How to Record Your First Commercial Album

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Many musicians have been practicing and performing for years but have yet to record a commercial album. Recording your own album is a huge undertaking, but the rewards far exceed the amount of effort put in. You will be able to sell your album and gain the title of professional recording artist – a huge accomplishment for any musician.

First, you must decide where you should record. An on location recording studio allows you to record your entire album from the comfort of a rehearsal space, a concert hall, or even your own home. There is no need to be cramped into a small sound isolation booth. A proper audio engineer, who specializes in on location recording, will enable you to achieve the same high quality results on location as you would in a traditional recording studio.

Once you’ve chosen your audio engineer, it is time to schedule the recording dates. The process can take quite a while, and usually requires several recording sessions. This all needs to be accounted for when scheduling your time.

Your engineer will need to spend time editing the work. Background noises, such as creaks in the floor and page turns, should be removed. Each specific noise has to be eliminated without compromising the integrity of the music. The engineer should also be able to splice together different takes of your performance. Most studios charge by the hour because it is such an intensive process. But, of course, you want your CD and digital downloads to be as perfect as possible.

What kind of licenses and copyrights will I need for my commercial album?

It may be necessary for you to obtain copyrights and mechanical licenses. You should research these items prior to producing your album because it isn’t always obvious when a license is needed.

When you produce a recording, there are several copyrights involved. The composer has a copyright in the composition. If there are lyrics, the author of the text has a copyright in those words. If you are performing from a specific edition of a score, the publisher of that score owns a copyright in their rendition. The performer has a copyright in the performance and in the artistic innovation. The recording engineer has a copyright in the engineering of the recording, and finally the music label (usually the entity that registers the recording with the copyright office) owns a copyright in the sound recording.

If that sounds really scary, do not panic. Finding out whether you need to purchase a license can be researched online. And sometimes you don’t have to worry at all because the copyright is considered in the public domain. Consult with your audio engineer – they should be able to help guide you, or point you in the correct direction.

What are the final steps to recording a commercial album?

After a few months of hard work and research, you will be able to distribute and sell your recording! This is the exciting part. Before you can sell your work, it is probably a good idea to order many duplicates and commission someone to create high quality, professional artwork. You can distribute your work to iTunes, Amazon.com, and other major Internet retailers. Musical Horizon® engineers can help you with all of the above for a reasonable fee.

Musical Horizon, LLC is a mobile recording studio that offers high quality commercial recordings for professional musicians in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Please contact us today for your free no-obligation consultation, email recording@musicalhorizon.com, or call 973-287-4029.

Authored for Musical Horizon, LLC by: Abbey Finch, Scribe Space

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