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Old 12-29-2012, 03:39 PM   #1
Paddynbob
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Need Advice on Demos!

Finding it hard to get info on this online! Keep getting "cover band demo" pages

My band is recording an EP just now, and we're just about to get three songs out of it to send to local venues as a demo. We play (mostly) metal music - although we are one of those akward bands that dips into rock, punk, funk, hip-hop, soft rock, etc.
How high quality (not audio wise) does it need to be? Like, does it need a detailed front cover? Simple front cover? No front cover? What info should i put in there? Should I write a letter? Should it be formal? Informal? Ah!

Band's here and shit... www.facebook.com/twinparadoxofficial we've got one song we're putting on the demo up there if you fancy it its all metal and shizz
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:55 PM   #2
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I've just had a listen and I don't like your music. I would have said "no offence" but then I'd be lying. It sounds as though you've put the distortion to max and the vocals just sound terrible to me. In reference to your questions, the front cover should be how you want it to be. I don't think there's any need to write a letter, just a little note saying what it is. Obviously you should put the bands name, contacts and maybe some info about the band and what influences you.
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonagorn
I've just had a listen and I don't like your music. I would have said "no offence" but then I'd be lying. It sounds as though you've put the distortion to max and the vocals just sound terrible to me. In reference to your questions, the front cover should be how you want it to be. I don't think there's any need to write a letter, just a little note saying what it is. Obviously you should put the bands name, contacts and maybe some info about the band and what influences you.


A lot of distortion, granted. That was my first time recording, didn't know how much to put. Use tube distortion now. As for the vocals, most people like the main vocals, however the left panned backing isn't as good
each to their own

Although, in fairness, the distortion control was ****ed

Last edited by Paddynbob : 12-29-2012 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:15 PM   #4
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Amount of distortion on the tracks sounds fine to me

I mean, it's not the tone I'd go for, but there's not so much gain on there that you can't hear the notes... That being said, your singer sounds bored. The song has a lot of energy, but she sounds like she was just standing in front of the mic talking into it. The end vocals where she's singing higher is MUCH better than what's before it - You should get her to sing the song that high the whole time, and try to get her more into it while she's recording. Her performance will come out better, people will hear that she's getting into it.

Anyway, onto your question - I'd make the front cover as attractive as you can. That's the first impression to anyone who sees it, and if it's boring with just a name on a white background or something (unless it's done right), then the club owners likely aren't going to even listen to it. That being said, I'd try reaching out to more local bands who can already get shows - No reason you have to go directly to the owners of the places, often times it's a promotion company who's putting the shows on, and if you can get to be friends with some of the bands they book, then they should be able to push for you to get on the ticket with them quite easily.
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatrixClaw
Amount of distortion on the tracks sounds fine to me

I mean, it's not the tone I'd go for, but there's not so much gain on there that you can't hear the notes... That being said, your singer sounds bored. The song has a lot of energy, but she sounds like she was just standing in front of the mic talking into it. The end vocals where she's singing higher is MUCH better than what's before it - You should get her to sing the song that high the whole time, and try to get her more into it while she's recording. Her performance will come out better, people will hear that she's getting into it.

Anyway, onto your question - I'd make the front cover as attractive as you can. That's the first impression to anyone who sees it, and if it's boring with just a name on a white background or something (unless it's done right), then the club owners likely aren't going to even listen to it. That being said, I'd try reaching out to more local bands who can already get shows - No reason you have to go directly to the owners of the places, often times it's a promotion company who's putting the shows on, and if you can get to be friends with some of the bands they book, then they should be able to push for you to get on the ticket with them quite easily.


In the way of a letter?
Thanks for advice btw :L

Last edited by Paddynbob : 12-29-2012 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:37 PM   #6
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Honestly, if you feel like your music is good enough, I dont think you need anything with it, but I guess it couldn't hurt to just put a little note in it like:

"<insert venue name>,

Please accept this CD for your listening pleasure.

We hope to work with you in the future. If you wish to contact us, please refer to the phone number below,

Thank you,


Twin Paradox
<insert phone number>"
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:48 PM   #7
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Call me old fashion, but I'm a fan of creating a press kit. Maybe you're already creating one and just talking about how you want your EP/demo to look as a part of it, but if you haven't created one you should really look into it. It helps set you apart from all of the other bands that might be trying to book a venue while also helping you create a level of professionalism. You can find pretty good resources on press kits if you do a quick google search.

As far as the demo goes, make it look as professional as possible. You want it to stand out and make the potential listener curious and excited about it...that's what's going to get it heard. Like MatrixClaw said, if you have connections through other local artists, use them. As long as they are reputable and professional (they don't trash the venue and get banned from every place they play) having them vouch for you will push you to the front of the line.
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by npo123
Call me old fashion, but I'm a fan of creating a press kit. Maybe you're already creating one and just talking about how you want your EP/demo to look as a part of it, but if you haven't created one you should really look into it. It helps set you apart from all of the other bands that might be trying to book a venue while also helping you create a level of professionalism. You can find pretty good resources on press kits if you do a quick google search.

As far as the demo goes, make it look as professional as possible. You want it to stand out and make the potential listener curious and excited about it...that's what's going to get it heard. Like MatrixClaw said, if you have connections through other local artists, use them. As long as they are reputable and professional (they don't trash the venue and get banned from every place they play) having them vouch for you will push you to the front of the line.


Right... What's a press kit?
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Old 12-29-2012, 05:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paddynbob
Right... What's a press kit?


Don't strain yourself mate, you might pull a muscle.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Press_kit
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Old 12-29-2012, 05:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonagorn
Don't strain yourself mate, you might pull a muscle.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Press_kit


You're clever.

Surely its better to have it explained to me. If you don't want to explain things to people, you don't go on "help wanted" forums.
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Old 12-29-2012, 06:25 PM   #11
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If the purpose of your demo is to get gigs, it doesn't really matter that much what your demo looks like. It just needs to represent what your band sounds like.

I'd include a bio, photo, and a burned CD as part of a basic press kit, being sure to point the person of interest to a website where they can see/hear/read more.

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Old 12-29-2012, 11:51 PM   #12
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With a demo that's only for use within the industry it's much cheaper and more professional to just send a 'white label'. Plain CD-R, with contact details and band name either as a paper insert or on the disc.



That demo sounds like crap, to tell you the truth. Muddy as hell, unbelieveably dodgy timing, and the guitar on the left doesn't even sound in tune. The tone on the main guitar is hilariously over the top, you need to highpass that mofo!


I'm not being harsh for the sake of it by the way. I quite like the sound (even though I hate metal)....the female vocal is a cool contrast and it's a solid tune. Just needs some serious production changes.
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Old 12-30-2012, 07:04 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle62
With a demo that's only for use within the industry it's much cheaper and more professional to just send a 'white label'. Plain CD-R, with contact details and band name either as a paper insert or on the disc.



That demo sounds like crap, to tell you the truth. Muddy as hell, unbelieveably dodgy timing, and the guitar on the left doesn't even sound in tune. The tone on the main guitar is hilariously over the top, you need to highpass that mofo!


I'm not being harsh for the sake of it by the way. I quite like the sound (even though I hate metal)....the female vocal is a cool contrast and it's a solid tune. Just needs some serious production changes.


Well, each to their own. Like I said, I use tube distortion now, and the distortion control was broken on the pedal I was using.

As for the timing changes, some people loved them, some hated them, just like the tone. We were thinking about changing them, but decided we liked them, and was no point misrepresenting ourselves.

But hey, everyone gets criticism don't they? I bet loads of people told Tom Morello he couldn't shred while bending his guitar out of tune

But yeah, that was recorded a while ago, and our tone has changed. Not all the songs are metal now, either. It'll be a six song EP with 2/3 songs being metal depending on which one we decide to be our last one.

Followup question: how many songs is max on a demo?
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:03 PM   #14
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As a general rule, three songs is the norm for a demo.

CT
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:43 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by axemanchris
As a general rule, three songs is the norm for a demo.

CT


I thought so
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:08 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Paddynbob
Well, each to their own. Like I said, I use tube distortion now, and the distortion control was broken on the pedal I was using.

But yeah, that was recorded a while ago, and our tone has changed. Not all the songs are metal now, either. It'll be a six song EP with 2/3 songs being metal depending on which one we decide to be our last one.


I may have gone all tl;dr on you, but I didn't see where you said you'd be recording new versions of the songs for the EP or a new demo.

If you plan on it, ignore my post. If you don't plan on it, I'd highly recommend re-doing it. In your own words, your tone has improved and you recorded on busted gear. A demo should represent you at your best; you're not gonna be sitting there while the dude listens to it explaining to him that you really sound a lot better and he should trust you on that despite the fact that the demo sounds like crap. He's not gonna care about that; all he'll care about is what he can hear, and if he doesn't like what he hears, he won't hire you. Simple as that.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:10 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by CarsonStevens
I may have gone all tl;dr on you, but I didn't see where you said you'd be recording new versions of the songs for the EP or a new demo.

If you plan on it, ignore my post. If you don't plan on it, I'd highly recommend re-doing it. In your own words, your tone has improved and you recorded on busted gear. A demo should represent you at your best; you're not gonna be sitting there while the dude listens to it explaining to him that you really sound a lot better and he should trust you on that despite the fact that the demo sounds like crap. He's not gonna care about that; all he'll care about is what he can hear, and if he doesn't like what he hears, he won't hire you. Simple as that.


The plan is to pull three songs off our EP... It may just be that that one and our other one that I recorded with ****ed gear are left off. Which is a shame, cause I liked them.
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