This week I am going to be producing my second comedy album. The first time I had someone do all the heavy lifting for me, but I feel I have the equipment and the know how to get it done myself. I am just going to go over the things you need to take into account when you are producing your own comedy album.
The most important this you have to worry about is location. You wanna know why you favorite comedian has that great sounding comedy album? You may think it is the mics or the engineer that mixed and mastered it, but the biggest thing is the location. When recording an album you want the room to be pleasurable for sound. What I mean is that there are not a lot of hollowness and echoes bouncing around the room making it sound like cheap ass.
You also have to take into account what the place you are recording has for sound. Do they have a mixer and proper speaker set up? Or is it just some portable speakers that was found at a yard sale and shoved in the corners? You want to make sure you get the sound of the audience and the sound from the mic. If you just record one then it will either sound like you are talking to about five people, or there is a bunch of people laughing for no reason. The club I am recording at doesn’t have a traditional mixer, so I had to research and find out what I needed to do to make it all work. I will have my iPad (yes my iPad) do the mic recording into a voice recorder app (not garageband…I got burned by that last time I tried this) and I will have a zoom H6 with a mic in the room to get the audience response. I suggest getting to the club a week or two early and make sure you have everything you need to make it work. Nothing worse than getting there and realizing you are missing a cable.
Believe it or not, the recording of the album is actually the easy part! The tough part comes when you have to mix it together. That means taking the audio you got from the mic and the audio you got from the audience and making it sound like it was recording together. I haven’t had much experience with this, so I may have a pro do it.
After you get it all mixed you now have to sell the bad boy. My last CD was distributed through CD baby. I had to get a UPC code, but after that I just had them put it up on all the popular (and not so popular) music gathering sites. If you want to put it up on Pandora you have to go to Pandora’s site and that is a whole other ball of wax. As far as physical copies, I have CD baby duplicate them for me. I use to do all that myself, but that was time consuming. I am going to go more in the direction of download cards for people that don’t want the CD.
I hope this helps you understand what I am doing to record my own comedy album. This isn’t the only way to record an album, this is just a more cost efficient way to do it. I am one of those people that does not want to wait for someone to come to me and tell me that I should do an album. If you have the time and want to have something to sell at the end of shows, then this is a great option.