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TL:DR – I closed down the QRATES campaign and got a deal with Feedbands. Everyone that pre-ordered still has a record allocated for them. I just need to collect payment directly for you 🙂 

For the Record

After I started the QRATES campaign I discovered a website called Feedbands. They are a subscription based record label that press only first editions of unsigned independent bands.

There’s a few vinyl subscription services out there – VNYL – VinylMePlease – VinylMoon – FlyingVinyl – and they all offer a slightly different take on the same concept: pay a monthly subscription, receive new record in the mail.

But Feedbands are unique because they’re only interested in printing bands / albums that have never been on vinyl before. So their customers tend to be eclectic record collectors, willing to take a chance on undiscovered artists, and the diverse Feedbands Catalog covers multiple genres and nationalities.

When I found their website the premise was straight-forward enough: upload your songs and the community votes for the ones they like. If your music is deemed worthy enough then Feedbands might offer to print your album.

So although I was doing the QRATES crowd-fund campaign I thought it wouldn’t hurt to reach out to other record collectors. My logic being, it probably won’t get picked up by Feedbands but I might entice a few collectors over to QRATES to order Folk Dope.

But to my surprise, around the time I released “Own Up” (3rd single) I was contacted by Feedbands saying they really liked the music and asking “did I have more songs?” “did I have an album?” “when would it be finished?” and so on…

Very exciting, very flattering. But of course I had to admit to them that I was already planning to press the record myself through QRATES if and when I got enough subscribers.

Fortunately they didn’t see that as a deal-breaker, their only clause was they needed to be the first to press the album. They only print first editions.

Advantages of Feedband

Feedbands hand-print custom colours. The mint green colour I had opted for originally with QRATES was no longer on the table after their website revamp. Making custom colours requires blending different ratios of opaque and/or translucent colours. Feedbands are all about cool, unique colour combinations so I knew they’d do the job properly.

Polylined bags – the inner sleeve the record comes in.

By default you get a plain white paper sleeve from QRATES. But any good record collector knows it’s preferable to keep your records in nice anti-static polylined sleeves. It keeps them in better condition. This is another additional cost that Feedbands are handling.

They also include a double-sided insert sheet of the lyrics. Every little sticker or piece of paper inserted into the sleeve jacks up the cost of production so it’s nice that Feedbands are paying for someone to manually include a nice lyric sheet inside the record.

Also another important factor – Feedbands cut the master onto lacquer – the original and preferred method.

QRATES on the other hand favour DMM (Direct to Metal Mastering) which does not result in the ‘warm’ sound that vinyl is known for. (Further reading)

Decisions, decisions…

For a while it was tempting to dream of having a US edition (Feedbands) and a European edition (QRATES) printed, but before my delusions of grandeur got the better of me, I had to realise the “Dolbro Dan Music Corporation” as it were, is in reality a tiny niche of a few dozen friends, fans and family. In the end I needed to weigh up the pros and cons and chose between the two companies.

And I’m not trying to bad mouth QRATES at all – although it may seem that way. It’s a good platform for indies to use to make records, but I think it confused a lot of people, and it wasn’t as flexible as I would have liked.

For example, QRATES didn’t have option to collect so everyone got hit for postage costs which I could do nothing about. Now at least when the records arrive, I can do a little Postman Pat routine and hand deliver most of records myself since lots of you live in Bangor or within a couple of hours drive from me.

I’m really glad Feedbands came along since it means I can present you – one of the first to offer me support – with something that’s of better quality and better value for money. I’m so grateful to every single one of you who put your name forward for a copy of Folk Dope.  I hope you’ll be as proud of your new record as I am of your support.

Best wishes
Dan

Any other questions or comments just email me
hello@folkdope.com

TL:DR – ITL:DR – I closed down the QRATES campaign and got a deal with Feedbands. Everyone that pre-ordered still has a record allocated for them. I just need to collect payment directly for you 🙂 

For the Record

After I started the QRATES campaign I discovered a website called Feedbands. They are a subscription based record label that press only first editions of unsigned independent bands.

There’s a few vinyl subscription services out there – VNYL – VinylMePlease – VinylMoon – FlyingVinyl – and they all offer a slightly different take on the same concept: pay a monthly subscription, receive new record in the mail.

But Feedbands are unique because they’re only interested in printing bands / albums that have never been on vinyl before. So their customers tend to be eclectic record collectors, willing to take a chance on undiscovered artists, and the diverse Feedbands Catalog covers multiple genres and nationalities.

When I found their website the premise was straight-forward enough: upload your songs and the community votes for the ones they like. If your music is deemed worthy enough then Feedbands might offer to print your album.

So although I was doing the QRATES crowd-fund campaign I thought it wouldn’t hurt to reach out to other record collectors. My logic being, it probably won’t get picked up by Feedbands but I might entice a few collectors over to QRATES to order Folk Dope.

But to my surprise, around the time I released “Own Up” (3rd single) I was contacted by Feedbands saying they really liked the music and asking “did I have more songs?” “did I have an album?” “when would it be finished?” and so on…

Very exciting, very flattering. But of course I had to admit to them that I was already planning to press the record myself through QRATES if and when I got enough subscribers.

Fortunately they didn’t see that as a deal-breaker, their only clause was they needed to be the first to press the album. They only print first editions.

Advantages of Feedband

Feedbands hand-print custom colours. The mint green colour I had opted for originally with QRATES was no longer on the table after their website revamp. Making custom colours requires blending different ratios of opaque and/or translucent colours. Feedbands are all about cool, unique colour combinations so I knew they’d do the job properly.

Polylined bags – the inner sleeve the record comes in.

By default you get a plain white paper sleeve from QRATES. But any good record collector knows it’s preferable to keep your records in nice anti-static polylined sleeves. It keeps them in better condition. This is another additional cost that Feedbands are handling.

They also include a double-sided insert sheet of the lyrics. Every little sticker or piece of paper inserted into the sleeve jacks up the cost of production so it’s nice that Feedbands are paying for someone to manually include a nice lyric sheet inside the record.

Also another important factor – Feedbands cut the master onto lacquer – the original and preferred method.

QRATES on the other hand favour DMM (Direct to Metal Mastering) which does not result in the ‘warm’ sound that vinyl is known for. (Further reading)

Decisions, decisions…

For a while it was tempting to dream of having a US edition (Feedbands) and a European edition (QRATES) printed, but before my delusions of grandeur got the better of me, I had to realise the “Dolbro Dan Music Corporation” as it were, is in reality a tiny niche of a few dozen friends, fans and family. In the end I needed to weigh up the pros and cons and chose between the two companies.

And I’m not trying to bad mouth QRATES at all – although it may seem that way. It’s a good platform for indies to use to make records, but I think it confused a lot of people, and it wasn’t as flexible as I would have liked.

For example, QRATES didn’t have option to collect so everyone got hit for postage costs which I could do nothing about. Now at least when the records arrive, I can do a little Postman Pat routine and hand deliver most of records myself since lots of you live in Bangor or within a couple of hours drive from me.

I’m really glad Feedbands came along since it means I can present you – one of the first to offer me support – with something that’s of better quality and better value for money. I’m so grateful to every single one of you who put your name forward for a copy of Folk Dope.  I hope you’ll be as proud of your new record as I am of your support.

Best wishes
Dan

Any other questions or comments just email me
hello@folkdope.com