THE STRATEGIC GOAL: to create, record, and prepare your music for distribution, promotion, and sales

REFERENCE PAGE: IndieGuide.com/Music

Table of Contents

Introduction

Section: Making Your Music

What To Consider Before You Even Hit The Record Button
Eight Alternative Versions Of Songs You Can Make To Maximize Sales And Licensing
How To Find And Collaborate With Musicians In Your Area
How To Find And Collaborate With Musicians Over The Web
How To Find Somebody To Record Any Instrument For Your Music
Eight Other Ways To Collaborate With Bands And Musicians Beyond Music
An Additional Group To Collaborate With

Section: Recording And Mixdown

Deciding Between Recording At Home Or At A Professional Studio (or Using Both)
How To Set Up A Home Studio
How To Find And Use A Professional Studio
How To Find And Hire A Producer
How To Find Precleared And Royalty-Free Samples And Loops For Your Recordings

Section: Mastering

What Every Musician Needs To Know About Mastering—What It Is And Why You Need It
How To Find A Mastering House
How To Prepare For And Use A Mastering House Effectively

Section: Prepare Your Music For Distribution And Release

How To Encode Your MP3s So They Can Be Played And Heard By The Most People
How To Name Your MP3s So That Fans Know Who You Are And Where To Find You
How To Release Your Music So Fans Can Find You
How To Convince Fans To Buy Music That You Release For Free
How To Decide Which Music File Formats To Make Available For Use In Sales, Licensing, Promotion, PR, And Marketing

Links and extras:

Introduction

From this section: “Professional studio time that used to cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars is now inexpensive and within your reach. And if you have your own computer, your studio time is free, allowing you to truly experiment at your own pace.”

Section: Making Your Music
What To Consider Before You Even Hit The Record Button

From this section: “It takes a lot of time and energy converting a person into a fan. But it takes less time and energy getting someone who is already a fan to purchase additional music from you.”

David Hooper

Eight Alternative Versions Of Songs You Can Make To Maximize Sales And Licensing

From this section: “You can also release the stems from the master recording—the bass track, the drum track, the vocals—so you can get others to make remixes of your work...”

How To Find And Collaborate With Musicians In Your Area

From this section: “When it comes to finding skilled musicians (or any expert for that matter, be it graphic artists, video editors, etc.), the Internet gives you numerous ways to connect, not to mention choices.”

Old Town School of Folk Music
Talk Bass
Drummer Cafe
Bandmix
Jamconnect
MusiciansWanted
Musolist
Craigslist
oDesk
Elance

How To Find And Collaborate With Musicians Over The Web

From this section: “Thanks to the Internet, a musician can record a part for you, or play with you live, anywhere in the world.”

Ejamming
NinJam
ccMixter
Kompoz
Indaba Music

How To Find Somebody To Record Any Instrument For Your Music

From this section: “You can hire brass sections, wind ensembles, vocalists, or people who play rare ethnic instruments.”

SessionPlayers
Drums for You

Eight Other Ways To Collaborate With Bands And Musicians Beyond Music

From this section: “Ever had a gig you just couldn’t make? It’s quite hard to find a substitute unless you know other bands and musicians in the area.”

An Additional Group To Collaborate With

From this section: “It’s a pool of talent that you may want to tap...”

Jonathan Coulton
Brad Sucks
George Hrab

Section: Recording And Mixdown
Deciding Between Recording At Home Or At A Professional Studio (or Using Both)

From this section: “In fact, by the time you’ve paid the average professional studio to record just one album, you’ve probably spent the equivalent of a very capable studio setup for your house, one where you could have recorded as many songs as you’d ever want.”

How To Set Up A Home Studio

From this section: “When it comes to setting up a home studio, John Lisiecki, a sound engineer for Chicago’s Millennium Park who has years of experience recording everything from rock bands to symphony orchestras, advises, ‘It’s the ends that matter. Everything else is a religious question.’”

Audacity
Cakewalk
Ableton

How To Find And Use A Professional Studio

From this section: “If you go the professional-studio route, know that both the studio and those working there are on the clock. That means time literally equals money.”

How To Find And Hire A Producer

From this section: “Producers fill a somewhat misunderstood role in recording.”

SessionPlayers

How To Find Precleared And Royalty-Free Samples And Loops For Your Recordings

From this section: “With the right combination of samples and loops, you can create the illusion of a full band backing you, or just enhance tracks with that little something extra that they need.”

ccMixter
Creative Commons
Drums on Demand
East West Samples
ACIDPlanet

Section: Mastering
What Every Musician Needs To Know About Mastering—What It Is And Why You Need It

From this section: “Mastering is frequently misunderstood, perhaps because it’s much easier to hear its effects than to describe them.”

See Discmaker's page on Mastering for even more information: Discmakers Mastering

How To Find A Mastering House

From this section: "Find a mastering house in your local area if possible, so that you can be present during the process."

SoundOps
Discmakers

How To Prepare For And Use A Mastering House Effectively

From this section: "In fact, the first time we used one, we scheduled the time and walked in with problems in our mixes. Fortunately, he didn’t charge us for discovering our mistakes and let us come back another time."

SoundOut
All Songs Considered

Section: Prepare Your Music For Distribution And Release

How To Encode Your MP3s So They Can Be Played And Heard By The Most People

From this section: "Most people never look at the encoding settings when they rip their own CDs to MP3 files and just use the defaults. That’s fine for your personal music, but when you want your music to be playable by as many people as possible when you give it out or sell it for distribution, you will need to tweak it."

How To Name Your MP3s So That Fans Know Who You Are And Where To Find You

From this section: "As we learned as we released songs from our Web sites, the names you give your song files make it easier to organize and can even help lead your fans back to you if they like the music."

How To Release Your Music So Fans Can Find You

From this section: "We have songs in our personal music collections that we love, but have no idea who the bands are because they not only failed to include their band name in the filename, they also neglected to use ID3 tags."

Eventful
Last.FM
Tag and Rename
Jaikoz

How To Convince Fans To Buy Music That You Release For Free

From this section: "In today’s world, ironically, the more that you give away, the more you
tend to get back in terms of attention and fans."

Beatnik Turtle
The Song of the Day

How To Decide Which Music File Formats To Make Available For Use In Sales, Licensing, Promotion, PR, And Marketing

From this section: "After putting together hundreds of songs, we learned that when we are creating the files for each song we released, it made sense to create multiple versions so that we had them on hand and ready to go for other purposes."