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How To

Your DIY Album Release Checklist

Photograph of the blog post author, Music Gateway Team

Music Gateway Team


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Your first album or single is a big deal. You’ve nurtured this creative baby through your blood, sweat and tears along the artistic road of writing, rehearsing and recording. 

Now the final part comes – manufacturing your album!

Before you put everything together for manufacture, you need to consider your desired format. Will it be a CD, vinyl, a combination of both or a special package? 

Once you do this, you can decide on the packaging and design. Don’t forget all these processes take time.

Try not to get over excited about announcing your releases over social networking sites until you’ve put a timeline together for manufacturing.

We all know it’s important to get information out there for your fans to create a buzz for your release. But remember, you need the physical product before you can sell, sell, sell!

Here’s the Key Production DIY list for your album release.  The list will get you thinking about what you need to do. 

The list might not answer all your questions. But, it will serve as a good starting point when planning your album release.

1. Look After Copyright & Licensing Issues

 A manufacturer can only replicate content that you control. 

If you’re covering someone else’s songs you will need to obtain a mechanical licence. 

The MCPS and PRS can advise on the appropriate licenses at:

2. Format

Before the creative juices start flowing, you need to decide what audio format you want. 

Will it be CD’s, Vinyl, Tapes or Digital?

3. Packaging & Design

Now you’re ready to choose your packaging, to whet your appetite visit our website.

Your design is paramount; you need to stand out from the crowd.

So, ensure you instruct a designer to work on your album artwork. You can find some handy tips about supplying your artwork here.

4. Organise Your Time

Always plan for every eventuality, having a realistic timeframe will ensure a well oiled machine. 

An important tip to remember is music recording, mastering and design can take longer than anticipated.

Timeframes for manufacturing will differ for CD-Rs, CDs and Vinyl. Always, always find out turnaround times before you start organizing the launch party!!!

Traditional timeframes are:

  • CD-Rs – 3 to 4 four days
  • CDs – 2 to 3 weeks
  • Vinyl – 5 to 6 weeks

These dates are pretty standard across the board. But remember times may vary during peak seasons like Record Store Day and Christmas. 

Time scales will also differ depending on the packaging you choose. Non standard packages will take longer to manufacture so it’s always good to check first.

5. Proofread

Always proofread your artwork before going to print.

You can save yourself time and avoid a lot of hassle if you get a third party to look over it.

6. Final Checks

Check with the manufacturer to find out what format they prefer when supplying your audio. Some plants may charge extra for different formats.

If your album is for retail, ensure you get the appropriate barcode, EAN for Europe and UPC for Worldwide distribution.

Now you’re ready to go and create the buzz for your album…

If you would like any more information on manufacturing music please email us at: [email protected]

Are You An Artist?

We hope you enjoyed this blog, if you are looking to connect and collaborate with like-minded Мusic Gateway members globally and work together, join Мusic Gateway and access our marketplace

And now you have your music out there, it’s time to start sending it to important people in the industry, finding opportunities and getting it into film, tv and more. 

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