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Proposal: Tribute Album

Aims and objectives


May 2011 will be the 30th anniversary of the death of world famous and widely loved
and respected Reggae singer, Bob Marley. To commemorate this anniversary a tribute
album will be produced with bands from around the UK covering some of Bob
Marley¶s most popular and well-loved songs. The album will then be made available
to the public in various formats ranging from digital download to 12´ Vinyl. The final
product will be released under the production banner ³Set Music Free´ and will be
titled ³Movement of jah people ± A Tribute to Bob Marley´.
There will be several promotional and fund raising events leading up to the release of
the album on the date of Marley¶s death (11th May). These will include:

= -igs
= Radio Advertisement (Siren FM)
= Promo Club Nights
= Street Team (Leafleting, posters etc.)
= Launch Party
As well as these events the album will be promoted online through various music and
social networking websites, including a website designed specifically to promote the
record.
Two bands and one solo artist have already been confirmed for the album, all of
various musical styles. They have each been asked to learn a Bob Marley song
arranged in their own unique style. The final aim is to have at least eight tracks on the
album.
The areas that will be researched for this project will be:

= Production techniques

Different approaches must be taken when producing for different styles of band. For
example, one would not use the same techniques for a string quartet as one would for
a heavy metal band. Taking this into consideration the main focus of research for the
first band (-ive It Time - a pop/punk style band) was producer Jerry Finn. Finn
produced such bands as Blink 182, -reen Day and Alkaline Trio, all of who are listed
as influences on -ive It Time. A trademark of the pop/punk genre and of Jerry Finn¶s
production work in particular is the ³punchy´ snare. Two condenser microphones
placed on the snare drum, one at the top and one at the bottom capture this sound.
This technique, among others will be employed when it comes to recording -ive It
Time.
Fraz Chalmers, the solo artist who has contributed to the album, has a brit pop/indie
sound to his music. This normally requires one or two guitarists, a bassist, a drummer
and at least one vocalist. However, for the initial recording session he only played
electric guitar, bass and keyboards, as well as performing vocals. In order to complete
his track a session drummer will need to be brought into the studio at a later date. To
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make sure that everything Fraz played was in time, and to make it easier to record
drums later, he performed to a ³click track´ or metronome. This makes sure that all
the parts are the right tempo and time signature so that a drummer can easily play
along with what is already recorded. A lot of the arrangement of this particular track
was done in the studio with help from the producer. For example, an organ part was
added after the guitar and vocals were recorded. This was an idea that the artist had,
but choosing the point in the song where the organ would sound best and getting the
correct sound from the keyboard was discussed with the producer to obtain the best
arrangement for the song.
Decadence In Berlin are a three piece post-punk/alternative band. Their recording
session will take place after Christmas. In order to prepare for this session the
production techniques of Noah -eorgeson have been studied. -eorgeson has
produced such bands as Moldy Peaches and DevendraBanhart who have a very
similar style to Decadence In Berlin. One particular technique that will be taken into
consideration in this session is ³not using any condenser mics on drums, just using
ribbons²like Coles or RCA 77s´ (-eorgeson, 2005). This will give a much more
µretro¶ feel to the recording and as the band have a very 60s/70s garage rock sound
this is the best way to capture their particular style. The vocals will also be recorded
with a ribbon microphone for the same reasons.
There are some basic techniques that will run through all recordings, regardless of the
style of band. These are as follows:
1. Vocals ± It is always a good idea to ³record several complete takes on
separate tracks, from which the producer will then compile one good-
quality composite vocal track´ (White, 2000, p13). This technique is
used by professionals and is widely considered the best way to get a
good vocal track.
2. Drums ± -enerally, drums will be ³recorded with the emphasis on the
close mics, with overhead or ambient mics used to fill in the details´
(White, 2000, p15). This is the basic technique for all drum recordings.
Any additional microphones can be added to expand the sound.
3. Acoustic -uitars ± ³Acoustic guitars invariably sound better when
miked up´ (White, 2000, p22). This technique is used in all genres
using acoustic guitar. Any further changes to the sound can be made in
the mix.

= Mixing/Mastering techniques

The post-production stage of the recording process is arguably the most important.
Mixing and mastering the track is the stage where the producer gets to be the most
creative, often without the influence of the band or artist that has been recorded.
There are several areas that need to be explored when researching the mixing process,
these include:
1. Monitoring Speakers ± It is important to make sure that the speakers used are
right for the job. There are many different types of monitor to take into
consideration. ³A theoretically perfect speaker would reproduce the entire
audio spectrum with no distortion or coloration´ (White, 2000, p30).
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2. Mixing Venue ± Choosing which room you mix tracks in is very important.
Room acoustics are very important in both the recording and mixing process.
It is always a good idea to try out the track in various different rooms and
through different types of speaker.
3. Comparison ± ³it¶s important to compare mixes with commercial music
played back over the same system in the same room.´ (White, 2000, p32).
This technique can take time, but with enough time and effort will get a
professional mix.

Rationale
The basic rationale behind the project is to pay homage to one of the most influential
musicians and songwriters of the 20th century. Record companies often release
compilation albums of influential artist¶s music on the anniversary of their deaths or
birthdays. For example, this year was John Lennon¶s 70th birthday and all of his solo
albums were re-mastered andre-released by EMI as well as a greatest hits album.
However, it seems that there is a gap in the market for a tribute album made up of
bands covering one specific band or artist¶s songs. There are some examples of this in
the past, such as the Ramones tribute album ³We¶re a happy family´ released in 2003
by Columbia. This album had popular bands such as Red Hot Chili Peppers and The
Offspring covering the songs whereas ³Movement of jah people´ will only have
unsigned bands performing. This not only makes the album a tribute to Bob Marley,
but also a way for these unsigned bands and artists to get their music heard.

Risk assessment and contingency plans


In order to plan this project properly it is important to consider all the risks and plan
accordingly. The best way to display the risks and contingency plans for this project is
the table below:
Risk Contingency Plan
Not all of the bands can make it to the Book the studio a long time in advance or
studio. make sure more bands are booked than
are needed.
The right number of bands cannot be Request that the bands record more than
confirmed. one song for the album so that the correct
number of tracks is recorded.
The studio cannot be booked/is in use on Book the studio a long time in advance or
the day it is needed. make sure more bands are booked than
are needed.
Distribution problems e.g. cannot be Make sure that enough time is left to
produced on time. distribute (stick to -antt chart). Ensure
that resources (CDs, tapes etc.) are
abundant.
Software/hardware problems in studio. Keep up to date with the software being
used/learn how to fix problems before
going into the studio.
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