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Author Topic: Worship CD recording idea...LONG  (Read 1403 times)

Jonathan Umfleet

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Worship CD recording idea...LONG
« on: January 21, 2007, 05:35:27 pm »

Ok guys here's the plan...tell me how crazy I am.

I've been a sound engineer at my church for many years. I've just recently discovered GB3 and I love it. We've been using a Sony MDM-X4 4 track mini-disc recorder at our church (mostly just to record the sermons). We've got a Mackie SR32.4 for a mixer. One thing I just recently tried was recording 4 tracks onto the church mac GB through a Presonus Firebox and another four tracks onto the mini-disc. Then I took a cd copy of the GB project and mini-disk home and mixed away to my hearts content with 8 real instrument tracks and I've been surprised at how good it sounds (not my mixing, just the sound quality).

So the 8 real instrument tracks consist of lead vocal, 2 background vocals on a single track, bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano and then one track for snare and overhead for the drums and the last track is for kick drum and toms for the drums.

For GB plugins, I'm using PSP Vintage Warmer, Inspector, and Metric Halo Channel strip.

So the idea is to record our worship team performing 12 to 15 songs and make a CD for the congregation (probably burn 500 CD's). Mechanical licensing fees are 9.1 cents per song per CD. So after duplication, some basic artwork for a cover, I'm just estimating the CD's will cost about $5 a piece.

My goal is to get a final result that sounds maybe 80% professional with 20% of the cost.

Is this workable? I know it sounds like a tall order but what do you guys think?

What big things am I missing?
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Handy Brent

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Re: Worship CD recording idea...LONG
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2007, 01:42:00 am »

If it is for local consumption only, and that is all that you have, then that is all that you have.  So go for it.  Now, would that CD have a shot at holding it's own against a studio release or a live Lincoln Brewster or Hillsong CD?  Not likely.  Minidisc is a VERY WEAK music recording medium.  The data compression thing is not so great.  The Mackie is not a quiet, big sounding console by any means.  But you have what you have.  If you can squeeze the most out of it and get something that you like, then go for it.

I would also dial WAAAY back on your CD sales expectations.  Many people overshoot that by 90%.  The facts are, unless your worship leader is a big draw, and your band has ministry beyond your four walls, I would bet that you wouldn't sell any more than 10% of your congregation.  That would be the expectations I would have based on years of doing this in large churches mind you.  People don't generally buy what they have access to every weekend, especially if there is a better version of it on the internet for free.  When you talk to the publishers (I would recommend going to them directly and not Fox or some big money middle-man), they will likely let you off of the hook, because so few CDs are not worth the costs of generating the paperwork.



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Ira White

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Re: Worship CD recording idea...LONG
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2007, 08:05:03 am »

Put your most crucial elements on the GB: vocals, piano, and overheads (if mic'd). If electronic drums, I'd put the acoustic guitar on GB. Everything else goes on the minidisc due to limited response. I did this several years back using a minidisc to add 8 more tracks sync'd to a 16-track hard disc system and it worked fine.

I would get some good soundchecks and test recordings for the drums, and get them balanced in stereo through the two tracks. It will sound real flat with just two mono tracks. Hopefully, you are micing drums with more than four feeds, so you can vary the panning on many elements. The stereo imaging can be important to getting a sense of dimension in the recording. Everything else can be panned individually to reinforce this. If you pan the drums wide on the stereo tracks, you can always pull them in with panning on mixdown if needed.

I normally like to have my background vocalists panned to opposite sides, but I have pulled a stunt in the past with a single track. On mixdown, I delayed vocals about 10ms through a quality delay (100% effect) and panned original and effect to opposite sides (say 10:00 and 2:00). This provided the imaging I needed. Not familiar with the GB system, but it would be nice to have this effect capability built-in.

Brent is right about sales expectations. The catch is that 1000 copies is usually the best deal and less than 500 copies gets overly expensive per CD due to initial setup costs. You can often save cost by going with 2-color printing on the cover (something kind of artsy and minimalist) and 1-color on the inside and back for credits and lyrics. A single foldover insert gave me plenty of space for lyrics and comments. I used garyscale original photos throughout with a second color on the front to highlight specific elements. I simply lightened interior photos to serve as a background for the text.

Hopefully, you might be able to generate sales through other churches, especially if you take your worship team around the area. Local Christian radio stations may play it, and some local music stores may sell it. You can also make it available through free online resources such as www.cdbaby.com. It all helps.    
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Ira White
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Jason Cole

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Re: Worship CD recording idea...LONG
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2007, 06:54:22 pm »

If you have a CCLI license (you should), then you may record your worship service and duplicate that as per your CCLI.  You may sell up to 15% of the total number you have a license for in your CCLI.  There are however limits on what you may charge for these recordings.  Basically, this allows you to distribute your worship service without having to go thru the mechanicals step and paying the extra fees.  It sounds like you just want to be able to give your church something to take home and you may do that with the CCLI.  
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Jonathan Umfleet

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Re: Worship CD recording idea...LONG
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2007, 01:50:27 am »

www.discmakers.com says they'll do 300 for $3.30.  Full color outside, one color inside.  What's the catch?

http://www.discmakers.com/music/products/cd100.asp
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Ira White

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Re: Worship CD recording idea...LONG
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2007, 08:07:27 am »

Sounds like a good deal. Just 1-page insert, so only room for cover and some back credits. If you want to have lyrics or other text, you'll want at least a foldover 4-page.

Also, this price does include a UPC code according to the page info. This is needed for any online sales and digital distribution.
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Ira White
Sanctuary Sound, Inc.

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