A great demo CD in the right person’s hands can change your life!
There’s no guarantee that you’ll become a superstar, but you could land that dream gig, contract, set or event just progress to the next level in your musical career. It’s all well and good having the skills and ability but if no one knows about you then nothing’s going to happen. You’re going to have to make it happen yourself!
Here are a few tips to help you create a great demo CD
So you’ve just bought a guitar and started writing music or have bought some decks and are eager to become the next Pete Tong. It’s going to take a bit of time to hone your skills and be the best that you can be, unless you’re some kind of musical genius in which case you probably don’t need to read this.
When you feel that your ready it’s time to get a demo CD together.
This is a pretty in depth subject and has filled many books but if you pay attention to a few of the basics you won’t go far wrong.
Go to a recording studio
You’d be surprised how many local recording studios there are and ideally you should get your demo professionally recorded and mixed. It can often be a lot cheaper than you think and the results will be well worth it. The studio will be able to take care of the whole recording process from recording to mixing and mastering.
If your budget is tight you can record your bands demo using a couple of well-placed Dynamic microphones and a laptop. If your practice room sounds awful why not try recording your demo at your next live gig, this can add atmosphere to the recording and mask some of the limitations of your recording equipment.
If you’re a DJ and wanting to record a demo CD then professional results can easily be achieved using a computer with a half decent sound card and recording software. Just take the output from your mixer and plug it into the input of your soundcard, press record on the software and away you go.
So you’ve recorded a great demo that sounds amazing and contains the best work you’ve ever done.
Scrawling your name and number on a CD with a felt tip pen is not going to do your demo justice. The appearance of your demo is vitally important and can be the deciding factor in getting your demo heard or chucked in the bin. Before any of the musical content has been heard the prospective listener will have already made an overall judgement be it positive, negative or indifferent.
Seek some inspiration
Before jumping into the design aspect of your demo CD it is a good idea to get inspired. Take a look through some of the artwork on your favourite albums, visit a gallery, look through magazines, take some photos and do anything that will help to create a visual design concept for your demo CD. Often the first thing we do when recalling a piece of music is to attach a visual in our minds, be it a place, a face or more than likely an album cover….. Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band anyone?
It’s always a good idea to get your design ideas and concept professionally created by a graphic designer. This will ensure your ideas will come out just how you imagined and in the correct formats ready for printing and duplication. If you feel confident in designing the artwork yourself then go for it, ideally you’d want a professional piece of software such as illustrator or Photoshop to create the artwork digitally but there is nothing stopping you from hand drawing or painting the designs then converting them into a digital image using a high quality scanner.
A great way to get started with your artwork is to base your design concept around photographs either abstract, of nature or a photograph of yourself or band.
Once your artwork is complete the next step is to get your demo CDs professionally printed and duplicated or replicated.
Do you have any other tips for getting your demo noticed? What’s your favourite band demo? Have your band got a demo but it needs some work? Well don’t be scared to post it on Music Gateway and you could be on your way to stardom!
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