A 3 Minute Song Takes How Long to Record?

How long will it take me to record a song?  This is one of the most common questions I’m asked by prospective clients. The short answer is pretty simple, “How experienced are you recording?” If you aren’t experienced, it could take as little as 1 hour, or as long as, well, as long as you have!  The long answer to “How long will it take me to record a song?’ is;  it depends?  It depends on you; how good you are and how much of a perfectionist you are.  If you want doubles, backgrounds, ad libs and all the things that make a song able to “hold up” it could take 2-3 hours just recording vocals.  This doesn’t include any of the music, the mixing or the mastering.

Parodied Music and Copyright Law

Did you know that copyright law does not necessarily protect a music author from parody?  So, does that mean you shouldn’t ask artists and songwriters for permission?  You should always ask for their  blessing, but more as a courtesy and not as legal requirement.  It’s been my experience that artist management will often ignore a person’s request for permission to use a song for a parody.  Just know, if you don’t get permission, you may find yourself in court even though use of songs for parodies does not fall under copyright infringement as was the case with 2 Live Crew and their parody of Roy Orbison’s song; Oh Pretty Woman; “”The members of the rap music group 2 Live Crew—Luther Campbell, Fresh Kid Ice, Mr. Mixx and Brother Marquis—composed a song called “Pretty Woman,” a parody based on Roy Orbison’s rock ballad, “Oh Pretty Woman.”  The group’s manager asked Acuff-Rose Music if they could get a license to use Orbison’s tune for the ballad to be used as a parody. Acuff-Rose Music refused to grant the band a license but 2 Live Crew nonetheless produced and released the parody.”

 So why can you use someone else’s recorded and written material without permission and then parody it?  Well, it’s called “Fair Use.”  According to Wikipedia; “Fair use is a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work. In US Copyright, fair use is a doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders. Examples of fair use include commentary, criticism, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving and scholarship.”

Copyright law is confusing and subjective BUT it seems that parodies are most often NOT considered to be infringing on an artists copyright.  There are other factors when determining whether or not something falls under  “Fair Use.”  Please do your research, be considerate, and if you are considering doing a parody of a song, there is hope but you should always consult with a professional copyright attorney just in case!

Prodigy; What’s that?

Do prodigies really exist or is it just hard work?  Here’s a great blog on just this subject.

Don’t Get Scammed!

Unfortunately, there are so many music industry people trying to prey on the hopes and dreams of aspiring musicians.  This is a very difficult business to break into.  Almost every person that calls me to record believes they have a shot in the music industry.  Does that mean that all successful well known recording artists are perfectly on pitch?  No, but almost all well known singers have “something.”  Technically speaking, legends like Steven Tyler, Mick Jagger or even country singer Taylor Swift do not have technically perfect voices, but, they have “it.”  Two questions I always ask singers (about their recordings) in the studio are, “How does it sound and how do you feel when you listen to it”  If it doesn’t sound great and move you, nothing else matters.  There are plenty of singers who have pitch perfect voices but there is no emotion, no “feel.”

I always encourage people who have wanted to pursue their dreams of recording to try. For most musicians, monetary success isn’t what makes them continue to sing, play or record.  Many people just want the experience of being in a studio, writing songs, and recording their own music.  I encourage people to tap into their creative side and enjoy the process without focusing on the destination.  Truth be told, very few people will ever make a living at making music, but for most musicians, just the act of creating is payment enough.

If you are considering recording or breaking into the music industry, please make sure you do your research and only deal with reputable people.  Here is a great article on how to not be suckered and what to expect.  Believe me, even in our area, I’ve heard stories of broken dreams and bank accounts.

One of the easiest ways for someone (including studios) to take advantage of people is through artist development fees.  Are there reputable people that offer this service?  Well, if you or someone you know has true talent and the developer really believes in you, you shouldn’t pay for  someone to “make you a star.” It angers me to know there are people out there that tell aspiring musicians, “I can make you a star and it’s only gonna cost you $XXXX (whatever the amount).”

The bottom line is, there are plenty of scams out there and it is up to all of us to be on the defensive and not open our dreams or wallets to any scam artists.

To purchase Confessions of a Music Producer (no affiliation to Recording Farm just an interesting read) from Amazon; PURCHASE

It’s Not Only Rock And Roll

Whether you’re a country singer, into classic rock or a West Coast rapper, we have on site studio musicians to work with you.  We collaborate with vocal coaches, songwriters, arrangers and session musicians that are experienced  and have credentials such as SESAC’s Country Songwriter of the year.

Spin Magazine

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September 2018
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