Producing a CD or DVD

It is becoming easier and easier to produce your own record at home with home studios and CD burning and printing equipment. Consider what kind of product you will produce as a representation of your work and how it will be distributed. You can have full creative control by doing it yourself and production is becoming more and more affordable. This section will look at the production of CDs and DVDs as a means to get your work out there, which can be very simple yet effective.

Words of Advice

Having a live career is very important these days, because that brings you fans and fans tell friends who become fans. That's how a lot of bands start these days – through word of mouth. But at some point, not having a record is simply counterproductive. It's a calling card, it's a showpiece of something that you're proud of – a record that you've produced, because whether you like it or not you're producing something that's going to be yours or you're going to license it to somebody for 50 years from the day of its release. It has a long time to live, after your interest in it may have gone away so, it's quite important to recognise that. Yes it's important to produce records; I mean it can be done quite cheaply these days. Cost of recording has come down hugely in the last 10 years.

– Alison Wenham, Chief Executive, Association of Independent Music


Like my DVDs, I print them all myself. It’s a pain because I sell virtually none. It’s very boutique. I’m not going to spend £1000 printing 500. They change over time and I can customise them. I have my own print works. So you have to do it all yourself and I love doing that. For Extended Play, I made the CD, I printed the sticker and I printed the cover. It’s not all that cheap to be honest, but it’s very affordable and it's very accessible. What I love about the new digital age, in terms of distribution, is what I call ‘audio file albums’. I love the fact that I don’t have a loft full of 1000 albums that are not going to sell. Digital distribution. If I have it on my machine once, I just copy it. Email and copy it to them. It basically grows very organically 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and you only have as many as you actually want. Burn to order. Presentation is part of promoting; it’s how you present yourself through your product and through your persona.

– Janek Schaefer, Artist


Record Producer
Online tips for recording at home with tips on mics, recording software, monitoring to considering copyright and contracts.

ArtistShare is a unique model of fan-funded recording projects. Fans get involved in the process and gain access to recording sessions and get credited on the CD. Funds are collected prior to production, where fans support the making of work of their favourite artists.

BBC introducing…: Recording
BBC introducing provides videos with artists and producers in the music industry with advice on recording yourself, tips to working in a studio and with a producer.

KLF - The Manual (1988)
The Manual is a book produced by KLF, which describes how to get a number one hit and tips for navigating the music business. Of course the business has changed a lot since the '80s, but the guide provide some half-serious insights on how to get your work out there.

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