• Phil McDonald

To Demo or not to Demo?

When artists and bands approach me about booking a studio session I often get asked if I want to hear a demo or I get sent links to the artist's music on a Soundcloud page or such like. So before going into the studio, is a demo needed?

From a producer's point of view it can be very helpful. It gives me an insight into your music, your style, and what's likely to be involved in the recording process. And these days it's so easy to get a track recorded using simple and free software or even your phone. My personal go to gadget is a Tascam DR 05 which is inexpensive and gives great results. You just point it at the sound source and hit record. The quality is superb.

However, a demo isn't the be B all and end all. Sometimes it's better not to be too rigid when approaching a session. Your song arrangements have to be sorted before the session (see previous blog post) but what you do in the studio, guitar sounds, vocal harmonies etc can be tried and tested during the session or tweaked during the mix. Sometimes the best results come out of "winging it" on the day and when it works, you know it works.

So a demo is a good idea to take into a session is great if you know exactly what you want and want to get that idea over to the producer. It's simple and easy to do and can save time in the long run. But if you don't want to demo a track first it's equally fine. As a producer, I'm always happy to offer help and advice in order to get the tracks sounding great. So if you demo or don't demo it really doesn't matter. What does matter is you leaving the studio sounding fantastic.

As ever, any questions please ask.

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