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How to release a CD

Ed Taylor explains the â€Å"business” side of the â€Å"music business”

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Software programs like Garageband and Cubase have made it easier for bands to go the DIY route and record their music at home, but after the stop button is pressed on the last take, the business side of the process begins. This is often the biggest challenge for independent musicians.

The Weekly Volcano decided to get the lowdown from a guy with 30 years experience in the music business. Ed Taylor has been in studio many times either as a session player or recording his own music. We asked him to give us some insight into the CD release process:

WEEKLY VOLCANO: After you’ve written the songs and recorded the tracks, what are the basic steps it takes to release a CD?

ED TAYLOR: Once the tracks are recorded, the dubious task of mixing starts. All of the musicians and wives go home and it’s just you and the engineer in the studio. Every time I record a CD (and technically this is my fourth), I make a comment that something is the most important facet of the process. Now I have determined that mixing the CD is the most important. After the CD is mixed, we send it out to the press to get their opinions. We take all of the constructive comments and go back to the studio to remix. After that, we master the CD and release it.

VOLCANO: What are the steps a professional takes in addition to these?

TAYLOR: After the things mentioned above, we contact a radio station promoter. The promoter, if he digs the music, tells the artist that, for a certain cost, he will get the CD on a certain percentage of radio stations for that format. Then we contact the print, online and TV media in the areas where the radio station promoter says we are getting airplay.

VOLCANO: What is the biggest challenge?

TAYLOR: One of the biggest challenges is raising the money for the project. Early on we had an executive producer who paid for the first three projects. That was great. Now concerning my newest record, Songs From A Taylor, we had to pay for everything. We had to secure the studio with a deposit, make sure the musicians and special guest artist were on board, make sure the musical charts and arrangement were correct (I have to personally thank our trumpet player Kevin England for that), make sure that we had the correct licenses for the cover songs, and BMI had to be contacted to make sure that our art pieces were original. We had to be certain that our label, Chinook Wind Records, was on board because getting the record distributed to record stores is very important. In addition to that, we had to deal with photography and art work for the album. Wow! Angela, that’s more than one challenge, but it helps you to see that these things need to be done before you start the recording process.

VOLCANO: What lessons did you learn early on that made the difference between a so-so response and a successful one?

TAYLOR: I’ve learned so many lessons, and I am still learning. Of all the lessons I’ve learned, the one that made the biggest difference is paying attention when a professional suggests something and giving it a try. Major players and reviewers will listen and compare it to what they are used to hearing. So we listen very intently to their suggestions. They help.

VOLCANO: Does it take a team to release a CD? If so, who should be on that team?

TAYLOR: Yes! Yes! Yes!  First off you need to brand yourself — that’s publicity. Then you need booking, accounting, an attorney. Good musicians and a manager would also be wonderful. When you first start out, everyone in the band can take on these roles to help you get established. Also, I would like to say that to have a sponsor or someone to support your act with instruments is a big plus. Gibson Guitar Company has chosen to support me with their great guitars. I’ve always loved those instruments so I am so thankful.

VOLCANO: Don’t you have a show coming up this week?

TAYLOR: Yes, two shows. First, tonight kicks off my weekly Thursday dinner show at Babblin’ Babs Bistro in the Proctor District. Second, Jazzbones is a wonderful performance hall and me and my band, TaylorMade will be there Saturday night.

For info on Ed Taylor, please visit and

[Babblin’ Babs Bistro, 8 p.m. dinner show Thursdays, 2724 N. Proctor St., Tacoma, 253.761.9099]

[Jazzbones, Saturday, Jan. 12, 7 p.m., all ages, $8-$10, 2803 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.396.9169]

My name is Angie and I’m just a shot away — If you can’t rock me, somebody will.

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