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Building A Dream Recording Studio (Page 15)
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subego  (op)
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Sep 30, 2016, 01:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by BadKosh View Post
Ever thought of a day job? LOL
What... and quit show business?
     
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Sep 30, 2016, 03:24 PM
 
all this time I thought the bandmembers were the crazy ones... perhaps the bandleader would be better off as a solo act.
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 1, 2016, 12:35 AM
 
Perhaps I can't see through my own biases, but I don't think he's the problem... I mean in the sense where he's like "asshole boss" or something. He's certainly tolerant. You have to be to keep volunteers on over the course of years, which he's been able to do.

The way in which he's the problem is his ability to maneuver through the political minefield this band entails. He's good at maneuvering it, but for a minefield, less than perfection means you die and go back to the beginning of the level.

I'd say one out of three was him being a ****up. The other two were the proverbial "complicated". They're not mines I would have been able to avoid were I in his shoes.

PMs are welcome should anyone want a less cagey explanation.
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 4, 2016, 11:28 AM
 
We're debating whether to use the off-time to finish the album, or get actors and put some video content in the bank to use for show promos.

There are lots of things pushing us towards the album, the main thing being the changing weather kills outdoor locations. Most of the city gets very bleak looking.

Both of us kind of want to avoid the album though (which scares us), and take refuge in a process over which we have a better command.
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 5, 2016, 12:25 AM
 
The consensus seems to be moving towards eating our broccoli, and trying to finish the album.

Loose ends are going to get tied up first. We have two finished albums worth of demos. We need to get some of that up on SoundCloud (I've been yelled at about this a bunch), and are going to sign on with a distributor to get them out to the various online stores.

Silly me thought you could deal with iTunes directly, but they won't give you the time of day unless you're a player. You need at least 20 albums in your catalog.

That said, getting a distributor doesn't seem like a bad thing. The one we're looking at looks to cost less than $100, which also gets us on Amazon Digital, Google Play, etc.

However doing that opens up the question of whether this wouldn't be a bad time to have the band exist as an official business entity of some type. My instincts tell me we don't need to do that now, but we will at some point, and it would be less risky to have these albums come from that entity in the first place, rather than try and move them later.

I don't want the iTunes Store ever to have to ask itself "is it this Candy Town, or is it that Candy Town".
     
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Oct 5, 2016, 11:06 AM
 
as someone whose company has five different apple IDs for 10 different podcasts, apps, etc, get your act in gear first. Merging later is a PITA. And don't use a personal email for the appleID. Set one up for candytown @ gmail.com or something.

-signed, someone who's been caught in email circle of hell "well who has the login who has the apple id I think Joe started it no Bob did but he left 5 years ago maybe check with Pam, she knows stuff"
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 5, 2016, 11:32 AM
 
This is the problem I'm worried about, but from the back end.

One of the things the record distributor does for you is give every song on the album, and the album itself, a Universal Product Code.

I assume for nobodies like us, the iTunes Store uses the metadata attached to that code, or a similar set of metadata provided to them by the distributor, to decide what goes where.

I'm worried if some albums have this metadata,


Candy Town
...
...
Band leader


And others have this,


Candy Town
...
...
Candy Town, LLC (or whatever)


Then that's a opportunity for the iTS algorithm to get confused about us wanting those to be sold together on the same page.
     
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Oct 5, 2016, 09:05 PM
 
I think before you start eating your broccoli, you should make yourselves a legal entity - and make it so that the individuals involved are insulated from Bad Things That Happen to Businesses. An LLC is a good choice, though I don't know how much $ and trouble that paperwork costs in Illinois.

Not only will that help prevent issues with "oh that Candy Town", but it will also position all the involved parties to start keeping "business" stuff compartmented away from personal stuff, or at least help you all to keep track of the contributions of each individual. For example: Apple IDs, email addresses, web space, rent and fees. All of that should be set up for "Candy Town LLC", with you or someone else involved as the "point of contact."

Getting the business stuff settled will make everything else much less complicated.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 6, 2016, 09:45 AM
 
We talked to our (utterly fantastic) attorney, and he actually surprised me by recommending we not form a legal entity.

He said "that's a lot of effort and money I'd like to spare you until you're pulling in enough to cover it".

He did feel uncomfortable with the record distribution contract. The quote was "it's very loosey-goosey". He actually recommended we go with a distributor who wants a cut of the sales... "then you're in the same boat. You pay everything up-front, then there's no incentive for them to do anything for you in the future".
     
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Oct 8, 2016, 12:44 PM
 
That sounds great. I sort of figured that forming a legal entity would be expensive in Illinois... That it would be costly and a maintenance issue (reports, taxes, etc.) would not surprise me either. Forming an LLC in Texas is a $400-$500 activity, and I don't know what sorts of overhead are required afterward.

As for getting the distributor set up, if they are getting a cut of sales, they're "incentivized"* to do what's best for selling your product. That's a good call - I didn't know that sort of thing existed.

*I hate most newspeak, but this one has a great, and very specific use.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Oct 8, 2016, 01:28 PM
 
The three models seem to be...

1) Pay up front
2) Pay a monthly fee
3) Pay a cut

That middle one scares me. Get into some billing issue? That's a takedown.

The first one, especially at the prices offered, is in the proverbial "too good to be true" category. The one thing which didn't make me instantly reject it is distributor I was looking at seems to be well established, and have a good rep. Looking over their contract though, the lawyer has a point. It says they can enter into contracts with their licensees of arbitrary length. If we terminate the contract, the distributor isn't obligated to co-terminate what they signed us up for with a retailer.

I was avoiding the third because it's the most expensive. Even though the band leader intends to funnel all proceeds back into the band, they're really 100% his. They were recorded before the band even existed. I didn't feel comfortable with coughing up 10% of his money in perpetuity.

Since the lawyer suggested it though, I feel differently.
( Last edited by subego; Oct 8, 2016 at 02:15 PM. )
     
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Oct 9, 2016, 05:16 PM
 
You might 'acquire' more folks into your group to do the audio recording through publishing and selling your product. get your associates to suggest creative stuff to each together. I don't know how you've resource loaded your folks, and what exactly the required and gift talents your people have, but perhaps 1 code guy, one web guy, two audio guys (One with certs, one with talent) a publicist, and a manager, who also coordinates the activities and resoures. Everybody gets a say (Actual democracy) into the "suggestions" barrel. The most invested get the final say. Employ a lawyer and financial planner. Even though you might never follow it, get a long term plan together with options for almost failure, to accidental success and world display.

Best of luck. I bailed on a promising entertainment career to do IT. I regret NOT becoming a real estate lawyer.
( Last edited by BadKosh; Oct 10, 2016 at 01:32 PM. )
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 10, 2016, 12:12 PM
 
Thank you!

The good news is the bandleader and myself are multi-talented.

I can pretty much handle anything technical (I'm addicted to learning new technical skills), and the bandleader can handle anything social.

That said, doing everything ourselves has got us stretched thin. We would love to have other people in the band contribute non-musical skills.

Unfortunately, the best we've ever gotten are people with social media chops. This is theoretically useful, but our band has a bit of a "kayfabe" thing going on, which not breaking on social media is its own specialized skill. Long ago, we had a bassist who "got it", but he's been gone for ages.

What we need most is a manager/booker type. The bandleader does a fine job of it, but it saps away time from all the other things he needs to be doing, like making the show as interesting as possible. Second most useful would be a roadie. I'm doing too much at the shows themselves, and that's causing it all to suffer. My photography takes the biggest hit. I'm pretty dead once the show starts.

The democracy is unfortunately a non-starter. This is a benevolent dictatorship.

To be fair, that's made exhaustively clear up-front, and has only caused us a problem with people who think it doesn't bother them, but don't quite have as much of handle on their own feelings as they imagine.

One of the nice things about version 2.0 was there was no one like that. We (obviously) had problems, but that wasn't one of them.

I should also say the bandleader, despite being a dictator, is open to suggestions, but will only follow them if they're good.

The usual suggestions are along the lines of "we should do X because everybody else does X". There are times this can be correct, but as a general principle, what success we've had comes from not doing X. Or at least not doing X until we can bring something excellent to the table.

It's why we don't have a website yet. No website is better than a dull website.
     
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Oct 10, 2016, 01:30 PM
 
Another reason to avoid a website. An obvious thing would be pics of the band members. Definite minus until the membership is more stable.
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 10, 2016, 01:51 PM
 
In general we've thought we didn't have enough material to populate a website in an interesting manner, even with a stable group. Right now would be the absolute worst time to have one.

Which is unfortunate, because now is when we have the time. Back when we had stable members, keeping that afloat took up all the time we'd need to spend creating material for the website.
     
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Oct 10, 2016, 05:29 PM
 
SUGGESTION:

ONLY put on a very limited web site the 3 tunes/performances you have, and some crowd photos. Really, as a former RIAA certified record lathe engineer, who was the LAST person in the DC area to be certified to calibrate the Westrex and MicroAcoustics cutting lathes, I'd make sure ANYTHING released forever on the web sounded great. Find a hobbiest or engineer who has realy high end gear to master your stuff. Also, think about writing a tune JUST for the hooks. Play the shit out of it. This has worked for many bands in the DC area, so it should work in Chicago. Be a success, and take us to dinner!
     
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Oct 10, 2016, 08:54 PM
 
^I like that.

Sparsity could be used to your advantage (be mysterious). This seems to be up the right alley, stylewise.

In addition to a minimal "3 videos and contact info" website, have a way to gather an email list for news about next show, video, album, world tour, etc.
     
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Oct 10, 2016, 09:15 PM
 
Hooks, tease, and mystery... It sounds like a formula to create buzz, if you ask me. As in "awesome!"

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 11, 2016, 06:28 AM
 
Ironically, the one problem with the otherwise fantastic idea is the band is a bit of a mystery... to us.

Last time, it took (ugh) 14 months to reassemble. If we build buzz now, like a bee, it could sting us in the ass.

We're likewise slightly worried about putting up videos of a bunch of people who aren't in the band. Not from a "takedown" perspective... we've actually managed to remain cordial with everyone who's in them, it's more that we'd be verging on false advertising.
     
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Oct 11, 2016, 08:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
"incentivized"*

*I hate most newspeak, but this one has a great, and very specific use.
Wait how is that "newspeak"?
     
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Oct 11, 2016, 12:15 PM
 
I think bigger bands manage to show older videos even if it's not the current lineup. Van Halen. GnR. Anybody.

The style is what the audience is getting. I wouldn't view it as false advertising unless you changed the style or playlist entirely.
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 11, 2016, 12:53 PM
 
You're absolutely right, and the videos will definitely have their place on the website.

It's false advertising from a different perspective.

There's a P.T. Barnum quote I'm sure I'll mangle, but it goes along the lines of "you don't sell a steak, you sell the sizzle on the grill, the juice on the plate, etc., etc.... but the thing is, you have to give them a steak".

We have no steak, only sizzle.
     
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Oct 11, 2016, 01:30 PM
 
Turn the mic down..........(LOL!)
     
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Oct 11, 2016, 01:57 PM
 
Just remeber....
"The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church" Saint Tertullian, 197 AD
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 13, 2016, 11:50 AM
 
Free legal advice for anyone looking for a distributor.

Though the most expensive option, the CD Baby artist contract is solid. The Symphonic Distribution artist contract requires you to trust them not to screw you over, rather than actually protecting you from a screw job.

That said, Symphonic appears reputable, but that's all you've got in your corner.
     
subego  (op)
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Nov 18, 2016, 12:55 PM
 
Candy Town is now on iTunes!

Both these albums were recorded before Candy Town existed, but the band plays a slew of these songs at live shows, so there's no reason not to fib a little and release them under the Candy Town moniker.

Objectively, and especially in the context of a thread about making excellent recordings, these are demos, and thusly have warts. Probably the biggest reason I started this whole thing in the first place was to record these songs better.

I'm also varying levels of not-thrilled with the album art.

Expectations suitably lowered, the material is solid, and in the context of making-do with limited resources, they rise to the occasion as well as they can. Especially Letters to Candy Town, which is a 90s keyboard synthesizer and a drum machine, recorded on... cassette.

Phun Phact: the source material for the album art on Letters is a NTSC frame grab of a video feature the band leader and myself made back in 2001.

Without further ado, here's the link to our (bland) artist page on the iTunes Store. With Letters from Candy Town, I think "Finally in the end" and "Tuesday Blues" are good samples. For Lizard in the Wings, I suggest "Intro" and "Thirteen Moons".

You are of course free to sample more.
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 2, 2016, 01:11 PM
 
I am both frustrated and amused by a search for "Candy Town" on Amazon.

     
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Dec 2, 2016, 01:20 PM
 
lately I can't even find books on amazon. their search results are book.... book.... toy... random gadget... book...
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 2, 2016, 01:34 PM
 
When I really need to find something buried on Amazon, ironically it's Google who does a far better job.

Unfortunately, "Candy Town" has weak SEO. We're in conflict with the app "Candy's Town", Candy's bajillion other places she apparently has apps (Candy's Boutique, Candy's Airport), Candy Crush, and actual candy.
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 2, 2016, 03:00 PM
 
When .town became available I wanted to get candy.town, but some mother****er beat me to it.

@CandyTown was gone a couple years before we even checked. She doesn't use it. We're @RavenswoodOcean. That's longer than it should be, but was out of the barn before I had a chance to fix it.
     
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Dec 3, 2016, 02:27 PM
 
Ravenswood wha? Nevermind length, what does that name have to do with the brand? (album name maybe? something?)

What about

@TheCandyTown?
@CandyTownBand ?
@CandyTownMusic ?
@CandyTownChicago

or any other billion things.
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 4, 2016, 02:46 AM
 
All good questions.

Most of the obvious choices aren't "in character", if that makes sense. Our schtick is to be surreal, mysterious, and slightly insane. The more of a peek at the marketing exercise behind the curtain we give, the less compelling the schtick becomes.

That said, this choice, which is a very inside reference, was a far from ideal solution to the dilemma.

An example of something which better walks the line is, I dunno... CandyTownCaravan? MayorOfCandyTown? Neither of those are exactly right, but I hope sorta give an idea of what I mean.

They're also literally too long. Twitter has a 15 character limit for handles and those are both 16.
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 7, 2016, 12:41 PM
 
Sadly, it has become time to decommission the "very nice desk". Though it is very nice, if I'm being honest it's not ideal for mixing. It was intended more for video editing.

So I present to you my naked mixing suite, ready to receive a new nice desk better suited to the future...



As I've mentioned before, the Live End/Dead End style of acoustic treatment appeals to me because of the simplicity. What you see there is my attempt at "Dead".
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 7, 2016, 01:41 PM
 
Holy shit...

An opera singer just dropped into our lap who's so good, if we find another the band leader is going to drop himself from the band as a performer.


Edit: another opera singer... not necessarily someone that good.
( Last edited by subego; Dec 7, 2016 at 05:10 PM. )
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 7, 2016, 06:07 PM
 
The "Live" end...



It's supposed to be "diffuse" live, so that dark wall is bad. I've got some diffusers coming to help.

Mongo-size Synology server on the shelf.

The dark wall is both to spice the room up, and cut down on screen glare. Phun Phact: both walls are genuine neutral density grey. No color in it whatsoever.

It's cute, but kinda boring. I need to get something on those side walls
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 9, 2016, 12:27 AM
 
Whenever I have a desk shipped in pieces, I'm always worried the desktop itself is going to have been mangled during the trip.

This place was very clever. They screwed oversized, quarter-inch particle board to pre-drilled holes underneath the desktop. The edges of the board got all trashed, but it more than adequately protected the desktop.
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 10, 2016, 12:00 PM
 
Getting there...

     
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Dec 10, 2016, 12:54 PM
 
Leave room for the warp field controls in the center.
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 10, 2016, 01:08 PM
 


Everyone will be pleased to know they'll be Apple brand warp field controls.
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 10, 2016, 11:51 PM
 
Put in the WFC, but decided to rearrange the speakers. As can be seen from the tiny lights, I've got power up.



I'm happy with how clean the cables are so far. I chopped off most of that stuff on the floor in that last pic and put on new plugs. As I've discussed before, I'm kinda nutty about clean cable runs.
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 11, 2016, 02:12 AM
 
Hear boxes in place!



The mounts place them higher than what's ideal, but it's a gamble I decided to take.

All that's left is for me to get some speaker wire for the smaller speakers (the larger ones use XLRs, which I not only have, but in red and white so I don't confuse myself), and figure out where I'm going to hide an Ethernet switch.
     
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Dec 11, 2016, 01:37 PM
 
Oooh... forgot Ethernet switches have wall mount slots. Just screwed it to the bottom of the desk. That was easy.
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 12, 2016, 01:43 PM
 
I guess I shouldn't be very surprised. The speaker mounts don't isolate very well. You can feel the sound through the table.
     
subego  (op)
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Dec 12, 2016, 02:37 PM
 
Yup... I'm going to have to go back to stands. This is really ****ing distracting.
     
subego  (op)
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Jan 3, 2017, 02:32 PM
 
We got our second opera singer... Candy Town is now an opera act.

Both excited and nervous.
     
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Jan 12, 2017, 05:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Whenever I have a desk shipped in pieces, I'm always worried the desktop itself is going to have been mangled during the trip.

This place was very clever. They screwed oversized, quarter-inch particle board to pre-drilled holes underneath the desktop. The edges of the board got all trashed, but it more than adequately protected the desktop.
hahaha. I always worry about the same, the desktop itself i mean!
     
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Jan 12, 2017, 10:40 AM
 
^ We all know that's a spammer, why let the game continue?
     
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Jan 12, 2017, 01:30 PM
 
It's more sporting to wait til they drop the bomb?
     
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Feb 28, 2017, 09:43 PM
 
Opera idea died on the vine.

In happier news, those album releases got us some Google juice.



So far, the Google tile only comes up in a local search, but that's better than nothing. I was wondering how other bands were getting theirs... now I know.


Right now we're going to finish off making physical media versions of the albums, and let our request for opera singers blow over. Hopefully by then our wounds will have healed. If not, the impending good weather may call for doing some video work. Wrangling some random actors for a summer seems like child's play at this point.
     
subego  (op)
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Apr 20, 2017, 03:22 PM
 
And video work it is!

The band hasn't exactly been dropped, but the draw of doing something where we're in more control is just too strong. That, and getting out product other than live shows, which is a seemingly impossible proposition when the band is in full-swing. These videos will be from the same whiteface "universe" as the band, so it's not totally off on a tangent.

The Mayor from Lockport who completely hosed us with that last show we did genuinely seems to want to make it up to us, and more importantly, just won reelection.

The city owns a plot of land which the county has filled with salvaged period buildings. He went to bat for us, and we get to shoot in a 150-year-old, single room schoolhouse.

This is both super-cool, and a huge nightmare. It's authentic enough there's no power, and one of our guerrilla tricks is to script for the outdoors so we can light with the sun. With this it's going to be batteries and/or a generator, and lots of time spent making the lighting look right. Extra time if there's a window in the frame, especially if crew is limited.
     
 
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