Diary of a record release (or three). Part I.

I’ve decided to try to document the process of getting vinyl out into the wide world for a few reasons. Firstly, my memory is appalling, so it might help me avoid mistakes in the future! Secondly, it might prove useful to someone else out there. And thirdly, it might result in more frequent posts to this blog!

I am having to cheat rather, given that we’re not just about to start the release process, so I’ll take you through what’s happened so far.

We’ve previously put out three releases of our own tracks, however it’s been a rather, how shall we put it, amateurish enterprise. And whilst we expected little better from ourselves, we were rather surprised at how many people in the music that also seemed to apply to… 😉

However, this time, in a radical departure, we’re putting out a couple of remix-swap sevens, as well as one seven that is purely made up of music that we have had nothing to do with producing! We’re also aiming to up the professionalism levels, but no promises…

The groundwork

So, what have we done in preparation for these releases?

Well, we finally got a page up and running. Well, two technically, one for Hero No.7 and one for Hero Records, to go with the one that Colin’s had for a while.

Having broken our social media duck, we then set up a account, though Colin’s followed so many people, I’m flooded with tweets all day!

Finally, and most importantly, I discovered that I could install on this server. Whilst I have Web Developer on the CV, who really wants to come home from work and do more of their day job?!? Well, not me, for one. Sure, it doesn’t look amazing, or have every feature that I’d like, but it does the job, and, unlike the super-duper, fantastic-looking, wizzy one that’s in my head, this one’s actually available for other people to look at… 😉

The music

So, having fully Web 2.0’ed ourselves, back to the music! We sorted out getting the tracks mastered, through someone that Colin knows up in Edinburgh, namely Rich “Lektroid” Elliot who was featured on Streetsounds Nu-Electro Volumes 2 and 3 and has recently remixed Paul Hardcastle’s “19”. We tried to go for a more natural sound, rather than compressing the hell out of the tracks. Hopefully you’ll all like it!

Getting Distribution

With that done, we could attempt to sort out distribution. So we popped the tracks up into a private set on SoundCloud, and sent the link to Kudos Records. Thankfully, they were interested, so we signed up with them. They do digital releases to all the main online stores, so that’s another move into the 21st Century music industry!

Vinyl Pressing

Next up was to get some quotes for pressing. We used Nottingham’s Independent Pressings for our EP in 2006, but they’ve sadly gone under. So we got a quote from GZ in the Czech Republic, as no one else can really get near their prices and I know a few people who have recommended them.

Kudos recommended that we press up 300 copies of each, but unless we set a higher than usual dealer price, we’d lose money even if we sold all 300 copies. So, we’re taking a chance on getting 500 pressed up, as they become a lot cheaper at that level. There’s a pretty high chance that we’ll end up with a not inconsiderable number of unsold records on our hands, but we’d rather have a chance of at least breaking even.

Label Design

So, we’ve just sent off the details for Fletch to finalise the label designs. He did the design for our last EP, which we were very happy with.

Promotion

Next up is to follow the steps in this Kudus blog post on using SoundCloud, Google Docs and your blog to do some free digital promotion work. We’ve got a list of some people to email out for feedback, but contact us if you’d like to be added to the list.

And once the labels are done, we can start the pressing process!

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