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Producing an Audiocassette

by Doug Lipman

A Workshop Outline

This outline was created for my workshop at the National Storytelling Conference, July, 1995, in Atlanta, GA. I did not intend to cover it all in a brief workshop, but gave it to help the participants understand how the different topics fit together, and to inspire them to ask questions--both during the workshop and after.

You may want to refer also to the article, Am I Ready to Make a Tape?

    Deciding

  1. Why are you making a tape?
    • The answer to this question will determine most of your other decisions.
    • Some possible reasons for making a tape to sell
      • to gain bookings
      • to make certain stories available
      • to document your art
      • to take your art seriously and make it concrete
      • to improve your storytelling
  2. Who's Gonna Hear It?
    • Who do you want to reach?
    • Are you aiming at children, families or adults?
    • Will you sell primarily to
      • people at your performances?
      • Another specialized grouping (e.g., aficionados of a period in history)?

    Gathering

  3. Gathering resources
    • Money
      • Budgeting
        • spending enough to make the result worthwhile
        • using your money well to achieve your goals
      • Fund-raising
        • spreading out your expenditures
        • should you tie up money in inventory?
        • creative fund-raising
    • Information
      • About recording
      • About production and manufacture
      • About sales and marketing
        • people who know more about your markets
      • Organizing the project
        • preparing a time line
  4. Assembling a team
    • Planning buddies.
    • Choosing a studio and engineer
      • microphone choices
      • digital vs. analog
      • compression
    • You need some kind of a coach
      • before the recording sessions
      • during the recording sessions
        • quality-check
        • improvement
    • Others (e.g., detail-checker)
    • Don't try to do it alone! At this of all times, you need support!

    Recording

  5. Before you record
    • Stories
      • selection
      • order
    • Make a dummy tape! Get much feedback on it. Make another?
      • Make sure your performance works with audio only.
      • Make sure the tape flows from one story to the next
    • Prepare a transcript? pros & cons
    • How to record? Pros & cons
      • live
      • studio with audience
      • studio without audience
    • To use or not:
      • music
      • sound effects
      • other special effects
  6. In the studio
    • What need in the studio
      • Your comfort: food & drink, etc.
      • Visual aids for your team: transcripts or outlines for all
      • Advantages of multiple visits
        • a chance to listen, play tape for others, then come back
    • How to record
      • Choosing a microphone
      • Contact with your team
      • Imagining your audience
    • How to mix and edit
      • Use of compression
      • Digital vs. analogue editing. Pros & cons
      • Manufacturing

    Manufacturing

  7. Duplication and manufacture
    • CD or just cassette?
    • J-card
      • design
      • photo session and rights
      • printing
    • Labels
      • duplication method determines type
      • include your phone number!
    • Duplication
      • send out: real-time vs. high-speed
      • do yourself
        • buying stock
        • setting up equipment

    Getting It Out

  8. Getting it out to the world
    • Selling retail
      • at performances; an extension of your performance
      • selling via direct mail
      • mailings
      • ads
    • Selling wholesale: finding distributors
    • Getting reviews
      • local papers
      • big magazines
      • general library
      • special interest for your topic
      • enter for prizes
    • Using your tape to market you and your other products
      • press packets
      • fliers
      • brochures (including the modular alternative)
  9. Other considerations
    • Managing inventory
      • care and storage
      • record keeping
    • Using your direct mail business to your best advantage
      • maintain & use your mailing list
      • make use of:
        • invoices
        • catalogs
        • newsletters
    • Tax implications
      • sales tax
      • income tax
      • deductions; reporting of sales income


Copyright © Doug Lipman

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This page was last updated on Friday, November 28, 2003
Copyright©2003 Doug Lipman