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- From: MaxwellSt <MaxwellSt...>
- Subject: Re: recording
- Date: Fri 31 Dec 1999 20.57 (GMT)
I<< A lot of you record. How and from where do you get the considerable
amount of money it takes? Reply on or off list, whatever is more
comfortable for you. >>
It's fair game for group discussion, for those who are willing to talk about
their successes and blunders.
I personally borrowed the money from family for the first two albums. My
third album was helped with an advance from the record company (Shanachie,
may they live long and prosper!) Each master tape cost about $12,00-$15,000
to make despite our best efforts to save $ and keep sessions brief. (I
remember all of us lying on the floor four hours into a particular session,
trying to record a violin feature that just wouldn't come. Vodka helped in
the end.) Some suggestions for saving money are:
1) Record material that you have been playing for a long time and don't have
to read off charts (unless your musicians are studio-quality jingle artists)
2) Arrange with the studio if you can to get the job done for a flat fee.
Then they will take an active interest in not wasting time.
3) If that doesn't work, try a studio out for one track before getting
committed for the whole albums. Otherwise, you will be sweating as $75/hour
drifts away while someone twiddles with knobs before you play a note.
4) Consider a small, no-name studio if you think the engineer is good and the
equipment is up to date. They sometimes book out at half the price.
5) I always wanted to be able to enforce a penalty on musicians who show up
late to sessions and cost the band money, but I never had the guts. Maybe
6) Try to arrange with the studio to be able to warm up and rehearse for an
hour before they start the meter. Rehearsing on the clock is a great way to
7) Keep your sessions all scheduled within a few months. After a year, we
didn't like what we'd recorded the year before when the sessions started.
8) If you don't have a label and want to, consider sending out three polished
mixed tracks as a demo before the whole album is done.
9) Consider live recordings. If you have your act together in concert, a
live-to-16 track recording that produces six cuts is well worth the
investment (and don't live tracks of klezmer music sound better than studio,
10) Remember that, no matter how much it costs, you will come out much
better, tighter, more critical and less tolerant of sloppy playing after
you've cut an album.
Have I forgotten anything, Hankus, Henry et al? ;-)
(Maxwell Street Klezmer Band)
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