Tuesday, 25 August 2009

The Vinyl Project

I have some of my best ideas whilst taking a shower and this is one of them.
Over the last 5 weeks I have been trying to record all the songs I've ever written. It's a tough call as, at the last count, I've written 33. I record all my stuff at home in my music/spare/computer room on my Imac using Logic and a wonderful microphone that Ross bought me as a wedding present.
My first attempt (Plan A) was taking ages as it usually does; sort out the tempo, set the metronome, record the guide tracks, lay down the instrument tracks etc etc etc. It's a long process and daunting when the aim is record 33!
This was all taking too long so I decided on another plan (Plan B) similar to Plan A but without the bass and guitar solos, just setting the metronome, laying down the guitar track then recording the vocals afterwards.  Even this was taking too long. The metronome was getting on my nerves and if I strayed off tempo slightly, I couldn't get back and it was putting me off playing and the whole soul of the song was lost.
Ok so Plan C, just do a live recording. No metronome, no headphones and no recording the vocals later. Simply, a live recording.  Sorted.  It made sense as that's how I play live. You haven't heard me live? You should do, seriously.
As I sit here now I have only five more songs left to record and, unlike some which I haven't played for over ten years, they're all in my current set so should be no problem.
So, remember the great idea I had in the shower?
This is it.
I record a live acoustic album in a proper studio with even nicer microphones, but not just that. I issue it as a VINYL ONLY release. No CD no digital download, no iTunes, a straightforward vinyl record.
I get very excited by this, I still am VERY, but I have a slight problem. No money.
I talk to my friend Jules, I'll talk about him a lot as we go along, and he makes a great suggestion. Get people to commit to pay upfront for the album. This is a great idea, truly.
I understand that this kind of thing has been done before in-fact in the sixties some of Harold Pinters actor pals stumped up and paid to put on one of his plays, I can't remember which one I could look it up but, you know.
In a nut shell, here is the basic plan.

Find 250 people to commit to pay £10.00 upfront for my VINYL album (the remainder will cost £15.00)
Find a studio that can record specifically for vinyl.
Record an album.
Master the tracks.
Press a minimum of one thousand records.
Distribute to the 250
Sell the rest

There are a few more details but, as I said, in a nutshell.
As well as getting the album for a tenner, these 250 people (a collective name will be thought of later) will also get a limited edition print of the sleeve artwork (*I'm getting to that) signed by the artist, their album signed by me (whoop de doo) and AND their name on the credits on the album sleeve. I will add to this list of goodies as the project develops.
The album sleeve will have original *artwork (see?) but I'm not sure who the artist will be at the moment. I can assure you that it will be bloody marvelous though.
This is the first formal announcement of this project and this is the first of many blogs I will post to let everyone know what is going on.
What can you do now?
If you are either interested in buying this album (as yet unnamed but we'll get to that) or want to be kept up to date with events send me an email at


I will protect your email address with my life as it's in my interest to keep you interested.
If you do have any questions I would prefer you to ask them here in the comments section incase you ask a question that others may be interested in, otherwise just email me.
What I'm hoping for is to build a small but perfectly formed community of people and to make a great album!!


I have just added  a PayPal button on the top left of the page if you wish to pre-pay.
It's fixed at £10 so if you want to buy more than one then you will have to go through the process as many times as you want records. If you don't have a PayPal account but want to pay now then email me and between us I'm sure we can work something out!


  1. Sounds good, you have a tenner from me!

    Will all 32 of your songs be on the release - you may only have a finite time on Vinyl?


  2. I'm planning on using ten to twelve tracks on the album Ross.

    DINLT fantastic but could you please email me at thevinylproject@nicktann.co.uk to confirm please?

  3. Use Pinna Productions for the recording cheap and good

  4. Thanks Matt. I will need you to email me at thevinylproject@nicktann.co.uk to confirm
    otherwise it may just all fall apart!

  5. First suggestion not including the studio that is still doing analog recordings is to go to Billboard Directories and find the manufacture or do a search for the min. run costs for your Vinyl project. Take that into consideration ALL your costs of this project. Also is you were to make sales you'll have lic. & maybe tax issues to contend with which are essential in the business. Being prepared is important.
    Then find the weight of this Vinyl LP and the wrapping expenses (shipping & handling) & take into account the postal costs of shipping that locally as well as worldwide. Third, find the costs of the graphic work for the LP Jackets & inserts to add to your costs.
    Fourth show you original music's commercial previous successes locally as well as worldwide to show merit of your original works worthy of purchase by written reviews, magazines, airplay offline stations, etc. Finally post samples of these songs online for those who may want to buy the entire Vinyl LP of your songs. Samples always help in stores when offered to buy a product. Then after you've gone through all this make sure you have a budget to do the marketing phase to reach the consumer. Consdier the consumers must have record players to play the finished product too which may be limiting your customer base.
    After you have got all these figures down & layed out you'll have a better idea of the pre cost sales. When you go from artist into the record business you must wear a different hat.
    Good luck and there is more information that might help but I'd have to charge you a consulting fee. I just believe any dream is worth the persuit in music since "Music is the only thing I've had":) Amazon.com MP3s Nikki Hornsby (CJP-NHRecords, Inc. CEO) Good luck!

  6. Nikki makes some good points.
    "Consdier the consumers must have record players to play the finished product too which may be limiting your customer base."
    Just an idea that I have not fully thought out, but is there any merit in trying to get a record player manufacturer on board?

  7. Thanks for your comments Nikki they were very useful.
    I have researched printing and pressing costs and were a factor in my deciding on the number of subscribers I need and how much to charge (250 @£10 each) I have over estimated the cost of recording to give me a bit of a buffer.
    The cost of postage is something I hadn't factored in and will have to address that.
    I am aware of the number of "Vinyl Heads" out there and the fact that their standards, when it comes to quality, are very high. It IS a niche market i understand that and that is what makes it exciting. I plan o produce a few white label records to be given to specialist Hi-Fi outlets to garner publicity.
    As far as general publicity goes, apart from the internet, I am concentrating on keeping it local. Local radio, press etc.
    I hope to make a short video explaining the project very soon.
    Again thank you all for your comments and contributions.

    I found this blog very inspirational. All three vids are worth looking at, very well made


  8. Right I'm in - All the best with this Nick! :)


If you want to pledge £10 and own one of the 250 limited edition albums just email me at thevinylproject@nicktann.co.uk
Alternatively, you can pay now by clicking the PayPal button at the top left of the page.