FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- How do I get started in the music industry as an artist?
This is our most frequently asked question... and there are a lot of answers depending on what your real goals are.
No matter what your long-term goals are, you should start in your own circle, get recommendations, and keep networking. Attend as many industry events as possible -- and meet people! Take voice lessons -- nobody has "arrived" yet.
Develop a good concert presentation for your potential listeners and begin singing anywhere and everywhere. Try to work original songs into your presentation. Have business cards to let people know how to contact you.
- How can Atlanta Gospel Productions help me get started in the music business?
What we do most often (and best) is offer production assistance and advice to help make your project better in terms of overall recording quality based on the music style and what A&R people, record companies, and other production companies expect in material they review. Occassionally, different sources in the music industry ask us for specific types of music and artists to place in various venues from local tours to stage plays.
If you want us to review your current project, check out our Gospel Artist Search page for information.
- When should I record a project?
If you're asking this question, the answer is probably NOW. A demo is good to have from the start. If you are singing regularly and people are asking for a tape/CD then you should at least consider a professional demo project. This way you always have something to present to people who are interested in what you're doing and they something they can share with others who might also be interested. And, if the quality is good enough, you can sell your music to your audiences and help support your mission.
- I am a singer/songwriter, and I want to record a new tape/CD. What should I do next?
This is a major step and should be taken seriously. Recording is a very involved process, and there are several factors to consider. You will need songs, musicians, a studio... and if this is the first time for you, consider hiring a producer. There are production companies that have "packages" to accommodate first-time artists and make the process simply and smooth.
Define your goals and make sure that your project is on track with the goals you set.
You should plan to record a quality tape/CD that demonstrates the range, style and flexibility of your musical ability. This serves as the easiest way to present yourself to potential listeners -- production companies, producers, musicians, etc.
- What other steps are involved in the recording/production process?
There are several things that need to happen during the production process. More specifically (but without too many details), songs are first chosen and reviewed for style, content, and consistency. Each song is then musically and lyrically developed to suit the style of the artist and the intended audience. Musicians are then selected who can musically express the songwriter's vision as well as compliment the artist or group. After that there is mixdown, mastering, and replication.
The process of producing a CD project is not difficult, but it is a rather involved process... so always seek reputable, professional help to make the process as easy as possible.
- How much should I expect to pay for a good demo?
Don't be shocked by production prices. Studio rates vary quite a bit by geographical region, equipment, services, etc. -- as low as $20 per hour to over $3,500 per day. Therefore, consider a production "package" if possible. You might be able to find a reputable company that offers production packages for a couple of hundred dollars per song. Get demos of their previous work and even references to make sure they can deliver what they promise in a quality demo recording.
If this seems expensive consider that a lot of time will go into producing a quality demo -- dozens of hours per song for everything from beginning to end... and strictly by the numbers, that isn't much.
Remember: as with most businesses and services, you usually get what you pay for.
- Do I really need to hire a producer? Why shouldn't I produce my own project?
You can... but you should never blindly walk into a studio without a plan and practical experience -- you could possibly get "ripped off" very easily and still not have a quality product in the end. Yes, experience costs money, but otherwise you will pay now (while wasting time and money) and still pay again later to get the results you desire. Plus, an objective set of ears is good to keep the project honest.
- Can having a good website help my career/ministry?
Definitely YES! Our website (for example) literally gets thousands of hits and several hundred requests for music per week from around the world -- this includes requests from major players in the record industry. If you want more exposure, the internet works well!
- How do I get bookings?
Have good promotional material. Have a good demo and make yourself accessible. Begin to work around local venues. Always ask for references you can use after you sing at engagements to help boost you further.
- How do I get a record deal?
Be original, be excellent, be in demand, and find some investors.
- I am a songwriter, but I am not a musician. Is there a way to get help with putting music to my lyrics?
There are many resources available through many of the organizations that lend attention to developing artists -- the performance rights organizations (BMI, ASCAP, SESAC, etc.), independent studios, production companies, and other national organizations such as GMWA.
Just like there are lyricists without musicians, there are also music arrangers who need lyrics for their music.
Occassionally, Atlanta Gospel Productions makes referrals based on new project requirements and information we receive through our Gospel Artist Search demos.
- How can I schedule a worship and praise workshop for my church's choir or music ministry?
Send us information via e-mail about your music ministry goals along with potential topics and areas you interested in learning more from a Bible-based perspective. If possible, also include any dates or timeframes you are considering for your workshop. We will respond with information that will hopefully begin the process of working together and sharing in ministry.
- I have completed a recording, but do not know where to send it. Any suggestions?
Like many independent production companies, Atlanta Gospel Productions accepts material from potential artists.
Check our Gospel Artist Search page for more details.
- Does Atlanta Gospel Productions help with producing recording projects outside the Atlanta area?
Yes, we have helped produce studio projects and "live" recordings outside the Atlanta area. If you are interested in having us help you with your production please let us know.
- I need tracks for my original material. How can I get them?
Find a studio or production company with good sequencing capabilities. The staff of Atlanta Gospel Productions frequently writes music for songwriters and lyricists who need help in this area. Check our Song Development page for details.
- I have written songs and I do not want my work to be pirated (stolen). How can I be sure if my music is safely copyrighted?
Your original work is copyrighted as soon as you complete it. However, to legally protect and prove yourself (if you ever need it) you should register your songs with the Library of Congress using copyright form SR. You an contact the Library of Congress directly (or search online) for Copyright form SR. If you have unregistered work we suggest that you register it as soon as possible.
- Is Atlanta Gospel Productions a record label?
No, we are not a "record label" in the sense of seeking artists to sign them to a deal and then pushing them through the system hoping to chart a hit record. Our focus is helping artists develop what they have so they can be heard and respected for what they are attempting to offer to the music industry.
- Does Atlanta Gospel Productions do marketing, promotion, and distribution for artists?
Other than artists we choose to feature on our website, we do not do any marketing or promotion of artists or songs of any kind. There are many qualified companies and organizations in the industry that handle those aspects of the music business in a professional manner. We concentrate on developing music.
- How long will it take for Atlanta Gospel Productions to respond to my demo submission?
Honestly, that depends on how many reviews we are doing at the time. We try to respond via "snail mail" within two months. (E-mail is MUCH faster.) However, we do not return tapes/CDs submitted to us unless specifically requested and in accordance with the guidelines on our Gospel Artist Search page.
- Where do I get good advice?
Talk to as many people as possible; preferably people who are somewhat successful. Before spending any money check out all possible avenues. The Internet is a great resource. Pay attention to everything!
Still more questions? You can contact us directly to send your specific questions to us and have the answer sent to you via e-mail.