10 easy steps to unsuccessful live recordings
There are lots of ways to mess up a live recording. You can play the wrong notes, you can forget to press record, you can use the wrong kind of tape or drop the hard drives down a lift shaft. They’re all risky though. If you really want to make absolutely positively sure that nobody buys your record, just follow these simple steps:
1) Identify a major event that will be well attended, well reviewed and widely broadcast. Plan to release the record six months later, when nobody can remember what all the fuss was about. Blame this delay on an obsession with the quality of a record nobody will hear.
2) Skip over all the scary new music in the program and choose something that has been recorded a thousand times before.
3) Get scared about ticket sales. Don’t mention the recording in any of the pre-event publicity.
4) Get scared about a bad performance. Don’t mention the recording on post-purchase materials like tickets and programs.
5) Ask the audience to turn off their mobile phones because the concert is being recorded. Don’t tell them when or where it will be available.
6) Don’t plan far enough ahead to build promotion of the recording into your broadcast deal, mention it in your printed materials, or even get the producer the right edition of the score.
7) Treat the recording as a “new media” side-project and not as a part of the ensemble’s core activity. Assume all the work is done once the union has signed off on the idea, and that promoting a record is either easy or not your problem.
8) Don’t use any of the information you have about who attended the concert to market the recording to your audience.
9) Don’t think about the timeline and logistics for artist approvals until you’re up against a deadline and the conductor is on a plane to Russia.
10) Jealously guard all rough cuts of the album and make absolutely sure that nobody reviewing the concert has a copy of it before their deadline.