Okay, I get it. Your enemy's former roommate has this friend from next door who knows a guy who owns this nifty digital 8 track thing and may even have Pro Tools strapped to it. And get this. He will record you for close to nothing. All sounds good, except that he's missing one thing: clout.
No disrespect to your buddy. I know plenty of folks who do a great job recording on the local level. However, a producer is essential for refining your sound and establishing your creditability. Just imagine the number of musicians vying for the attention of these industry heads. Not just in your hometown. Not just in your own state. Not just in your region, but the whole bloody country. It's undeniably mind-blowing when you actually sit back and think about it. Competition is fierce and you need to set yourself apart right from the beginning.
As we were loading back our equipment, a couple of industry execs came outside to talk to me. An artist manager from a well-established firm was quite impressed that we went out to Los Angeles to record our debut album. It portrayed that we had drive and showed that we weren't afraid to leave our comfort zone. Yes, it did take a bag of pennies to do all this. But, the experience, expertise, and product we received in the end are all immeasurable.
When I was younger, I used to buy mid-level bass after mid-level bass. Trade them in, and move on to the next one of the same caliber. Finally, it dawned on me. If I just waited, saved, and went for broke, I will be set for life. So, that's exactly what I did. Many years later, my Warwick Thumb 4 Neck-Thru still romances me each and every time I pick it up. If I could apply this theory to the instrument that makes my music, why wouldn't I extend it to the music itself?
Do your research. Find out which reputable producers in your genre are looking to take on new acts. (In a later chapter, I will break down my research techniques.) While a rough audio may suffice for a producer to initially critique you, a music supervisor needs the 'real' thing. Is your record sonically acceptable for immediate placement into TV and film? Is it release-ready? The more dollars you put in upfront, the more marketable you are to an industry starving for the wealth of yesterday - DIY in its entire glory.
Now, rest up for Chapter 2: "My Mommy Says I Am the Handsomest & Even Wrote Me a Reference on My Website!"
Till next time. Cheers!