Making Your First Demo

So, you make excellent music, and a lot of your followers are wondering why you are still not signed up with a record company. Well, if getting signed up is an easy business, everyone will be in the music industry. It is hard as it is, but it shouldn’t discourage you from trying. There are even TV shows that put musicians under the spotlight for a chance to be a star. But if you are not ready to take the reality TV route to snag that record contract, it is time to start making your music calling card – your demo.

Making a music demo is easy. You just need to have the right material, venue, and equipment. It doesn’t have to be expensive, too. Here is some advice on making a successful demo recording.

Look for the right venue and equipment

The venue could be a professional studio or your humble abode. What’s important is that the place is quiet enough to avoid noise in your recording. Depending on your location, equipment and music genre, you can choose between the two recording methods.

  • Live – This is recording the vocals and instruments, at the same time. This will produce a raw sounding record. If your genre is punk music, this should be your route.
  • Multi-track – This means that you record the vocals and instrumentals separately. This will produce a much clearer sound for each component of the song.

Regarding equipment, make sure that your instruments are hooked on to a proper amplifier and microphone.… Read the rest

You can be the coolest artist in your backyard. You have top notch songs, and your production is totally fresh. However, its value is not complete until the rest of the world hears it. Some artists may frown at aiming at getting signed by a record label. They say it should be all about the music. However, music is meant to be shared and appreciated. You owe it to yourself and the world to share your talents.

So now, let us know how you can start showing off what you’ve got. You do not have to aim for the record label contract, it could come later, even effortlessly, if you have what the crowd wants. In the meantime, let us talk about how you can get your music out there.

Sure, you already have the talent and cool compositions under your belt. But as they say, there is always room for improvement. You need to be confident that you have good material to show. It doesn’t come overnight. It takes a lot of development before you could perfect your music.

The best way to improve your music is to listen to more music. Your music idols can give you a clue on how it is done just by listening to their music. We are not aiming for a copycat. What you’d like to do is to observe their music such as their style in writing their compositions.

You also need to consider what listeners want to hear. We know, music is supposed to be about the artistic expression of the artist.… Read the rest

The recording studio is the hang-out of musicians when they are not out on a gig. It is the creative space where talent and technology meet. All-nighters are common, and when people work overtime, it is usually accompanied with food. Often, the crumbs and leftovers are left until the next day attracting pests, such as ants and roaches. Worse, mice may join in the pest club and start gnawing on wires and equipment.

The first step in keeping pests out of you recording studio is to keep your environment clean. Bear in mind that they are in your studio for a reason, not to create music, but because there is an overflowing supply of food. Cut their food source, and they will leave. If the pest infestation goes out of hand, you can seek the services of a professional pest control company to eradicate the pests.

We do not have to look further for an example because we experienced it first-hand. The machine room in our studio in Charlotte got took over by a mice colony. We had been lazy and did not mind the food scraps from our evening snacks. We did not even notice it until we saw nibbles in some of our wires. Luckily, the damage was not massive.

But, it sprung us to action and called a pest control company to help us get rid of the pesky mice before further damage is done. They promptly removed the pests, and we vowed never to eat in the recording studio anymore.… Read the rest

The class of my daughter was in-charge of their School Play this year. Everyone was given a task, and I was assigned to help in the sound committee. I told them I was not an expert, but they still wanted me in. I figured they badly needed an extra hand and perhaps they thought my being a music enthusiast would make me breeze through the tasks. Let me share with you about this exciting experience.

I did an ocular inspection around the hall to get the feel of the place. It was helpful to have a checklist to guide me through, and I was ticking one item after the other.

I was only assigned to the sound design team, but I couldn’t get my head off the stained carpet in the music hall. I know they vacuum it regularly, but I guess it’s been so long since it was professionally cleaned. I gave the school principal a heads-up about the carpet and handed her the website of our regular carpet cleaner. I do hope she considers having the carpets cleaned before the event.

I continued my task and checked the equipment in the hall. Good thing, they had the basics.

–    Microphones

–    Eight-channel mixing console

–    Two larger speakers as the primary sound source

–    Two smaller speakers as onstage practical speakers

–    Two surround speakers

–    Power amps for all the speakers

–    Playback source with a dedicated computer for the sound

We did a sound check on each of the equipment and they were working just fine.… Read the rest