Our two busiest times of year, certainly for recording in Primary Schools, are the end of the Summer term (June/July) and the end of the Michaelmas term (November / early December). These are both very sensible times to record as they do not impact too much on other school activities. And of course, Christmas is an ideal time to sell albums to parents / grandparents as they make great Christmas presents.
When to Record?
The only challenge here is the production time. Naturally all schools want their recording day to be as late as possible in the term to give them as much time to prepare. Also the later in the term the less likely this will impact too much on the other business of the school. Taking Christmas as an example, the end of term is generally somewhere around 15-18 December in most cases. We therefore try not to record any later than the end of the first full week in December which gives us a week to produce the CDs.
There are three main parts to CD production. Audio editing and mastering, Artwork design and CD manufacture.
Once we get back to the studio we start on the editing and mastering process of the audio tracks. Generally we will have recorded 2 or 3 takes of each song and the first part of the process is to identify the best take. We take copious notes on location which assist with this process. Sometimes there might also be a bit of editing to be done – such as tack on a different ending to a song or cut in a solo verse for example. All of this generally takes no more than a day and we start on this as soon as your recording is finished.
Once the edits are in place we then finalise the tracks with a process called mastering. This is what some might refer to as the ‘clever bit’ or the studio magic where we make your choir sound amazing.
Most primary schools will run a competition to design the front cover of the CD. If this is the case we generally as that the winning design(s) are available for us to take away on the recording day. We also need the supporting information such as a track list, details of your school and any other information or photos you want to include. This way we can get the artwork laid up and submitted to the school for approval within a couple of days of the recording session.
Once the artwork has been agreed and we have an email approving it for printing, then we produce a Master CD (which is actually a digital file) and send that along with the Artwork PDFs to our production house. It is at this point the physical CDs are made and the booklets are printing and packed into the jewel case. Depending on the quantity you order this will only take a few days. For orders over 500 the lead time can be a little longer but we will always advise at the time of order.
In summary we can usually turn a recording round in 7-10 days from the time of the recording session. Sometimes sooner depending on how long it takes to get the artwork approved. For the most part however, if you allow just over a week from the point we come in to record then that should be enough time.
If you are planning a school fayre or event where you want to have the CDs on sale, then please let us know and we can plan for this and ensure we are able to commit to the proposed time schedule.
To find out more, give us a call on 01225 302143 or click here to email us.