Album Production Challenge 2.0

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  • @tcelliott  Jan 20

    For those who weren't in 50/90, a small (but ever growing) number of us got together to produce an album (or EP or a couple of singles or something) in the two months after 50/90 was over. We are intending to do the same after FAWM.

    The idea is that you take the songs you wrote in FAWM (or in 50/90 or at any other time, really) and release *something into the world. We are using a facebook group to ask questions, support one another, help with album art etc., (Linked below.) So near the end of FAWM I'll be letting y'all know that if you want to join us you are welcome. If not then... you don't have to.

    *It's called an album challenge, but it's an EP or single challenge if you'd like. If you do enough singles then you'll have eventually produced and album worth of songs, right?

  • @stuartbenbow  8 weeks

    Count me in. I really need to be more focused on recording, and not just writing and performing.

  • @brownium 8 weeks

    I've just entered the world of album production (for other people's music), and have been thinking of publishing some of my own. Seems like a perfect spot for me. See you over there.

  • @tcelliott  8 weeks

    Sweet. The more the merrier as far as I'm concerned.

    we won't "push" the challenge till the end of February, but all are welcome as long as you follow the last rule.

    - Don't be a jerk.

  • @brownium 8 weeks

    Crap. That's the one rule I can't follow.

  • @quork  8 weeks

    Sounds great. Who produces the song? The writer? A group expert? Does the community weigh in?

  • @tcelliott  8 weeks

    The challenge is a self challenge to produce your own music. The idea is that a lot of us write a bunch of songs for FAWM, 50 Songs in 90 Days, Songfight, Songskirmish, GYAWS or any number of other songwriting groups. But rarely do some of us take the time to polish or release the songs we've already written. This relatively small facebook group will offer encouragement and sometimes advice on how to get your music out there. I've even offered to help with album art for those who are really desperate. *evil grin*

  • @stuartbenbow  8 weeks

    @tcelliott I’m definitely guilty as charged there. I’m slowly closing in on the four digit song count, and have only released a 6 song demo ep to date. It’s shameful really.

  • @cairobraga 8 weeks

    I bet someone in the past already said this but: why isn't there a March Album Producing Month (or even an April Album Releasing Month, hehehe) following the February Album Writing Month?

  • @andygetch  8 weeks

    @tcelliott maybe this time. The October/Nov. challenge overlapped NaSoAlMo (which I posted to Bandcamp) so I stayed out. After the reset, I did upload what I liked best from FAWM 2017. I uploaded the same recordings as posted in FAWM so not so much production. I have plenty of other material LOL, just not so much time. Especially when its a choice between write more songs, or edit/polish old songs, I often lean to writing more. However, even with the song-a-week practice I have, its a long gap between FAWM and 5090.

  • @tcelliott  8 weeks

    @cairobraga - Exactically. It just makes sense. This FB group is the easiest way to organize when you have no coding skills and don't want to dedicate a large portion of your life to a challenge (like @burrsettles, @ericdistad, @jendistad and the rest of the moderators do each year.)

    @stuartbenbow - If it fits then please join us.

    @andygetch - Yeah, timing has to be right. I also lean toward create more. That's why I helped organize the APC group... to get myself off my own lazy arse.

  • @krayzie003  8 weeks

    I'll probably do this again. The last one was very productive for me.

  • @cairobraga 8 weeks

    @tcelliott the APC group is also fixed on a period of the year like FAWM?

  • @tcelliott  8 weeks

    Yeah, mostly. I thought about having an ongoing challenge like a single a month or something, but so far we had the first challenge from October 1 to December 1 2017 and now we are having the second challenge from March 1 until May 1 this year.

    But... I am just now releasing my album (this coming Friday it looks like) from the last challenge. No-one will flay you if you're late. But there is definitely less activity in group after that deadline passes.

  • @rickatfulcrum 8 weeks

    I just sent a join request. Am I in?

    As it turns out the next two things on my plate are both FAWM-related. The first is an EP polishing the stuff I did last year, and the second is a full album with music from the two or three FAWMs before last year. For the medium-term I have a third lined up, only some of which had its genesis in FAWM, and that won't be done before 1 Dec.

  • @theseanovan 8 weeks

    I'm in. I just sent my join request. I need a reason to polish my production skills and get my songs out to the general public.

  • @andygetch  8 weeks

    Also in

  • @tootoobee  8 weeks

    Last one was too early for me, but I'm seriously taking part this time

  • @tcelliott  8 weeks

    Looks like all the requested adds have been successfully added. Anyone can approve a request to join. If there is a jerk added by accident then just tag me (or John Staples or Mike Skliar) and we'll deal with them asap. So far so good *crosses fingers*

  • @postcardhelicopters  8 weeks


  • @chipwithrow  8 weeks

    I joined the Facebook group, posted fairly often, and then ... no album. Went from an idea of re-mixing instrumentals to an idea of acoustic guitar/vocal takes on my songs. Put together a track list, rehearsed, but never hit record.
    Well, I'm going to try again. Maybe going into FAWM with an idea for an album and an audience (ukulele instrumentals to be played in a yoga class) will keep me focused.

  • @johnstaples  8 weeks

    I am very excited about doing this...someday! I'll barely have time for FAWM. March already looks insane. I'm staying in the group because I WILL do this at some point!! Thanks to @tcelliott for setting up and running the challenge.

  • @johnstaples  8 weeks


  • @plainwhitetoast  8 weeks

    After my first few FAWMs and 50/90s, I started shooting for an album or albums as an end goal. I created a few virtual bands along the way to help me stay focused on more cohesive collections of songs. I've never officially released any of them, though they are all on my website (and a few are on my youtube channel).

    Not sure how much I will do this year, but a new album is always my intent. Maybe a metal album? Maybe banjo and jug? Return of the Stylophone?

  • @tcelliott  8 weeks

    Release them all, maybe?

  • @plainwhitetoast  8 weeks

    I've considered it. I should act on that more vigorously the next time my nihilistic delusions aren't clouding my mind; I might get one or two out there.

  • @mosley  8 weeks

    I'm in for sure 😀

  • @elesimo  7 weeks

    @cairobraga, we should do:

    FAWM: February Album Writing Month
    MAPM: March Album Producing Month
    AAMM: April Album Marketing Month
    MARM: May Album Rehearsal Month
    JATM: June Album Tour Month

    Edited: added acronyms

  • @cairobraga 7 weeks

    @elesimo this is the stuff of dreams, dear. 😍😍😍

  • @bithprod 7 weeks

    I was going to release my album mid-2016, and it went live today. So, March Album Production Month? One month? ONE? In-sa-ni-ty. But then again, my production skills are slightly limited. 😉

  • @sw1n3flu  7 weeks

    Most important of all don't be a jerk.

    Right @tcelliott ?

  • @eyeronic 7 weeks

    Yeah, I'm due. Wasn't it a few years back we had some promo with CDBaby for a CD from FAWM songs?

  • @odilongreen  7 weeks

    This is an excellent idea. I just submitted my 'group join' request on Facebook!

  • @tcelliott  6 weeks

    That's exactly right, @sw1n3flu.

    @eyeronic 2009 or 2010 if my memory serves. I still have the coupon in my email which I should see if it will still work. I doubt it since the company has been sold since then.

  • @radioovermoscow 6 weeks

    Last year I wrote a concept album about world events in January/February, and released the recorded product a few months later.

  • @unkept 6 weeks

    I will have to do this! I would love to have something ready by the end of the year...

  • @heuristicsinc  6 weeks

    Not quite the same thing, but since last FAWM I listened to every song I did in the seven years so far, ranked all of the ones I had the major contribution to, and put together an album of my favorites. I am just finishing up the artwork now, but it's been kinda slow going. Hoping to have it on sale before this FAWM is over.

  • @billwhite51 6 weeks

    i went thrugh my catalog and remastered 45 albums after 50 90, and put them on bandcamp.
    now im looking forward to writing and recording my first album of completely original new music for FAWM 2018.. the album title will be The Human Conditional

  • @ianuarius  6 weeks

    I'm going to do this during FAWM. Honestly, I'll try to write all the songs in a couple of days and use the rest of the time for the production.

  • @theidleowl  4 weeks

    Was planning to to do this anyway so it'd be good to be involved a group egging each other on! I'm thinking an EP of my 5 or 6 favourites.

  • @jamkar  4 weeks

    I'll be back. (mind is working).

  • @cts  4 weeks

    I'm seriously considering doing this. No pressure, right? @tcelliott - to what extent do you provide album cover art? Would I be able to give any input as to what I'm looking for or do you create that motif for me?

  • @tcelliott  3 weeks

    @cts Really, it's a self challenge. The idea is you do all the work. You pick the songs, either re-record them or polish them, or just get a final mix of something already recorded, release it (with art or not up to you) however you choose. The idea is just to have *something* done with your songs (FAWM or otherwise) instead of letting them sit like I (and several others of us) do.

    That being said, I'm more than happy to help with album art. With the limitation that if I get a bunch of people asking that time will be at a premium. But I offered in October and no-one took me up on it, so I anticipate being able to help whoever asks.

  • @rustyp  3 weeks

    I think this is what I need. I've been saying I'm going to record a new album since 2012 and now that I'm actually writing new songs, there's no time like the present! 😀

  • @cts  3 weeks

    @tcelliott - sweet. But if I wanted to get some advice on mixing and what have you, are folks willing to help a FAWMer out?

  • @ianuarius  3 weeks

    I can give some pointers on mixing. Just hop in the slack chat.

  • @cts  3 weeks

    @ianuarius - that's a bet! Thanks, man.

  • @brrrse  3 weeks

    I was just thinking i needed some guidance and motivation to take my FAWM one step further and really produce and release a quality EP of some of my FAWM stuff. *deep breath*......running start towards the cliff.... aaaaaiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeee..... thanks.

  • @tcelliott  3 weeks

    And we've had discussions and pleas for help on the FB page. I'm more than happy to help, but you get what you pay for.

    I do know there have been several discussions and lots of advice on the fb page during the last go round.

  • @brrrse  3 weeks

    I was just reading through a few of the posts - already getting a lot of good info! thanks for the add.

  • @odilongreen  3 weeks

    I am very much looking forward to this! I have my "My Cellphone Tower Who Wanted to Be a Tree" album *demos* almost completely done (just two songs to go), but this is a project pretty near and dear to my heart, so I want to go back and rerecord large swaths of it better. This two month span, focused on just one project and getting it in shape, is just what I need!

  • @kevinmason  3 weeks

    Oh this is great and I think I'll try it out. I've written so much that I like this month that begs to be polished, and I've got a few other songs from recent times that want to be on an album. I could use the extra push.

  • @coolparadiso  3 weeks

    Joined up on FB. Have a long way to go on production but Fawm has proven i improve with deadlines and a challenge.

  • @mikeskliar  3 weeks

    I'm definitely up for this, -- I've been taking my 'best of fawm' , choosing the best tracks, remixing, sometimes re-recording, sometimes adding brand new songs written in march or april, and issuing albums on bandcamp every year after fawm, usually in about april or so, since at least 2012 (and lately doing the same after 5090). Great exercise in 'figuring out what material works', and i think the process has helped me become a better songwriter (and slightly better record producer/recording person) .. and these records become great' diary/time capsules' as well... i'm sure I'll put something together in march or april, largely drawn from feb songs (tho maybe inspiration will strike again in march and i'll have a few new things to add) looking forward to hearing other projects too!

  • @chipwithrow  3 weeks

    Yeah, I'll try it again! An album based on this year's FAWM songs - I think my problem when I was in the group last year was trying to pull in songs from assorted 5090s, FAWMs, and the Facebook skirmish groups.
    And I have that Bandcamp account I started but have never used ...

  • @scottlake  3 weeks

    I’ll commit.

  • @francessmith 3 weeks

    I'll do it again. The challenge for me will be different this time, as I have a more disparate collection of recently written songs and I don't know how I'll turn them into a coherent collection.

    It's a very useful challenge, so I think it's worth doing, a bit of organisation is always good.

  • @spingo  3 weeks

    I'm in! That was my plan anyway -- crank out a pile of stuff, sift through it and pick maybe half for an EP. Coming up on 20 songs, with half a mind to hit 28, so maybe it'll be an album!

    Last year I was doing much more polished demos, so I just kicked those out, leaving out the misfires, but this year there's a bunch of iffy fast-as-possible vocal/acoustic stuff not even close to ready to release.

    Thanks for putting this together as a Thing!

    @cts and others, happy to kick in what I know if it can be of use. I know good free VSTs and cheap guitar pedals and can get around in Reaper and less so in Maschine. is pretty good quality-wise for free photos to use for covers, and there's a number of phone apps that let you put text on a picture.

    Also, looks like there are folks offering $5 album covers:

    And this guy used fiverr for guest musicians!

  • @sunnymae  3 weeks

    Yes!!! I have left so tunes not fully realize production-wise. This is just the accountability and that I need. I love to join.

  • @engebretsen  3 weeks

    I`m in.

  • @jenniferlevenhagen  3 weeks

    Great idea! I don't know that I'll committ too the album/song/etc production, but I'm thinking about it now, so thanks for the idea!

    Anyone wanting to just share the FAWM stuff live, that's an option too. This is an Appleton, WI, USA area live showcase, and plenty now could (and maybe have already?) pop up all over the world:

  • @bithprod 3 weeks

    If anyone wants to do vocals for me, one song or several, I'm definitely in for the album challenge. Male or female, doesn't matter. Eternal bragging rights and listing as featured artist included in the deal. 😉

  • @tcelliott  3 weeks

    We'll be talking about this on FB this week at some point. It's a pretty laid back affair but if anyone needs anything let me know.

    @bithprod I will probably be available this time around. Will you hit me up on here or in the FB group to remind me?

  • @mikeskliar  3 weeks

    @tcelliott --- glad this is happening again this spring- and of course, I'm in ! As I remember from last fall's project/fb group, tho- alot of folks did kind of 'here's my album and .. run' so there wasn't as much "listening from everyone", and (not saying good or bad, just a comment) alot more EDM and other electronica-type stuff too.

  • @songwritingzen  3 weeks

    I'm in! My intention with this years FAWM output is to tidy it up and release it online so this challenge is a great motivator. I released the FAWM 2017 songs as is and regret it a little bit. A quick tidy up is always a good thing to do beforehand 😀

  • @tcelliott  3 weeks

    Glad you're in @mikeskliar since you're an admin. *evil grin*

  • @adnama17  3 weeks

    Everyone, make me f---ing do this! 😁

  • @brrrse  3 weeks

    @adnama17 DO THIS. Please? 😀 😀 😀

  • @cynthiawolff  3 weeks

    I'm would love this..
    so yes please...

  • @tuneslayer2018  3 weeks

    This sounds great with one minor little itty bitty teeny tiny eeny weeny exception . . .

    I don't do Facebook.

  • @tcelliott  3 weeks

    @tuneslayer2018 *comfort* We knew there would be the possibility of someone being excluded because of that. However, we still decided to go that route as it's easy and the least time intensive option we had at the time. Let me think about other options.

  • @tuneslayer2018  3 weeks

    @tcelliott yeah I know, Facebook is a ready platform for this sort of thing and because I won't sign up for it I know I'm missing out on a lot of groups I could otherwise benefit by. I don't expect anyone to bend over backward to accommodate one lone guy who doesn't want to book his face, but if you get a dozen or so people and having an alternative platform would be worth the effort, let me know.

  • @ianuarius  3 weeks

    Just posted my album wip in the facebook group. 😮

    Check it out

  • @krayzie003  3 weeks

    I might do an online EP this time around. I still need to write a few more like style songs for what I want to put together.

  • @tcelliott  3 weeks

    Starts in a day.

  • @emplate 3 weeks

    Can't unfortunately have the time for the project during spring with work and writing my master's thesis, but this give me an idea to try to craft together an solo EP during summer or at least start working on it, since being a teacher comes with the nice advantage of a long summer break. Would give me a good excuse to practice recording and mixing.

  • @w1n  3 weeks

    Planning to finish and finally release the EP I started working on during the first album production challenge.

  • @wistah  3 weeks

    I am in!!!!

  • @pipewrench67  2 weeks

    I'm trying to work on this, I actually just ordered some monitors so I have another reference (better hopefully) than computer speakers and Headphones. I remixed song one and started working on the rest, don't know if I'll get through in a month although in theory it should be enough time.

  • @tcelliott  2 weeks

    @pipewrench67 Our goal and "due date" is May 1st. I failed miserably last fall and released my album nearly two months late. The idea is to get it done however that ends up working out is fine as far as I'm concerned.

  • @lowhum  2 weeks

    I've got way to many songs, so I'll be striving for a double (triple?) album. I hope to make it conceptual, too. I am really not a FB fan but might make one just to follow on this one...

  • @chipwithrow  2 weeks

    @tcelliott - I was just wondering what the "due date" would be! (Of course, I thought the "due date" for the last round gave me plenty of time.)
    I decided to just do FAWM 2018 songs - last time, I tried to use songs from 2 or 3 FAWMs, 2 or 3 50/90s, the Facebook skirmish group ... to much to think about.
    So I think I have 12-14 songs of my 23 that I can sit down and record with just my guitar and my voice and maybe harmonica, and there's my album.

  • @tcelliott  2 weeks

    The FB group was pretty active last time with lots of questions and whatnot. So far it's pretty quiet this time. But as soon as we get some progress I bet we get a bit more interaction.

    Sounds like a great plan @chipwithrow. I'm actually not likely to use any of my FAWM 18 songs, but we'll see.

  • @jamkar  2 weeks

    @chipwithro I am also thinking of a minimalist approach this time. @tcelliott FAWM will help, but only a few of my tracks will make it. Therefore the writing continues.

  • @jwhanberry  1 week

    Just got my approval to FB group. I've got a lot going on until after April but I'll read the posts anyway. I do want to put something out. It's been a long time.

  • @mikeskliar  3 days

    hi everyone! so, Friday night and for a few hours on Saturday, i did some work on this 'next album'--- went thru the 'likely candidates' for songs on the album (eliminating a few, tho I still have 'too many' perhaps), and did some re-writing, re-recording, overdubbing, remixing, etc. on several tracks. Have more work to do, of course, but it was a good start. This is one of my favorite parts of the process- organizing what you have, figuring out ways to make a song or recording a little bit better, rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat again. As in songwriting, you have to silence a little bit of the 'inner critic' who will tell you -"well, this doesn't sound as good as Abbey Road or Blood on the tracks"(of course it doesn't! c'mon, compared to that it's crap!) - ...and then, also be attuned to that overall 'what makes a listening experience 'work'' (whatever that means) I encourage y'all to go thru this, and have fun!..more soon!...

  • @mikeskliar  3 days

    and a p.s.-- it CAN get discouraging, as in 'geez, i thought these songs were better when I wrote them in Feb'... but then again sometimes the thought is 'oh, this one is better then I thought it would be'... and maybe better yet ..'oh, this one had potential, hmm, if i change the third verse, and add bass and harmonica and percussion...aha, oh, this is better'... I tell ya, going thru that whole thing helps the songwriting, somehow, it just does..... (would I lie to you? lol) have fun everyone!

  • @mikeskliar  2 days

    and now those difficult choices--- song x? or song y? go for more 'familiar, this is what i do'? or 'more off-the-beaten track of what I do'? ah, first world problems, ha! ......

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