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Advice on putting together and posting a "Demo"

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  • Advice on putting together and posting a "Demo"

    Hey guys, I'm new to the site. I've browsed the forums before when google searches took me here, but this is my first time posting, so sorry if this is the wrong board for the topic.

    Anyway, i'm an independent musician taking a shot at some solo work. I've got a Pesonus USB Audiobox, some mics, and some instruments. I've been doing some recordngs of covers, mostly for recreational purposes, but i'm getting to the point of recording my own music. Basically what i'm looking for is advice on how to share and post that music.

    My idea was that i shoot for a real album or EP sort of collection i should get a few rough recordings posted, so i can learn both what my recordings need and how to post them. I've got three songs currently planned for the "Demo" (im calling it a demo for lack of a better term) and a soundcloud account. I'm hoping to have all three recordings finished relatively soon, maybe posting them before February is finished.

    So my questions would be these:

    What should i consider before posting these songs?

    Where should i post them? Soundloud, bandcamp?

    Are there any legal procedures i should go through to protect my original works, even in this early stage?

    Is three songs i good size for this project?

    Anything else im missing?

    Thanks for reading and answering, and agian sorry if i posted this in the wrong spot.


  • #2

    Recording something worth posting is step one of course.

    If you want something pro it may be best to go to an actual studio.

    Not only because you will get highly superior results, but it will save

    you buttloads of time learning how to record on your own. If you go to a studio

    for say three songs, you will see how its done and you can use that knowlege

    in your own recording efforts. Doing everything on your own can take years of effort

    learning how to record well. Using a pro studio is in a way like copying cover tunes in your performing.

    Its easier to write your own material if you first learn how to play others music. Same goes for recording.

     

    As far as legal and posting it, Music is legally copywritten once its recorded. You can send a copy of

    the songs for a fee to washington to have the song legally protected, but thats all it does. It gets archived

    so you can fight copyright infringements in court if your material is used without your concent. It doesnt pay your lawer and legal fees to get compensation in any way, its simply proof stored in a file. You can google up copyright laws on line and register. They send you a package that explains all the laws and fees which become quite complex.

     

    As far as posting. You can use a site like Drop Box. It lets you upload music and you can post links

    where ever you want to the music you make sharable. There are others, but I like drop box for its simplicity, plus I can store high quality wave files if I want. If I'm doing on line collaboration or mixing music for others I can post projects, videos etc as well as MP3's if I'm not worried about sound quality.

     

    Lastly, as far as people stealing your music, I wouldnt be too worried about it.

    Most musicians have pride and are honest. Those arent the ones you have to worry about.

    Its the fans who steal commercial music because they feel the world owes them a living. The result would be you dont make online sales of your tunes. You'll wind up begging others to listen to your music just to become popular and freely give it away in the process.

     

    Best thing you can do is record a pro quality CD. 

    Then build or have someone build you a pro looking website.

    Post short takes of the tunes there and also make the site accept online purchases of the CD.

    Then get a band together and go out and play for a living full time and sell the CD at your gigs.

    It wont make you rich and its one in a million you'll ever see any major success, but its like the lottery.

    You got to play the game to win. Its just in the case of the music biz, you have the advantage of being

    smart about it. In the mean time, go back to school and take business classes, and take formal music lessons. Music is all about business and being really good at what you do. If you want to be a recording engineer, take classes in electronics and forget about being both a great musician and engineer. Focus on being great at either one or the other. Its one in ten million vs one in a million you'll be great at two difficult trades. The business casses will be critical for either/both.

     

    Like most, you may just want to record as a hobby. I've done it ever since I was ten years old back in the 60's when I was given a portable reel to reel recorder for christmas. The magic is still there for me 45 years later. I've been a recording producer for a major corporation and I've always had recording gear to write my music to tape or digital. I have an archive of over 10,000 original songs many revamped many times. I get pleasure from writing more than performing these days and love fitting all the different ideas together to make my own music.

    I do collaborations with other musicians and up till just recently played in original bands. I do enjoy playing out myself but I have a bad disk in my back and I'm going to have surgery next month to fix it. I built and support my own studio which I've built up over the past 20 years working as an electronic tech on my day job. I do have other bands come by to record. My old band will be coming buy in about a month to record their new CD of cover tunes. Its not easy to get jobs without a good high quality demo. They post tunes on their website so the club owners can take a listen before booking them. Recording other bands teaches you allot. You do have to put up with allot of **bleep** recording other though. Everyone wants to be a rock star, but few have a clue to whats really involved in getting good sound. You have to be able to give them on the job training without disturbing their performance which can be most difficult if you have a bunch of Prima donnas

    Comment


    • #3

      Keep this in mind - you only get one chance to make a first impression.


       


      This is why I tell artists I work with to never post rough mixes/demos/etc., as it will do two things:


       


      1. It will not have the effect it should have, if it isn't finished or has problems.


       


      2. When you do finally get it done, people who have already heard it will say "Oh yeah, I heard that already - it wasn't that good." The impact of hearing a finished, mastered recording of your music for the first time is gone and you can't get it back.


       


      If you need to make any excuses about it, like "This part needs to be re-done" or "The mix could be a little better." it's not ready for public showing.


       


      It's fine to use amongst band members, etc. but don't play it for your friends.


       


      MG


       


       


       


       


       

      "Thank You, NASA!"

      Comment


      • Peter Doubt
        Peter Doubt commented
        Editing a comment

        MarkGifford-1 wrote:

        Keep this in mind - you only get one chance to make a first impression.

         

        This is why I tell artists I work with to never post rough mixes/demos/etc., as it will do two things:

         

        1. It will not have the effect it should have, if it isn't finished or has problems.

         

        2. When you do finally get it done, people who have already heard it will say "Oh yeah, I heard that already - it wasn't that good." The impact of hearing a finished, mastered recording of your music for the first time is gone and you can't get it back.

         

        If you need to make any excuses about it, like "This part needs to be re-done" or "The mix could be a little better." it's not ready for public showing.

         

        It's fine to use amongst band members, etc. but don't play it for your friends.

         

        MG

         

         

         

         

         


        Excellent advice. I have to keep telling myself that...


    • #4
      Thanks for the replies! A lot of info from those two.

      Maybe I should have mentioned, I don't intend on doing this professionally or making money off it. I'll be attending a music school (not sure which one yet but I've already got two options) and I plan on making a career out of music in some way, but these recordings are mainly just for fun, and for experience.

      That said, all the advice was useful. I had considered the downside if posting rough recordings, especially a bad first impression. I had passed them off as just being overly cautious. A more experienced opinion is nice on the matter.

      Maybe I'll probably put off the "demo" recording idea completely. I'll just keep working on my recordings and get them as good as I can, and keep writing, and when a full EP or album is ready I'll consider posting.

      Comment


      • WRGKMC
        WRGKMC commented
        Editing a comment

        It will be extremely rare when you make a recording and dont hear areas where it can be improved playing  or recording wise. Maybe one out of a hundred recordings you can thump your chest and said you did a good job and even then when you hear it played back years later it sounds amature to you. you see is all a matter of degrees. If you're moving ahead as you should be, anything saved as a recording will already be old news. Main thing is if the musical performance and musical ideas are good, the music will stad on its own merit as a piece of artwork. Capture good art and noone can say its a failed attempt. You'll hear things between the lines within the silence between notes in the music that conjure images that arent really there, but the listener will swear thay hear. Its the after impression thats important, not the minor flaws or missed oppertunites to express something that exhist in all music.  


      • rangefinder
        rangefinder commented
        Editing a comment

        The EAKLE wrote:

        Maybe I'll probably put off the "demo" recording idea completely. I'll just keep working on my recordings and get them as good as I can, and keep writing, and when a full EP or album is ready I'll consider posting.

        Well, if you don't have a specific reason for posting a demo online... then don't post one. But in the meantime, there's no harm in learning how to record reasonable-quality demos yourself. It's not rocket science, and tons of people have done it. But there IS a learning curve. Even if you end up going into an outside studio at some point, the further down the curve you can get with how you want the music to sound, the better off you will generally be, imo.


    • #5

      The EAKLE wrote:

       

      Are there any legal procedures i should go through to protect my original works, even in this early stage?


       

      No, not really.

       

      If your song is good, it will be produced somewhere in a day or two, and the producer will register your song under his name, and relase it. You won't see a cent of royalties.

      Comment



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