Everydays (Single)

How to write, record and publish a song in 3 days

The title is misleading because although the whole process took 3 days, I’ve been playing music for more than 2 decades now ( writing this makes me think… ), I started learning recording software around 2002 (with Fruity Loops at the beginning and after that Cubase, Pro tools, Nuendo, …) I even coded my own VST plugin at some point but never released it (which is the point of this text. RELEASE)

For years I’ve been involved in music, making a living of it at first, teaching music, playing in bands. But I’ve never released anything that was created by me. I contributed to the projects of others with my material. But my own creations remained in the drawer. Nowadays my income comes from my IT skills and I’m no longer dedicated to the music professionally, but however I keep creating things whenever I can. I wanted to share the steps that I followed from writing the draft score sheet in paper to publish it digitally on Spotify, Deezer, iTunes, …

Day 1 — Create

I just came home from work and I had some spare time to jam a little with my piano.

Some unstructured ideas come to my mind while playing the keys, so I grab a piece of paper and I start giving to those notes some structure. After a while I had those ideas on paper. (For me this was the key to achieve the recording. I was tempted to record it directly via MIDI but the action of writing it definitely helped).

I must admit that at this point I wasn’t thinking yet about releasing it, and it was just another simple idea that I wanted to save.

Day 2 — Record

The next day I had the day off because it was bank holiday in Spain.

I remembered a talk that I watched long ago by Mike Winkelmann. He’s a digital artist that publish a piece of work everyday with the aim of losing the fear to release and get better at what he does.

So I decided that maybe it was time of publishing something.

I invested some time deciding which software I was going to use in order to record. Cubase, Logic, Ableton,… I saw that my Mac had GarageBand available for free, for my needs I think that it can suit me just fine. It’s based on Logic, which is good, so I keep it simple and install it.

I’m not going to record with a real piano and I want to make the sound as real as possible. I had already invested some time in researching plugins some time ago. I liked the ComposerCloudX because it contains some really good sounds for piano and strings, and basically that’s what I need.

I start recording first the piano and after that the strings, after a while the work was finished.

So let’s export it to WAV and now what?

Day 3 — Release

I could just have uploaded the song to soundcloud and that’s it. But I wanted to publish it for real. One of the projects that I was involved, was a streaming platform in Spain. So I knew some of the major distributors out there that I could use. Amuse, AWAL, CD Baby, DistroKid, Ditto Music, Fresh Tunes, Horus Music, Landr, MondoTunes, OneRPM, ReverbNation, RouteNote, Soundrop, Stem, Symphonic, Tunecore, …

I choose CD Baby because there are no fees per year, you just pay once and that’s it. So I started the process of publishing and then I realised that I was going to need a cover for the single. It had to be something cool.

So I wrote an email to Mike with the song and asked to him if I could use one of his everyday images for the cover.

Apparently he liked the idea : )

After filling all the needed info I received an email from CD Baby.

And just like that 5 days later the song is worldwide available in all the major streaming platforms. Nice!

With all this, I’m not saying that we should all publish and create things in 3 days, obviously creating great things take its time.

The message that I get from all this ( if some message is needed ) is that confronting the fear to release our own material is what will help us to surpass at what we do. And this is applicable to everything.

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