Bill Watson Produces Three Vocal Tracks at Red Alert Recording Studio in Gallatin, Tn, Shawn Conley EngineeringPosted: May 29, 2015
This past week, Nashville Trax producer, Bill Watson, carrying a portable hard drive loaded with tracks for three songs he arranged and tracked at Nashville Trax, uploaded them into a Pro Tools rig at Red Alert Studios in Gallatin Tn, part of a collaborative effort between Watson and engineer Shawn Conley.
Once the tracks were prepped Watson and Conley teamed up to record, engineer and produce singer Dan Thompson as he sang vocals for his new album which is projected to receive airplay in Canada.
Although Dan was well rehearsed and had the songs he’d penned “down pat” each song took a little over an hour to record with multiple takes and phrase-by-phrase instruction on timing and pitch.
Here’s a clip of one song done at the session titled “Our Love”
Our Love is © 2015 Dan Thompson. Produced by Bill Watson for Nashville Trax.
Engineers: Bill Watson, Shawn Conley, Vocals: Dan Thompson. Musicians: Jim Riley (of Rascal Flatts) drums; Tom Wild (of B.J. Thomas’ band) rhythm and lead guitars; Jenee Fleenor (Blake Shelton) fiddle, Mike Douchette (steel guitar); Bill Watson, bass guitar; Ron Fairchild (Oak Ridge Boys) Piano.
Once your song is recorded what do you do with it?
As an independent artist you can’t afford to purchase advertising and getting your song played on radio stations has been difficult.
A new concept has changed the game for artists, songwriters and others who aren’t signed to a major label. It’s called:
- Free monthly radio airplay just for signing up!
- Additional airplay can be purchased very affordably!
- Report your spins to ASCAP or BMI and receive royalty checks!
- Build your fan base!
- Support download sales!
The majority of songs that make radio playlists are written by more than one songwriter. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see four or more names attached to a particular piece of work.
Some songwriters can “do it all” while others simply can’t, but even if you are a “can do” writer you may recognize you are weak in certain areas and would benefit greatly from co-writing.
But even if you feel you can do it all and do it all well, certain advantages inherent in the process may still make co-writing an attractive option:
1. Working with others can provide motivation; additional ideas; and, in general, keep your creative fires stoked and burning brightly. Some folks don’t have the discipline to work alone.
2. You’ll receive immediate feedback from co-writers on your contributions to a project.
3. Meeting and networking with new people, the lifeblood of both song marketing and marketing yourself as a songwriter, is inherent in the process.
4. You’ll “Get the scoop” from co-writers: on writer’s nights, who’s looking for songs, etc.
5. Your pitch opportunities will expand exponentially. Instead of just you marketing your material, as you co-write more you will begin to amass a small army of built-in “songpluggers,” each with excellent motivation to pitch songs you’ve co-written with them.
1. Working with others isn’t for everyone. Personality conflicts, power struggles and disagreements could arise.
2. You’ll write by appointment rather than when the mood strikes.
3. You will be splitting royalties with your co-writers.
Most songwriters find the advantages of co-writing outweigh the disadvantages. Not sure? Try it, you just might love it!
If you enjoy reading online you may have excellent results studying guitar from these free online lessons:
If very much reading on a comuter screen gets tiresome and tedious for you, consider learning from a self-help book like this one:
One of the top drummers in the world, long time member of Rascal Flatts band, Jim Riley, has been added to the roster of drummers available from Nashville Trax. Jim’s residence and drum dojo are just six minute’s drive from the Nashville Trax studio. Congrats to Jim for landing the coveted spot on the cover of Modern Drummer magazine!
As you’ve probably already found out, it’s not easy to find someone willing to sink their cash into your project. But if you have aspirations of being an artist on a major label, it’s time to figure out how to secure funding and turn a profit on a smaller scale. Why? Because almost all artists on major labels are signed now, not only because they have talent, but because they bring two million dollars or more to the table, along with a proven track record. Very little talent? Enough money gets you signed anyway.
For your first album it’s going to be difficult to interest an outside investor because they’re going to look at your offer purely from a financial payback standpoint. But you can’t guarantee them you’ll sell one download of a single!
Therefore the second best investment sources are: family, friends and fans. One of them may be in a financial position to risk a substantial sum to help you get started. If you make good choices on the where and the how, you can do an entire eight song, independent, high quality album for under $10,000, certainly no more than $50,000 including some advertising/marketing funds, so it’s possible that one close-to-you investor, or multiple close-to-you investors will fund you.
If that fails you’ll need to address the very best source of funding: yourself. Whether you invest savings, income or borrow from a bank or credit card, if you aren’t willing to “show the money” and prove you believe in yourself, why would anyone else? Better, you won’t be beholden, feeling pressure to return a profit quickly. In fact. the profits? All yours!
So why would you invest in your career? Exactly what is your business plan for recouping the initial investment? Have you mapped it out on paper?
Will you sell an average of 15 CDs at every gig? How many gigs do you perform at in a typical year? How much profit does that work out to over two years? If you only average 50 people per show and 40 of them are the same faces attending repeatedly, it’s unlikely you can sell 15 CDs per performance after that first CD release show. One or two CDs poer gig? maybe. You need realistic projections not fantasy. Do you need to start gaining new-face exposure by playing one offs in a concert setting rather than working the same bar or two over and over?
Why do a CD at all? Because it’s tangible. Selling downloads directly at gigs is difficult if not impossible. If you want to capture a long term fan while they are still excited over the performance you just delivered, get a CD in their hands!
Here’s a Christian vocal group who has recorded two albums with a third is in progress, that is seeing amazing success with sales and performances, partly due to the high quality of the song tracks we produced in collaboration with a mix studio in Maine :
Working from their roughs, we cut the music tracks here which we then uploaded to a studio in Maine where the group cut their vocals and the project was mixed (by Bob Catalano).
They sell physical CDs at performances and sell both physical CDs and downloads at CD Baby:
Here’s another way to approach making a CD:
Dan is already offering the first three songs we recorded/produced at Nashville Trax on his CD as downloads:
Market your music online? Where? When? how often?
This Nashville Trax client has also experienced success, but not through live performance or a website, rather by making videos incorporating projects we produced for him and posting them on youtube,com:
Whatever your plan, it’s critical that you keep good records, including, accounting books, photos, videos, receipts, etc. If you do decide to pursue a bigger deal or even attempt to secure an angel investor for your second project, they’ll want proof that your first project turned a profit.
David Northrup was in for tracking today on songs 4 and 5 of a Christian album Nashville Trax was hired to provide music for.
Wayne, the songwriter/singer, a.k.a. “Wayne from Main” who performs in a trio format under the name ‘The Greatest Gift. has been sending roughs of his scratch vocal and piano to Nashville Trax for Bill Watson, the producer on the project, to arrange and add instruments to, with Wayne doing his keeper vocals at a studio in Maine.
So far so good. Wayne was unhappy with his first efforts that floundered at a couple of other Nashville studios he tried prior to discovering Nashville Trax but he’s thrilled with the now completed songs 1 through 3 and is moving ahead with the entire project here.
Mr. Watson is ensuring the album doesn’t sound “cookie cutter” by using different arrangements, players and instruments. Next up on drums is highly acclaimed Jim Riley of Rascal Flatts on song 6 of the album. Jim’s picture was on the cover of Modern Drummer magazine this past month. As drummers go, it doesn’t get any bigger than that.
Need a dobro or steel guitar track to add to your self-produced project? Or maybe you need those instruments on a demo song or album you’d like Nashville Trax to produce for you?
To order dobro work for your project, visit steel guitar tracks online or contact Nashville Trax producer, Bill Watson, via e-mail at email@example.com
Do you perform with a band? As a trio? A duo? A single?
A quick search of Gigmasters proves that many singles and duos earn $400 to over $2,000 per performance! Why not you? Sound like a full band without the hassle or expense!
Perhaps you perform now? Have you ever tried making your sound bigger and richer by performing with pre-recorded tracks?
It’s EASY! you’ll hear four count off clicks and the song begins. You play along on whatever instrument(s) you wish. That instrument will be removed from the mix but the rest of the instruments will be there!
Your single act or duo can sound like a full band! Your four piece band can now have professional keyboards!
If you already use karaoke tracks you know most of the parts sound cheesy. Low quality programmed drums are usually the foundation and often, guitar parts are lame because they’re played on keyboards! All outputted to lossy, low quality mp3 files. Not with Nashville Trax, we use ONLY real, pro musicians, ONLY session quality players and we can give you high quality file formats!
For more information visit our site:
Perhaps you want to sing the song and release it on your own CD?
Yes, it’s legal provided you obtain what’s known in the industry as a Mechanical License.
If you intend to record cover songs at Nashville Trax you can file the necessary mechanical license request before or after recording, we do not require you have one to record or mix. we can even handle the process for you.
Why? Songwriters and publishers need to make a living. The money you pay for your license will help compensate them.
If you release a cover song recording without a license it is not legal and can result in extremely costly fines and possibly even prison time. If you don’t look good in orange jump suits, don’t do it.
When? If you are cutting a demo with no intention of making a profit, but rather, simply using the recording to demonstrate your talents to music industry professionals and/or other prospective employers of singers and entertainers, you probably don’t need a license.
Once you’re certain you’re moving ahead with a public release of the recording and intend to offer it for sale on CD, as a download or via any other means, you should immediately file for a mechanical license. Most licenses are issued very quickly but some can take months. You don’t want your CD to be on hold waiting for a license to be issued.
The good news is the publisher has no choice but to issue a license. A songwriter or song publisher retains the right of first release and may refuse to issue a license only until the song is released publicly. After that they are compelled by law to issue a license to anyone who requests one, providing royalties are paid.
The current rate is 9.1 cents per copy for any song up to 5 minutes long.
Where to file depends on how many copies you intend to sell.
Here are two easy-to-use options for selling up to 2,500 CD copies or 10,000 digital downloads:
If you know for sure you are pressing more than 2,500 copies then you must contact
the Harry Fox Agency via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Outside the U.S A. you will need an import license
If you want to use a cover tune in a video you’ll need a sync license
A non-commercial sync license is available here.
The CDs pictured to the above left (Dan Thompson from Canada) and above right (The Greatest Gift from Main) were recorded here but both contained self-penned songs so no mechanical license was required. Now if other artists or groups hear their songs online, on the radio, or elsewhere and wish to record them, those groups would need to file a mechanical with Dan Thompson or The Greatest Gift. They would be paid, as opposed to having to pay to use other songwriter’s works.
How likely is that? If you make a CD and let it sit in your basement, not very. But these groups are working their product. The Greatest Gift is setting the Gospel world on fire using the tracks we cut here to perform with. They’ve won local and regional Christian original song contests, are about to compete nationally and perform regularly at churches and other venues, moving CDs and downloads as they go.
Dan Thompson is performing in Canada and getting airplay in the U.S., Canada, Australia and several European countries. On November 3rd, 2015 he had 23 radio adds in one day!
Pre-Production Started On 10 song album for Blues Guitarist Tony Pizzino. Bill Watson/Jack White co-producing.Posted: May 5, 2015
Pre-production has started for a 10 song album featuring blues guitarist Tony Pizzino and singer Grant Anderson. Bill Watson will be playing bass on it, as well as co-producing with Jack White, who will also be playing drums. Tony is flat out amazing on blues guitar and Grant has a unique, totally awesome voice that naturally leans toward blues They’ve both written some excellent songs for the project. Bill, Tony and Jack recorded test rhythm tracks back in August.
Update: This album is in progress. Several songs have been tracked and a Christian spinoff project is underway with a song titled “Finally Free” tracked and rough mixed, and another titled “Into The Light” being co-written by Bill and Grant.
If your child shows talent in the area of Rap, Pop or Country music, your first step should be to have a demo made. If that turns out as good as you suspect it might then you incorporate that as part of an entire album or even pitch your child’s talent to movie producers and A & R people in the music business.
Our producer will evaluate your child’s talent and team them with appropriate song material. He’ll then write the charts for the musicians to play, hire them and schedule the recording session. Your child does NOT have to be present for any of this, we can do it completely over the Internet.
We cut Music Only Mix In Your Child’s Key. For example here
s a recent rap song we produced for a child to rap with:
Step 2: A young singer, such as Samantha will sing or rap on it as a guide for your child. Copies of both the music-only version and the guide track version are sent to you almost instantaneously over the Internet.
A Samantha guide vocal:
Step 3. Your child sings or raps on the “music only” version. At that point it can be mixed either locally or your child’s vocal can be sent back to us to be mixed in with the music.
If you do think your child has talent then it’s important that you ACT NOW! e-mail us at
Boom Buh Jinjee is © 2015 Amarish Dave and is posted here for demonstration of production values only. No other use is permitted. If you wish to record this song or use this production the songwriter holds all rights, including the right of first release.we will be glad to forward your interest to him.