Building in Public February 3, 2021

Show IH: How I Produced my First Music Album

Art @qnd

Hi IH 👋

last Sunday I released my first electronic music album and it is live on Spotify and Apple Music.

Background: My day job is running business operations for companies of various sizes (startup through corporate).

I wanted to turn the covid lockdowns into a positive and spend the time indoors to work on a creative project. Since I've always wanted to produce music I set myself a goal of producing a 4-track EP.

A friend of mine was shooting a documentary at the same time and he needed a soundtrack, so I decided to create something for that movie.

An extended writeup is in this blog post: https://www.artlapinsch.com/atitlan/

Happy to hear any feedback, input, critique, etc.

Happy to answer any questions.

  1. 2

    Congrats! Good job and nice write-up.

    1. 2

      Thanks Niklas! It took me quite some time to put this process into writing 😂

      Glad someone is reading it.

      1. 2

        It took me quite some time to put this process into writing

        As a reader you can tell by looking at the quality of the writing. So well-done! :)

        I'll message you tomorrow after I've read all of the article. Had to postpone some of it for tomorrow because I'm short on time today. ;)

        1. 2

          Thanks, really appreciated 🙏

          Would love to hear feedback, questions, critique, etc.

          1. 2

            Hey Art,

            Wrote a really long message and tried to send it to you via email (as it contains some private details which I don't want to post on IH), but I couldn't find your email address (and also couldn't message you on Twitter).

            Can you send me an email via the email address that's listed on my IH profile? :)

  2. 2

    Well done. Some great music on that EP.

    Funny, I never thought of independent music artists as 'indie hackers', but I guess musicians were doing it way before coders! 😄

    BTW, my son is also an 'indie hacker' musician too I guess, and we put together a couple of songs for him (all recorded, mixed, produced etc. right here at home) and launched on Spotify & Apple Music etc. a few months back. https://music.apple.com/au/artist/jordan-ravi/1494836459

    1. 1

      @Devan - holy shit! That's amazing production quality. Some pop bangers in there.

      So many questions:

      1. Who produced the tracks (writing; composition; playing)?
      2. What setup did you use at home (DAW; recording gear; etc.)?

      I love the re-harmonizations in "Pushing Stars" ... has some moments that have the depth of classical orchestras. 👌

      Btw, if your son ever want's to collaborate and venture out into electronic music, I might know someone 🙄

      For reference, check out "Foals - Late Night (Solomun Remix)" // it's a Hamburg-based Deep House producer remixing a track by the British indie rock band Foals. // Shows how vocals can be re-imagined in a four-to-the-floor club track.

      I played this one a couple of times during gigs and people are frequently losing it. Especially during the bridge where it goes to complete silence and the builds up again.

      Cheers from Berlin 🙌

      1. 2

        Thank you for your kind words! I have "Late Night" playing on repeat in the background here - it's got a fantastic vibe.

        Re: Your questions, "Pushing Stars" was actually recording at SingSing studios in Melbourne. Written and produced by some experienced "Eurovision" writers and engineers (My son sang that song at the Aussie Eurovision finals last year - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d88mg-CEqqE ).

        "Leaving LA" was all recorded right here in my office/studio at home. Just using Logic X, and a Slate ML-1 mic, and lots of plugins (Slate drums, Output.com suite feature heavily). Leaving LA was totally written and arranged by my son (and he played all instruments). It is a personal reflection of his journey to the stage of "America's Got Talent" back in 2019 and getting 2 standing ovations from Simon Cowell but not making it through to the live shows.

        1. 1

          Wow, seems like your son is putting in the work. I’m sure we’ll hear more of him :)

  3. 2

    Fantastic work Art!

    Really inspiring achievement. Ütz Apetik is a banger, love the sense of movement! The whole EP is very polished and the artwork is cool also. Keep up the great work!

    1. 1

      Thanks @Matt_M

      It was quite the relief to have it published after 10 months and also still absurd to see my name pop up on Apple Music.

      Glad you like Uetz Apetik. All the tracks are different to me, but yes, this one is the most "straigh-punch-to-the-face" club style track.

      Although En Atitlan is produced in a way (huge sound pressure in the bottom end) to rock the PAs in a club.

      Artwork was pretty quick turnaround via remote collab with the artist Buhhho on instagram. If you're interested I can give you his contacts. He's open for commission work.

      Thanks Matt!

      1. 2

        Ha I bet it was!

        I just had a listen to En Atitlan on my bigger speaker (was just laptop before) and you can definitely feel the weight.

        Thanks, i'm not looking for an artist atm but i'll keep him in mind.

        I'll almost certainly be following a similar path in a year or two (would love to do it now, but focusing on creative coding artwork at the moment, alongside startups, which both have lots of parallels with music), so it's helpful to see your process and your writeups, thanks for them.

        Excited to see what you come up with next now that you've seen the whole process through. Keep up the great work!

        1. 1

          Thanks @Matt_M

          Let me know if there's specific steps where you want to know more or where you feel stuck. Happy to help where I can.

          What was super useful was to collaborate with a professional sound engineer/producer who has seen it all before. Invaluable advice from him. Did a writeup about those learnings here: https://www.artlapinsch.com/kilian/

          As for the process. I feel it has a similar impact as starting a business for the first time. Looking from the outside it feels "complicated" but once you've gone through the steps a > b > c > d > e and haven't crashed/burned, it loses its "mythical" quality.

          Next up (music): focus on more remixes // to learn from other artists
          Next up (project): building an online masterclass in "brand strategy"

          1. 2

            Fantastic, thanks.

            Definitely good advice to ask people who have done it already, and useful writeup, thanks.

            And yes, most things aren't out of reach, the challenge is just to actually do it.

            Great plans, best of luck and keep us posted with how it goes!

  4. 1

    I am working on a new project (launched soon) that helps music producers to get free publicity. Until then, try my game: www.locospartygame.net

    1. 1

      Please send it to me, too! :)

    2. 1

      Please share once it's ready. Would love to check it out.

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