Bruce Springsteen has said that he writes about four songs for every tune that actually ends up on an album. And it pretty much goes without saying that Springsteen is among the best of the best when it comes to songwriters.
With that in mind, it seems a bit confusing that the current trend seems to be to get every recorded song “released” ASAP. While we highly promote interacting with fans and giving them new work to soak in, when it comes to new songs, it is often better to live with them a little while before releasing them into the world. All too often, that song that struck you as “the greatest song ever” when you initially wrote and recorded it may seem a little cringe worthy after a few days, weeks or months.
All of this was sparked by the release of a new iPad app from Focusrite called Tape that essentially replicates a two-track analog tape machine for quick and easy recording on an iPad. The app is great to quickly lay down demos of songs, though its functionality is, by design, limited.
You can record through the iPad’s built in microphone or through a compatible audio interface. After your basic tracks are recorded (you can record two separate tracks or one stereo track), you can polish them up with one-button mastering.
Again, this won’t give professional sounding results, but is a great way to record song ideas and demos for posterity without firing up your home recording rig. But it’s a final feature that caught our attention and brought about this article.
We love SoundCloud and think it’s a great way to share tracks with your fans. We also love providing free demos or unreleased tracks that your listeners wouldn’t otherwise have access to -- this is a great way to build online engagement from your fans.
However, with this quick-share functionality with SoundCloud built into Tape, it might be a little too encouraging to immediately share that new idea. And as we mentioned above, more times than not it is best to let the song you recorded sit for a little while and then revisit it with fresh ears.
Of course, sometimes when you come back to a song you realize that it really is the next big thing, and is something your fans need to hear. But of course even then, you may want to save the song for your next album and let the fully-recorded final version blow your audience away upon first listen.
Whatever you decide, it is just worth noting that in today’s fast paced and short attention span digital lifestyle, it is easy to put things out there before you (or the songs) are really ready for public consumption.
Always remember, even Springsteen doesn’t release everything he writes.