Clucks, Barks, and Roars: Animal Sounds CD

by Professor Doug Carroll

Question: What do you get when an animal lover is also a recording engineer?
Answer: A CD entitled Animal Sounds.

This compilation of recordings of more than thirty animal species (and one virtuoso cricket!) is the best of my collection that dates back thirty years. Animals were recorded in zoos and in the wild, as well as in domestic locations. Not even my dogs and cats were safe.

After the recording was finalized, I started my own sole-proprietorship business, Carroll Productions, registered in San Mateo County. I hired a website designer, Joslyn Lyons, and was able to get “animalsounds” in the site address of a new domain, “.info.” The site, animalsounds.info, is hosted by GoDaddy. Photos used on the site were licensed by iPhoto and original shots were taken by Ella Lindgren and Nano Visser.

The initial run for the CDs was 1000, and I signed licensing agreements with CDBaby and iTunes for digital distribution of downloads. I joined ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) to collect royalties from radio or TV airplay. I sent out over 300 promos to radio stations. To protect the rights to the recording, I have applied for a copyright at the Bureau of Copyrights. The sounds on the CD are also available for licensing by agreement.

The target market for this recording is animal lovers, nature lovers and children. I'd like to place the disc in record stores, pet stores and toy stores, and as educational media in libraries and schools. I wrote a musical piece for cello and recorded animal sounds that I perform live. I have also sold some CDs at concerts. The image is environmentally friendly and raises awareness of environmental issues such as habitat loss and species extinction.

My experience in this project may also be helpful to students. I can share a variety of experiences with students starting a business, from image creation to practical matters like getting a Post Office Box and filing taxes.

It's been a wild ride (no pun intended). I have enough new recordings for Animal Sounds 2 (coming to a pet store near you, I hope). Laughing Kookaburras and Crested Screamers steal the show but the Sea Lions at Fisherman's Wharf put up quite a howl. I'd like to write more on this article but I need to go and record a cow.