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Release ambient album on (net)label

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  • Release ambient album on (net)label

    Hello guys!
    Have you ever released your ambient album (EP/LP) at label? I have several question and kindly ask help.
    1) Was it classic release (CD/Vinyl producing) or digital release (Itunes/CDBaby/site-and-paypal digital downloading)? Who prepared the album cover, other graphic materials?
    2) What are the benefits of release at label at 21 century and ambient almost no gigs music? Free mastering from label (and did you satisfy with quality of label mastering, advertising from label, help with revieweng from blogs/sites/magazines, one-time payment for album, or payments per album/track sell on site/Itunes/...
    3) Which labels did you review for release your album?
    4) Have you keep self(author) releasing rights after signing at label? Maybe using your tracks at videos, sharing samples at youtube/soundcloud/bandcamp, if it was digital release -> then self-releasing CDs

    all comments/opinions are welcome II

  • #2
    I never have, so take my comments as supposition, and I am only really addressing the second question.

    I think the benefit of using a netlabel to release would be more exposure to an audience interested in the type of thing you are doing. Through their mailing lists and site traffic, I would think you would generate more sales/interest/recognition than just posting at various forums and using your own email contacts.

    I am not saying its not worthwhile (don't kick me s1gns! nonono--just most forums like this are artist-oriented, and less of a good choice to find fans who will spread the word as most artists' time is spent promoting or composing their own material.

    There are several fairly well-established ambient netlabels, and a few members here also run them so you should be able to get a more useful discussion going once they hop in the thread.


    • #3
      Originally posted by aoVI View Post
      don't kick me s1gns! nonono:\
      Oh you mean I can't give you the boot?! :fence: :razz:

      Kidding! Anyway to reiterate what AOVI said, I'm in the same camp. After having a no-so-good experience on a netlabel, I would definitely steer you in the direction of self publishing and self promoting yourself on Bandcamp. There's really nothing to lose by doing it this way and you have everything to gain from doing it yourself. Keep your rights, keep your integrity (I'll help you sleep better at night) and go out there and seek out fans who care about what you do.

      I've done this now twice (S1gns Of L1fe and Ascendant) and both times it's been so rewarding in every possible way. You are more proud of what you accomplish, take full ownership of everything, and learn the ins and outs of a D-I-Y album release. It's definitely the more difficult way to go, but in the end, you'll be happy you kept it all in house.

      As far as "getting on iTunes," Discmakers offers a really good "digital package" that allows you to to publish on both CDbaby and other major aggregators for like $69 if you duplicate actual physical CD's with them. This includes iTunes but as those of us who have gone down this road know, getting on iTunes does not in any way guarantee your album will sell. It's quite the opposite. Having fans that are loyal, building up a fanbase, that's what will get you sales and get your music out there.

      That's my 2 cents! Hope that helps you in some way. Things will change and you'll find new ways of going about all this...keep your eyes and ears out for opportunity and advancements in the music business. It changes every day!

      S1gns Of L1fe
      Patreon | Synphaera | exosphere | YouTube


      • #4
        Thanks guys for responding.
        I think the benefit of using a netlabel to release would be more exposure to an audience interested in the type of thing you are doing.
        I have not known any ambient net labels before started intereting in future albume releasing. Update: I'll go to Ultimae site link in thread what to hear on the one of the ambient board (with bright design, forgot the name). I don't think that ordinary listener usually goes to the records sites.

        Another one question from me.
        Have you ever use mastering service for your tracks or album? I've good monitors, phones, audio interface, plugins and maybe ears but nowadays can't build special "audio" room and also used to my track sounds. Also mixing and mastering is much more difficult than mixing rock or club electronic (for me). Also I think that mastering should be pro- (and expensive :(( ) and by ambient oriented engineer of DYI.

        What is your opinion and experience?

        Mixing is also very interesting theme but in terms of taking feedback. I used to send draft mixed tracks to my friends and ask for feedback. Do you practice it? II


        • #5
          I can contribute. I started releasing my music all by myself, after the self-publishing service I was going to use disappointed me (lucky I did, since they no longer cater for CDs it seems). I've been doing everything my own way ever since, that includes all the music production, website, label, artwork and CD making. The only external services I use are local printing shops who actually print the CD artwork for me (my printer is old and not good enough).

          I have recently expanded on to Bandcamp, which is a fantastic service, though my days are still early there. Joining forums like this one really help to get yourself known to other like-minded ambient dudes, especially ones as dedicated and specialised as this one. A loyal and enthusiastic community is invaluable.

          Hope that helps you.


          • #6
            Interesting subject. I have two releases (1 album and 1 EP) on Bandcamp, and one EP released on a label. The label-release EP has outsold my combined self-released offerings by a factor of 7:1 and is still selling. My Bandcamp releases are download-only. The label release was download and CD (but currently only available as a download), and is available all over the place (Amazon, iTunes, Beatport, and others). The label made artwork and performed the mastering (just as well - at the time, I knew nothing about this process). Although it is outselling my self-released albums, I think that the music on that label release is far less polished than my subsequent releases - the music was written during my first 7 months as a home musician. The tracks for the label-release were selected by the label, as were the tracks for my first independent EP, which was originally scheduled for release on the same label. That release fell through, but I thought I may as well go ahead and release them myself, so I remixed the four tracks, mastered them myself, and made some "artwork". The contract for the label-release was for a 1-year period, after which I could re-release the EP myself, but I decided to leave the release with the label, as things seemed to be ticking over.

            Now I'm releasing my own stuff, and I'm quite happy to continue doing so. My writing, mixing, mastering (and even the artwork) has improved since the early days, and I quite enjoy the process anyway. I'm not really concerned about "sales volume" and other commercial concerns. I like having my own independence.

            My experience with mixing/mastering ambient vs. non-ambient is that they are equally difficult, but requiring different techniques to get the best sound. I think practice and familiarity is the key.
            Whatsisname's Little Fluffy Clouds | Campsite | Hearthis | SeismicTC | Twitter | Ello


            • #7
              Sales volume is interesting in terms "how many people are interesting in your music" not "I can buy a lot of hot dogs and beer". Label signing for me it's also one of vectors how to increase listeners for my music and recieve feedback from them and maybe from magazines. I see that some labels like 12k sent LP/EP to magazines/blogs and recieve feedback.
              Today technologies and simplicity of recording/mixing/mastering apps allow to do all proccesses in album creating by yourself but I've found that I have no enough time for all these proccesses. Family, work also require a lot of time.

              Also I'm interesting in idea of releasing EPs not single tracks. In time of itunes/bandcamp/cdbaby/other download per track what is the interest of compiling 2-3 tracks in one line? (It's interesting because yesterday I've completed pre-mix stage for the first three tracks from the album ) )


              • #8
                I have been fortunate to have had my own label set up for me by an ex colleague so I can just log in to the distributor and release what I want when I want to what online stores (iTunes etc) and geographic locations I want. However I do not get promotion unless I promote myself.

                I have released some free music and some non-free music on Bandcamp. No one has paid for any of my music on bandcamp but people have downloaded all my free music.

                I had 3 releases through a different label last year but never heard anything about royalties. However through the releases on that label some of my music was featured in DJ mixes, compilations and on Internet radio station.

                I have a release coming up on a not-for-profit net-label label - Aural Films - so I will see what happens there.

                I am interested to hear what happened to you s1gns on the label you were on?
                Last edited by ; 08-19-2014, 09:42 AM.