Recording A Demo: Top Tips!
Here at Gospel Oak, our top of the range facilities and experienced team of engineers means we’re able to offer our clients a whole range of services. Not only do those include preproduction, mixing and mastering, we also specialise in the production and recording of demos, so we’re able to work closely with artists’ to produce a demo sure to help launch them to the next stage of their professional career. With that in mind, we’ve put together a few top tips to consider when recording your demo with us!
A demo is for a musician or songwriter to capture their ideas in a fixed format such as CD or audio files. This will enable them to showcase their talents and pass on their ideas to other musicians, band members, engineers, producers, record labels, clubs, publishers etc.
Do your research. First things first, research the kinds of places that you’re likely to be pitching your completed demo to – it’s important to bear in mind where your demo will be going before you even get started. In the same way that you might research a company before a job interview, take some time to look into labels, events, and venues both locally and nationally to get a feel for your market.
Choose a good studio. This might seem like a no-brainer, but choosing the right studio is essential. Not only do you need facilities with great equipment, but you also need somewhere you feel comfortable. For many artists, recording a demo can be the first, big step towards launching their professional career. Here at Gospel Oak, we’re situated just a stone’s throw from Birmingham, in the tranquil Warwickshire countryside, with a premiere SSL recording suite, a large control room, and a wide range of commercial recording equipment.
Get prepped. Being well prepared and having a clear plan for the day will help you get the most out of your recording time – and your demo! Make sure you have a vision of what you’d like to achieve. Practice your songs, get feedback from friends and family, listen to other demo’s – all of this will help!
Check your instruments. You’re prepared, but it’s important to make sure your instruments won’t let you down once you’re in the studio! Treat your guitar to a set up and new set of strings. Fit fresh skins to your drum kit – if they’re working at their best, the overall end result will sound much crisper! As always get an early night before recording!
Speak to your engineer. Once you’re ready to lay down some tracks in the studio, it’s vital to have a chat with your engineer first. Although you will probably be eager to get in there and get started, take some time to share your vision and make sure you’re both reading from the same page. Remember to take on board your engineers advise and opinions, after all they are the professionals!
Vary your tracks. Although it’s important to tailor your demo to your specific genre or audience, it is vital to showcase your range, versatility, and talent as an artist. Consider recording a mix of originals and covers, up tempo and slow tempo tracks, to really sell yourself! Pick the correct key for the singers vocal range to avoid sounding overstretched or not pushed enough.
Be selective. Programmers and producers aren’t going to listen to an hours worth of your tracks – they receive hundreds a day! You want to keep your demo short and sweet, so although you might have recorded several tracks you love, don’t weigh your demo down with too many! Choose between 2-4 tracks that showcase your talent best.
It doesn’t have to be perfect…Although!! The demo must have qualities that move the listener. This combines the craft of the music such as rhythm, intonation and feel with a believable performance delivered with emotion, focus and commitment.The demo should grab you, but will not necessarily have the polish of resolution or a commercial release.
There you have it – our top ten tips to recording a demo! If you’d like to get in touch to discuss your options, click here. Next up, we’ll be sharing a few case studies of previous artists who have recorded their demos with us here at Gospel Oak, so keep checking back!
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