As a music therapy major at Nazareth College, music is one of my favorite things. I have been playing guitar for about thirteen years now and writing my own music for several years. I especially enjoy performing, both solo acoustic and with my full band. Over this past winter break, I decided that it was finally time to start recording and get a CD finished. It was one of the most exciting and rewarding things, but also very time consuming and stressful- so much goes into recording and releasing an album, that many people may not be aware of! I’m really excited to share the process with you all, and hopefully you’ll want to check out the CD!
• I had to finish all parts to the songs (lyrics, music, song titles, instrumentation).
• I also decided that I was going to record a full length CD (ten songs) instead of an EP (five or six songs). This is a much bigger undertaking!
• Teach my songs to my friends to play with me on the album and get them down solid, so that we are able to efficiently use our time.
• We began recording at the Green Room Studios with Matt Ramerman. The first day (Saturday) we recorded the first 5 songs, getting the “background” recorded (rhythm guitar, bass, drums, tenor sax, and trumpet.) The next day (Sunday) we recorded the final 5 songs, getting the background recorded for those as well (rhythm guitar/acoustic guitar, bass, and drums.)
• We recorded everything very quickly and used our time in the studio very wisely- we came in well rehearsed, knowing exactly what we wanted to do, so this really helped!
• The rest of February and March and April, consisted of me going back to the studio to record the final vocals and guitar solos, as well as random things here and there (horn parts added to another song, lap steel and banjo on another). Vocals take much longer to do than anything else, because they are much more out in front.
• The group of us that recorded together started playing together more and more- now playing shows out!
• I had to start “finalizing” my tracks- finishing up all of the recording, and getting the mixing done (changing levels, sounds, etc.).
• Book a date for my CD Release Show – I managed to get “Lovin’ Cup” which I was really excited about! I also had to book another band for the show- I got “Amanda Ashley Trio” to play- a wonderful local pop, r&b, jazz group!
• Get in touch with various CD replication companies to actually MAKE the CDs. I opted on Spinergy, a local company. I had to pick out what case I wanted, how I want my CDs made, how many, bar code, album art, etc.
• Organize a photo session with a local photographer friend to take the album pictures, and another to take the group photos of the band. I then designed my own album artwork (front, inside, and back covers.)
• Order custom pre-sale tickets to begin promoting the show, as well as designing posters.
• Performing frequently around Rochester with the band to get our name out there, and get people excited about the album!
• Finishing all of the tracks, final mixing, and mastering of the tracks.
• Send everything to Spinergy (final tracks, album art).
• Design band stickers, buttons, magnets to sell at the show, and rehearse with the band frequently.
• I had to go through “CDBaby,” an online distribution site, to put all of my music online and have it ready for downloads by the time the album was released. It was quite a lengthy and involved process, but my music is now available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, eMusic, Pandora, Spotify, and much more….
The CD Release Show was May 18th, at the Lovin’ Cup in Rochester. It couldn’t have gone any better; I am so happy! It felt great to finally have everything completed and now I’m able to just enjoy it. We had a great turn out and a fun performance. It was so exciting. We had an hour of “listening party” (everyone mingles while the CD plays), an hour of the Amanda Ashley Trio playing, and then my band, the Meg Williams Band, playing all of the tunes off of the album, as well as several new tunes and covers. It was a fantastic night!
Post CD Release Benefits: After releasing this CD, things are going great! I have been featured on a local radio show, 98.9 “The Buzz” Sunday Night Shakedown, and have many performances lined up for the summer (including Sticky Lips, Park Ave Festival, Canandaigua Art & Music Festival, Greentopia Festival…). I also have a write up in the CITY Newspaper.