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[LABEL] #10 – Back On Track – Decide On Distributor

Quick update on where I am with the label setup. I had got to a point where I couldn’t go any further until I had finished the music and the artwork. I have finished this all now, so I have my product in my hand ready to market and send out there. So I’m officially back on track and ready to smash this out now!

I have been working on finding the right distributor for my label and have settled on Label Worx. They have been recommended to me by a few of my friends who have worked with them.

Here are a few questions I had about distributors:

Q1 – Do I have to sell myself to the Distributor?

The short answer is Yes. Do this by creating a good professional product. Decent music, mastered professionally and good artwork. Done.

Q2 – How do I know which Distributor is right for me?

Look online to see which Retailers are selling the type of music I want to sell, then check out which Distributors supply those Retailers.

Q3 – Do I need a following already to sell myself to the Distributor?

Surely not? If the answer would be ‘Yes’, then how do you get people to follow something where there is no product released yet? They would be liking nothing!? That doesn’t make sense? I’ll find out the real answer when I contact Label Worx tomorrow. (Answer in next post).

Next week, I will be speaking to my graphic designer and working with him to vector out my geometric artwork, which will be used for releases, logo’s T-shirts etc… Push on!


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[LABEL] #9 – Catchup

catchup

Ok so I am just knocking off a few things from my tick list created earlier in this series.

1 – Decide on the name

I have decided on ‘Fraktion Music’. Although I will, in most cases be just advertising it as ‘Fraktion’. T-shirt printed will not state the word ‘music’, unless it’s in a URL located somewhere away from the main logo.

2 – Register the name at companies house

Well as I have my existing Ltd. business, this procedure is pretty easy. I have spoken to my accountant and he says I need to create a meeting with my secretary, make a vote for it and show this as evidence it’s all good to move forward and do this… or something to that effect anyway. This will be shown to companies house and they will change it over from ‘Fat Kat Music Ltd.’ to ‘Fraktion Music Ltd.’. I don’t think this will cost me anything. I’ll document this further on when it happens.

3 – Decide on image/artwork/branding

Image: I have made a solid decision and committed to the ‘image’ of the label, which now resembles something a lot more technological.

Artwork: I am doing all the artwork now so I am in control of what happens and when with this, which is great. Plus it will save me loads of money. Awesome. I may want to learn how to vector out my images to translate them to digital format as I still have to have a graphic designer to do this for me at the moment.

Branding: To put it simply, I realise this is something that I will be constantly working on throughout the life of the business. So I’ll just be documenting this as I go. I googled ‘how to create a brand’ and found this website, which looked good for me: www.marketingdonut.co.uk

My mum and one of my sisters told me to look at this next website:  Carina Gordon-Barnes’ website: www.youinspireme.co.uk

I’ll look at these more in depth… laterrrr

4 – Decide on track for the first EP release and think about the direction of the labels ‘sound’

Tracks: I’ve got 6 EP’s now, I just need to mix them down before each release. All the composition is done, except the last 2 EP’s, which need extra work.

I have streamlined my mix-down procedure over the last 2 years and can seem to roll off a mix-down in 4 hours. Although this might be possible, in reality it still takes a week to send it over to the mastering engineer, get it back, listen to it, walk away from it, come back to it, re-adjust and repeat (if required) and commit. My mastering engineer is awesome and real quick too.

Check out Colin @ OOOD Mastering

The ‘sound’ of the label: Well… although I have these releases put together, I’m still aware that I may completely change my mind about releasing the others as there is a vast range of ‘sounds’ going on for each EP. I may decide there is too much disparity and choose to just create something fresh each time and really hone-in the ‘sound’ of the label. Maybe then I’ll send the other EP’s to other labels. I’m open minded about this and not overly fussed, just as long as they get out there somehow, even if I just throw them out there for free.

5 – Create all the online platforms

I have sparked up accounts for YouTube (G-Mail), SoundCloud, Twitter and Facebook so far. I’ll post these links later when they are live and kicking.

6: Create a solid marketing plan

I’m working on this now…. Mmmmmmm fun fun!


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[LABEL] #8 – Hoooold Oooon, Waiiit A Minute!

hyper d

OK, so a few months has past now since I have posted anything here and a lots has changed now.

I had got some sound advise from one of my good friends Danny (producer from Arma Del Amor) from NZ, and he got me really thinking about what the image and name looks like in comparison to the genre it is supposed to saturate into.

I had previously looked at logo images and names when researching the suffix (records, recordings, digital audio etc…) and then after talking to Danny, I compared my image and name to those and I felt it just didn’t sit right anymore.

I had already reeled off a lot of ideas for artwork releases using the cartoon Kat image and had logo images done up. In fact, since I setup my business a few years ago ‘Fat Kat Music Ltd.’ I chose that name as to associate it with the label that I was going to setup in the future.

Fraktion_Latest_CoolAz _LongOne

Long story short I chose a name that came to me instantaneously and without effort, which came shortly after smashing out one my geometric sketches – Fraktion

The name is mathematical, which corresponds more with the (lets face it…) geeky side of techno and I feel shows more potential for conceptual ideas for releases and following artwork.

As for the logo, I hope it’s relatively clear to see that the mathematical imagery used on the typography resembles something a lot more ‘Techno’ than the previous style too.

Well I’m happy with it anyway.

I have documented the development of the image in full – HERE

Also, now I have spent a while away from the artwork and thought about how I’m going to use the geometry I’m learning, I plan to work through the propositions in Euclid’s Elements one by one in succession together with each release.

The idea is for the movement, development and progression of the artwork to ride at a parallel rate to the music. Perhaps they will pull one another along from time to time.

Conclusion:
I made a hard decision to scrap everything and start again, and I think this is was a good decision. I’m grateful that this happened in the planning phase (which I have spent years doing now) so that the end product is going to be the best quality it can be.

I’ve got a solid plan (and conceptual idea) behind the correlation between the music and artwork too now, so each release can flow out with ease… boomshanka!


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[LABEL] #7 – Timeframe

Infinity time. Digital generated

As I have drafted down now what I think are the main things to do in order to setup the label. There are 12 things, so I reckon I’m going to aim for one item per week. But maybe I’ll do 3 weeks on and one week off for catching up. So I make that 16 weeks.

Lets see how it goes 🙂


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[LABEL] #6 – Current Artwork Ideas + Sketches

Here is a sketch for the ‘Fat Kat Records’ image that was laid down a few years ago. It was never finished due to me deciding I wasn’t quite ready to start the label.

FKR Image

Now I have done some more research into looking at other logo’s from labels in my demographic. The overall consensus is that the picture was too detailed and not solid enough. I personally felt it needed to be simplified.

You can see a few sketches that I drew of other labels that I was looking at:

Minus // Drumcode //Mau5trap

IMG_4669

Octopus // Suara // Innervisions // OFF

IMG_4672

Sei Es Drum // 8 Bit // Get Physical // Kling Klong

IMG_4673

Now below is some recent sketches I drew up super quick on the whiteboard. So you can see how they developed.

IMG_4623 IMG_4625 IMG_4630bnw IMG_4635 IMG_4637 IMG_4640 IMG_4644

Below is a more detailed picture of the logo sketch I chose to go with. So I have passed this on to Ben my graphic designer who is going to realise it digitally.

IMG_4662

I feel that one thing that I would like to be reflected in this new image is the thought of ‘Analog’. I have been in search of a more Analog sound in my productions and have only been recently hitting that sound that I have been looking for.

I have a couple of ideas to put over to Ben to rough it up a little and he has already come back with some cool ideas too that I wouldn’t have thought of. Good collab stuff going on right here! 🙂

Much thanks to my old school pal Ben Simmonett too who has been my graphic designer for about 3 years now and has agreed to be there with the label for its future releases. Big ups.

Ben Simmonett

www.bensimmo.net


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[LABEL] #5 – Unanswered Question

I am just sketching down a few questions here that I hope will all come out in the wash when I finish this process:

1 – My existing Ltd. business. Do I need to redefine it in any way?

2 – What do I have to include in my Marketing Plan?

3 – International Copyright Law – Original Artwork is copyrighted automatically?

4 – Publishers… what are they again? I know roughly, but honestly couldn’t explain the difference between a Publisher and a Record Label off the top of my head.

5 – PPL (Phonographic Performance Ltd.) – Forgot about these guys too. Re-cap.

6 – What are the costs of setting up the label? I want to write down a list of the cost accrued in setting up a label.

7 – The Distribution Deal – I only just found out that you have to sell yourself to these guys. I thought it was just an automatic signup type thing. So what are the requirements to qualify to pass an assessment by the Distribution company?

8 – Is there a difference between a label that just releases my own productions and one that releases others…? What are their official names? I know a little about this, but not 100%.  With my plan for the label, I want this to change after the first year, so do I have to change/declare anything officially to someone? If so, does it cost anything to do it?

9 – Am I obliged to release a certain amount of releases (tracks) per year? I expect this is going to change according to the difference in Distributor and the agreed deal between them and the label.

10 – What happens if I don’t achieve the amount of releases requested by the Distributor? Do I get dumped by the Distributor? If so, how hard is it to pick yourself back up again?

11 – Do I have to write a contract to myself if releasing something?

I know obviously I have to write up a ‘Recording Contract’ for an artist I’m going to sign on my label, but do I have to write one up to/for myself if it’s my own release?

12 – What do I do if someone rips off my music… and makes money from it? What is the process of suing them (if that is decided)?

I know this is a complicated answer, but I’ll just try and explore a few reasonable examples and take from it what I can. I’m not expecting this to happen, but I’m not turning a blind eye to it. I need to protect my business and not let people exploit it without justification.

13 – How long (usually) is an artist signed for to a label?

I know this is different from label to label and that it is declared by the label to the artist at the beginning of the agreement. I want to explore a few examples from labels in my genre so I can make a decision on what is a realistic length of time to give to offer to a potential artist I’m interested in signing.

14 – Etc… etc…!


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