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How to Make a Demo Tape

I'm going to tell you the basics of how to create your own demo tape, things you should consider, like track length, how many tracks to use, and what to do about your demo cover. These are a few pointers that will put you ahead of the game when competing against the thousands of striving musicians for gig's and record deals.

Time

Record label executives receive thousands of demos, and do not have time to listen to a full length 12 song, 60min+ album. Keep your tracks to a minimum, three to four songs will be enough to showcase your style of music. In addition your songs should be under 5 min in length. This is the rough time of a radio edit, if your get signed, or get a gig from your demo you can always create an extended mix. Your demo is simply to grab the attention of a record executive or a bar owner, and if your lucky enough to grab 12 minutes of there time, it would give you better chances if the listen to a few of your songs instead of one long one.

Live vs. Studio Recordings

demo tape

Choosing whether to submit a live recording or a studio recording will depend on who your sending it to. A night club owner will be interested in how well your band can play live because that is what they will be hiring you to do, is to play live. Not to say that you can't use studio recordings on your demo, just make sure to put at least one live recording on your demo tape, if you are using it to secure a gig.

Demo Tape Covers

Obviously your demo tape cover can play a huge role in whether or not your demo will get listened to. If you can visually intrigue someone by your cover they will be more curious to find out what is on the CD. Check out our article on "CD cover design" to get a few hints

These points are simply to give you an idea on how you should go about producing your demo, if you are needing some information about how to record your music, and or vocals by using a home PC you may want to read "How to Set Up and Record Vocals". This article explains the basics of PC recording, including some tips to achieve a great sound from your raw recordings.

Good luck with your demo tape, and once its finished duplicate it, and distribute it through any avenue you can. You never know what third party may end up listening to it, just remember all it takes is some good tunes, and the right combination of people who like it, for you to land the gig/record deal that you are looking for.

Suggested Reading
  • How to Mix Down a Song
    Creating the initial tracks, mixing down the song, and then mastering your musical projects. This article goes in depth on mixing levels and techniques to improve your songs.
  • Creating a Demo Tape
    Every record label has its own guidelines for submitting demos. This is a general guide for some of the production standards when creating your demo tape.
  • How to Set Up and Record Vocals
    This article explains how to set up and record vocals. The equipment that you need to get started and some recording techniques.
  • The Flanger Effect
    There are countless effects out on the market that help mold, shape, and totally distort your sound. But today I'm going to tell you a little bit about, one of the more popular, and commonly used effects, the flanger effect.
  • Reverb Tutorial
    What reverb is, and tips when applying reverb to a track



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