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"Mix fashion" for the home and/or inexperienced project studio?
Old 7th April 2003
  #31
Lives for gear
 
doug_hti's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Olhsson
Most peoples' concepts of demos have always seemed strange to me.

You need to always ask "what exactly am I demonstrating?" The last thing anybody looking at investing in you cares about is engineering and production. They can easily hire a better job than most people could hope to do without having many years of experience.

What you need to demonstrate is:

1. that you can communicate well with an audience and perhaps even already have an audience of fans!

2. that you perform music that is worth listening to repeatedly

3. that there is something memorable about the way you come off.

4. that you seem to have your head on straight about business and clearly understand what is required of an artist.

What nobody really cares about is:

1. that you are a great musician or singer

2. that you are clever or bright

3. that you are a great producer or engineer

4. that you spent a lot of money.

I agree with most of this...but...about the hiring another engineer part. In my experience, sure people will have better producers and engineers, that isn't the issue.
But what I'm finding is important, is that you demo the arrangement and how it's going to sound as much as possible. If the demo is acoustic, that may be what the A&R people expect your vibe to be, even though it calls for full guitars and drums. If the writer/artist is imagining strings, they need to be put on, if the writer/artist is imagining BackGround Voxes, put them on. Even though the quality might be second rate, the parts need to be there and done as tastefully as possible.

What THRILL is saying is right, things HAVE changed significantly even in the last 6 months. When publishers are pitching it to A&R people, no matter WHAT the relationship is or HOW big of a company it is, the publisher can't say, "uh well, the writer was thinkin that there could um be some "X" part there." Writers are not blinking at spending $3k for a demo, as well as having a VERY adequate project studio themselves.

Also, the reason that a writer is investing in a home studio, is because, say some of the A&R people are in town and listening to songs that the publisher is pitching...It's not uncommon for the publisher to call up the writer after a meeting at 4pm and say "they loved it, now change the verse line, it needs to track a bit different, speed up the chorus, extend the bridge, then also make a tv track so the artist can try it out, as they are in town tommorrow morning and going into a studio. Can you have it on my desk by 9 am tommorrow? Thanks."
So you work all night to do the changes and cross your fingers.

I think some of the reason this has become the norm, is because (partly) of the hip hop industry. In which the demo came in sounding like a track ready to go. Slap a new vox on it, mix it, and it's out the door. The production became very important to the song. Unfortunately, sometimes the song is nothing without the production.
And now more and more, the writers are also spending big $ on demos, because they want to produce the real track for the artist, and so they need to demo to the full extent there intentions for the track.
So the now the rest of the industry has to come up to par of the demos and write good songs as well.

Bob, in general, I don't get the impression that Nashville is as harsh about this sort of thing as LA is. In Nashville, the relationship still holds a lot of ground. In LA you better have a great relationship, a great song, and a great track...and even then, good luck.

For an artist, I disagree with #1, as I believe it is important that you can sing, even from the industry perspective. Maybe 2-4 year ago, it wasn't as important, as everyone really thought image was everything and that you could autotune everything, but now the audience is slowly getting more savvy and demanding both image and voice.


And as far as this "radio ready", this term gets way overused. But the track needs to sound as loud as possible. That doesn't meen that it can't have dynamics, just that it needs to be loud and bright. Because many of these systems that they listen to are boomy and muddy and sound horrible and hissy if you turn them up a few extra db with a quiet cd.
Old 7th April 2003
  #32
Lives for gear
 
Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
You can sing and make it count without being a great singer.

There's a lot of opportunities a person might seek with a demo. Live work as well as getting a song done in Nville. I'm thinking the video demo idea is about getting live work, or establishing a relationship that will result in live work.

I do think connecting with the audience is very important, unfortunately I see a lot of real talent that doesn't really reach out in this way- and a lot of people really working the crowd with nothing doing!

Much enjoying the discussion.
Old 7th April 2003
  #33
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by thethrillfactor
Well Jay,

A good portion of my everyday mixing business is those guys. The producers who bought tons of gear(all digital from GC or Sam Ash Pro) but realize after a while they can't mix for crap. And they have a deadline to submit something to the record labels. Or they are way over budget(after buying all the gear and a car of course!!).

It does work by the way, I have friends that work at both and refer my services all the time.

Sometimes word of mouth can do wonders.
Just goes to show what different worlds we live in even though we're about 30 miles apart. I do lots of albums for $3K and my clients have Cubase or 001 rigs rather then a full blown PT system. Some of them are the same guys who ask if a $100 mic is good enough to record vocals "like the big boyz". heh

I also get thrown work from the GC guys, my local Scam Cash is the one in Paramus and well...I try to avoid them if I can. The only decent guy there left and went up the street so I followed him. I don't really advertise, just flyers and business cards. About 75% of my work is word of mouth.
Old 7th April 2003
  #34
Gear Guru
 
thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
Just goes to show what different worlds we live in even though we're about 30 miles apart. I do lots of albums for $3K and my clients have Cubase or 001 rigs rather then a full blown PT system. Some of them are the same guys who ask if a $100 mic is good enough to record vocals "like the big boyz". heh

I also get thrown work from the GC guys, my local Scam Cash is the one in Paramus and well...I try to avoid them if I can. The only decent guy there left and went up the street so I followed him. I don't really advertise, just flyers and business cards. About 75% of my work is word of mouth.
I hear that Jay.

If i did more rock, I would probably be in the same boat as you.

I think all of last year i probably mix just (2) rock projects.

This year all I've done is maybe one single on an independent album.

I have mastered a couple this year though.

I think nowadays that's as close as I am going to get.
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