A and B Releases!
Today's music industry is utterly bolloxed. As a result, those of us who choose to pursue a career are left with lots of creative decisions that are often dictated by monetary functions.
We have to be pragmatic. As an independent, I have to work harder and more importantly there is compromise and a lot of it.
TI has done things by trial and error over the last 6 years. Mostly error. It's taken a lot of failures and mishaps for me to be here today writing as a full time musician.
Recently, I have been trying to rationalise how to present and subsequently separate the self recorded music I do at home, compared to the big budget releases we do with a third party producer in a professional studio. I simply write and produce music way faster than I can afford to do it justice professionally. I have no intention of releasing 10 songs every 3 years. I'll be dead in a few decades, I want my discography to be huge. Not 5 or 6 albums.
I have been a student of music production since the first lock down in March 2020. When lock down happened I knew in order to continue working I had to develop my own workflow from home and be able to realise TI songs myself. Thanks to nothing more than the direct support of my wonderful Patrons over at Patreon, I was able to invest in building a home studio.
I have since recorded 7 albums and co produced a further 3 more records all from home. In an effort to grow my skill set and use my songs as fodder for my learning process,I decided to embark on the Unlocked series. A series of 6 monthly albums I would record, mix and master right from home. Like with anything in TI, I naively dove in head first to the challenge, not realising the level of work or skill it may require.
Myself and Saxon recently came up with the idea of separating our releases, and using the A and B concept. The A releases are our nurtured productions slaved over with a third party producer and studio space. The quality is subjective of course but in my opinion the A releases just by function of their process and monetary support end up resulting in a much higher quality of recording.
The B releases are the things I create from home. Much more common, not really given an 'industry' release and the people who want to hear them have to pursue them of their own volition. I am not pushing these records in the same way I will push the A releases.
My eventual aim is to get to a level where I can produce A releases myself. Until then, this process of A and B seems the most sensible way to explain our admittedly convoluted recording output.
Being prolific when you are unknown is always met with the assumption quality can't possibly there, so I feel by presenting the A and B approach we bypass or at least explain the reasoning behind releasing what the uninitiated may view as sub par recordings.
As I write this we have just released the final Unlocked album, Vol. 6 and I am genuinely proud of the production result. It has clarity. The mix is balanced and you can hear everything clearly. It's far from a professional standard but as far as my learning process, it is the definite height of my mixes so far. I hate being an amateur at something, and I endeavor to get better.
To those who are following TI closely and are understanding this process and my need to write so much, thank you.