Did You Miss Us?: Wrapping up the Summer

From the desk/sound board/smoothie bar of Dennis Florine:

Summer is just about done, but we’ve still got big things plans for D’Flo Productions.

In July, we updated you that the production team’s workforce was doubled when the wife started working with me. We also informed you about the songs I got to write for the commercial I recently filmed in Mexico. While the footage is not yet available, I can show you the other tunes I composed here. Take a listen and see what you think!

A few weeks ago we had a great trip to Davenport, IA for a couple of shows at Kilkenny’s Pub and Grill. Kilkenny’s is always one of our favorite stops in Iowa, and we had a blast hang’n with old fans, and even got to see some family on our stay. You can check out our Flo’s Friday Flick for an average ‘day-in-the-life’ during our stay in Davenport here.

Another exciting thing that this summer held for D’Flo Productions was a photo shoot with Becky Poynter. We’ve been working with her as our photographer and editor for about 6 years, and she even did our wedding photos! She’s a progressive artist that is always working on and perfecting her craft, so check out her website if you ever need a good photographer. Photos will be updated on this site soon.

In other news, D’Flo productions also took a much needed vacation from the city and will be with the rest of the fam in the Colorado wilderness. Now we’re back from that and back to work!

If you would like to receive even more detailed updates from us and exclusive offers, please sign up for our mailing list! We’ll even through in a freebie for you if you do it now! Click the link to our website and be ready with your email and zipcode for the popup. The free download code will be emailed to you.

Have a great week!

-Dennis Florine and D’Flo Productions Management

FLORINE’S FAVORITE FINDS
-Randolph Street Market: really cool Chicago street fest with live music, vintage clothes, ethnic jewelry, and incredible food vendors! They will have some dates left this season, so go check it out!

-POUND: Claire recently just became a certified instructor in this rock-out workout that involves drumming, Pilates, and dance in a cool new way to exercise! I don’t think this means she’ll become my drummer, but it’s still pretty cool and she loves it. Find the nearest POUND class near you.

-Revolution Brewery- I recently became a member at this Chicago brewery; my favorite is by far Anti-Hero, and I will definitely be bringing a growler of this brew to share with my Colorado family members. Check it out!

How do you make an album as an Indie Artist? Part 2/6 The Budget

So you’ve selected your songs, rehearsed them until you can play them backwards, and are now ready to go to the studio.  Before you step foot into a space, you’ll want to work out a budget; otherwise you may find yourself nearly finished with the recording, but out of bread.O World What a Tragedy Album Cover

Diving in, below is an example budget for a radio-ready, 12 song album for a solo acoustic artist.  In this example, the artist does not have his own band, and has no skills in production, engineering, mixing, mastering, ect; the artist only knows how to write songs, play acoustic guitar, and sing.  This also does not take into account marketing, distribution, etc. in the post production.

I like to estimate one full 12 hour day per song, depending on where you are mixing; if you are using an SSL console, and mixing on the same, you can save a bunch of time because you don’t need to make major changes to your drum mix, for example.  You can just upload your settings, and start on the next song.

Production = $15,700

Studio Time : 12 days at Studio @ $300/day = $3,600

Musicians : 4 musicians for 4 days @ $250/day + 2 musicians for 2 days @$250/day = $5000

– drums + electric + bass + piano, (4 days) Cello + Brass (2 days)

Miscellaneous : Equipment Maintenance, extra day, etc = $500

Producer/engineer Fee : $300/day for 12 days = $3,600

Mixing : $200/song for 12 songs = $2,400

Mastering : $50/song for 12 songs = $600

Printing = $3000

1000 Digipack CD’s through Discmakers w/100 posters = $1,400

200 Vinyl = $800

Album Art work/photography = $800

As you can see, this can get expensive really quickly.  For a total of $18,700, planning out your time has never been more important.  These numbers, as I said, are all on the super high end (for an indie artist; they don’t really scratch the surface of a major label budget).  They are numbers I have found for hiring professionals, with no-to-minimal major credits.  Fortunately, if you don’t have either of these, there are a ton of ways to lower your costs.

4 Great ways to lower your costs:

1) Bring your own band – Band mates, especially friends, are a great way to cut down the cost of hiring a whole bunch of professional musicians.  You can rehearse before you ever enter the space, and even scratch track if you have the right equipment.  Obviously, the better the musician, the better your album is going to sound.  In some cases, however, you may have to bite the bullet and hire a pro.  Having a good studio drummer, for example, is priceless as it will save you loads of time on the mixing in post-production.  – SAVE UP TO $5,000

2) Record in your own found space – Studios are going to charge you anywhere from $35-55/hour, and might make deals with you for full day recordings.  That said, if you can find a wide open space, you can use it to your advantage to create a unique sound.  This will require a producer with his own equipment, but it will give you more time to breathe with less pressure on your budget.  SAVE UP TO $3,600

3) Consider an unconventional form of Printing – CD’s are dying, let’s be honest.  Maybe you have a new, cheaper way to get your music out to your fans?  Perhaps you will give it away for free on your website, or hand out distribution cards so people can download it in exchange for an email address.  I personally still love CD’s; I like creating a tangible piece of art for fans to explore, and enjoy.  But with the way technology is pushing, I wouldn’t be surprised if they are obsolete in the next 10 years; vinyl, however, will always be around for avid collectors 🙂 SAVE UP TO $3000

4) Self-Produce – If you have never created an album before, I don’t recommend this.  It can save you money, yes, but having another set of ears (and most importantly, a set of more experienced ears) is priceless.  A good producer will take your project from start to finish, acting as the director and diplomat between all people involved in the process.  However, if you are really short for money, and have a clear idea in your head already of all the musical parts, go for it! SAVE UP TO $3,600

By cutting all of these corners, your job becomes infinitely more complex.  You will be the producer and engineer, manager of the found space, distributor, packager, etc.  But you will save yourself $15,200, leaving your album costs at only $3,500. 

Seattle is the loneliest city…

But I love it here, and this is where I need to be.  This dichotomy seems so common in life, for one to experience two opposing emotions simultaneously.  I feel sorrow and absolute joy while I am here, which to me speaks volumes.  It is often during times of emotional juxtaposition that I feel closest to God.

I am here and I know I must be, but so much of my body longs to be home.  Today is my niece’s birthday.  She turns 5 this St. Patrick’s Day.  I have not had a chance to celebrate with her in years because of this job.  I miss her, my wife, and my family so much, and yet I am grateful for this longing.  It reminds me of the wonderful family I have back home that is eager for my return.

The work here is wonderful.  My learning curve looks like Queen Anne Boulevard at the moment; every day I am learning so much about music and myself.  I am growing more comfortable with my skill sets and my weaknesses, and I am improving.  I can ask for nothing more than this.

The music is sounding amazing!  We (and by we I mean myself and my engineer Nate Yaccino) are coming out with some incredible sounds!  So much of this process, like so much of my life, feels like an Improv show that I am making up as I go along hoping it will all come together in the end.  Unlike my last album, I am writing 72% of the music this month.  The process is unique, and although I am constantly in a state of stress, I feel that the album is already more cohesive than the last.   Unlike the last CD, which I wrote over the course of 3 years, this project is a snapshot of my life over the last year.  I am writing from a single place, a unique emotional state, and I am excited with how it all is tying together.

I plan on writing more often, little snippets like this.  I pray these thoughts may be of some benefit to you, perhaps illuminating common threads in your life.  I’d love to hear about it if they do.

 

Getting ready to track yo!

Getting ready to track yo!