What does "releasing an album" mean to you?

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  • @chipwithrow  Mar 19

    Since 2005, I've put together 5 albums - one guitar/vocal, two kid/family folk with lots of instruments and a few friends, one 50/90 compilation, one yoga-themed instrumentals.
    I had the kid albums professionally mastered, my wife did some cool CD cover art, and I had release parties for both. I played bunches of shows to promote those albums. (Also ordered boxes of CDs and sold very, very few.)
    For the solo album and the 50/90 compilation, I did some basic art myself, burned the CDs myself, and gave them to friends. And the yoga music is not a physical CD but can be played on the sound system at our studio.
    I guess I'd say I've "released" 5 albums, but only for 2 did I ever really go after an audience or try to make any money from them. So does "release" mean just putting it out there into the great big online world, or is it more than that to you?

  • @chipwithrow  Mar 19

    I'll add that I'm doing the Album Challenge for fun and also as an incentive to re-learn some FAWM songs for performing.
    Also, I'm going to be leading a workshop at our yoga studio for how to write devotional/mantra/kirtan music, and as I come up with the format for that I may feel inspired to do another yoga album.
    I could probably sell CDs or downloads of my music at our studio and make a few bucks - I'd be more inclined to do that if I could offer something (not sure what) in addition to the music.

  • @wacha  Mar 19

    Once you have all of the tracks completed and put in a format people can buy (or give them if you choose). That is what I considering "releasing an album" to mean. I have been working on mine for well over 5 years at this point, I have one more song to go and it will finally be completed but I started posting the tracks for sale individually a long time ago.

    I don't think I'm going to even have CDs made, I started so long ago that CDs were the preferred medium to sell at shows but I don't want to get stuck with a bunch of them so I'm going to do download cards through bandcamp. If they sell well enough that way, I may have some discs made down the line.

    I am hoping to be a lot more organized and productive with my other upcoming releases so they will come out in faster but they will also still be downloads only.

  • @kevinemmrich  Mar 19

    If you want CD with simple 2 page insert, 1 page back, then kunaki is the way to go. You can order 1 CD at a time, if you wish! http://kunaki.com/ 1-5 CD's at $1.10each.

  • @tcelliott  Mar 20

    For me, a release is to make it available, in some form, out into the wider world. That could be CDs, bandcamp, itunes or something else I haven't thought of.

  • @zecoop  Mar 20

    For me, it's putting all my FAWM songs on a Bandcamp album. Since I make fully produced songs it seems natural. For my band it has been CDs or an online only EP via Bandcamp.

  • @scottlake  Mar 20


  • @leah0k  Mar 20

    I think it's an official celebration of your work - whether it be a facebook live video and a link to your bandcamp, a physical show in a venue with cds and merch and playing your new songs - whatever it is, it goes "Hey guys! I made some music! Here it is" And an opportunity for your friends and family to party with you and enjoy it.

    I have always made my own cds, but I like crafting. So I usually paint something on the front of about 20-30 cds and make some kind of paper envelope to hold it in. I was actually just debating on what I'm going to do for this most recent one. It's all over the digital world already, but I'd like to plan an official 'release' party and usually there are a few die hards who like physical compact discs to purchase. Plus I secretly like designing them. Now to re-learn my songs......

    heh heh

  • @mikeskliar  Mar 20

    back in the late 90's to early (insert whatever ya call that first decade! aoughts?) I had a bunch of physical CD's made (two of them are still available on CD baby and amazon) but back then I was gigging more, and CD's were more of a thing. Since about 2011, I've been issuing albums on Bandcamp... and yes, I'm working on one now, drawn from the best of what I've done in Feb., with some re-writes, re-recordings, etc. I definitely believe that taking your 'best stuff' from a certain period of time and seeing how it fits together as an album, with perhaps some rewrites, re-takes, etc along the way, improves your songwriting and production chops in general- and its a great 'time capsule' of what was happening for you over that time span, plus a neat thing to give to friends (sadly, many of my friends are like 'oh, another album..'. the novelty of a new Mike Skliar album may have worn off a bit.. hopefully not to everyone tho! (stay tuned). Go for it yourself, everyone!

  • @johnstaples  Mar 20

    I started writing in 2012 and I have almost 200 songs, most of which I really like. I released two songs through CDBaby and 30 instrumentals through various royalty-free sites where I actually make a little money.

    But I have not yet had the time to dedicate to finishing my non-instrumentals. When I do, maybe later this year, I am going to release them through CDBaby for widest distribution, stage them at Bandcamp & SoundCloud & ReverbNation, and, yes, I am definitely making short runs of CDs! Mainly for me and my "I did it" wall but also to send friends & family and radio hosts.

  • @zecoop  Mar 20

    Places like http://kunaki.com make it extremely affordable to make short runs of CDs so that you can say you :made an album". I keep meaning to make my FAWM albums into CDs for friends and family but have not yet. 1-5 units for $1.10 each is hard to beat for actual CDs (not CD-R) that are printed with a case. (6-99 units are $1.90 each) This way... anything you want to call an album can be a physical album. 😀

  • @tcelliott  Mar 20

    Kunaki produces CD-R for their discs. I had a couple of songs played on the radio and one skipped. It's a drawback for sure.

    Also, for shipping I've found that 4 discs shipped is the cheapest price per disc. I usually do 5 at a time as it's only a few cents per disc difference. If I want fifteen discs, I order three sets of five.

  • @barrygoldman  Mar 20

    Releasing an album means it's on my Bandcamp! I am big on keeping track of these things and making everything into a project, a set of songs that come together. I don't do really any songs that aren't for albums, releasing an album is just, make like 10-12 songs until the set feels done to me.

  • @zecoop  Mar 20

    @tcelliott - *Corrected... Yep, they are well made CD-Rs.

    1.11 Does Kunaki replicate (press) or duplicate discs?
    Kunaki duplicates discs. Duplication has made major strides over the last few years. Today mediocre duplication is superior to bad replication. And superior duplication is better than mediocre replication. Lastly, superior duplication is every bit as good as the best replication.

  • @kevinemmrich  Mar 20

    Kunaki "duplicates" their CDs (versus "replication"), which means they have to use CD-Rs, I do believe.

  • @zecoop  Mar 20

    @kevinemmrich - Interesting... They definitely did not seem like CD-R's to us. Hmmm!! 😀

    (but they were) 😀

  • @chipwithrow  Mar 20

    Interesting to see how this thread has developed! I doubt I will make any more physical CDs unless anyone asks. I like the idea of download cards for gigs - a duo who came to our yoga studio did that. They also sold crafts they made like jewelry - another way to make money at a performance.
    I, too, will be using Bandcamp soon. For a while I was using Soundcloud just for putting music somewhere online but Bandcamp seems better for putting up something as a complete album.
    Still, I'm hesitant to call it a "release" - I suppose that, growing up in the days of vinyl and record labels and radio stations with DJs and record stores, I still think of a release as something that involves promotion to try to get people to buy/listen.
    (And art - I love album cover art. That's part of the "release" package to me, too.)

  • @siebass  Mar 20

    Good question. I think for me it would be "Mixed to the best of my abilities, mastered in some fashion, and available for purchase on bandcamp/distrokid/CD." For an album, for me, I think I'd have to get to a physical CD. Even if no one buys one, it'll make me happy to have one done of just my own music. Then I would consider it "released".

  • @silvermachine  Mar 20

    Yeah I would like to release a cd in a vinyl LP cover to maximise the artwork and get the best of both worlds. Of course the ultimate would be to have a gatefold sleeve LP cover like one of those birthday cards that you open and it's starts playing Happy Birthday or something, but this plays my album. Maybe a little headphone socket in the LP sleeve spine.
    Personally I dont see the point in releasing anything without an audience who want it. So I guess I'm looking at the Milli Vanilli route at the moment, getting a couple of photogenic weirdos to be the public face of my music. I'm aiming for the weird cult following market, but even weirdos have an aesthetic of beauty.
    It makes more sense than blindly uploading everything I do to bandcamp, knowing it will be totally ignored because no one knows it's there.

  • @sapient  Mar 20

    It means...
    - Picking the best 8 songs I have
    - Talking with UKEM Records to see if they are interested in another Abomnium album
    - Spending months trying to remember what the hell I was doing when I wrote the demo
    - Spending even more time knocking the arrangement into shape
    - Taking a week at Skyhammer Studio to make the songs sound lovely
    - Sending the masters to UKEM, sorting out the artwork and writing liner notes
    - And then sleeping. At last 😉

  • @jamkar  Mar 20

    Albums are placeholders in history. So if they don't sell, who cares? I can look back and think, "Ah yes, that was going on in my life then."
    Bandcamp does that for me with minimal fuss and bother. I said goodbye to CD's a long time ago, (except for friends who are non-techies). I have also uploaded to youtube, but seems even less like an album. So I guess I am a video producer wannabe.

  • @zecoop  Mar 20

    @jamkar - That's exactly why I do bandcamp albums for my FAWMing. It captures where I was musically and what I wrote. I love Bandcamp and hope it doesn't get screwed up at some point. 😀

  • @tcelliott  Mar 21

    @zecoop - But they aren't superior, imo. They skip more often than any replicated discs I've ever used. That being said, I still use kunaki. Until I can find short run replication... and possibly even then.

  • @zecoop  Mar 21

    @tcelliott - yep... Just copying what they say. We have had good luck. Can't beat the price. Gives you the ability to have real-ish CDs.

  • @lbcsrw Mar 21

    I've never created a bandcamp album, but have a ton of work that would easily assemble several. Are there other options I should consider?

  • @zecoop  Mar 21

    @lbcsrw - From all the sites that are available, I cannot recommend Bandcamp enough. It is easy to use, and easy to share. Artist friendly too... It is just a fantastic site. Tons of options and allows you to upload a lot of songs and albums.

  • @lbcsrw Mar 21

    @zecoop Thank you.

  • @alamous Mar 21

    For me:
    1. Write the songs
    2. Record the songs as good as possible with the best available folks
    3. Mixing
    4. Mastering
    5. Figure out if it's going to be a Vinyl/CD/Casette or just a digital release
    6. Get someone to do the cover art
    7. Fill out all the official paperwork so that if and when the stuff gets played somewhere I and all the folks involved get their money
    7 1/2. Try get some funding
    8. Figure out how to advertise and distribute the album
    9. Get some shows to promote the album
    10. Release the album

    It's a LOT of work, and most of it is kinda boring. But it's worth doing it properly since otherwise (for me) it feels like not worth releasing anything.

  • @oldlostjohn  Mar 25

    I used to think of home burned albums as demos or semi-official, and only fully registered, manufactured and barcoded albums as proper release. But my last few releases have only been digital. Obviously, there are still advantages with CD when it comes to promotion and getting reviews, but it's a pain in the ass if you can't get out on the road and gig enough to get them sold.

  • @tcelliott  Mar 25

    Kunaki seems to be the half way point. You get a barcode for free, it looks pretty darn good, but it's still duplication (similar to home CDs) and fairly cost effective. At least in the states. I wonder if there is anything similar to it in the EU

  • @johnstaples  Mar 25

    I would caution against using cheap CD services like Kunaki. In my experience they do not work in CD players although they are usually fine to rip on your computer. If you are trying to make an impression by actually releasing a physical CD you don't want that impression ruined when it won't play! Better to spend more or just skip CDs.

  • @tcelliott  Mar 25

    @johnstaples Well, I have to have something physical (at least a few) and I'm not going to pay for 100 discs replicated. I'm open to suggestions, but I've not found any other option.

  • @johnstaples  Mar 25

    @tcelliott I wonder if there is a better process if you burned them yourself? Maybe buy pre-silkscreened CD-Rs so they look good and then burn 'em as you need them?

  • @iveg Mar 26

    It's been forever since I gave music to friends. Cassette, with printed liners.
    Typically I burn a cd before 5090 for Oct-Jun and another after. It's only for my own enjoyment, so I just print up a song list and a label. I just had FAWM 2016 cd go bad. I have to decide if I want to replace the whole thing, or just the songs I REALLY like. I listen to them in the car when I'm driving alone.

  • @iveg Mar 26

    @johnstaples The problem with pre-printed blank cds is the same problem as recording them and keeping them. You've basically set aside those cds for that one project.

  • @johnstaples  Mar 26

    @iveg I was thinking about it as an alternative to crap CD duplication services.

  • @johnstaples  Mar 26

    I'm gonna give these guys a try,


    - 50 CDs printed in color
    - 50 4-panel eco-wallets in color
    - 50 8-page inserts in color
    - burned, assembled & shrink wrapped
    - $141.50

  • @johnstaples  Mar 26

    When I release a CD I really want my lyrics included.

  • @iveg Mar 26

    Yeah. I like lyrics, too. But in the car, it doesn't matter. Let us know how this turns out

  • @tcelliott  Mar 26

    Thanks for sharing that, @johnstaples. I checked and shipping of 50 units would be around $22 for me. So for under 175 I can get 50 discs to my house. One thing I liked about Kunaki was the drop shipment. But when the you are duplicating instead replication the disadvantages should be obvious.

  • @tcelliott  Mar 26

    re: Lyric prints. I debated on putting together a pdf version of a booklet that had all the writing and recording information about my album. But in the end I decided that with only one or two people actually paying attention to it the reward wasn't worth the effort.

    I do like discs with the lyrics printed more than not. But I only use them rarely.

  • @johnstaples  Mar 26


    You said "when the you are duplicating instead replication the disadvantages should be obvious" but I'm not so sure. Most of what I am reading online is saying that a quality dupe should be as good as a rep. Do you have a link to anyone claiming otherwise? I'd like to learn more about this. And replication is not even an option for fewer than 1000 discs, right?

    Regarding lyrics, I have always been thrilled when lyrics are included and disappointed when they were left out. So all mine will have lyrics (especially since the cost is so low!)

    My bottom line is...I am making the CD for myself. So it has to have printed lyrics, liner notes, full color, wallet/jacket, etc. I dunno if I will do more than 2 CDs so they are bucket list items for me!

    Maybe to send around to radio stations. And of course to give to friends and family to use as coasters! 😀

  • @lvgd09 Mar 26

    Half of the time I burn a CD-R audio it will not play on any CD player. Interesting though is it will play on my computer where I burnt it. What I do is just keep burning until I get one that works. I don't know how long it will continue to work. Yes, from my experience it either works or it doesn't work. I'm pretty sure my old 5090 and FAWM CD's still work....pretty sure...but how could one know without even trying. Hmmm, I think I'll try some of my old CD's and see if they still work! Not...

  • @lvgd09 Mar 26

    @johnstaples I think that eco wallet would be a good deal for you. Like you said, you can send them out to radio stations. Publishers?

  • @lvgd09 Mar 26

    I forgot to respond to the original topic, What does "releasing an album" mean to you?

    Well, I got no hit records and haven't sold anything so it usually means that I tried and here is my proof.

  • @tcelliott  Mar 26

    @Johnstaples - So kunaki duplicates and this new link duplicates... the only difference is minimum quantity and possibly customer service?

  • @johnstaples  Mar 26

    @tcelliott at a glance I saw lots of things that made me more comfortable with a different service than Kunaki. But I won't know for sure until I try them of course! Here is what I noticed,

    - prices seemed comparable
    - we know Kunaki has delivered defective discs
    - when asked by email Kunaki responded with some attitude I did not appreciate and generally refused to accept responsibility
    - Kunaki offers almost zero options and in their FAQ they seem to tout that as a benefit!
    - Kunaki offers nothing but jewel cases/jackets and no booklet printing
    - their website screams CHEAP/Unsophisticated/Lack of caring/Unprofessional

    So for me, I'd try any number of other services before Kunaki even if the cost is greater. (They kinda pissed me off!)

  • @tcelliott  Mar 27

    Yeah, no argument there. But to be fair, they don't make any bones about having almost zero customer service. It isn't like they are lying to anyone about it.

    I'll be greatly interested in a review if anyone uses easydisc.

  • @johnstaples  Mar 27

    You are right...they even have a section in their FAQ entitled "What is bad about Kunaki?"! 😁

  • @tcelliott  Mar 27

    What it comes down for me... if the disc plays consistently through easydisc then it's a no brainer.

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