Categorized | Entertainment

Creating Your Own Album

CaptureDigital developments haven’t killed the CD – millions of people still enjoy having a tangible item in their hands rather than just a digital download – but many musicians are learning just how much of a cut the record companies take out of the cover price, and want to cut out the middle man. How exactly do you go about doing so? Here’s a quick guide.

Recording

Recording your music without the backing of a record company has never been easier. With an average desktop computer, you can record, mix and edit music surprisingly easy. What’s more, it doesn’t have to cost you anything – click here for a list of recommended free audio editing programs from TechRadar. Writing and playing the music – well, that will be up to you and your band.

Cover Art

Again, this is really easy to produce with the average desktop computer. You can often find local photographers to help you with the imagery, or you can find copyright free pictures online to use. Wikimedia Commons is a great place to find such pictures, just make sure that they’re either public domain or released for commercial use.

Just for fun – there’s a game you can play on Wikipedia to produce an album cover:

  • Go to Wikimedia Commons and click on Random File until you get a picture for your cover.
  • Go to Wikipedia and click on Random Article – use the title as your band’s name.
  • Go to Wikiquote and click on Random Page – take your album title from the last quote.

Back to serious business, you can also use free software to put your album art together- click here to get Paint.NET which is a free, easy to use and yet quite powerful photo editing program.

You should choose your printer before you develop your art, as they will be able to give you specifications such as the resolution you’ll need (usually 300dpi at minimum, but can rise), measurements, and how much space you’ll need to leave for a barcode.

Printing& Replication

If you only want a couple of copies, you can easily burn your CD from your home computer and print off the booklet yourself; but if you want to actually sell copies, you’ll want it done professionally.

Getting a lot of copies of your CD will mean using either a CD duplication service or a CD replication service – click here for Key Production, who offer both these services, and cover printing too. The difference in the two CD services is one of scale; duplication is suitable for runs of less than 500 copies, and replication is used for larger scale production.

You may encounter some jargon at this stage– for example, being asked for a “Red Book” master CD. Back in 1980 a number of standards were set out in different coloured books for CD specifications. Red Book is the standard that is used by almost any commercially available CD-R, CD burner and audio burning software, so it’s not likely to be something you have to worry about!

Once you’ve got your CD and album artwork printed, all that’s left is to sell it to your adoring fans!

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