For many of us independent musicians who don’t have the luxury of funding via a record deal, a CD project can be a long, labor-intensive process that takes a lot of planning. It can be exhilarating exhausting and not so fun, all at once, so it’s something you have go into with your eyes wide open. The technology available to us all today might make some aspects of this process more accessible to the independent artist, but this can be deceptive. Statutory Warning: CD production can be injurious to health among other things. It takes a huge commitment and learning curve to follow through with all the aspects of producing a CD, so don’t do this at home unless you have some tolerance to pain :-).
Around the middle of 2007 Ramona and I started discussing her next project. We had been playing around a bit and she had already started writing a bunch of really cool tunes, some of which were sketches of things to be. Ramona is really prolific as a composer (unlike me – I can procrastinate over a song forever!) and some of the new writing sounded very through composed. She already had about 4 new tunes that we had played experimentally at a couple of gigs so we figured it was time to think about a new recording project. Nothing like putting a stake into the ground to force creativity out when its hiding 🙂
Growing up the 70’s, I always admired how records were made then, where albums were cohesive and told a story. Today too many jazz records end up being “blowing sessions” (sadly a lot of this has to do with budgets). While I enjoy listening to records with great solos, few of them bear repeated listening for me. Given the depth of Ramona’s new compositions, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity for us to do a project that was more cohesive and worthy of the term album.
Sooo… to start with we contacted the record label we’d worked with before – nice people and they liked the last project we did a lot. Sadly, with the economy the way it was back then things didn’t look very promising that this would work out in the time frame we wanted to do this. So we had two choices – defer the project until better times or take on the responsibility of producing it all ourselves. We chose the latter.
I have worked for Cakewalk for over 10 years, writing audio production software. While I’ve done various smaller scale projects over the years, I have always wanted to do a full blown CD production from start to finish in SONAR, which has some amazing tools for mixing and production. So this project was going to be a trial by fire for me in more than one regard! Its can be a good thing to eat your own dog food once in a while 🙂
We had a lot to think about, but the next big thing would be to decide on one of the most important ingredients – the musicians on this project.
One Of Us: The Musicians →[next]