For every aspiring singer or rapper, the ultimate issues when it comes to make your own album comprising original songs are: I don’t know how to make a song – I don’t know any songwriter/producer or don’t know any good ones – I have a budget but not enough to pay good producers. How do I do? Wait until years pass? Fortunately, with the development of technology and especially internet, things have drastically changed.
The “Do-It-Yourself” principle has become very popular these last years with the evolution of our society. The development of internet has opened gates to new businesses and especially new services. On top of that, crises hitting our economies have seriously impacted our way of consumption. People would like to benefit from the same things as before but are willing to pay less… As a matter of fact, they have less on their bank account.
It has always been the same but probably stronger than before, art is often considered as less important than other things and music would tend to just be a hobby for many aspiring artists. But, because we have less on the bank account, does it mean that we have to give away our dreams and for a singer never have his own album produced and released? Giving away your dream is not an option if you don’t want to live a life of frustration. New ways for making albums exist.
Today, one can easily record his voice with his own equipment without it costing a leg. One computer, one good mic and an audio converter AD/DA (such as the Mbox). The word has easily spread on these Do-It-Yourself techniques. Now, aspiring singers don’t need to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars on studio recordings. Investing in your own studio will save you lots of money if you are willing to pursue a career.
Talking about saving money, one will wonder how his album will ever be produced without costing a killing amount of cash. Some new websites are proposing a new solution with “beats for lease” (instrumentals for lease). The system is similar to what leasing refers to in general. Those websites are proposing a list of original produced instrumentals/beats to singers or rappers looking for material for their album. How does this leasing process work? This is quite simple: the website remains the owner of the music (instrumentals/beats) and is granting some rights of use to the purchasers, i.e. the singers and rappers. Many websites propose music in various genres from pop to hip-hop, including electro tracks… The limitations could be a maximum of album sales allowed including the instrumentals purchased (e.g. 5,000 copies). Some people will wonder if this would be worth it. But just compare: how would an album cost you if you had to pay a good producer, perhaps $10,000. With this system of leasing, you could get an instrumental for only $25, so if you have like 10 tracks on your album, it would only cost you $250. See the difference? Plus, these days, even some confirmed artists have difficulties to sell more than 10,000 copies of their albums, so the math is easily done here. Of course, you’ll still have to write your own lyrics and do your own recordings, but that’s the minimum job you have to do. If you don’t feel like writing your own lyrics, you could even call on some lyricists. Many lyricists are proposing their services for free, they are just looking to collaborate. Once you have your vocals recorded over your instrumental, the final step in making this album would be mixing and mastering. Some websites are also proposing these services, it would cost you between $50 to $250 per track (depending on the number of audio tracks per song). So now there’s no more reason to leave your artistic projects behind. In total, your own album would cost you about $1,000-$1,500. That’s today’s cost to get something professional.
Last step but not least, you have to release your album, making it available to your fans… Once again, things are pretty easy with those websites (such as Zimbalam) proposing to post your album on multiple online music stores, including iTunes… It would cost you around $20-40 per album to use this service, depending on the website. You’ll usually get around 90% of the royalties on sales. However, with SongCast, you will keep 100% of your royalties, so you should check it out: www.songcastmusic.com.
So, what are you waiting for? If you have this singing spirit inside of you, don’t wait no more, you can make your own professional album in no time and for a low budget.
Remember that this will also be a good way to promote yourself to other professionals in the industry like managers or booking agents, perhaps some labels? Who knows… Time to act now! Dreams can’t wait!
***Author: Steve C. – He has been in the music business as a manager for artists and music producers for more than 10 years. He is the founder of Beats Avenue website.