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Thread: How do you finish an album?

  1. #1
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    How do you finish an album?

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    I'm ashamed to ask this. My band has been recording for several years, but we have not yet produced a finished product.... until now.
    How do you go from a session, or multiple tracks, to an album. Do you just save each tune individually and manage the organization during reproduction? Is there a better way? Do you load each tune into a session and assign individual names to the "clips"? How do you finish an album?
    We're not sure how we're going to press this yet. There's some talk of burning CDs ourselves. Personally, I'd rather farm out the reproduction. We're also planning to make the album available for download.
    Is there some finishing (I'm not talking mastering) involved to turn a group of mixed/mastered tunes into an album?

    Thanks,
    -j

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    Pros/labels actually have people that do arranging, assuming the producer(s) haven't already done that. Obviously there's not someone who's been producing this, or at least they haven't expressed interest in that part, so I'd recruit someone with good musical sense to do the arranging. Then there's the artwork for the CD, sleeve, etc....

    How would you do CD reproduction yourself? Someone has the equipment to create professional CDs with sleeves? Or are you talking about making 10 for your friends?

    I'd personally go with CDBaby or something like that because they can manage the replication, artwork, and get it on streaming sites. Yes, they're going to take a cut, but they'll do it right and you'll be able to keep making music instead of trying to figure out how to do all of the stuff that has nothing to do with making music.

    The hope is you'll be able to sell enough CDs at gigs ("merch") to recover your costs.
    "... I know in the mornin' that it's gonna be good
    when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen

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    Thank you for your input, I probably was not very clear in my question, that's not quite what i was asking. Although I do agree with you completely.
    What I'm asking is, from a Cakewalk point of view, what is the correct way to go from session to album?
    I'm looking at a live session right now. One long, 9 track session that includes 12 songs. It's mixed. It's as mastered as it's going to get. We'll probably use CDBaby or Atomic CD, or something,.
    What do I do in Cakewalk next? My plan is to:
    Go through the whole session and Split the tracks between the tunes.
    Delete Everything except the 1st track. Save AS TuneName.wav.
    Undo delete.
    Delete Everything except the 2nd track. Save As NextTume.wax.
    Undo delete
    yadda yadda yadda.

    That can't be the best way to prepare for reproduction, can it? Sonar Producer must help with this step, right?
    There must be a better way. I hope. Please.
    Thanks,
    -j

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    Quote Originally Posted by BeagleFaceHenry View Post
    Thank you for your input, I probably was not very clear in my question, that's not quite what i was asking. Although I do agree with you completely.
    What I'm asking is, from a Cakewalk point of view....
    Jeez, sorry, didn't notice this was in a Cakewalk forum (was just looking at New Posts)!

    In Logic, within a project like that, I'd simply create an Alternative for each single. I'd guess there's something like that, where you can create a "branch" within an existing project, so you don't have to replicate all the audio files. Initially, each Alternative (in Logic) would have the entire session/set, but then I'd delete everything but the song I wanted, fade-in/out and bounce out each one.

    I'm sure someone must know how to do the same thing in Cakewalk!
    "... I know in the mornin' that it's gonna be good
    when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen

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    You should be able to select a range on the timeline and then export just a stereo mix for each song, I would create a new subfolder inside the session folder named "Rough Mixes", and direct the exported rough mixes to be placed there so that they are all in one easy to find location.

    Then import each song's rough mix into an empty session for "Tops and Tails", and use slip editing and clip fades to fine tune the beginning and end lengths of each rough mix, as well as clip based volume envelopes in the cases of longer fade ins/outs as required to get nice smooth beginning and ends, then create another new subfolder inside the session folder called "Final Mixes" and export your final mixes to there, this time when exporting make sure to set the final format as 16 bit/44.1 kHz and use dither if coming from a 24 bit file, when exporting this time, you should be able to just click on the clip to select it, and the timeline should automatically have a range selected that is exactly the same as the audio clip.

    That's a quick and not too complicated way of doing it.
    Last edited by Strryder; 02-10-2018 at 13:33.

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    Render each song as a wav file...? What am I missing?

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    If you want your album on a CD.Get all your songs into 2-track wav files (16bit/44.1lhz). Then look at Nero for burning an Audio CD. An Audio CD is different than burning mp3s to a CD.

    Once you get an audio CD created (you only need one CD), use Kunaki.com for mass producing your CDs. They are a no-frills provider, but they have great service and can make distribution easy. You kinda have to be a DIYer. Do your own art work, prepare an Audio CD, etc. But Kunaki can print the CD, print the CD sleeve and provide jewel cases for a great price. Trust me, if your artwork has a lot of color or black, printer ink alone can get expensive. Kunaki won't hold your hand, but they will give you the best price out there. By far.

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