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Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Making Of a CD/Album Part 2

As you may have see in "Part 1, we recorded the rhythm tracks, bass and drums, for three songs, "Yeah, A Harbor", "Dockside Bar", and 21st Century Kinda Girl" last week at the Ramble Room Studio, here in Key West, last Friday.

In the week that followed, producer Ian Shaw had a good deal of editing to do, mostly in the percussion section.

Yesterday, I was at Warmfuzz studio, here in Key West to put down both acoustic guitar and vocal tracks.

We put down around four guitar tracks for “Yeah, A Harbor” to start. I brought my Ibanez, which I used on my last album “Shanghai'd and Marooned In Key West (things could be worse)”, as well as my Rainsong. Ian had me play both guitars and in the end, he had me play the Rainsong. I liked the idea, as this guitar will give it a different sound from the last record.

In doing this process, there's a lot of stopping and going. In my case the things that stood out the most were Ian wanted me to be hitting the full six strings throughout. Additionally, he wasn't looking for as many added fills as I put in the song playing live. As I mentioned in the last blog, playing live is a lot different than recording. Bear in mind that the song is around five minutes long, or so. We spent over an hour putting it together. What we did was, I'd play the song through. If I made an error or maybe Ian thought there was a better way for me to record a particular part, we'd go back to that section and do it over.

As I say, we have a total of several tracks to chose from. What Ian will do most likely is take sections from those tracks and mix and match them to make one guitar track. On the other hand, he may like one that stands out on it's own merit alone.

The next song to record the guitar on was “Dockside Bar”. This was an unusual one as we only did one track. There were a few areas that we redid for subtle accents, but one track was it.

Next came “21st Century Kinda Girl”. We did several edits throughout on this track as well, and ended up with a track Ian was happy with.

We started at noon and it was now 3:30. The acoustic guitar tracks were now done and it was on to the vocals.

Ian asked which one I wanted to start with and my instincts suggested doing them in the same order as we did the guitars.

The vocals went smoothly, with one exception on the timing in one part of “21st Century Kinda Girl”, which Ian helped me with. In addition, his learned ear also came into play, as he suggested subtleties that would enhance the songs. We finished around 5 pm.

In the end, again we had several tracks for Ian to mix and match with. He'll be in London between now and the next time we get together and may do some mixing there as well. Fun thinking that some of the mixing production of this will be done in England!

All of this is worth every penny, however recording and doing it the right way, is an expensive endeavor. So far, for three songs here's the breakdown thus far:

Studio/musicians/producer expenses for rhythm section recording, Friday, August 27. 2016


Vocals and Guitar recording Friday, September 2nd, plus editing from the August 27th date: $430.00

So, we're at $1055.00 at this point.

We are not close to being done as of yet. We still need other musicians and vocalists added, plus the added editing and final mastering at the end.

As I say, I'm not complaining about this at all. However, I think it's good for the general public to be aware of. For one, there are many who are curious about the process and how it's done. These blogs following the production of the album “Jump Into De Fi-Ya!!!” will hopefully bring that to them.

The other is for people who approach musicians asking to donate CD's for various charities.

Lets take a quick look at what we have here:

At this point the budget spent on three songs is $1055.00. There's a significant more to go on those three songs as well. That figure will more than double most likely when it's all said and done.

Then consider that there will be a total of ten songs on the finished product. Figure the total cost on that will be in the $7 - $9K range.

Then add the cost of CD production and add another grand.

While their intent is good and noble, asking a musician to donate their recorded music is really asking a lot. As you've seen, there is a very large out of pocket expense involved. If they are asking for is a donated CD, at least ask them if they can be obtained wholesale. That's fair for everyone. The starving artist

Being that I don't have $10,000.00 falling out of my back pocket, I'm attempting to sell the songs as they are produced. The first song “Island Blue” is available now for less than a dollar at $.99. It features Misty Loggins on lead vocals and Dani Hoy on background vocals. Here are the links where it can be downloaded.

Thanks for reading the blog and for those of you who purchase the son a very big THANK YOU!!!

All the Best From Key West!

Key West Chris Rehm


  1. Great job many times Artist want to know how all this works for their first song or cd, here is a great reference point
    The Tiki Man
    Tiki Man Radio

  2. Chris, Chuck Hargrove here. I am in Key West for a couple of days. Check your LinkedIn for a message for how to contact me. I lost your info. Mine is same if you still have contact info.