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Old 12-14-2013, 09:23 PM   #1
gorkyporky
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Releasing a demo?

So, my band is recording a demo. I'm pretty much in charge of everything, since im the only one with any recording knowledge. We are programing the drums, and using Amplitube and such for guitars, but that's not really what im wondering here. I know im going to make the songs sound as good as i can get them with my knowledge, but what about the rest?
Mainly, how much work should i put into artwork, and do we actually sell the demo at shows, or just give it out for free? What info should be printed on the case? How many songs should there be on it? We are planing 7+intro. To much? Should we upload it somehwere and let people download it? Should we even bother with CD's?

I'm kinda wondering about everything that is not related to music production, since i never actually released a recording other than putting stuff on soundcloud.
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Old 12-14-2013, 10:01 PM   #2
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If its a demo, you don't consider artwork, cds, how much to pay etc. Its a free taste of the band to show to venues and prospecive fan what you sound like.

If you're doing a proper EP, be really honest. Is it good enough to play on commercial radio? If not, its still a demo and shouldn't release/charge.
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Old 12-15-2013, 12:31 AM   #3
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Because it's only a demo, I'm assuming the production quality is going to be low and the songs still need polish. I would only sell it if it was at least an EP. Make CD's to give away at shows. I say you should just buy a stack of blank CD's and burn to the demo to that. For artwork, you can make something so you don't just have a blank space, but you could always just put the CD in those cheap paper CD cases and write info on the back of them (band name, tracklist, etc.) but until you record a nice EP this is just something to show people what you sound like and what you are.
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Old 12-15-2013, 03:15 AM   #4
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^^^ Yeah I do this with one of my bands. We have a three track demo that we give away at shows. Have given away about 300 this year. People are asking when they are going to get a cd with more songs. We tell them when our EP comes out next year. Of course when we release the EP, we won't give out the demos anymore.
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Old 12-15-2013, 04:30 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by AlanHB
^^^ Yeah I do this with one of my bands. We have a three track demo that we give away at shows. Have given away about 300 this year. People are asking when they are going to get a cd with more songs. We tell them when our EP comes out next year. Of course when we release the EP, we won't give out the demos anymore.


that´s a good idea...creates some hype. Make sure to have your website/facebook bandpage etc clearly visible on the CD so they know where to find you and you can be sure they´ll get info on upcoming shows and EP releases

you could also only have 3 songs on the demo and then a website with the other 4 that charge per download....with web adress and all printed on the CD´s back That way they know what quality they´re getting and if they choose to purchase the other 4 you´ll cut your losses for the cost of the demos an you´ll all know your doing something right ;-)
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Old 12-15-2013, 08:07 AM   #6
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Honestly, i have no idea if the songs are good enough for a radio. They could be, but im usually the most critical of my work. But i've already put some work into artwork, and since we can just print covers at home, why not put them in the case? I think people would apreciate and remember it more than a random blank cd with handmade letters. Especially since it would cost us close to nothing.
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Old 12-15-2013, 11:28 AM   #7
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That's what you need to decide. Is it a demo, or is it a product?

If it's a demo, then let it be a demo. If it's going to be a product, then make it the best damned product you can so that people will buy it, and when they buy it, won't feel cheated somehow out of their money. "I paid $12 for Green Day, and you want $10 for *this*?!"

Ah, but then pricing comes into the conversation. Sure, give it away if you want. But nobody expects anything good from anything free. I have CD's I've been given by other bands that I haven't even listened to. You can bet that anything I've purchased, I've listened to at least a few times.

If you charge $5, people aren't expecting much either. They're expecting a $5 album, and then ask the question, "Why would I spend $5 on something that is obviously not very good, because if it was any good, they wouldn't be asking only $5 for it?" But if you charge $12 or $15, they're expecting something that will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their QOTSA and Eminem albums. Does it?

In effect, what I'm suggesting here, is it needs to be really good - sonically, artwork, proper jewel case, shrink-wrap, etc. - just like a "real" CD. It needs to be good enough that you can charge about $10 for it without you looking like a schmuck who wants to rip the listener off when they could have just bought the new Mastodon album instead.

If you want to post a minute or so sample, I'm sure lots of us would be willing to tell you whether it is "broadcast quality" or "release quality" or not. (the two terms are pretty much interchangeable... it doesn't have to be a Bob Rock or Mutt Lange production to be either of them, but it does have to sound "radio ready.")

From there, if you decide that it is going to be a product, we can lead you through that.

CT
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Old 12-16-2013, 07:48 AM   #8
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Well, this is the first song that is close to being finished. It has to be mixed a bit more, and i need to rerecord the vocals and tweak the drum sounds, but you can get the general idea. It wont really get much better, but i guess i can do some improvements.

https://soundcloud.com/gorkyporky/c...he-fire/s-3USkw

Also, here's the artwork i have been playing with

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Old 12-16-2013, 08:28 AM   #9
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I found the bass drum sound a bit annoying. It was too loud and too in your face. I would have the drums a bit louder, except the bass drum - and yeah, the drums sounded a bit fake, especially the first fast fills.

I think it sounded pretty decent. But something in the overall sound was a bit dull. I mean, as a song I think it was good but the sounds could be better.
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Old 12-16-2013, 06:41 PM   #10
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Well, this is the first song that is close to being finished.


Hey mate, in the nicest possible way, your band needs more time before recording again. The band isnt tight.
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:38 PM   #11
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^ i dunno. It wasn't perfect, but it was pretty damned good, I thought, in the "tightness" department - especially given that there was lots of opportunity for those imperfections to come glaring through pretty badly if they were going to.

I think the biggest crime right now is that the mix quality is at the "demo" level. It was obviously mixed by a guitarist. Probably 75% of the sound field is guitar.

Suggestions:

Guitars don't punch by themselves. You've got lots of places looking to punch, and those places just aren't punching. You need more drums and maybe even more bass to achieve that. By notching up the drums, your timing issues may become more or less apparent. Hard to say which way that will go, because I can barely hear them in the mix. I mean, sure, I can hear them, but in kind of the way that you hear conversation in the other room. Compared to the dominance of the guitars, the drums are reduced mostly to background chatter.

Listen, for example, to either One of Master of Puppets. Yeah, the guitars are dominant in the mix, but the kick drum is in there enough that it has the strength to articulate those punches. Without that kick to articulate them, you're left with something a lot less... well... punchy.

It's the difference between just saying "la, la, la, la, la" vs. using the tongue to articulate the syllables harder with "da, da, da, da."

The vocal sounds like it is sitting on top of the mix, rather than IN the mix. I know, it's hard to explain what exactly that means, but giving them a little bit of the same room that you gave the guitars or drums could help. They're very dry. Of course, you don't want to drench it in reverb like a Doors album, but they need *something.* I often find myself going for a wee bit of delay moreso than reverb when I want a more straight-up kind of sound. Think very little feedback, low mix level, somewhere in the 100-200 ms range.

Also consider some compression / limiting, or even manually riding the fader and automating that for the lead vocal. There are places where it really jumps out on top, and then other places where the vocal is just getting hammered by guitars.

CT
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Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

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Last edited by axemanchris : 12-18-2013 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 01-10-2014, 10:08 PM   #12
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Well, here's a little update. We finished up the demo, and we kinda sold it last night at a show. We gave some of them away to friends and colleuges and venue owners and such, and we sold a few for 3€ a piece. Got enough money to overfill ourselves with junk food on the way home. I think all in all we gave away around 30 discs.
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