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How much money would you invest in one of your own songs?


rsadasiv

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The Songwriting Competition thread got me thinking - how much money would you invest in one of your own songs? I'm too cheap/cynical to pay a $35 contest entry fee, but if I could get a professional to remix one of my songs for $50 I might consider it.

 

How about you?

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most folks are to cheap to spend the $35 for copyright much less anything else.

that said, I'd go 50 for a pro mix if I thought I'd gain more from the remix. I would be really curious as to what difference a pro mix on my stuff would make. I'm rather certain it would be a dramatic improvement. My hearing isn't what it used to be.

however, although it would probably help I don't think a simple remix would be what would sell the song

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It really has to depend on what I'm planning to do with the song. If you're talking about recording, mixing, mastering, and duplicating for sale you're talking some pretty significant coin. If it was just a song for my personal enjoyment: $18.50.

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If I had a band, I would pay for a nice produced version of my songs.. but since it's just me, and most my stuff only needs one or two tracks, I wouldn't bother with a fancy producer. On top of that, I complain quite a bit about over-produced music.. I think it has a lot more soul if it remains a little on the raw side..

 

As far as entering contests... nah.. too much of a gamble for me. You never know what people are going to like, and once you start writing to please a specific audience, you kind of lose a bit of yourself in the mix.

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i bought a mic and a usb mixer for my computer. that ran me about $200. so that's about 5 bucks a song so far. i'd let someone else put money into one of my songs, but i wouldn't unless i knew i had a money making hit.

 

 

Not talking about magical sugar daddies - your own hard earned day job cash. I was thinking more about promotion or post-production expenses but I guess recording expenses are fair game as well - in that case my songs cost between $100 and $200, depending on how you account for depreciation.

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I have paid 250.00 for a demo to be made. Now that seems like a lot but it has a real pro sound and if you are pitching the song as your product then it has to sound professional (generally speaking)...I have had 2 offers from small publishers and turned them down because I felt they really couldn't move the song...Just cause a publisher signs your song doesn't mean anything is going to happen with it...they got to have connections to get anything done and in the meantime your song sits there on a shelf.

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I paid nearly $100 last year (maybe $75) to enter a song in a contest last year, all told, but that includes entry fee, the cost of burning it to disk, shipping it, and registering the copyright (along with 15-20 other songs). I was going to submit another song this year (today actually), but I'm submitting it electronically and it was in the batch I registered last year, so it'll only cost me about $25. But I also buy lottery tickets a few times a year. I figure I put a few hours into writing it and a few hours into recording it, and my time is worth a few Jacksons an hour anyway, so what's another $25?

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Like others, I'm more comfortable putting money into the means of production, rather than tarting up one particular song in some fashion -- or paying someone for some sort of opportunity to reject me for reasons I already assume they have lined up.

 

My rule of thumb at this point is -- unless someone has supplied a budget of some kind -- I'll put in as much sweat equity as I feel like a song might warrant. But spending money...? That's a stretch.

 

 

I will be paying to place a couple of albums in the online stores a little later this year. That will cost at least $35 apiece and possibly considerably more, depending on which service I go with and/or how many stores I place it in (ReverbNation has a yearly flat fee for a key set of important stores. TuneCore has a per-store charge that seems to add up relatively quickly but some of it doesn't repeat.)

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Any money that doesn't get spent on food or bills. I don't have a tv, video games/anything else other than music equipment. And I only have four completed(ish) songs and a few more that still need a bit more work before I start showing them to anybody. I sell my furniture off to get more equipment.

 

So to answer your question I'll invest every bit of money I can get my hands on into my own songs. I'm surprised so many of you are so fiscal with your creations. I'm not sure it's lack of confidence or just being realistic. I'm still young enough where I can still daydream about writing music for the rest of my life and not living in a refrigerator box. Perhaps as the years go on my investment will decline.

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I don't think I'd put any money into my songs. I write them, I record them, listen to them, and play 'em for a few interested friends and you guys. If I was in an original band that actually got fired up and wanted to play them, who knows? It might be worth something. But being 38 and playing in cover bands for the past 15 years, there's a clear line drawn between what I write and record and what I actually play out. My feeling is that if I'm going to put a lot into my songs, I have to sell them. If I expect to sell them, then I have to perform them. If I have to perform them, I have to do so very well. Being a drummer in bands, my experience actually performing and singing a melodic instrument in public are minimal. Actually, my experience is zilch. I think one has to be a good performer. Being 38, my chances of making it with my songs are long past me. I was a late bloomer to writing. I get a lot of satisfaction from following my muse and getting lost in the process. For me, that's the reward. I may feel differently someday. If that day comes, I will have to actually be able to perform my songs. It's one thing to lay the parts down one by on on my Zoom. It's another to actually grab a guitar or piano and make music for people. I'm not there yet, and don't expect I will be anytime soon.

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I wouldn't put any money directly into making one of my songs "sound better" at this point

 

i figure once i get enough good songs i will put a band together and play live

 

i like listening to live albums, anyhow, so I'm not sure I'd ever really care to make a studio record

 

well, maybe if there was money in it...kekekeke

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It depends. If we're talking about entering it into a contest, probably none. Although I have entered my stuff into contests in the past, but to no reward. (Two years ago, they had that American Idol songwriter contest--I entered a song I'd written that was about eight years old at the time. Figured I had nothing to lose, but I'm in no hurry to do something like that again.)

 

I would love to have some of my songs mastered professionally, but for the kind of cash that typically requires, it's hard to justify making that sort of investment, unless you're a professional artist who records and tours. Which I am not.

 

When I was 18, I'd read this book called something like "Guide To Releasing Your Own CDs and Cassettes", (I think I still have it around somewhere) which was really just a bunch of self-help, inspirational dreck disguised as a book about the music business. Wish I'd have realized that at the time. Instead, I made the decision to dip into my savings and get about a thousand CDs pressed of my original songs--which I'd recorded largely on a 4 track, and I was gonna do gigs and promote myself heavily (like the book said). The problem was, I didn't own a car, so my gigging possibilities were very limited, and I am terrible at promoting myself. Turned out to be one of the dumbest decisions I'd ever made. The songs were crap (I was basically just a kid), my singing was crap, production was crap, and I'm embarrassed now that I even allowed anyone to hear it. Over ten years later, I've got boxes of them still sitting in my closet (some people have skeletons--I have CDs). I've thought about burning them, but that would be bad for the environment :)

 

You live, you learn.

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An old band of mine had two of our songs (I wrote one of them) professionally recorded. I think it cost us $600 split four ways, so my share was $75 per song.

 

I enjoyed the experience of recording in a real studio and it was cool to have a single we able to sell at shows, but ultimately I was never really happy with the way it came out.

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Most of use have seen the law of diminishing returns in live action.

 

 

You bet.

 

There are two parts to the music biz: the sector that actively makes and sells product -- and then the almost infinitely larger sector that works day jobs, or lives off savings or trust funds, pumping money into music instrument superstores, recording studios, mastering "engineers," producers, pr men, managers, promoters and, of course clubs and other venues (in the form of supplying featured entertainment for free or at a big loss).

 

Working in the studios you get a real feel for how little of what people record actually ever gets released. It's an incredibly, almost infinitesimally small slice.

 

And most of that doesn't sell.

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