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 Aritst? Part 1/6 – The first steps of Pre-Production

SongwritingWith a new album on the horizon, I get a lot of fans, friends, and family asking me about the process involved in making a new CD.  I wanted to answer those questions in a blog, but there is too much to discuss in a single sitting.  This said, I have decided to split it up into three phases, each with two parts: pre-production, production, and post-production.  Here then is part 1 of 6, the The First Steps of Pre-Production Phase.

The first question to ask is, Do you need to make an album?  For some the answer maybe no, and you can save yourself a lot of money, time, and stress by taking another route.  There are a lot of musicians around who are releasing EP’s, singles, music videos, etc.  For example, one of my favorite musicians is Ryan O’Neil of Sleeping At Last.  He hasn’t released a full length since 2009, but he’s creating TONS of music.  Check out his Atlas series…

All albums begin and end with the music; there is a whole bunch of fluff in between (budgeting, financing, packaging, distribution, etc), but as an artist the heart of any new CD is the songs.  This is always where I begin and where I suggest my clients start, with the songwriting.  I feel, as songwriters, it is our job to put out great tunes with well polished lyrics.  Spoken-word World Champion Buddy Wakefield helped me establish my writing habit when he told me that he will spend up to 6 months on a single 3 minute poem; he told me he rakes through each line and removes any cliches he can find.  This is essential!  If you find yourself using phrases or words that are in every other pop song, change them.  Don’t settle for less than perfect; if a song needs to be re-written, don’t be afraid to scrap it all together and start over.

Once you have your songs written and ready to go, you need to make a few decisions.  What are you going to do with the album?  Do you want to try and get your songs on radio/television, or is it something you’ll give away to your fans at shows and online?  What you plan on doing with the album will determine your next step.

For my newest album, “Diggin’ Into Grace”, I wanted to put together a full length album that was radio ready, with the potential for licensing and nationwide syndication.  This said, I knew that I needed to find excellent engineers, musicians, and a great studio with the best equipment I could afford.  Although the cost of production has decreased significantly in the past 10 years, with the release of cheaper Digital Audio Workstations, Plugins, Interfaces, etc., it is till expensive for an indie artist; $10,000 may not be pennies to a record label, but to the average Joe Shmo that is a lot!

Next you’ll want to put together a budget.  In the next blog, I will break down the specifics of a budget using my own as an example…

Until then,

– D