My bands second album (BM / DM) + DIY recording + Promotion discussion

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by Sumsar, Jan 14, 2019.

  1. Sumsar

    Sumsar SS.org Regular

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    Hi!

    My band Vile Retribution just released our second album "Obedience". Seven string guitars, black metal, death metal, almost entirely DIY:


    We even did a very DIY video for one of the songs, and have recorded video for a second one that I am currently editing:


    The Band:
    The band currently consist only of the drummer and myself, with me doing guitars, bass and vocals and the drummer doing the lyrics. I also do the whole mixing as well as video stuff, so surfice to say I have put a lot of hours into this.

    Recording:
    Drums where recorded in our rehearsal room with a presonus audiobox 1818vsl and a behringer ultragain pro-8 preamp for a total of 16 channels. Microphones are mostly cheaper, but then again sm57s don't cost that much. I also added a fair amount of samples, though most of them are based on the kit and room we recorded.
    Guitars are two different Jackson 7s with Seymour Duncan distortion-7 into a Peavey 6505 into a Two Notes Captor. I reamped through both the green and the red channel and combined them for the final guitar sound, with IRs from WOS III.
    Bass is cheaper Warwick $$ rock bass that sounds great with all processing done in-the-box.

    Mix wise I know it might not be the best mix in the world, but I fell I have certainly improved from my past projects, so I am pretty satisfied with the end result.
    Also it is first time I have done vocals on anything, and I think it came out surprisingly well!

    Promo:
    With our first album and EP before that we didn't do much in terms of promotion, but just kind of expected people to find it online and listen to it - and well that didn't really happen. So this time we have invested both a bunch of time and money into that part. We had adds designed and brought placement in a couple of magazines. We also spent a good buck on both youtube, instagram and facebook promotion, where I really tried to do the targetting correctly so we get attention from people that actually like our music, rather than getting more or less fake likes and listens.

    I have yet to do paid promotion for the actual album stream on youtube, but still it has been listened to for 13 hours in a couple of days, which I would say is decent, given that we are a 'nobody band' and that two of the magazine adds arent out yet.

    In a couple of months I should be able to report back to you on how all the promotion worked - did we get genuine people listening to our music or did we just throw money our of a window?

    We still have a couple of playthroughs and a music video coming, to try and promote the album over a period of time.

    DIY:
    So as I stated this is entirely DIY except the cover art and adds which we found a artist to do, and it didn't even cost that much compared to the actual promotion part.
    It is hard work, especially since I am the one who sort of knows how to record, mix and edit videos, but also very rewarding when it all comes together.

    If you made it this far, thank you for reading it all :lol:

    What are your guys experience with doing promotion to try to cut through the massive amounts of bands doing more or less the same thing?
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
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  2. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    Sounds sick man! Guitar tones, drums, bass, and definitely vocals are on-point. I didn't have time to listen to the whole thing right now, but I will in the next few days and I'll post more of a review. Sounds like a modern take on BM with a lot of good DM riffs in there as well. The production thing...I think it sounds awesome. You could get nitpicky and a lot of people do. Someone could make this sound different, sure, but would it be better? At the end of the day, does the production serve your vision for the music? If so, it's good. I'm listening as I type this and I feel like the production allows me to hear everything. You should celebrate that everything sounds REAL, most importantly the drums and guitars. None of those plastic, typewriter drums that are so popular these days. Kick drums should have some bass to them, and if you're playing fast, they're going to bleed into each other a bit. So the hell what? (End rant, haha) On a side note, I'm almost done with a full-length album as well, in the same vein, but production is a little more 'necro' and atmospheric, haha.

    As for promotion, I don't know man. SS.org is definitely not the place, because most of the kids here don't listen to black metal or even know what it is. :lol: I posted a thread the other day about Saor's new song/album -- totally amazing track -- and almost nobody responded.

    But this is great stuff -- and it deserves a lot of praise. I can't wait to listen to the rest of it.:cheers:
     
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  3. Sumsar

    Sumsar SS.org Regular

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    Thank you so much KailM! I really appreciate you comment.
    Yeah I know what you mean regarding this forum. My post here is not meant as promotion, as I now that BM is a pretty small part of this forum, since you can have entire songs without palmmutes :lol:

    Regarding promotion I was more interested in what others have done and what feedback they got from the money they invested into it :)

    Btw I have always liked the stuff you posted, keep 'em coming :)

    And hopefully my next EP or Album will be with Seymour Duncan Black Winters, which I have found suits my music more than the distortions. Or maybe I should have one guitar with distortion-7 and one with black winter 7 to get a wider sound?
     
  4. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    I would definitely recommend trying blending the Black Winter with Distortion on rhythms. I’ve done a similar thing with the BW bridge and my Nazgul-equipped guitar and it sounds otherworldly. Just massive, beyond aggressive pissed-off-ness, lol. Better than all of one or the other, definitely. My album is coming soon; you’ll hear what I’m talking about.

    I wish I could help you better with promotion; maybe somebody else will chime in.
     
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  5. HANIAK

    HANIAK SS.org Regular

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    Hey!
    I'm going to be blunt honest here - I can't pass the poor mix, to have a proper listen... :( maybe it's an artistic/band option but I'm not into it at all... sorry... Would love to have a try to mix one of your songs myself, though, if you guys would like it :)

    Anyway, regarding promotion, if you have the money (and I'm assuming you do, because of all the ads you're paying for) go for a professional PR company to promote this. Someone trustable, who can push your stuff to webzines and magazines, so you have more reviews and stuff like that.

    All the best!!
     
  6. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    Come'on man -- unlistenable? Have you ever listened to black metal? :lol: This is a clean mix. About the only thing I'd change is add a little more reverb to the overall mix and maybe some delay to the vocals in a few places, but that's purely a matter of taste, and a more traditional choice in black metal specifically.

    I'm truly curious as to what you consider "wrong" with the mix.
     
  7. HANIAK

    HANIAK SS.org Regular

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    I didn't say "unlistenable"... but either way, it's just my opinion, man! :)
    There are plenty more people, who surely will love what you guys did! I sure and honestly hope so.
    Peace.
     
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  8. Sumsar

    Sumsar SS.org Regular

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    Hi Haniak. Thanks for your feedback, even if it is not your thing mix wise, knowing that is still feedback :lol:
    As I stated I don't think this is the best mix ever made or anything like that, but it is in the style that I prefer, and for that I think it is pretty good. I checked out your band Colosso, and while I think it sounds cool, I also think it is safe to say that we have very different opinions on how things should sound, but that is one of the great things about art, everyone has their own idea of what is good and bad, and having chosen to play blackmetal I am totally fine with not everyone digging it.

    Regarding promotion - we did spend some time talking with PR professionals, but they seem to come in two forms, more or less:
    1) Cheap, but seems they will pretty much just spam your stuff to some massive (possibly outdated) mailing list that they own and call it a day.
    2) Very expensive, and yes while these guys may genuinely be able to put my band on the map, it seems hard to fund when you are only a two person band, especially if you are gonna have multiple smaller releases a year, which is our future plan.

    The third option we came up with was to go about ourselves and buy add placement ourselves and ask for reviews, it took some work and moneywise we probably ended up half of what the very expensive option above would cost us.
    Down the road I guess I will have learned if that was a good choice or if we should have gone 110% at it and hired a prof PR guy.

    @HANIAK : have you tried hiring a professional PR company, what did it cost, and what did it do for you in terms of reach and building an actual audience? Could you do the same work yourself for less money?
     
  9. HANIAK

    HANIAK SS.org Regular

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    Yes, I have tried two PR companies: one I won't name publicly but wouldn't recommend at all due to it being expensive and non-productive, and another that did the work very, very well for our second album!!
    Unfortunately the good PR company doesn't do PR no more... They're focused on their own label, nowadays... So, it's pointless to suggest them...

    But yes, you're completely right. Finding a good PR company is hard, and ultimately you can do their job (although not as effectively, if you ask me). It's like finding a good new member for your band...
    Oh, I also did self promotion in the beginning, which was quite tiring and painful (to me!)... So that's why I'm recommending a PR to do that for you.

    One other thing I came up to a conclusion recently is that being 100% DIY is not as good as one may think of initially... It involves "loosing" time on things such as marketing, when you could be writing your next great song... But oh, well... There's no perfect world! :)

    On the mix subject, I also agree: we have different tastes :) and that's perfectly fine!
    But I also never considered my mixes to be perfect... they are just the best I could do at that specific time of my life.

    Cheers man!
     
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  10. Sumsar

    Sumsar SS.org Regular

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    Right, I totally understand your reasoning about a PR company. If we had found a good one we would probably just have gone that route, rather than spending the time ourselves. Finding a PR company that understands what your are doing musically, has a cost one can accept, and actually seem to be good at what they are doing is pretty hard - we spent time looking for that, but came up empty handed in the end after having talked to a bunch of them.

    I also agree that doing 100% DIY is not a good thing, especially when you also have a full time job. However I find that once you start doing it, you get used to it, and it doesn't take that much time away, though ofc it is still time you would rather spend on making actual music.

    Anyway, we also did a drum playthrough, given the thought that "doing as much video content as possible is probably a good idea regarding PR":

     
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