5 Projects Musicians Can Do to Keep the Music Alive During COVID
Updated: Jan 29
Don’t let social distancing keep you from connecting with fans and meeting your goals!
First of all, is COVID even going to be a thing in another month or two?
Yes. Even with vaccines, it's going to take months—if not the rest of the year—to get through the lifting of restrictions and opening of establishments. But the good news is that the pandemic has elevated a whole new set of tools for musicians. The technology exists right now to help you make music and connect with fans like never before.
There are plenty of ways artists can take this time off from regular live gigs to keep their projects going full speed ahead. Following are five types of projects we’re working on with local artists in the time of COVID.
1. Record an Album, EP, or Song via Mobile Recording and Remote Mixing
Does the idea of spending hours crammed into a mixing suite not fit your definition of social distancing? Even if you don’t have the years of training required to bring your home recordings to a professional level, there are still ways to produce a professional sound recording while maintaining a healthy distance.
Our Mobile Sound Recording Truck
Field Trip is a complete engineering suite on wheels. Because we’re mobile (with a fully equipped studio inside a 1984 Rainbo Bread truck!), we can come to your home, to an Airbnb getaway at the beach, your favorite venue or warehouse—practically anywhere.
You can be out of the room while we do the set-up. Then you come into the recording space when it’s time to do the tracking. We do all the recording and mixing safely separated from you, from inside our mobile unit.
And if you and your bandmates don’t share a bubble, we can record different people in different rooms of a house or building so you can stay safely apart and let those vocals fly.
Remote Mixing Sessions
Have unfinished tracks you’d love to polish and get posted to Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, and more? There are excellent online collaboration platforms that enable us as sound engineers to work in real-time with you and deliver a professional listening and editing experience.
Zoom or Google Hangouts for face-to-face conversations
Full-resolution, uncompressed listening through Pro Tools for real-time mixing-and-monitoring.
● Easy-to-use file-sharing platforms for accessing your mixes
“When COVID hit right as we were putting the finishing touches our album, we thought we’d have to put the project on ice. Then, Field Trip set up online mixing sessions for us that worked just like sitting in a room together. The process was fun and efficient–and every track sounds phenomenal!”
--- Amy Spreadborough, little hexes
2. Produce a Performance Video or Live Recording
Local music venues are mostly sitting empty these days. But you can give them—and your project—a boost by renting a stage to produce a video or live recording…or better yet, both at once.
Reach out to the management of your favorite venue to check their availability and rates. And why stop there? You can also think beyond the clubs. Churches, community centers, even your favorite bookstore may be great spots for a live recording and can provide unique backdrops for video.
Need inspiration on the ideal spot to shoot or record your band? Field Trip is happy to help!
Once the venue is chosen, you can work with us to:
Shoot a live music video for sharing on social channels and your website. Field Trip’s three-camera set-up with a professional (and socially distanced) videography team will help you create a polished performance.
Record songs or a full live performance to release as an album or share as singles via music streaming services and social media. We’re equipped and ready to capture pro-quality live audio recordings in the socially-distanced venue of your choosing.
Be sure to take behind-the-scenes photos or videos to use in marketing your event or to add outtakes into your video.
Here's a performance video we produced for our client O.H. Moon. We employed multiple cameras, which gave us a variety of camera angles to work with. We also captured and mixed the haunting and intimate sound of this artist.
3. Take Live Streaming to the Pro Level
If you want to create a live stream event, you can do it yourself with as little as an iPhone and tripod. But let's face it: we've all seen and heard live streams that have looked and sounded more than a bit rough around the edges.
If you want your sound and video to be up to the quality of your actual performance, enlist a little help from the pros.
Field Trip can roll up to your home, studio or any other venue–including an outdoor patio that allows your band to effectively distance–and run your live stream for you. We’ll take care of the audio and visual details, leaving you to focus on delivering a great set.
Simply pick your performance venue and your live-streaming platform, such as Facebook Live and Instagram Live, Vimeo Livestream, YouTube Live, or others. Then, monetize your live stream with a virtual tip jar by including links to PayPal, Venmo, etc.
4. Turn Your Performance into a Pre-recorded, Paid Online Event
Does anyone need more stress right now? Forget the fingernail-biting experience of simultaneously juggling performing, recording, managing a live audience, and gambling on the dubious strength of your wi-fi signal. Instead, consider pre-recording a performance for later viewing.
In addition to de-stressing, pre-recording gives you the ability to do multiple takes, then edit to create a more polished and professional final product. Even better, you can choose the time, place(s), and methods for rolling out your content to broaden viewership and generate some income for your project in the process.
Ideas to Consider:
Do you want to have an event that’s one-time-only viewing, or do you want to set your video up to view on demand? You may be surprised at the audience you can draw when your fans don't have to get off of their couch. But you may want to set up your video-on-demand so that fans can literally view it any time, from anywhere, to increase your earning potential.
How will you monetize your event? If you’re scheduling your show as an event with a set time, include an admission price in your invitation and use a platform like Eventbrite for ticket sales, just like you would for a live show.
Put your video behind a “paywall” service or subscription site. Check out the variety of options offered by Bandcamp, Patreon, dacast, or others. Research well and know that these services have a wide range of costs and requirements.
To keep the live flavor, how about adding an online meet-and-greet prior to your video’s debut? A platform like Zoom enables you to interact with fans and share your performance without the stress of producing a fully live broadcast.
5. Throw a Socially-Distanced Private Show
Bands and their fans are greatly missing live shows and events. Even after social distancing requirements loosen up, it will still take some time to get back into venues in pre-COVID numbers.
In the meantime, many local venues are available for limited capacity, socially-distanced events. And don’t worry, even though it’s not the "same-ol’ same-ol'" when it comes to booking shows and venues these days, we can help you with any of these tasks:
Choosing and booking your location
Running your sound and lighting
Consulting on social distancing options
Capturing full-HD video
Get a Free Consult with Field Trip
To say that COVID-19 has turned the music industry upside-down is an understatement. But it doesn’t have to prevent you and your project from continuing to win fans, make income, and charge ahead with your musical goals.
Want to learn more about what best fits your project and goals? Contact us today for a Free Consult and let’s talk about the possibilities.
Field Trip exists to record people where they live and play, where they feel at home or where they escape to focus on the music and leave the rest of the world behind. Our mobile recording unit, built in a 1984 Rainbo Bread delivery van, is a house-call studio, control room on wheels, and wandering green room. And it’s at your disposal.