Secrets To Recording & Promoting An Indie Worship Album - Webinar with Matt McCoy
Featuring Matt McCoy Posted on April 18, 2015
Notes From The Webinar
Secrets To Recording An Album
- Choose the songs. What songs do we want to include?
- Determine how the songs are going to sound. Create a "pre-production" version of the songs - a demo, so that the band knows what to play and the vocalists know what to sing.
- Record the album - either in the studio or in a live setting.
Secrets To Promoting An Album
- It can be a lot of work and money to release an album. If you are passionate about it, you do it becuase you love it.
- Just because an album is finished, it does not mean that it is ready to be released. Take time to stategically put a plan in place for promotion.
- Use social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram to create promotional buzz leading up to the release of the album.
- Invite Bloggers to listen and review the pre-released album. (ex. New Release Tuesday, Cross Rythms, Worship Ideas, The Worship Community, PraiseCharts) Perhaps send them a link to the album before the release date. Ask them to write and share their feedback before the release. Try to create as much buzz outiside of your own social feeds.
- Create an editorial calendar for the release of promotional items.
Secrets To Distributing An Album
- Determine where it will be distributed. Do you want it on iTunes and on other digital retailer? Do you want it on a streaming site like Spotify?
- You can have an agregator, such as CD Baby, distribute your album to 100's of digital distributors. Find a way to get it out to the world through digital distribution channels.
- Download codes are an option for digital product to be made available at live events.
- Do you want to press physical CD's? If so, how many?
- Remember that some people may attend a live event and want to leave with something tangible to play immeditately. If the album is not released digitally yet, this increases the desire for physical product to be available.
Check out Matt's new album on PraiseCharts
Q: (Cindy) How do you keep original vocals from bleeding into the live recording?
A: (Matt) A lot of this is mic placement. As an example, if you put the crowd mics way out in the crowd, they will pick up more of what is coming through the sound system, which would be your vocals. So what you would want to do is put your crowd mics facing toward the crowd and behind the speakers so that the mics aren't directly facing the speakers and picking up your vocal.
The type of mic that you are using is also important. Directional mics are great for this type of thing. They only pick up what is in the direction of where the mic is facing. When recording Matt's project, they did not turn down the lead vocal, they ran the house the same way they would in any other live event.
When the vocals were re-done, post-production, the vocals were just matched to exactly what was sung at the live event and that way they matched up perfectly.
Q: (Ryan) How do you go about getting on sites like New Release Tuesday etc?
A: (Matt) I would go to their website and search for any and all email addresses that they provided. info@..., support@... etc. I would then send an email to all of them in hopes of getting a response back from someone. If there is a phone number, I found that a call always got me further faster. Be persistent.
When writing emails, keep them short and to the point. No one wants to read a long drawn out email. Be focused in what you want to say, provide a link to what you want them to listen to and make sure to leave good contact details so they can respond back to you.
Social channels are a great way to get a response. Reaching out on Instagram or Twitter is a great way to get a response back.
Q: (Isaiah) How does a songwriter get their songs out there without touring?
A: (Matt) Keep writing songs. The more you can co-write and collaborate with other writers, the better. Reach out to other worship leaders and song writers and write as much as you can. Just doing that will make your songwriting better and opens up your sphere of influence and connections. "You can go fast alone but you go further together"
Q: ( Anthony) I know you do lots of stuff through Abelton. Is it possible to get a good enough recording through Abelton or is it really necessary to go to the studio?
A: (Matt) Abelton is a really powerful recording software and if you have the right plugins and you know what you are doing, you can make a very great sounding album. I personally am now comfortable with mixing and mastering it in Abelton. My last album, I did record the tracks in Abelton, but I did not mix it in Abelton, I sent it somewhere to be mixed. I would actually recommend that you dont mix your own stuff. The first reason being we are our worst critics, so if you end up mixing and mastering your own stuff, you might never end up finishing your project. You will spend a year on it becuase it may never be perfect to you. Secondly, it is just good having another ear that is unbiased, to listen to your music. I would suggest sending the tracks off to someone who is just good at what they do. This does take financial comminitment to do so, the cost will generally run you a few hundred dollars to mix each track.
Q: (Cindy) How do you go about getting permission to recoding copyrighted songs.
A: (Matt) You need to do this before you record the album. For this project I used Limelight. That said, I don't think they do permissions anymore. There are others (musicservices.com, harryfox.com, easysonglicensing.com, christiancopyrightsolutions.com, capitolcmglicensing.com)
Q: (Frank) Instead of creating Cd's what about creating USB sticks?
A: (Matt) USB sticks are a really good idea, however the new MAC's don't even have them. I think that something more tangible that people could take home and get the files right away. I did create download cards (for about 10 cents a card) and no one ever bought them.
Q: How do you publish your songs and get them on CCLI? Did you add your songs to CCLI?
A: (Matt) About three months before the songs launched I went to CCLI and submitted my songs. They then process and email me back a number. I signed up about ten years ago with a songwriter; the process now is a little different. In general your song needs to be sung by other churches to have it be considered by CCLI.
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