Here's how I see things working going forward. I'm interested in feedback on these thoughts and certainly any quality artists that fit this model.
Goal - Produce a high quality artistic recording of between 3 to 10 songs for a gigging band or singer/songwriter.
What's in it for the band/artist? Work with an experienced Producer/Engineer and end up with CDs or audio files to sell at gigs and/or stream/download online without having to pull out your own cash.
What's in it for the Producer/Engineer? Receive fair compensation for time and facility, sufficient funding for recording, mixing, mastering (at separate facility), and CD duplication (via 3rd party where requested) while putting more high quality musical product on the street and adding to my repertoire/catalog.
How? - Using crowdsourcing websites (i.e. Kickstarter, Gofundme), band/artist drives their own campaign to raise money for the above by offering completed CD/downloads and various low cost premiums along the way for different levels of investment. Utilize social media, publicize at gigs, tap into your existing fanbase anyway you can to raise the agreed upon minimum amount to drive the production. Use creative premiums to attract higher contributions:
$15 for just the CD
$25 for a signed CD
$30 for a signed CD and a copy of your old CD that you have leftover
$50 for a signed CD and name in liner notes
$500 all of the above, plus include a gig at a party for contributor
I'm making up the dollar amounts and the premiums, but you get the idea. I've seen these work and have contributed to several.
Nobody should ever work for free or for 'the exposure', but I believe the model above is sustainable for a certain segment of bands/artists.
Rules for the bands/artists (not too many BUT this is a BUSINESS):
Must be self motivated and drive fundraising campaigns on their own. You spend enough time probably on Facebook, SnapChat, etc. - put it to use for something that is actually productive.
Must be a gigging band/artist with at least the beginnings of a fan base.
High quality musicians (pro or semi pro) and good musical material of any style (within reason) with the ability to perform
Be respectful of time. It is not unlimited but we will make it all work within reason IF you do your part (show up on time, keep commitments, etc).
No drugs/alcohol in or around the studio ever
I'd be interested in feedback and/or hearing from bands/artist if you like the model.