Producers Weigh In On Kickstarter and Crowdfunding Recording Budgets

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I’ve mixed bands that have used this method to cover costs and I’ve set up campaigns for non-profit arts organizations that rely soley on this kind of support. If there’s one last piece of advice that I’d add from my own perspective, it’s that the key word in fan-funding is “fan.”

As much as we’ve talked about what to secure for yourself, effective campaigns are not so much about what you want and need, but about what you give to your audience. Zach McNees seems to agree:

“Most importantly, any artist thinking about getting into fan-funding needs to be prepared to prove to their audience that they’re willing to give back just as much to their fans put in,” he says. “Julia Nunes said ‘Kickstarter should be less like a fund-raiser and more like a bake sale’.”

“That’s really what it comes down to. If your fans understand that you’re putting your heart and soul into it and going above and beyond to provide them with truly original, unique and exclusive rewards, your campaign will be a success.”

Justin Colletti is a Brooklyn recording engineer and studio journalist. He is a regular contributor to SonicScoop and edits the music blog Trust Me, I’m A Scientist.

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  • So bummed

    There is nothing about music or how it should or could be made. This is offensive.

  • It’s true that there is no talk of technique or style or aesthetics in this story. Apologies if that was a bummer for you — But we do have many articles on those topics that you might enjoy!

    The goal of this article was to ask experienced full-time professionals what they feel are pragmatic goals that will help artists with career aspirations to make the music they want to make with out compromise — or a steep learning curve.

    Although we focused on interviewing affordable and mid-priced professionals, it is true that these goals are not necessarily appropriate for musicians who are content to remain passionate hobbyists.

    Looking back on it, I wish that the editorial aspect of this piece had made that distinction more clear. Mea culpa on that one. I’ll try to do better next time.

  • I’ve received a few great emails about this story, and want to take a quick moment to add some context.

    The goal of this article was to ask full-time professionals for their experienced opinions and to help artists who have career aspirations to set pragmatic goals that will allow them to make great music without undue compromise or a steep learning curve.

    Although we intentionally interviewed affordable and mid-priced professionals only, it’s true that even these historically low budgetary goals are not necessarily appropriate for amateur musicians who are experimenting with their very first recordings, or for those who are content to remain passionate and principled hobbyists.

    Looking back on it, I wish that the slim editorial portion of this piece had made that distinction more clear. I guess I didn’t think if it, because SonicScoop is a production magazine geared toward professional readers (many of whom often work with budgets higher than these.)

    For the record, I don’t intend to suggest that people who work outside of a sustainable commercial framework are making music that’s any less “good” or “valid” than those who work inside of it. Far from it.

    Ultimately, this article could have been more diplomatic and more comprehensive if I had done a better job of describing its parameters. I’ll certainly think of that the next time I approach an article like this one!

    But as for the actual advice expressed within? I think it’s all very smart, sensible, and reflective of the baseline budgets that tend to go into the commercial releases that tend to find the audiences they deserve.

    It’s one of our goals to present a wide variety of professional voices and a myriad of opinions. To that end, I believe it’s very valuable that each of these working producers expressed their unique perspectives in an honest and straightforward way.

    Thanks for the feedback,


  • Purplefish

    I personally found it very informative. But I am a studio owner so this reinforces what I tell most bands that I deal with. Thanks!!

  • I know exactly what you mean Purplefish. It’s always great to see the things you tell other musicians told by others. Gotta love reinforcement.