What To Do With Your Music Once You Have Recorded It

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If you’ve just finished recording a single or album in the studio, you’re undoubtedly excited to get your hard work out there and into the ears of eager fans and new listeners. Before you launch your songs into the public though, you should probably consider a few measures to ensure your work’s quality and security.

First things first, you should be sure that you (and your bandmates, if you have any) are happy with how the recording has turned out. If something sounds off to someone in the band or studio personnel, you may want to re-record or engineer that part differently. Every note matters in a successful single, so you want to make sure the recording sounds as good as it possibly can. An experienced studio staff can easily help you realize your perfect record.

Once your record sounds ideal, you’ll want to protect it legally. By sending your recording to the U.S. Copyright Office (either through the mail or online), your recording’s sound, production, notation, and lyrics will all be legally secured. The Copyright Office will request the names of everyone who contributed to each part of the recording. You can choose to copyright an individual song, or you can choose to copyright an entire collection work (an album, for example). The copyright process does require a $35 fee, so if you need to copyright more than one song, you may want to do so collectively to save money. However, there are certain scenarios where copywriting a collection may not cover all contributors rights. Here are a couple resources that detail the whole process and explain when copywriting a collection is appropriate:

— http://www.clickandcopyright.com/blog/can-i-copyright-my-whole-album-in-one-submission/​

— http://www.askamusiclawyer.com/archive/which-copyright-forms-do-i-use-how-many-do-i-need-to-fill-out.html

Another important measure to consider is that your single or album will need cover art. Some musicians may take a simple approach and create the art themselves, but if they are not graphically experienced or want a specific image, they’re going to need to approach a graphic designer to do the job for them. Alternatively, your record label may already have someone available. The artwork can and should be copyrighted at the same time as the audio recording.

After your single or album has been legally protected, it is safe to be published, distributed and promoted. If you are signed to a record label, they will typically take care of these tasks. You will still have to get out there and promote your work on your own, however, typically through live performances. If you are not signed to a record label, then you may want to contact a publishing agent who can assist you in getting your work recognized. Professional services that help you get noticed are a great option if you can afford it. However, whatever your budget, do not forget to do all you can to promote you music yourself! For free! Having a band/artist page on as much social media as you can is a great way to expose yourself. And, make sure to update these pages as often as you can to let your fans know when you might be playing near them or when an EP/album/music video is to come out.

 

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