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How to go about self releasing an album?

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How to go about self releasing an album?

Postby lovesexy » Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:57 am

I've bitten the bullet. Have released a fair amount of material on various record labels over the years but have decided that my new album will be self released. I'm pretty much set on using bandcamp for digital and CD release.

My question is, how does it work regarding registering the cd/digital? When you get a CD manufactured by a company do they provide the bar code etc...What else do I need to do other than register it with the PRS. Also, is mastering the CD really that important? I've notice hardly any difference in past between my wavs/aiffs and those after 'mastering'other than a slight raise in DB.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: How to go about self releasing an album?

Postby BJG145 » Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:04 am

lovesexy wrote:When you get a CD manufactured by a company do they provide the bar code etc

No, a CD duplication plant won't provide the barcode any more than they provide the cover art. See here.

Also, is mastering the CD really that important?


The distinction between mixing and mastering is blurred these days, but you can think of mastering as "whole CD" stuff rather than track stuff. Eg setting a consistent level and suitable inter-track gaps is "mastering", and you'll need to do that at least. Mastering EQ and compression is largely about finding a cohesive sound for the album; getting the tracks to sit together.
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Re: How to go about self releasing an album?

Postby GlynB » Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:30 am

Depends how much effort you want to put into it. The simplest option is to use someone like CD baby's service (there are others). What is good about it is it's just a one off sign up and after a time your music appears on all the major digital distributors. So you don't end up having to spend a lot of time thinking about distribution, it gets taken care of for you. There are down sides, look for the thread comparing distributors for a discussion of the merits of the various suppliers.

From limited experience, I'd say mastering is necessary if you want to add that extra 'polish' and give your product a chance of sounding more like the pro stuff from the record labels (as most self-respecting musicians would want to do right?). The difference in sound when it comes back from mastering might vary depending on the genre, from a major difference to a subtle one.
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Re: How to go about self releasing an album?

Postby ken long » Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:43 am

lovesexy wrote:
My question is, how does it work regarding registering the cd/digital? When you get a CD manufactured by a company do they provide the bar code etc...What else do I need to do other than register it with the PRS. Also, is mastering the CD really that important? I've notice hardly any difference in past between my wavs/aiffs and those after 'mastering'other than a slight raise in DB.

Apart from gettign levels and tone consistent, MEs will also create a DDP file for the CD. Most plants only accept this format now. So unless you can do this yourself, best get a mastering engineer to.

You can register with PRS and get a licence if you wish to go down that route... if you feel your work may be used in future either airplay or licensing.

You can make a barcode yourself (plenty of sites will offer this service) and integrate it into the design layout.
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