Let’s first start by understanding when and why we need to create demos before going into the studio for a recording.
As I’ve discussed in the previous blogs its very important to have your demo tapes ready, here’s why.
- Remove Ambiguity
Working with music can be an extremely subjective thing, what may appeal to you may not appeal to me, and when it comes to finding the right people to work with and put ideas across the best way to do it is through demos.
- Clearer Picture
Music sounds very different played live as opposed to an actual recording, by creating demos you get a clearer perspective on the song and the arrangement and the right way to proceed with it.
- Improving Performance
A recording gives you a clear snapshot of your performance, by analyzing a demo tape a musician can get ideas on how to better the performance in terms of dynamics and pitching and tweak them before they go into the studio.
Now let’s get on to the guide to recording the demos:
What you will need:
- A microphone
- Computer PC/Mac
The first thing you would need to is to get familiarized with the software on which you will record these demos.
If you’re using a PC you can get a version of “Reaper” which is a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) with which you can record, edit and playback your recordings.
On a Mac, you can just get a copy of “GarageBand” from the App Store.
Step No: 1
Find your Tempo and Key. Play around with the metronome to find the right tempo that grooves with your song. Do the same with the key till you find the right Key that works for your voice.
Step No: 2
Record your backing instrument, this can be your guitar or piano or any other harmonic instrument that can be a backing for the melody. Record through the song and decide the structure that you want to keep. Let’s say for eg your song structure can be Intro:Verse:PreChorus:Chorus:
Step No: 3
Record and program in all the ideas and sounds that you can think of, or ideas that will work for the song. These can be multiple layers of Guitars or Vocal Harmonies. Just go along with it and add as many ideas that you can hear on the track. Play it back, listen to it and keep filling it in.
Step No: 4
Once you have a layout with all the elements of the song in place, play around with the volumes and balance the tracks so that they fit with each other.
Once you have a few demos that you’re happy with, the next step is to find a producer who understands your music and shares a creative vision with your music.
Then you’re good to hit the studio and bring your record to life.