Budget Calculator

Billerica, MA USA

This is a simple on-line tool for calculating a budge for gigs and other events.

Screen shot/link to the Budget Calculator

Song Selection

This seems like a basic issue but there are some important things to keep in mind when selecting songs for a recording project:

Copyrights

Copyrights are not an issue when you are recording your own songs but when recording songs by others additional mechanical licensing costs can be incurred (unless you know the writer).This gets increasingly complicated when you try to published the material in more than one place. You typically have to pay a separate mechanical license for each type of publishing that you use. If you make a boatload of money on the project this is not a big deal but if your budget is tight and you don't have a lot of time available to deal with the legal issues, consider using only original material on the project. See the Copyrights and Mechanical Licenses article for more info.

Consistency

Does the song fit with the others? Are the genres of music the same or at least similar? Most people like certain types of music and can be turned off by dramatic changes in the flavor of music they listen to. Create a play list of preproduction versions of song and switch between them to get a feel for how they work together before spending too much time recording them.

Strength of the performance

It might be a great song but it should show case your strengths or you will be selling yourself short. There are lots of great songs out there. Don't waste your time on song that don't make you sound good. If you are recording original material, the same rule applies: make sure it shows off what you can do.

Difficulty to record

Can the recording be completed within a reasonable amount of time? If a song is taking too long, consider dropping it and picking another song that can be recorded within your available recording schedule. If you are recording a whole album, you don't want to waste your whole budget on one song and have the rest of the project sound like crap.

Key

A CD with 12 songs in the same key would be torture to listen to. Key and tempo are important elements in building the flow of a CD. You can have multiple songs in the same key but you might not want to have more than a couple in a row. See the Song Key article for more info.

Dynamics

If you are making a CD you expect people to listen to in the car, you don't want to include soft songs or songs with a very wide dynamic range. Half the sound will be lost to road rumble. The flow of a dance CD would be damaged by a soft acoustic number. Conversely, a techno song would sound out of place on an acoustic CD.

Ability to be performed live

You'll need to promote your CD so you'll want to be able to perform all, or most, of the songs live if at all possible. Consider holding off on big production numbers till a later release when you can afford a bigger live production team.

Virtual MPX G2 Help Panel

Billerica, MA USA

StecRecords.com is pleased to announce the release of a new on-line help tool for the Lexicon MPX G2 guitar effects processor. The tool is a virtual front panel for the G2 that provides information about each button, knob, display and LED on the front panel when you interact with it. See the "Help-panel for the MPX G2" page.

Help-panel for the MPX G2


Clara Clock

Billerica, MA USA

Our new "Clara Clock" is a web page that simply shows the current day of the week, date and time in large, easy to read fonts. The "Clara Clock was created for my mom who is bed-ridden and was looking for a clock she could read from a distance. An old computer running a web browser pointing to the Clara Clock did the trick. Update 4/2/2013 - The fonts now resize.

Click to open the Clara Clock page