Recording Music Demos – The Quick and Dirty Way

Your band is on a roll, you’re getting gigs at local bars and events, you’ve written enough songs to fill two albums’ worth, but you have one problem – the people who need to hear your music, don’t.

Gigs at bars and events are one thing, but getting noticed by people in the industry is another. If you have the material, maybe it’s time to start recording them?

If you have the funds, go and rent a recording studio. Chances are they have an engineer on-board to help you along the way. It’s expensive, but worth it. However, if you’re on a budget, you might need to start small. You’ll need to start thinking about recording music in the confines of your humble abode.

Home recording is not something to be ashamed of, in fact, many established artists still do their own home records, albeit with much fancier equipment. But when starting out, you don’t need to sound-proof a room, set-up mixers, mics, pop filters, and what-not. All you need is a simple, single-track recorder.

For less than $200, you can get a nice portable recorder with built-in condenser mics. If you can stretch your budget a bit, you can go for a video camera with condenser mics as well. This way, you can record videos of yourselves and/or capture high quality recordings of your music.

What about your smartphone? Sure, it can work in a pinch, but if your homes videos taken from it are any indication – the sound is bad, extraneous noises are picked up, and the quality is well below what audiophiles and experts would call “satisfactory.”

With a quality recorder, you can produce quality demos with ease. It’s as simple as setting up the recorder in the middle of your rehearsal space, and start playing. You don’t need to bother yourself with multiple tracks, all you need is a single track of you and your band doing what you do best. For demo purposes, this will suffice. As long as the sound is clear enough to appreciate the music, your golden.

While it is possible to record using multiple tracks, you’d need more than a recorder for it. You’d need a capable computer, a usable DAW (or Digital Audio Workspace to edit), a USB interface, and a mic that can be used with the interface. These will set you back more than a month’s worth of gigging wages, and this is the simplest set-up.

But, for the purposes of this article – and your quick and easy demo CD – a recorder is fine. You might still need a computer to edit and burn the CDs, but you can make do with what you already have at home. No need to invest in specced-out technological wizardry.

Recording music for demo purposes are a crucial part in marketing your music. It enables you to spread your music to places beyond the confines of your local bar and bar mitzvah events. To places where someone might take notice and who can bring your music to the next level.

Check out how you can further market your music, sign up for the free Music Business video training series from James Taylor here.