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Recording Tips: Making a Compact Disc of your choir

Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 13:12:04 -0400 (EDT)
From: BarMusProd(a)aol.com
Subject: Re: Making a CD-General Sources

Dear Listers,

Susan McMane asked in a recent letter about graphic design and printing of
the insert materials for her first CD. Since the question of CD production
has come up periodically, I have chosen to answer to the list regarding a
source book that I have been recoemmending for many years for *anyone*
interested in recording a CD. It is the best non-technical book out there
and assumes that you have no prior knowledge of recording: _How to Make &
Sell Your Own Recording: A Guide for the Nineties_ by Diane Sward Rapaport
(revised 4th edition is the one I have from 1992-there may be a newer one),
Prentice-Hall, ISBN 0-13-402314-5. The book includes large sections on
promotion, sales, design, printing, manufacturing, recording, copyrights, and
business. I have no connection to Ms. Rapaport or to Prentice-Hall, but am
very grateful to them for this wonderful book that has been around since
1978. It it more aimed at the popular artist and "SSwGs" (Singer/Songwriters
with Guitars), but the basic information is useful for all of us in the
recording business. Highly recommended.

Some other sources that may be helpful: in some materials passed on to me
from John R. Hall of JRH & Associates, a fine independent recording engineer
and friend in Nashville (and Choralist member), who speicalizes in choral
recording, he reprinted with permission (for a Tennessee ACDA convention
seminar) a terrific article by Nina Gilbert (also a Choralister and Associate
Editor of the _Choral Journal_) in her "Musica Practica" series from the
April/May 1992 issue of the _Choral Journal_ about producing and recording a
CD. He also had a thoughtful and informative series of handouts that he had
prepared himself for the seminar (including some microphone recommendations
and placements), and he even included a reprint of a letter of mine to
ChoralTalk on the role of a producer at a "classical" recording session. Also
most CD manufacturing plants have informative booklets on on master
preparation and exact sizes and speicfications for camera-ready graphics. The
best I've seen (and the most informative) are from Disc Makers in New Jersey
(who specialize in the "independent music industry" [according to their
catalogs]-again I have no connection to Disc Makers, either). Their phone
number is 1-800-468-9353, and you should be able to get any (or all) of the
following booklets for free(!)-at least they used to be free: Disc Makers
Wholesale Manufacturers Catalog; Guide to Master Tape Preparation (highly
recommended); Guide to Independent Music Publicity; Directory of Independent
Music Distributors; and their CD-ROM Manufacturing Catalog. Again, Disc
Makers materials are aimed more at the pop industry, but the information is
very useful for us all. So if you're going to record a CD with your group, I
highly reocemmend the Rapaport book, Nina Gilbert's article in the _Choral
Journal_ (we should be able to get reprints of articles, I would think, or
check your library), and the Disc Makers series of booklets.

Hope this helps.

Best wishes,
Steve

Steve Barnett
Composer/Arranger/Producer
Barnett Music Productions
BarMusProd(a)aol.com
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 1997 08:07:16 -0700 (PDT)
From: lfilbeck(a)wiley.csusb.edu (Loren Filbeck)
Subject: CDs and Copyright

Colleagues:

My apologies if this has been hashed over before. Our choral and
instrumental departments are planning to produce a joint CD. Some of the
music to be included is in the public domaine, some is still under
copyright. The university pays annual BMI/ASCAP fees for performances on
campus.

Does anyone know if the BMI/ASCAP blanket covers recording and CD selling
rights? If not, what is your experience in getting clearance for such
projects?

Also, does the BMI/ASCAP blanket allow one to broadcast university
recordings over the web sight?

Please reply privately. Much thanks.
Loren Filbeck, Chair
Department of Music
California State University,
San Bernardino

Date: Sun, 14 Sep 1997 17:38:42 -0400 (EDT)
From: John.Howell(a)VT.EDU (John Howell)
Subject: ASCAP/BMI fees (longish)

Friends: I hold in my hand the answer to a question that is discussed
periodically on this and other lists involving public performances: "How
much are the ASCAP and BMI fees for performance licenses, and can my
ensemble afford them?"

The figures below are quoted from the license application form used by
Sweet Adelines International. This may be a simplified version designed to
cover the situations in which Sweet Adelines choruses normally perform.
The form is dated 9/96, and presumeably the figures are still accurate
since this is the form that my chorus is preparing to submit for our next
Show. I do not know why the form covers ASCAP and BMI licenses, but not
SESAC, and I do not know what the Canadian or other non-USA performing
rights situation is. But even with all that I don't know, this information
is more than I have seen in any other place.

The licenses are applied for separately. Each performing rights
organization has its own separate policies, licenses, and fees. Each
license entitles you to perform any music from the organization's catalog,
except, of course for Grand Rights musicals or operas. You are not
licensing specific pieces of music. Presumeably if you KNOW that you are
only performing music from the ASCAP catalog, or the BMI catalog, you can
apply for only the one license.

The licenses are valid for a single performance only. Multiple
performances require a separate license and separate payment for each
performance.

The BMI formula is quite simple, and is based on the actual seating
capacity of the concert venue. (I suggest switching to a non-proportional
font to read or print out the following.)

SEATING CAPACITY BMI RATE
0-1500 $20
1501-2500 $30
2501-5000 $50
5001-7500 $68

My guess is that 90% of performances involving folks on this list would
require only the lowest license fee, and 99% no more than $30.

The ASCAP formula is more complicated because it is based on both the
actual seating capacity of the concert venue and the amount of the highest
ticket price for the event.

TICKET PRICE SEATING CAPACITY
$0-$3 0-250: $7
251-500: $11
501-750: $15
751-1000: $19
1001-1500: $24
1501-2000: $29
2001-3000: $35
3001-4000: $41
4001-5500 $53

TICKET PRICE SEATING CAPACITY
$3.01-$6 0-250: $14
251-500: $18
501-750: $22
751-1000: $26
1001-1500: $33
1501-2000: $41
2001-3000: $47
3001-4000: $53
4001-5500 $65

TICKET PRICE SEATING CAPACITY
$6.01-$9 0-250: $23
251-500: $27
501-750: $31
751-1000: $36
1001-1500: $44
1501-2000: $53
2001-3000: $59
3001-4000: $65
4001-5500 $80


TICKET PRICE SEATING CAPACITY
$9.01-$12 0-250: $35
251-500: $39
501-750: $44
751-1000: $51
1001-1500: $60
1501-2000: $70
2001-3000: $77
3001-4000: $85
4001-5500 $100


TICKET PRICE SEATING CAPACITY
$12.01-$15 0-250: $47
251-500: $52
501-750: $57
751-1000: $66
1001-1500: $75
1501-2000: $85
2001-3000: $92
3001-4000: $100
4001-5500 $125


TICKET PRICE SEATING CAPACITY
$15.01-$18 0-250: $60
251-500: $65
501-750: $70
751-1000: $80
1001-1500: $90
1501-2000: $100
2001-3000: $112
3001-4000: $125
4001-5500 $150


TICKET PRICE SEATING CAPACITY
$18.01-$21 0-250: $75
251-500: $80
501-750: $85
751-1000: $97
1001-1500: $110
1501-2000: $125
2001-3000: $137
3001-4000: $150
4001-5500 $180


TICKET PRICE SEATING CAPACITY
$21.01-$25 0-250: $90
251-500: $95
501-750: $100
751-1000: $115
1001-1500: $130
1501-2000: $150
2001-3000: $165
3001-4000: $180
4001-5500 $210


TICKET PRICE SEATING CAPACITY
$25.01-$30 0-250: $105
251-500: $110
501-750: $115
751-1000: $130
1001-1500: $150
1501-2000: $175
2001-3000: $190
3001-4000: $210
4001-5500 $240


TICKET PRICE SEATING CAPACITY
Over $30 0-250: $125
251-500: $130
501-750: $135
751-1000: $155
1001-1500: $175
1501-2000: $205
2001-3000: $225
3001-4000: $250
4001-5500 $280


Bottom line: BMI is simple and straightforward, a little higher for small
events and much lower for big ones. ASCAP is complicated, but does make
very generous provision for small scale, small profit-potential
performances for rock-bottom fees, while asking what seem to be reasonable
fees for high-profit-potential events. And remember, these are performance
royalties to which the copyright owners are entitled both ethically and
under the law. YOU CAN AFFORD IT! The combined fees for our Shows are
only $55.

Note 1: You do not need a single-performance license if you perform in a
venue that pays an annual site license. Schools will not normally have
such a license, since instructional-related performances are exempt under
Fair Use. Same for churches. Civic auditoriums and convention centers
might, and night clubs and lounges probably do; ask!

Note 2: You may not need a license if your performance meets the rather
narrow criteria for exemption as non-profit educational or religious.
Check out the Fair Use standards.

Note 3: Simply performing in an educational or religious location does NOT
give you an exemption. It is the nature of the performance that counts,
not the venue.

Note 4: Some performances by non-profit educational or religious ensembles
may require licenses. Again, it is the nature of the performance, not the
nature of the ensemble or venue that counts.

Note 5: For anyone who still think that any non-profit performance is
exempt from performance royalties, that has not been the case since January
1, 1978, almost 20 years ago. Time to wake up and smell the coffee!


I hope this information will be of help to some and help convince others
that it really isn't that expensive to comply with your legal
responsibilities. Note in the chart above that even if your event is free
and has no seating, you are still responsible for the minimum fees for the
use of copyrighted music, and that responsibility was written into the
Constitution of the U S of A by the founding fathers of this country.

John

John & Susie Howell (John.Howell(a)vt.edu)
Virginia Tech Department of Music
Blacksburg, Virginia, U.S.A. 24061-0240
Vox (540) 231-8411 Fax (540) 231-5034