industry standard for some things (but generally not classical music ;) ), using multimic techniques isn't revolutionary*, and in certain cases can actually be the completely wrong thing to do. It's not what you've got - it's what you do with it :D

    I do have to admit, though, that I have some of the technical stuff on my own website (which is going to be updated fairly shortly), but I try to keep it at a minimum - I'm always happy to discuss people's individual needs and wants, but I don't try and use pseudoscience as a mareting tool.

    * Edit: Although I should really say that until fairly recently it hasn't been applied routinely to Brass Band recordings
    Last edited: May 15, 2006
  11. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    What should you think a band should actually put on a CD? Obviously Dyke, BAYV etc., can get away with recording stuff that has been done umpteen times before because their name sells a CD, but should the Scroggins Pickleworks band try and put more unusual stuff on there? Or should they stick to what they and their supporters know? Presumably the band's families, supporters and regular concertgoers will want to hear stuff they are familiar with but faced with the zillionth recorded version of Strike up the Band or Procession to the Minster the general banding public are unlikely to buy it. Or are they unlikely to anyway unless it's a "big name"?
  12. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - I think the norm is what is played in the concerts, i.e., what the audience expect and turn up for!
  13. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    There are a few things I guess you've got to take into consideration (some of this was covered in the Preparing to Record a Brass Band CD thread, so apologies for repeating myself!).

    Firstly, you've got to decide why you're recording the CD and there are two basic scenarios for those who aren't being paid to do it. The first is that you've decided as a Band that you want to do it for the experience (or I guess to mark a special occasion in the Band's history, like a Centenary) and the second is as a fund raising venture. Obviously, if it's just for the experience then you can (almost) get away with recording what you like. Things are different, however, if you want to make a saleable product.

    I think for Bands outside of the 'inner circle', then you're perfectly correct in saying that some degree of familiarity is key. You do have to include things that your target audience will know. That in itself, however, doesn't mean it's got to be version 724 of the Floral Dance (sorry Derek!). The Bands with which I've been involved with over the years have extensive libraries the bulk of which need to be rediscovered. Play things out on concerts - be daring. Introduce (or in some cases re-introduce) your audience to repertoire - it doesn't have to be serious stuff just good to listen to. Think about who and what your target audience want to listen a vote in the interval in a concert, come up with a request programme.

    If you know your target audience, you''ll get it right.

    Additionally, though, I think we as a movement need to move forwards. We should be encouraging both young and old composers to write repertoire that is appropriate to our needs. My personal belief is that it's a fallacy to believe you've got to write the Test Piece for the Open to be taken seriously as a composer - if you do things that make people go away thinking "Ooh, I liked that!" then you've cracked it.

    Look within your Band - is there anyone there who arranges well? (what's going on the Middleton CD when I do it in August? ;) ) Exploit your resources. Put new material on a CD next to older repertoire and help it and the composer / arranger become established.

    Without wishing any disrespect to anyone, the other thing you absolutely must take into account is the difficulty of the programme you're looking to record. Everything you put on there should be able to stand up to repeated listening - don't take on Apocalypse if you're a 3rd section band :D OK, so that's an exaggeration, but it makes the point.

    Additionally where difficulty is concerned, you need to look at the broader picture. If every piece you record has a fair few top Cs for the front row, by the time you get to 12.30 on the Saturday their lips will be on the floor with no chance of recovery. Think about it in it's entirety, not just piece by piece in isolation.

    While I've been typing this, Brassneck's replied wrt to generally recording concert repertoire. I think he's right - in as far as the use of the word generally. Let's all be daring - put something on out of left field, even if it's one piece....

    Remember as well that, if you use a recording Company that has brass knowledge that they and their Producers should be able to help you in choosing appropriate material, and if you're in any doubt pick up the phone and call them.

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