A blog about songwriting and about the songwriter Luigi Cappel

Posts tagged ‘gig’

DIY Record Album Production lessons

Almost every time I’ve played a live gig, I get asked if I have a CD that people can buy and the sad and sorry answer is no, but here’s my card and you can visit my website at MySpace. Now there is my first error, you really should have your own website, but I haven’t found a CMS yet that is easy for me to use, but I will do soon. Anyway, even if you can’t afford to visit a studio, there are plenty of low cost tools that you can purchase, either software or hardware. I have both.  Now you can create your own CD.

I will also visit Go Daddy one of these days and get my own URL, which you can easily link to your MySpace or other page until you have your own. They only charge $9.99 for a .com domain. If you listen to the great Musicians Cooler Podcast, he has a number of promo codes that will give you a discount off Go Daddy services.

I’ll wait until I use up most of my business cards which have the MySpace address on it.

Anyway, back to the story. I bought myself a Canon iP4500 printer which will print directly on printable CD’s. It was very cheap and did a great job, except it doesn’t print all the way into the hole of the CD, which is a minor dissapointment. I checked the settings and they are set to the closest it will go.

I spent quite a lot of time on the image I wanted on the label and also making sure it was consistent with the insert cover and the theme of the Album which is Greenhouse. I thought I’d be able to find some good templates on Microsoft Publisher but was sorely dissapointed. Fortunately at a sale last week I found a software package called CD Covers and Labels for Dummies, which was as simple and simplistic as you would expect, but awesome value for $5! So I as able to use their templates and my images.

I put the title on the CD label and also in smaller print on the bottom Copyright Luigi Cappel 2009.

I worked out the order of the tracks I wanted, which I listed on the Album insert. I didn’t put in the song times, which I will probably do on the next batch, because if any of these do find their way to a radio station, they will want to know how long the tracks play for.

When I went to burn the CD’s using Sonic Digital Media Plus v7, I found (having wasted 3 CD’s) on testing them that the software had reordered the tracks alphabetically which meant I had to solve this problem because I wanted the tracks in the specific order to keep it relevant and interesting to the listener and I had already printed the inserts including the track listing. To solve this, I used the Rename function and numbered them in front of the song title. Now we were sweet.

Printing the labels was easy, although cutting them to size was a pain. I used fairly heavy paper so that it would look professional and not try to slide out of the case when it was opened. I used a guillotine and found it really hard to get the edges exactly right. Next time I’ll use a straight edge and a craft knife, which will be much easier. Also you need something for the back to fold the little edges which are the titles that you can see from the side.  Detail is important as even though the CD’s are home made I want them to look professional. The only thing missing is the shrinkwrapping, which I will have done later when I create more volume. There are plenty of places that will shrinkwrap for you very cheaply.

So just to go over the presentation. The front cover is consistent with the concept of the album. This album is called The Greenhouse Demo’s, because the songs are demo’s and Greenhouse is the title of Track 4. The cover art is a picture of a big block of Franz Joseph Glacier ice that is melting at a rapid pace. The title is very easily read on both the CD label and the insert.

On the inside of the isert I have a photo of myself (because the listener can’t late to you if they don’t know what you look like and the album is about building a fan base) holding a huge block of glacial ice which has melted and been washed away in the icy river.

On the back I put another picture of myself, this time standing on White Island which is an active ocean volcano and represents the global warming and the yin and yang of hot and cold. The other crucial data I put on the back is my email address and URL so that people can make contact with me, probably one of the most important things of all.

All in all, it was pretty simple. Everyone should have an album available, even if it’s home made, whenever you perform. I’m really pleased with how mine turned out and it looks more professional in my humble opinion than some that I have seen, made by ‘professionals’.

As a footnote, I was listening to one of my favourite podcasts yesterday while I was vacuuming the pool. it is Music Business Radio. The interview was with Meiko, who I strongly recommend as a good listen. I love the song Boys with Girlfriends. Anyway, on the podcast they have a section called Dave’s Demolition Derby where they get their guests to review 3 songs hat listeners have sent in for critique. I can’t remember her Manager’s name but he used to be an A&R man and made the comment that Record Companies and others get loads of unsolicited CD’s in the mail and some of them look really cheap and nasty.  If you hae to pick a few of them for a quick listen, which one do you think will get an airing, the one with a CD which someone has written on, something like My Cool Song, or one that looks like it was purchased of the shelf of your favorite CD store?

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JAFA Jokes in The Aucklander

This morning the cover story of The Aucklander was about JAFA jokes. The question was Taking the proverbial out of Auckland is a national sport. But can Aucklanders laugh at themselves?

It was an excellent story by Debrin Foxcroft, well written and very entertaining. For the uneducated, JAFA stands for Just Another effing Aucklander. It starts with “Auckland is the safest city in the world. Al Qaeda would never attack us because there is no public transport system to blow up.

Jokes include: You know you are a JAFA when

  • You never bother looking at the train timetable – you know the drivers have never seen it either.
  • You are genuinely surprised to meet someone who was born in Auckland
  • You know you’re part of a neighbourhood watch group, but have never actually met any of your neighbours

There are books full of JAFA jokes, there are forums and if you search the web, you will find plenty of them. The funniest part is we don’t care, we do have a sense of humour.

The funny thing though is although people, especially on the Mainland (aka the South Island) love telling JAFA jokes, they hate it when the tables are turned on them.

This is where the Songwriter part came in. 18 months ago we took a tour of the South Island, most of it was wonderful, but when we got to Reefton, thing were pretty laid back and we didn’t enjoy our stay other than the feeling we had arrived somewhere in the twilight zone. Reefton was in fact the first place in New Zealand to get electricity and my first song was along the lines of, will the last person to leave please turn of the light.

Anyway, I lost interest in that song because if you hadn’t been there, you wouldn’t know what I was talking about. Actually it wasn’t bad, it was quite cool in a quaint sort of way and I didn’t see anyone with 6 fingers.

So last summer I was performing at an outdoor concert on one of a number of live stages. I decided to have a bit of fun and play my new song, called What I like about Reefton. I told a little story about the trip and said that it had inspired a song. I then performed the song which has no words, lasts about 8 seconds and is based on the doppler effect where you can hear a car slowly driving into town and then zooming out the other end.

When I had finished, some people laughed and applauded, some looked at me blankly and one elderly woman stood up, called out at me “That’s not very nice” and walked away in an huff.

So here are the lyrics:

What I Like About Auckland

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