#1
Alright my band is going to record a demo in December.
Should we buy budget equipment and have my dad just tech for us in my basement?
or should we actually go into a studio and record?

Once we're done recording should we just send our demos to any label that we possibly can?

or should we try and sell them for like 3-5$ at our shows first, then after some people have the demo, if they like it should we send it to labels?

also

How many songs should we record? Should we record our LCB cover on the demo?
Last edited by Swap-Meet at Nov 10, 2008,
#2
I recorded Katzengesang with all my own equipment.

My advice would be to spend the money on studio time, as you'll get a better quality of recording.

However, only do this if your band is tight and can work extremely quickly and efficiently, you won't have time to laze around.

There is a steep learning curve to home recording, but you can produce good results, and you can take as long as you like.
#3
well the only thing i can say is that you shouldn't put any covers on it unless you contact the original artist and ask for permission. then you would have to pay them a certain amount for every copy you sell. i don't think it would be worth it right now to put a cover on a demo unless you wouldn't mind going through all that.
#4
Ask around your buds if they know anyone with recording equipment. Thats how some of the guys around school got to me and I'll be soon recording their demo for dirt cheap.

Send it out to labels if you wish it never hurts to try. Also go around town and ask the record shops if they will sell your Cd.

As far as songs go put as much as you can on the demo but make sure you keep some in reserve.

I've single tracked my band with a 400$ multi-track recorder and a 100$ mic and the sound quality is awesome. So if you decide to get your own equipment you probably wont need to spend much more than that.
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#6
Well, my dad is a professional audio technician, and I am (legally) semi professional audio technician.

My dad has worked at a radio station for over 20 years, he's recorded many things there, including a 2 song demo for my band (without drums).

I've been working on and off at radio stations for 3 years now, I know how to record.

Me and my dad both know how to use Audacity/Audition quite well. So the actual recording won't be as hard for us as it may for other bands.

I don't have a very good attention span, I'm told my attention span is like that of a gold fish. so just focussing on recording as quick without screwing around is gonna be hard for me.

I have written about 20-25 songs, still teaching the new guys in my band most of them though...but they're picking 'em up quickly.

The thing about recording in a studio is I know it'll probably come out higher quality, but I feel as if I'm paying an extra 30-40$ an hour for something I can do myself.
Last edited by Swap-Meet at Nov 10, 2008,
#7
Looks like you've answered your own question!

In that case, since you have an understanding of the process, and the mindset to take your time, you'd be best off spending the money on the equipment.
#8
Quote by BrianApocalypse
Looks like you've answered your own question!

In that case, since you have an understanding of the process, and the mindset to take your time, you'd be best off spending the money on the equipment.


Yeah but I'm guessing I'd also need a sound card that's really good?
#9
Buy budget equipment. Shop around and you can get something good. That way you could use it to record your demo, shows, and very importantly jams. It would be a continuous investment into your band.

You could also consider multi track recorders that don't need to interface with the computer. Although if you plan on being anal computer recording is probably the way to go.
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#10
Quote by Mettliccaa
Buy budget equipment. Shop around and you can get something good. That way you could use it to record your demo, shows, and very importantly jams. It would be a continuous investment into your band.

You could also consider multi track recorders that don't need to interface with the computer. Although if you plan on being anal computer recording is probably the way to go.


If only there was a ****ing shop in montreal that had good used shit.

my basement is gonna be filled with band stuff, this is great :P (already have a half-assed PA system, 3 guitars, 3 basses, drum kit, 4 amps)

I don't mind spending more money, I have a job, and it's either buy a bunch of guitars or buy guitar accessories, or just other stuff for my band :P

plus my brother (vocalist) has a job and has no problems with chipping in for equipment. The other two people in the band could chip in, but since it's gonna be staying at my house mostly I feel like me and my brother should be the ones paying the majority of money for it.

Quote by Mettliccaa
Ask around your buds if they know anyone with recording equipment. Thats how some of the guys around school got to me and I'll be soon recording their demo for dirt cheap.

Send it out to labels if you wish it never hurts to try. Also go around town and ask the record shops if they will sell your Cd.

As far as songs go put as much as you can on the demo but make sure you keep some in reserve.

I've single tracked my band with a 400$ multi-track recorder and a 100$ mic and the sound quality is awesome. So if you decide to get your own equipment you probably wont need to spend much more than that.


None of my friends have recorded. Should I just send it out to local labels? or should I just send it to any label that I think may take a listen? I can't think of more than a couple of shops that are into helping the punk scene out, but I can try I guess.
Last edited by Swap-Meet at Nov 10, 2008,
#11
Quote by ozzybob
well the only thing i can say is that you shouldn't put any covers on it unless you contact the original artist and ask for permission. then you would have to pay them a certain amount for every copy you sell. i don't think it would be worth it right now to put a cover on a demo unless you wouldn't mind going through all that.


Not an issue for punk bands.
#12
Yeah, I've never heard of punk bands upset about a cover. Especially if it's something as low scale as a demo. If you were getting sold at Best Buy and selling the song to Vans for commercial use, I could see where a band might try to get royalties, but otherwise, meh.

It sounds like recording in your home is the right way to go. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to pay for what you have, especially when you could put the money towards something else.

Send it to any label you want. Look for labels with bands that sound similar to you, or labels that have ethics in line with yours. And in regards to shops, most towns only have a couple of indie stores, unless you're in a really big place, so just try to get them to stock it.

Good luck. Sorry I didn't have much new input.
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#13
Quote by Jett Diamond
Yeah, I've never heard of punk bands upset about a cover. Especially if it's something as low scale as a demo. If you were getting sold at Best Buy and selling the song to Vans for commercial use, I could see where a band might try to get royalties, but otherwise, meh.

It sounds like recording in your home is the right way to go. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to pay for what you have, especially when you could put the money towards something else.

Send it to any label you want. Look for labels with bands that sound similar to you, or labels that have ethics in line with yours. And in regards to shops, most towns only have a couple of indie stores, unless you're in a really big place, so just try to get them to stock it.

Good luck. Sorry I didn't have much new input.


Thanks for the input.

Montreal is pretty much the 2nd largest city in Canada...not many indie places
#14
On the problem of selling them at shows or sending them to labels, just do both dude. I know alot of the unknown bands I get into I always want a demo cd so that I dont have to be on the internet all the time to listen to them.
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#15
Buy a boom box that has a record feature... set it up at a practice and record. My band did that and we got a good review in MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL.

Don't send it to labels... that's lame. Just play a bunch of shows. If yer gonna send it to anyone send it to MRR or RAZORCAKE.

I think charging for a demo is lame. I usually just get drunk and hand them out. It'd be cool to have one or two bucks for shipping though. Tapes are really easy to steal from thrift stores anyways. We got away with not selling anything over 4 bucks on the last tour we went on (the 4 buck thing was 7"s). Zines should cost 1-2 bucks, Demos should cost 1-3 depending on how much packaging there is or they should be given away for free, 7"s should at most cost 5 bucks but realistically they should cost 4. CD's should be 5 bucks because Plan-It-X can do it and if you can't yer not doing something right. LP's should be at most 12 bucks because that shit's expensive... if it's a double LP 20 is a fair price.

That's a rough guide to punk rock pricing. This works for Dollars [Canadian and American] and Euro... I don't have experience with British pounds... my b, but I assume prices should be about the same.
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#16
Quote by Swap-Meet
Yeah but I'm guessing I'd also need a sound card that's really good?


Not necessarily, good quality speakers would be a much more important purchase.

Quote by sargasm
Not an issue for punk bands.


Not an issue for most bands if it's just going to be CDRs from a local band. Then if you start getting big you can just leave the cover song(s) off any more that are made.

There's no reason why you shouldn't use a studio, but if you and your dad can manage then why not record at home? It'll give you much more time for mixing and adding bits to the tracks and then listening to the songs in different environments (stereo, car, headphone, etc) before deciding on a final mix.
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#17
I'd buy the recording gear and do it at home. It'll probably be cheaper in the long run because you record multiple demos and EPs. Plus you can help out other bands by recording them.
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#18
Quote by whyvern
Buy a boom box that has a record feature... set it up at a practice and record. My band did that and we got a good review in MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL.

Don't send it to labels... that's lame. Just play a bunch of shows. If yer gonna send it to anyone send it to MRR or RAZORCAKE.

I think charging for a demo is lame. I usually just get drunk and hand them out. It'd be cool to have one or two bucks for shipping though. Tapes are really easy to steal from thrift stores anyways. We got away with not selling anything over 4 bucks on the last tour we went on (the 4 buck thing was 7"s). Zines should cost 1-2 bucks, Demos should cost 1-3 depending on how much packaging there is or they should be given away for free, 7"s should at most cost 5 bucks but realistically they should cost 4. CD's should be 5 bucks because Plan-It-X can do it and if you can't yer not doing something right. LP's should be at most 12 bucks because that shit's expensive... if it's a double LP 20 is a fair price.

That's a rough guide to punk rock pricing. This works for Dollars [Canadian and American] and Euro... I don't have experience with British pounds... my b, but I assume prices should be about the same.


Well, any cash we make from the demos (probably VERY little) we'll just put towards lowering ticket prices at shows (hopefully a few free ones)

Quote by element4433
I'd buy the recording gear and do it at home. It'll probably be cheaper in the long run because you record multiple demos and EPs. Plus you can help out other bands by recording them.


Yeah....helping others, surreeeeee

but yeah I think I'll record at home, I know i'll probably get a decent mic too.
#19
Why would you play at a show that you had to sell tickets to?

That's really lame.
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#22
I guess... or I can't understand why you'd wanna play a show in a place like that. I've had to deal with that shit before. It's not fun having club owners wanna rip you off all the time. When yer a small band it's better to do it yerself because 1) it's more fun and 2) it works alot better.

Also, start booking yer own shows at places that don't do tickets. I remember kids in hardcore bands telling me that their band had to move so many "units" for the show that they were playing. I remember thinking that it must really suck to be in that band. They can't have any fun with it when they have to treat it like a job like that... plus they changed their sound so more people would come see them. I thought that was stupid, they weren't who they wanted to be anymore... whatever. That was just one case... but often times when ya have to sell tickets it's like a high school popularity contest, and that's not what punk is to me. I didn't hate High School all the way but it's mainly because I had punk to help get me through it and to give me confidence. That might sound stupid to alot of people but I didn't shoot my school up like those Columbine kids did, now did I?

I read this blog that Eric from HOLY SHIT wrote the other day complaining about how there's so many bands out there that "don't book shows", if yer in a band you should book yer own shows! It's not that hard and it's a million times more rewarding.

Shit, when we were 16 we had our own venue going (with the help of some older punks) and I booked all the shows there and booked the majority of shows in my town for about a year straight. The collective of people I did it with ranged from ages 12 to 18... it was an awesome feeling and we did it in bum**** nowhere, Alabama.
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#24
Quote by Andrewbiles
Not necessarily, good quality speakers would be a much more important purchase.


Eh?

Best bet is to get an external USB soundcard (audio interface), a mixer and a few mikes and stands. Sorted.

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#25
I'm with whyvern on this, having to sell tickets to play a show is lame. DIY shows are the way to go.

As far as recording goes, I wouldn't put a whole lot of time or money into it, especially for a demo. Remember, this is punk rock, and we jam econo! *-)
#26
Quote by RiotRiotUpstart
Or you're just supemely DIY.
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#27
Quote by whyvern
I guess... or I can't understand why you'd wanna play a show in a place like that. I've had to deal with that shit before. It's not fun having club owners wanna rip you off all the time. When yer a small band it's better to do it yerself because 1) it's more fun and 2) it works alot better.

Also, start booking yer own shows at places that don't do tickets. I remember kids in hardcore bands telling me that their band had to move so many "units" for the show that they were playing. I remember thinking that it must really suck to be in that band. They can't have any fun with it when they have to treat it like a job like that... plus they changed their sound so more people would come see them. I thought that was stupid, they weren't who they wanted to be anymore... whatever. That was just one case... but often times when ya have to sell tickets it's like a high school popularity contest, and that's not what punk is to me. I didn't hate High School all the way but it's mainly because I had punk to help get me through it and to give me confidence. That might sound stupid to alot of people but I didn't shoot my school up like those Columbine kids did, now did I?

I read this blog that Eric from HOLY SHIT wrote the other day complaining about how there's so many bands out there that "don't book shows", if yer in a band you should book yer own shows! It's not that hard and it's a million times more rewarding.

Shit, when we were 16 we had our own venue going (with the help of some older punks) and I booked all the shows there and booked the majority of shows in my town for about a year straight. The collective of people I did it with ranged from ages 12 to 18... it was an awesome feeling and we did it in bum**** nowhere, Alabama.


We don't have to sell "tickets" at most of our shows, but there's a fee at the door.
#28
I put on shows, and charge cover or ask for donation because it costs money to rent the venue and touring bands need gas money.

That's not the same as bands being made to sell tickets by the venue.
#29
The venues round here give you a quota of tickets to sell before the show, and if the band doesn't sell the tickets, they pay for them at full price out of their own pocket.

It's f*cking disgusting.

From my limited experience of DIY shows, I have to say that I don't care for them. There'll always be some **** trying to ruin it, be it kids looking for trouble, the police, or neighbours complaining.

As for recording, it's nice to spend at least some time tinkering around. There's no shame in polishing a lo-fi sound, it's the best of both worlds! I tend to charge above average for DIY because A.) I'm a greedy f*cker, B.) I'm unemployed and need more disposable income than I have and C.) I'm trying to counterbalance the initial money I had to sink into recording equipment this summer, which was actually a fair bit - £150 of equipment, plus £50 of pizza and beer, plus another £50 of drinks down the pub while listening to the takes we recorded in the daytime!

I usually find myself being haggled down price-wise though, but I always make a bit of profit though, usually enough for a drink
#30
The only band I've recorded besides my own is my friends' streetpunk band. And they're a nightmare to work with. They have no idea what they're doing.
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#31
Quote by sargasm
I put on shows, and charge cover or ask for donation because it costs money to rent the venue and touring bands need gas money.

That's not the same as bands being made to sell tickets by the venue.


We're not touring (yet)

I will never again play a show that costs more than 5$ to go and see....aka never again with Supernova.

A supernova show is more expensive than the casualties, lower class brats, and GBH were.
#32
Supernova is the worst.

I HAVE to charge more than 5$ though because most venues here are expensive to rent. Hopefully when I start doing my own sound I can bring the costs down a bit.
#33
Quote by ozzybob
well the only thing i can say is that you shouldn't put any covers on it unless you contact the original artist and ask for permission. then you would have to pay them a certain amount for every copy you sell. i don't think it would be worth it right now to put a cover on a demo unless you wouldn't mind going through all that.

You don't have to ask/pay to cover a song. If you sample the original version, then yes, but you can cover whatever you want without permission/monetary compensation.
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#35
Quote by sargasm
Supernova is the worst.

I HAVE to charge more than 5$ though because most venues here are expensive to rent. Hopefully when I start doing my own sound I can bring the costs down a bit.


Yeah supernova does suck balls, not only do they overprice a ****load, but the shows are setup really shitty.

We lost 10 minutes of our set time cause their bass amp was ****ed.

Most venues in montreal are like 200-250$

if 4 bands play (4 people in a band) it costs less than 25$ a person to rent the venue...so when we start booking our own shows and inviting other bands we'll probably have the entry fee either free, or 2$ (tops)
#36
That's pretty neat that you get all the bands to pitch in like that. Calgary's community isn't really tight enough for that to happen, but we're getting there.

One good place to book in calgary is this hot dog place that lets you put on shows for free because it brings them business. At a show there I'll just ask for donations, depending if there's a touring band or not.

I'm thinking of looking for other places that would book shows like tubby dog does. It even smaller than the main basement we use here, and it works just fine for most shows. I'm sure there are other places that would do something like that.

I need to get my own PA though. I'm saving up.
#37
Quote by sargasm
That's pretty neat that you get all the bands to pitch in like that. Calgary's community isn't really tight enough for that to happen, but we're getting there.

One good place to book in calgary is this hot dog place that lets you put on shows for free because it brings them business. At a show there I'll just ask for donations, depending if there's a touring band or not.

I'm thinking of looking for other places that would book shows like tubby dog does. It even smaller than the main basement we use here, and it works just fine for most shows. I'm sure there are other places that would do something like that.

I need to get my own PA though. I'm saving up.


Well, most of the bands we're gonna play shows with are people I've known for a couple of years.

In the summer we might play in calgary (depending on how we do for the rest of the year) we could probably get free housing from friends and shit that we know that live there...would be cool if we could do that

Dude, do you need a PA for jamming or for shows?
#38
I'm getting a PA for shows I'm putting on.

When you come through Calgary, get in touch. I put on shows, so I'll help out in any way I can.

Who do you know here, by the way?
#39
Quote by sargasm
I'm getting a PA for shows I'm putting on.

When you come through Calgary, get in touch. I put on shows, so I'll help out in any way I can.

Who do you know here, by the way?


I'm not sure if it would be enough, but if you only need it for vocals do what I did. Go to your local music store, and look at used powered speakers / monitors. You can get like a 200w one for 200$. and you can get a 4 channel mixer for less than 100$ (it's what I did...but i use it for jamming)

That's awesome man, when we do go out there I'll deffinitely let you know.

Well, I don't talk to anyone that live there (anymore), but my brother knows someone he was good friends in school with there... He's not really into the punk scene. His name is Danny, no clue what his last name is.
#40
I´m a bit late I think, but we spent the last two weekends recording, honestly said we used 3 days to play in 4,5 songs and the first day we had to find out how studio works, till now we had to pay ~600€, but the quality will be decent, though it´s not punk. The sound quality of punk music can be much worse and be still good, it depends on what you´re aiming for. If you´re willing of being appreciated by the "normal" people then go to the studio.