Friday, March 7, 2014

Notes on Creating a Demo for Your Band

Ok, I am not planning to create a demo any time soon but given that I am reading about music making and investigating home recording I thought I would jot down notes as I came across stuff.  This post will likely be updated as I come across more tips/ideas.

Book: How to Produce, Release, and Market Your Music

I read How to Produce, Release, and Market Your Music by Heather Hasan. This is a very light book that lightly goes into each area you must touch on to produce and release music. Think of this as a starting guide to areas you should investigate and get more information.  Here's what I took from this:
  • Copyrights and Royalties
    • Two types of copyrights, one for songs and one for sound recordings.
    • U.S. Copyright Act of 1976 provides a copyright holder 6 different types of rights:
      • make copies
      • distribute copies
      • prepare derivative works
      • perform publicly
      • perform publicly for digital audio transmission
      • display the work publicly
    • Publishers
      • Holds songs copyrights
      • Collects royalties for the songs and distributes the royalties to the any contracted owners (artists)
      • Not needed unless you expect others to use you music since if very few are reusing your music there is not much to collect in the line of royalties
    • Self copyright at U.S. Copyright Office
  • Making a Demo
    • The listener will only listen to 2-3 songs from you, don't include more. Send the best 2-3.
    • They will only listen to the first few seconds if it does not catch their attention. Make the first part of the song catchy to draw them in.
    • Reading How Music Works by David Byrne I picked up that using compressors in your music to make it sound louder through shaping of the music can help to make a song stand out. Some artists and radio stations do this but in general too much of this leads to listener burn out. My thinking here is that this might be a trick that could be used for demos to make your song pop when the listener tries it out. For more info on this refer to How Music Works by David Byrne Chapter 4: Technology Shapes Music, page 130 in particular which references Oasis albums and Californication by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
    • From my take, it would be best to do this yourself with a cheap home studio.
    • If you have more money and promise then find a local home studio where someone else has figured out the recording aspect but which would be cheaper than a full blown recording studio.

No comments: