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How much to spend on recording

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by bwsailer79, Aug 7, 2005.

  1. bwsailer79


    Aug 5, 2005
    Laurel, MD
    Hi all,

    My band just finished recording our first album as a full band. The final bill for everything was about $2500. We got 1000 CDs printed so if we sold ALL of them for $2.50 each... we'd break even. And we will probably be selling them for $8, so we'd need to sell 312 CDs to break even. However, from my experience... it is really hard to sell CDs. There is a lot more than just sounding good to selling music.

    So how much are you guys spending on recordings? And tell me how you are selling your CDs and if you a being successful at it. Also post the "level" your band is it (just starting, known in the local scene, one of the bigger bands in the local scene, signed to a label...)

    I just didn't think it was worth spending all that money when I think my band is at a level where we need to be getting people to pay attention to us. I'd rather have solid recordings that we could give away for free at this stage.

  2. Mixmasta J

    Mixmasta J

    Dec 4, 2004
    ok this is coming from a guy who has had no major gig and is only known for playin at local parties......

    record some homemade demo cds and give them away for free, give the public a little taste of what you got. Everyone loves free cds (at least I do), so you will probably get a lot of listeners. Depending on how well known you are you may do better or worse. Be persistent and keep trying to sell cds everywhere, to friends, at gigs, and even at casual get togethers.

    At least thats what I would/will do as soon as my band gets respected more by older people, who currently think we are just a bunch of punks who can hold an instrument :meh: (we are only 16/17)
  3. Sure you should be able to sell them at gigs but if they cost you $2.50 I would try to sell them for $5.00, you will sell more of them. I think most people would pass at $8.00 if they have never heard you. Cost $2.50 and Sell for $5.00 is 100% mark up. it's a good profit.

    I think you would get more money back if you use some of them as a demo for getting more gigs. Give them to club owners as well. One $2.50 CD might equal a $xxx.xx gig, that you might have not gotten with a crapy souding demo.
  4. bwsailer79


    Aug 5, 2005
    Laurel, MD
    We use some of the tracks and some outtakes from the recording session to send out demos. We actually have no problem getting gigs. we play 2-3 weekends out of the month wich is just find for me. I honestly wouldn't want to play more (at least in the local area) than that.

    The guy I'm playing with is pretty well known as an up and coming songwriter, and a lot of the bigger local acts know us and play with us. So the "scene" knows about us... but we aren't exactly cool and fun guys who so i think that our social deficiencies are hurting us. It seems that the way it works here (baltimore) is that you don't get gigs unless you know someone or can bring in a good crowd. So basically you need a lot of friends before anyone takes any real notice of you.

    We are going to give out the CD for free at our "release party"... but that will probably end up being just to our friends.

  5. That's the way it works everywhere. A club owner is less interested in your music, all they want is a band that can bring a crowd and buy booze. Most of them anyway. Anything less than that and they lose money when they pay you so you can't blame them.

    A release party is a great idea. I was actually coming back to edit my first post to add that.

    one thing is promote the hell out of it, especially if you believe you have an image problem. Make the thing a party atmosphere and make your new CD the best thing since sliced bread, without going overboard. It should attract new listeners. At the release party have a raffle. Get some raffle tickets and sell them for one buck each, people are willing to fork over a buck. Then for every 10 or so raffle tickets you sell give away one CD. Let everyone else know where to buy it. Do the raffle early enough in the night so people will have a chance to get one and before they spend all their money on booze. Giving them to your friends is good as well, If someone else hears it your friends will only have good things to say and tell them where to get one.
  6. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    First of all you did pretty good getting that done for $2500 that includes recording studio time and CD's made? My old weekend band spent about $3500 or a little more 10 years ago. Mostly original songs except 2 covers. We had a pretty good following and sold all most all of our CD's for $10 or 2 for $15. $8 is very reasonable.
    The question to ask yourselves is, do you want to get the CD out there into peoples hands or do you want to have a bunch sitting in a box in your closet in a couple years?
    I think at $8 you won't have any problem selling them.
  7. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    One more thing. When folks are out in a bar or at a fair or festival they may or may not want to part with cash in hand at the time even if they want a copy of your cd. Go over to cdbaby.com and sell some there. put a link to your cdbaby page on your web page to sell to your fans that way. Also I've sold some cd's in places I never thought I would through cdbaby. Japan, New York, Brazil for instance. pretty good for a weekend band in Illinois.
  8. bassist286


    Nov 22, 2001
    rhode island
    i think you got a good deal, my band spent about 1400 on a 3 song demo. vhich is very expencive. that was jsut recording for about 24 hours and 5 masterd cd's. although it was a very good studio. And we always give our stuff away for free. it it's all out of pocket.