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unsigned and releasing demos from an upcoming cd?

Discussion in 'Studio Lounge' started by hithere, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. hithere

    hithere Active Member

    hey guys, awhile back last year, I put together my most professional cd, which I like to describe it as emotionally there, I feel it's not completely perfected, and the arrangements will be updated and more mature when I get the money to go to a more high profile studio/a lot of other things.

    as its intention was supposed to be a a fully perfected self released album, it has struck me as being good demo (or more than demo) material.

    To put it simply I wouldn't want most of the tracks to be on a widely released album, but as far as showing people the gist of what I do I am very comfortable with them.

    I am going to be Berklee College soon like lots of you guys know, so self funding a record right now, a completely professional one that is, isn't my best bet, plus right now I have to stop thinking of any gigs and start studying and not writing my own stuff most of the time. I am rather behind on my music reading etc.

    Beyond meeting lots of musicians, doing a lot of recording I will be quite busy up there, but I feel I am cheating myself by not putting these
    "demos" out there, and sending them to some labels, while I am on a studying hiatus.

    Back when I started people generally got to know me by my little home demos, now I have studio recordings, and I feel even allowing these songs to be downloaded freely and shared may be a good idea.

    my only issue is this. would labels be uninterested if most of the songs were already out there? even if I wasn't making money of them and they were freely out there?

    there actually are some acts out there who seemed to do well by simply having a demo that became a hit online, and then a label picked them up.

    of course though I want to copyright them before I start putting them out there, but is this a bad idea for any reason?
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    It is never bad to copyright your original material-even if you give it away for free or modest price. If you were to become a commercially viable entity at a later date you might want actual control on your song rights etc. Just my opinion.
  3. hithere

    hithere Active Member

    if I did have the copyright though, and for some reason later on a label was interested, would it still be ok to give these away.

    some people say the label would then want new material, or if you aren't making money they won't be interested.
  4. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Labels are interested in the potential to market and make money.
    If you've got 1,000,000 downloaded copies of a single, whether it be free or paid, you're going to be noticed.
    Labels are businesses. They're in it for the potential of a return (notice I didn't say money. A return can be something far more valuable than cash sometimes). They also will not pick up tracks that you've already recorded. They will want new material. If not, they'll at least expect you to re-record and re-release the older works.

  5. hithere

    hithere Active Member

    hey thanks thats what I am trying to get at, say I had all those downloads, my whole point, is I want the budget to record it correctly, and thats my hope from a labels support.
  6. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    You're officially putting the cart WWWAAAAYYYYY before the horse.

    You're not going to get that kind of support from a label for a long time to come. Not that you don't deserve it - I don't know you nor do I know your music. However, neither do the labels.

    Here's the thing -
    You're not going to get a million downloads without the 4 following ingredients (all of them must be there and are equally important):
    1 - Great songs (well-written, great structure, excellent hooks, etc.)
    2 - Fantastic performances (both on disc and live)
    3 - Lots of live performances under your belt and on the books
    4 - a great sounding demo or two or ten.

    No label is going to hear a rough cut single and say "Gosh! We have to sign this dude!"

    They're going to do their research. They're going to see where you play, how often and how broad of an audience appeal you have. They're going to see if there's any kind of "brand" recognition. They're going to see if you can perform and if you can record. They're going to see who is downloading your music.

    Your second step after recording a decent demo isn't straight to labels-ville. It's to get booked for shows. Then, use some of that money to get back into the studio. After that, then you might start turning heads. Before that, you're just like every other person who is trying to be discovered.

    The biggest thing you have to ask yourself is:
    WHY do you want to get discovered?

    Is the answer "fortune, fame and money" and "so I can get laid more?" If so, then you'll never get past the front door.

    Is the answer "because this is what I love doing and I'm willing to put everything I have, am, and will be into doing it so that I can share that with people who feel the same?" Then congratulations, you're heading in the right direction.

    Make no mistake though - music is WORK. It costs money, it shatters lives and it destroys anything that resembles "free time." Only in the American (and English) culture do we dare refer to it as "Playing" music.

    Cheers and best wishes!
  7. hithere

    hithere Active Member

    hey, yeah I have been playing since I was very young and am now 19 and going off to Berklee College of Music.

    The one thing I do have is a very good demo tape, and the reason I am asking these questions here, is because I am totally afraid of the industry.

    I am not in it for the fame etc, I have been doing it since I was very young, and continuing my education, I just thought on my downtime while I am there it might be good to at least have my demo be passed around.

    but thanks for the help, and of course with this there is no right sure fire answer.
  8. MadTiger3000

    MadTiger3000 Active Member

    When you get to Berklee, you will eventually have more than enough opportunity to record AT NO COST in better studio facilities right on campus. Hell, eventually, it will be for homework assignments and you'll have to get your butt in there. So that won't be too much of a problem. You will also have access to classmates looking to get more studio time under their belts, so that won't be a problem.

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