Mail Archive sponsored by Chazzanut Online


<-- Chronological -->
<-- Thread -->

Re: recording

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 
you will.
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 
waste money.
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? ;-)

Lori Lippitz
(Maxwell Street Klezmer Band)

---------------------- jewish-music (at) shamash(dot)org ---------------------+

<-- Chronological --> <-- Thread -->