I finished the principal recording for my Reality Jockey album last summer, but had been waiting for funding to release the album properly (mastering in a great studio, vinyl & cd production, radio promotion, and publicity). Well, my freelance work has been amazing lately, and I’ve hence been able to fund the entire project.
My 44.1k 24-bit wav files went off to Chicago Mastering Service today along with some general notes about how to approach each of the eleven album tracks. I had to acquire ISRC codes for the songs which serve as a kind of digital fingerprint that helps with tracking plays and any royalties that might come my way. My preferred mastering engineer, Margaret Luthar, will prepare the tracks for vinyl pressing, cd manufacturing, as well as digital distribution.
After all the mastering is finished at CMS, they will cut a lacquer that will be sent to Chicago’s brand new vinyl pressing plant, Smashed Plastic. They will coordinate the plating process, where the lacquer gets turned into plates from which the vinyl LPs are pressed.
What’s left for me to do? I have a medium-sized list, which includes finishing the album art (inner and outer jackets, and the labels that go on the record itself) and also the art for the compact disc booklet. Before release, I also need to register my songs with a performance rights organization which helps collect royalties. In the past, I’ve used ASCAP for this, but there is a newer artist-focused company I’m also looking into. Then there are the Library of Congress copyright forms I need to fill out.
When I can determine the exact turnaround time for the vinyl, I will coordinate with my publicist and my radio promoter to determine the best schedule for releasing the project to radio and press.
The wild-card here is the music video. I have a writer/director whose work I love, but I can’t find any good contact info for him anywhere. I’d like to at least start a conversation with him, because the general idea is to release the music video a couple months into the promotion cycle.
All in all, I’m thrilled to get the ball rolling here on the album. If you’ve been following my blog at all, you probably know by now it was hard to sit on new material for so long! Soon it will see the light of day. Finally!