Rock band management

    My name is Vasily Gustelev, I am one of the authors of the project “Music of the Invisible People”. I want to tell you about the management methods that I used during the creation of our new album. You will not find any know-how in the article, rather this is an example of using popular techniques.


    The biggest stumbling block in creating a music album is its funding. Project budgets start at one hundred thousand rubles, while you are strictly clamped to the studio schedule and you will work there strictly allocated time. If for musicians all this is a hobby and does not generate income, then fundraising is a torment. From my experience in charity projects, I know that people are much more willing to help with their participation, by providing their property than with money. Therefore, we began to think, how would we sign up, so as not to pay much. The studio provides us with three key values: apparatus, premises and experience. We began to collect these values ​​separately from our friends.

    The idea began to emerge after watching a video where the gentlemen play in some kind of hangar:

    Specifying the requirements for the room, we agreed that high ceilings and a large area of ​​rooms are important to us. The idea came that you can look for a cottage with a second light, you can live and create in it, as Led Zeppelin did in their Bron Yr Aur. And as soon as this thought came to us, it no longer gave us rest, it was so beautiful.

    They began to look for such a cottage, and suddenly the director of a construction company came to us and offered a great option: two houses with rough finishes, which he sells poorly. Electricity, water and a toilet are, we will get the rest.

    An experienced sound engineer is present in our group.
    The problem with the equipment was partially solved by referring to the management of music stores and rehearsal bases. Some of the very expensive equipment was found simply by acquaintances: many men in childhood dreamed of being rock musicians, then they became directors of the business and bought the expensive vintage amplifier for their money, hoping to play it sometime in their free time. In the end, he usually adorns the room of this man.


    There are two adjacent cottages in draft finish. Available - two weeks of July. You must record a music album of ten songs.

    Getting started
    I use Wrike to manage tasks . At first, tasks are piled concisely, forming an enlarged plan:
    • Musical equipment
    • Optional equipment
    • Furniture
    • Household items
    • List of personal items for group members
    • Organize Internet in the studio
    • Entry and installation
    • Compose music
    • Record music
    • Provide living conditions
    • Collection and departure

    Then all the tasks must be detailed to the smallest detail. I use this method: I close my eyes and begin to imagine one of the work processes, pronouncing it out loud. Example:
    I go to the studio. I take the bass. I connect it with the cord to the processor, then with another cord to the mixing console. The processor is plugged into an electrical outlet.
    As a result of this understanding, it becomes clear what should be from the equipment.

    Another example:
    I wake up in the morning and go to wash, then the toilet, then breakfast, then rehearsal, then lunch, then surfing the Internet, then recording, then dinner, then I go to bed.
    Thinking through each process, we understand that we have a process of kitchen duty, the purchase and storage of products, and certain furniture. Thinking further, it becomes clear that you can estimate the list of products and buy them not in the village where the house is located, but to go to the store cheaper. Since there is no refrigerator, it is reasonable to divide stocks into perishable and non-perishable, and so on.

    Just leave a few notes here, probably come in handy:
    Breakfast - porridge with condensed milk, boiled eggs, sandwiches, tea
    Lunch - soup such as meat + pasta or potatoes, salad like cucumbers + tomatoes
    Dinner - rice \ buckwheat \ pasta \ potatoes + chicken \ stew

    Minimum diet for 12 people for 1 day
    Porridge for breakfast - 1 package (kilogram)
    Condensed milk for porridge 1-2 cans
    Stewed meat - 3 cans
    Macaron 3 packs
    Uvelka rice - 3 boxes
    At lunch - sausage stick, 2 canned food, 1 paste
    Tea, Coffee, Sugar

    Personal belongings of participants:
    Sleeping bag \ Air mattress \
    folding bed \ tourist foam KLMN: mug-spoon-bowl-knife
    Toothbrush, tooth scented paste, toilet paper, wet wipes, other intimate things
    Towel, washcloth, shower gel
    T-shirts, underpants, socks
    Slippers \ slippers
    Mobile phone charger

    As a result, we received project documentation, the degree of elaboration of which allowed us to hope that we would not then have to go from the village urgently to the city for some kind of adapter. Then everything is done according to the training manual: the person with the deadlines is assigned to the task, the project curator regularly calls the people responsible for updating the status of the project, everyone forgets everything, everything happens at the last moment, heroically and overcoming we populate and turn around.

    Creative process

    The process of working on each song consists of the following steps:
    • IDEA Idea - the author determines the harmony, rhythm, sketches a melody, looks for unusual details that together make up the idea and mood of the song;
    • PROP General composition - the idea is worked out at a rehearsal with musicians and is overgrown with details, weaknesses are discovered;
    • TEXT Composing text - not necessarily in that order; text can be created in advance. Nevertheless, in this place there is always a “grinding” of the text to the track or vice versa;
    • VOX Vocal line - the general idea of ​​the vocal part is created, possibly without details;
    • DESIGN Arrangement - composition turns into a task for musicians. The author must clearly explain how to play;
    • DRAFT Draft recording - upon arrangement, a draft recording is made, which is transmitted to the vocalist for rehearsals.
    • After that, the track can again go through points 4-5-6, if deficiencies are found in it;
    • REC Final recording of the minus. If at the DRAFT stage a worthy option is obtained that suits everyone, the group can immediately record cleanly;
    • VREC Vocal Recording;
    • AREC Recording of additional parts - percussion, synthesizers, solo instruments.


    • The texts are written by a dedicated person, doing this all day. Another member of the group can write lyrics.
    • Three people produce tracks, but only two can work at a time: one person works with a group. Producers work in a separate room, in headphones, do not bother anyone.
    • The group is one, it is recorded and rehearsed as a whole, so it can only work on one track at a time.
    • One sound engineer can work no more than 14 hours a day. Without it, finish recording is impossible, but rehearsals and rough recordings are possible.
    • The vocalist is alone, can work only from 11 to 21, can not work more than three hours in a row.
    • The studio is one, and at one point in time, one process is working in it. This resource is the bottleneck of the whole process. If we could make several studios, time savings would be about 30%

    The task was to build the work so that the studio never stood idle. The greatest responsibility lies with the producers, who must provide a task for the musicians for every day. I divided the working day into two-hour slots and made a work plan.


    Further, this plan is implemented using a kanban board. We take stickers with the names of songs and place them according to their status. The plan defines deadlines and helps everyone understand the task for the day. Thanks to the two-hour slots, we were able to avoid the problem when, for reasons of perfectionism, musicians begin to record one song all day. If in two hours we have failed, we move on, otherwise a queue and congestion will form.

    Of course, the creative processes have their own risks: a song may not be composed, a vocalist may not sing a voice, a bassist may not get a part. The atmosphere and atmosphere played a huge role in this. The house in which we worked is located between the cemetery and the airport (therefore, apparently, there were problems with its sale). We were worried that the rumble of airplanes would spoil our parties, but this did not happen. On the contrary, low landing aircraft created their magical mood.

    It really helped that we could actually work around the clock. For example, a vocalist works during the day, in the evening we rehearse a song, at night the drummer conjures over his set. Imagine the atmosphere in which drum parts were composed: at night, while everyone was sleeping, he worked alone in an empty house, behind a fence of which there is a cemetery.

    What happened

    This album for us is now firmly connected with a delightful experience and tremendous enthusiasm for the process. All participants recall this project with great warmth: village silence, airplanes, pacification, around-the-clock doing what they love.

    Last spring, we finished mixing and are now working on an album.

    How to distribute an album?

    Many aspiring musicians do not have a clear idea of ​​how to distribute the resulting album, and send it to all the sites at the same time: on iTunes, Rutracker, Bandcamp and even put it on Dropbox. I would like to devote a separate article to this, but now I will tell only briefly.
    The most important metric for us is the amount of contact information of people from your audience. It is more important to receive your listener’s electric mail than his dollar through IT. Therefore, I use Bandcamp to post music : a person can download our music by specifying $ 0 in the Price field, but he must leave an electric mail. To this mail he will receive notifications of our concerts and new releases.

    Further, our task is to gather an audience in communities (for example, on social networks) and direct this traffic to the release site. When you learn how to work with this one stream of listeners, then you can already make efforts to direct the stream of listeners to iTunes (because it is convenient for listeners with an iPhone) or Google Play (it is convenient for android lovers).

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