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How To Record Your Own CD - Flying To Meet The Sunrise

Updated on November 30, 2014

How I released my own CD - Flying To Meet The Sunrise

Flying to Meet the Sunrise is my own album. How do you release your own CD? It is actually quite easy to release your own CD. I have just released my first album, Flying To Meet The Sunrise on Tunecore, an independent record label and so could you! The skills you need to release your own CD are surprisingly straightforward.

If you are a trained musician with some IT ability you can record and release your own CD by investing in affordable software. The biggest investment in recording a CD is time! I was responsible for writing, arranging, performing and mixing my CD although occasionally I enlisted friends to preview the results. I now move into the harder job of promotion...

Here I will tell you a little about what goes into making a record and tell you a few "trade secrets" along the way. Of course, I hope that you will listen to songs from Flying To Meet The Sunrise and come back for more. What is more important, perhaps I can show you how to release your own CD, or just inspire you to try!

Image credit is cover of Flying To Meet The Sunrise by Lisa Marie Gabriel.

Flying To Meet The Sunrise CD Available - At last - Flying To meet The Sunrise Is HERE!

After such a long wait it is here. I can't say how relieved I am! Please hop over and have a listen to one or two tracks, see what you think...

Dance For Dreama Design
Dance For Dreama Design

Making Your Own CD Album

How It Started....

I am a composer and I have been involved in singing and playing all of my life, but for me it was only a hobby - just something I loved doing. Several years ago I first began uploading music to Dolciemuse, my Sibelius store - I had a naïve belief that somehow if I wrote good music, people would want to perform it. What I did not realize at that point is just how vast the internet is and just how much there is already out there. I sold a few scores, which pleased and surprised me, but it was obviously not going to be a career move.


A friend of mine suggested that I sing one or two songs and make a demo, maybe a few Youtube videos, but my focus at that time was on my work and my personal life. I hit a point where I didn't want to be social and I didn't want to think about what was happening around me. At that point I started to devote any spare time and energy into recording and enlisted a friend to mix some tracks for me. When he became too busy with other musical projects and his partner's illness I shelved it for a while. Things around me were happier and clearer and I pushed it into the background fora while.

Then, while on holiday in Canada, I heard Susan Boyle for the first time. Her singing knocked me for six, and I thought if she could go for it so bravely in her late 40s, maybe I should too. The recordings were back on track - but now I had to learn how to mix...

Audio Engineering - History and Current Practice

These links you can follow if interested in the technical side of audio engineering. In itself it is a huge field with engineers being highly skilled specialists. A studio will employ qualified, University educated technicians to do very different jobs. Some will be recording engineers, others will be involved as mixing engineers, mastering engineers and front-of-house technicians. Geoff is a jack of all trades and competent in all these areas - when I began mixing Flying To Meet The Sunrise I was a master of none....

Flying To Meet The Sunrise - Lisa marie Gabriel's new MP3 album

Making Your Own CD

This is a rewarding experience, but it takes a lot of time, especially if you write your own music. When I sell songs, or the CD itself, it certainly makes me feel very happy and all the many months of work were worth it!

Celtic Dream, Ashes, Come To Me

Early mixes by Geoff Middleton

Geoff mixed these tracks for me. I had no idea what a difficult job I was giving him. I exported all my live tracks onto one CD and all my synth tracks onto another. My friend then had to put them together and produce a halfway decent sound without anyone to guide him. I actually think he did a superb job and Geoff's mixes continue to be my most popular. Thank you Geoff, I will always be grateful for the hours I know you devoted to this and the standard it set for my own learning.


The Mixing Engineer.....
The Mixing Engineer.....

My Mixing Desk

It is cosy enough to double as a cat bed!

Woolly Bear loved to sit on my desk - this picture now features at the end of every Youtube video I make. I record all my live tracks onto this little portastudio, then import them onto a regular computer to mix down.

A Typical Mixing Desk

How the studios do it....

Actually, they come even bigger than this! This image courtesy of wikipedia.

Music Software On Amazon - When you want something more than a budget sound.

Flying To Meet The Sunrise - Instrumentals - The instrumentals on my album provide breaks in mood.

I had fun remixing these tracks.

Amber Blond and Powder Blue
Amber Blond and Powder Blue

Instrumental Tracks On Flying To Meet The Sunrise

Original compositions by Lisa marie Gabriel

I love writing songs, but I also compose instrumental music. The Sibelius software allows me to programme instruments I do not play, or cannot play professionally and I can then mix the tracks afterwards for a more live vibe. I am learning as I go along obviously. I have learned a lot from other composers in the Sibelius Music Forum when it existed (now it is Score Exchange and has no forum) and from on line research.


Celtic Dream

The subject of electronic music is nearly as huge as that of audio engineering, so I know the steps I have taken might be big for me, but relatively small to those who know more...

The Rise Of Independent Musicians - Can they rival the big companies?

Has the digital recording revolution improved choice or just confused the market?

It is wonderful that we can hear musicians of any age record new music without industry pressure or influence.

It is wonderful that we can hear musicians of any age record new music without industry pressure or influence.

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    • Renaissance Woman 5 years ago from Colorado

      The digital revolution enables many musicians to achieve dreams that would have been stifled by the traditional music industry. Anything is possible now.

    • purplelady 6 years ago

      I love things that improve choice and this definitely does. I think it is a good thing.

    • Joan Hall 6 years ago from Los Angeles

      Love it! Love it! Love it!

    • Addy Bell 6 years ago

      Digital recording has really democratized recorded music. Love it.

    • justholidays 6 years ago

      I'd say that, indeed, it's wonderful! I definitely like to see musicians taking their independence from the million dollar industry. Daniel Guichard, a French singer does the same - although he's known since the 60's!

    • Carol Fisher 6 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      I agree it is wonderful that independent musicians can get there music out to people without needing a record company. I've heard a lot of beautiful music and talented musicians because I've heard it online. I include Flying to Meet the Sunrise.

    • NarrowPathPubli 6 years ago

      Independent music is the musical equivalent of independent publishing (what I do). I think the independent publishing/production route levels the playing field. Of course you have to work insanely hard at promotion as well as make the best product possible, and compete against negative opinions because of people who don't put the effort into production that they should, but I'd rather work hard at all this than at a job that has nothing to do with my purpose in life.

    • Lisa Marie Gabriel 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      To me, it is wonderful that I can now share my music with people half a world away. I know my music is not as highly produced or polished as that coming out of massive multi-million pop factories, but for me it is about creating and sharing something more personal. If you like it too that is also a bonus.

    Independent music can't compete with the quality of big professional studios where stars are groomed and polished young.

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      How much fairydust do you sprinkle on vocals? - Capturing the magic of the voice

      In mixing, I learned you need to balance a lot of factors quite apart from the balance between voice and instruments. This throws up several practical questions - the answers are all down to personal taste if you are an independent artist. In the industry, certain ways of working have been established and are fairly well adhered to. The main factors are:

      Tuning

      Cleaning

      Chorus

      Reverb

      Compression

      For myself, I have learned that cleaning a track before mixing is essential to avoid extraneous noise. Anything from microphone clicks and clocks ticking in silent parts to passing cars and gasps for breath. A lot of this will not occur in a professional studio of course. Basic advice? Pull the curtains, remove the clocks and phones, use a good microphone and your mixing software should enable you to cut "notches" out of the sound where breaths occur.

      Tuning - a bugbear really. Autotune sounds like it says - automatic! It is fundamental to some pop singers sound. It flattens out all nuances and bluesy vocal effects. Melodyne is a little better. On a jazz or country track it would be disastrous to take those "edgy" bits away. Tuning software should always be used with care. The Beatles and the Animals sounded a little off key, but nobody cared back then....

      Chorus - I use a little natural chorus by using two microphones a few inches apart. Artificial chorus is produced by "detuning" a signal, then adding it to the original. I have one question - why use autotune, then chorus? The only singers who can be perfectly in tune by the way are trained trebles - their voices have little character or edge and though beautiful are out of place in pop music. This is because, like flutes, there are few harmonics in the sound of trebles singing.

      Reverb - most singers are scared of singing without reverb. Used sparingly it can make the voice richer - like singing in the bath or in a cathedral. Early 1950s and 1960s recordings were often made in echoey rooms! Too much reverb can produce "tinny" sounds on the track.

      Compression - my favourite. I use very little. Most engineers use many passes adding successive layers of compression to vocals. I have learned that some is needed to avoid the volume bouncing too much but again too much - although industry standard uses much more than I do - flattens the voice. Quite simply, compressed vocals behave well but are dull. In standard recording, vocals are compressed to almost "flatline" to get rid of volume peaks and troughs, then an "exciter" is used to make it sound more lively.

      Vocals can be cut and paste versions of hundreds of takes, then engineers play with them until they get the sound they want. In the old days a song would be done in one or two takes - as mine are still....

      Raw vocal equals raw material, studio engineers are the real musical geniuses, see what I mean about personal taste?

      My Mixes On Flying To Meet The Sunrise

      Kathy asked me what was my favourite mix, and I had to say "The last one." Part of this is that you learn from each track. Some of my early vocal mixes tended to clip and distort a little, so I remixed them. In the end, there were magic moments with each.


      • Jingle Maria was fun from start to finish, but a remix really was necessary to improve the clarity and stereo picture!
      • Dance For Dreama presented an interesting problem in how to mix live vocals into an electronic track.
      • Vancouver Sunset was tricky, because I had asked a fiddle playing friend to add a part and she was too busy to do it. That meant I had to compose a violin part and play it electronically. No problem there, except usually these backing tracks go on first. I had to mix an electronically generated fiddle part into a live track. It was tough, the timing was a little strange and the metronome mark had to be programmed in hundredths!!!
      • St Francis Prayer was probably the first mix I was really happy with. I love this one and though it might not be everyone's cup of tea, it is a favourite of mine!
      • White In The Moon started as a classical song for tenor and piano. I just wanted to showcase the song with this recording. It is at the extreme of my range, so a little strange.
      • Losing Love - yes, I could go on and on with this one, but eventually I got the 60s vibe I wanted and I am quite proud of this mix.
      • A Love Too Big is mixed to sound like a live performance.... You judge.

      Useful Links for Artists and Composers - How to get your songs and compositions released and heard

      These are links that may help you. I use Tunecore and Jango - there are others. Feel free to explore.

      Are you interested only as a listener, have you produced your own independent music, did you record for a big record label or are you just passing by? Feel free to say Hello! :)

      Thank you for visiting.

      You work on line, but do you record your own music? - What is your experience of the music industry

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        • JenwithMisty profile image

          Jen withFlash 5 years ago

          I'm only a listener. Nice lens!!!

        • Alethia LM profile image

          Alethia LM 5 years ago

          What a wonderful lens! Congratulations and I wish you the very best for your future musical endeavors!

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          ChrisCDBaby 5 years ago

          I've recorded 9 albums of my own music over the past 10 years, and released them all on CD Baby, the world's best distributor of independent music. Of course, I'm a little biased because I work for CD Baby, but I was a CD Baby artists for years before that. For anyone out there who is recording, releasing, and promoting your own music, check out CD Baby's free informational resource, the DIY Musician Blog. If you're looking for a solution to sell your music on iTunes, Spotify, Facebook, Amazon, and more, check out CD Baby!

        • Diana Wenzel profile image

          Renaissance Woman 5 years ago from Colorado

          Congrats on living your musical dreams. Very interesting to hear your story of the recording journey. Thanks for sharing.

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          JoyfulPamela2 6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

          I'm going into a mini recording studio tomorrow to record a demo cd. I suppose it is much different though because I am playing classical and jazz instruments and using it as an audition to several orchestras. I'd love to record some of my compositions, also, but I don't know that I'm brave enough yet. Congratulations on your completed recording - I truly know how hard it is to get anywhere in the music world! :)

        • CruiseReady profile image

          CruiseReady 6 years ago from East Central Florida

          What a story you have. The amount of work, time, and soul that went into getting your music into publishable format is amazing. Wishing you the very best - you seserve it

        • glenbrook profile image

          glenbrook 6 years ago

          Great story and great lens. Any time I read about someone living their dream it makes my heart happy.

        • LisaAuch1 profile image

          Lisa Auch 6 years ago from Scotland

          This is wonderful And will feature on the "best of Work at homw ideas on Squidoo" Blessed

        • deyanis profile image

          deyanis 6 years ago from Oz

          I guess I'm a bit late, but congratulations on the release of your CD. Here is a special angel blessing for you --- Blessed ---

        • purplelady profile image

          purplelady 6 years ago

          I love music but I don't compose, produce or record; but I listen with passion. The passion that you have for your music can be felt through this lens. Thanks for sharing this with a listener.

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          julieannbrady 6 years ago

          Ah, thinking conceptually about the concept of actually "flying to meet the sunrise" in the new year and staying to catch the sunset.

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          Joan Hall 6 years ago from Los Angeles

          This is really an inspiration, Lisa. I make my own recordings for ChoirParts.com, of course, but I would definitely try to make my own album if I had the kind of singing chops that you do.

        • LizMac60 profile image

          Liz Mackay 6 years ago from United Kingdom

          Love the timbre of your voice. Well done on producing your CD. Blessed by an angel and featured on my lens Me?!! A Squid Angel.

        • darciefrench lm profile image

          darciefrench lm 6 years ago

          Congrats on the release of your CD!!

        • LisaMarieGabriel profile image
          Author

          Lisa Marie Gabriel 6 years ago from United Kingdom

          @kimmanleyort: Thank you Kim - I am very grateful to you and your blessing made me smile after a hard day :D

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          kimmanleyort 6 years ago

          For sharing all you have learned, a special angel blessing. :)

        • Addy Bell profile image

          Addy Bell 6 years ago

          I play harpsichord, and it turns out that Snowballs are not the right mic for that. When I have a bit more money I need to get some decent condensers. At that point I am going to town, baby!

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          jbraithwaite3 6 years ago

          I really appreciate your lens. I love taking some research on musicians that has a talent. Music is really affect me as a person. I love musics.

          singing tips | vocal technique

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          kimmanleyort 6 years ago

          I am definitely a listener and love your work, but am so impressed with how much you have learned and been able to accomplish. And this lens will be so helpful to others who might want to learn too. Well done!

        • LisaMarieGabriel profile image
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          Lisa Marie Gabriel 6 years ago from United Kingdom

          @justholidays: Thank you Dom - one thing we musicians need most is people liking our songs! There will hopefully be more to come next year. :)

        • justholidays profile image

          justholidays 6 years ago

          This sounds like the music I really appreciate; which comes right from the late sixties - with a little hippie touch. Excellent, Lisa! I LOVE it!

        • LisaMarieGabriel profile image
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          Lisa Marie Gabriel 6 years ago from United Kingdom

          Thanks you for your visits and a special thank you to Carol and Kathy for angel blessings - I want my lens to do well obviously as promting new music is always tough. There will be one big update when the CD is available! Oh - and please feel free to put the songs in your Amazon modules too :)

        • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

          Kathy McGraw 6 years ago from California

          Hey there...I thought I left a comment but don't see one :) I love the Title

          Flying to Meet the Sunrise...I magically got another set of wings...so you know what that means...yep an Angel Blessing :) You did a good job of explaining the process for all of us that really have/had no idea how to do a song.

        • howtocurecancer profile image

          howtocurecancer 6 years ago

          I have no voice, so I am interested as listener.

        • Stazjia profile image

          Carol Fisher 6 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

          Really interesting article - I've never really understood how much work goes into present day record production although I was aware that what you hear is often not close to the original. I love your music. Blessed by an Angel.

        • NarrowPathPubli profile image

          NarrowPathPubli 6 years ago

          I haven't done any independent music. I write and independently publish fiction. I imagine the processes are similar in some respects and I'm very excited to see what you've done!

        • LisaMarieGabriel profile image
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          Lisa Marie Gabriel 6 years ago from United Kingdom

          @dancerene: Thank you for your encouragement. I hope you will pass on my best wishes to your friends, Thank you for visiting too :)

        • dancerene profile image

          dancerene 6 years ago

          I have friends who are independent artists writing their own songs, making and producing their own album and promoting them on their own effort. I know it's not an easy task and it's not cheap either. I applaud and admire people who persevere in pursuing their passion. Keep up the good work!

        • LisaMarieGabriel profile image
          Author

          Lisa Marie Gabriel 6 years ago from United Kingdom

          @aishu19: Thank you :) I think the great thing is that anyone can do it with the technology we now have in the home. Look at what Owl City achieved with a home studio set up! When I was younger this was all financially out of range. :)

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          aishu19 6 years ago

          Wow!! I should applaud your efforts and wish you all the best... your story and achievements are certainly a true inspiration for everyone