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How to Tell if Your Demo is Good Enough

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

When it comes down to it, we all want to know the same thing about our music: Is my demo good enough to get me signed or placed in TV/movies?

In the last post, I talked about the artist press kit–all of the things you need to include, what they should look like, and why they’re important. And of course, I stressed the fact that the demo is far and away the most important part of the package. You might have the fanciest, most exciting looking press kit in the world, but it won’t amount to much if the music doesn’t live up to the hype!

So let’s talk more about the demo… You know it has to be great, but how do you know it’s great? Here are a few pointers that should give you a better idea of whether your demo will make the cut.

Your demo MUST have great songs!

First things first: the songs on your demo should be great. Making a professional demo will be easy if the songs are strong and memorable–but if they’re not so good, it won’t matter how much polish you put on the production. So spend a good deal of time crafting your best music, and remember that getting outside opinions can help you hone your craft. If you’re not sure if you’ve written a great chorus, for example, ask a friend or fellow musician for their honest input. To get professional feedback on your song, call for a free project consultation from Studio Pros today!

Have great musicians play on the recording

In order for your demo to sound great, the musicians playing on it need to be great, too! A studio-quality drummer will take your songs miles above what the average drummer can do. The same goes for bass, guitar, keys, any instrument you can think of. You don’t want to settle when it comes time to choose a player for the music you worked so hard to write. Luckily, today’s technology means you never have to settle. Studio Pros can hook you up with top Los Angeles studio musicians to play on your tracks, so if you’re missing a fantastic drummer, a killer guitarist, or the whole band, we’ve got you covered.

Great Performance

Even if you have a band of good musicians, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to nail your song on the first take. A great recording involves passionate, professional performances from musicians who really care about the song. Having an experienced session player helps a lot, and will give you peace of mind that your instrumental tracks will be done in one or two tries. Studio Pros lets you tweak what you want to change in each player’s track so you get the exact performance you want, and the first modification for each instrument is free.

Great Sound Quality

The finishing touches are no less important than the performance itself–you must have top-notch sound quality if your demo is going to hold up to the competition. This means a fantastic mixing job and CD-quality mastering. Any time you send a demo to someone, you’re competing for attention with everyone else who is also sending music to them. If other musicians are sending in radio-ready recordings, your songs will instantly get lost in the mix if they don’t sound at least as good. This is particularly important if you’re sending a demo to radio stations, as they want your song to sound no different from everything else they’re already playing.

Many songwriting competitions will say that the sound quality doesn’t matter. Even though that may be true to some extent, the fact is that no matter how hard we try, we can’t help but be swayed by a better quality recording. And if two songs are of similar compositional quality, you’d better believe the one that has a cleaner, more polished and professional recording is going to win out, every time.

If you’re still not convinced, here’s a song before Studio Pros’ professional production:

And here it is after Studio Pros:

So don’t sell your music short with a subpar demo. If you want yours to sound professional and stand out in a sea of other demos, produce it with the full music production service of Studio Pros today.



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