Demo rejects

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2bad
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Demo rejects

Post by 2bad » Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:53 pm

I'm slowly getting around to sending out some demos - its crunch time - the rejection I fear and have been postponing imminent! This year is make or break for me.

I was wondering how many have had demos rejected and if so how often, have you become disheartened or more determined because of the experience and do you get any useful feedback?

pieter
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Re: Demo rejects

Post by pieter » Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:58 pm

2bad wrote:I'm slowly getting around to sending out some demos - its crunch time - the rejection I fear and have been postponing imminent! This year is make or break for me.

I was wondering how many have had demos rejected and if so how often, have you become disheartened or more determined because of the experience and do you get any useful feedback?
it's rare that an artist finds a label with a demo.
the label finds you...
that's why i hardly send out demos anymore to labels.
and if i do it, it is because i don't want to regret not doing it. when i'm 50 years old i don't wanna think like "what would have happened if i sent a demo to (fill in label name)...?".

pulsoc
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Post by pulsoc » Mon Mar 10, 2008 5:06 pm

agreed, it's all about getting noticed via other routes.

Do something youtubeworthy and leverage that for a record deal.

Or go on a reality tv show.

beats me
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Post by beats me » Mon Mar 10, 2008 5:06 pm

What kind of music do you do? Depending on that there is probably a certain amount of rejection just based on over saturation and at some point might come down to who you know.

I also know several people who just started their own label with an artist roster of just themselves. Some people think things are easier now for artists but I think the opposite is true, too much competition. You can just as easily get wiped off the map by bad artists as good depending on how persistant they are.

sweetjesus
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Re: Demo rejects

Post by sweetjesus » Mon Mar 10, 2008 5:07 pm

pieter wrote:
2bad wrote:I'm slowly getting around to sending out some demos - its crunch time - the rejection I fear and have been postponing imminent! This year is make or break for me.

I was wondering how many have had demos rejected and if so how often, have you become disheartened or more determined because of the experience and do you get any useful feedback?
it's rare that an artist finds a label with a demo.
the label finds you...
that's why i hardly send out demos anymore to labels.
and if i do it, it is because i don't want to regret not doing it. when i'm 50 years old i don't wanna think like "what would have happened if i sent a demo to (fill in label name)...?".
im sorry but this is almost totally incorrect when it comes to electronic music.

factors come into play i.e. the labels release schedule perhaps being too full, ur sound suiting them etc etc..

what is correct is that labels dont really sign based on demo's .. they expect a near finished or totally finished product.

you will have to get over yourself and fear of rejection because it WILL get rejected by many labels for various reasons but if its good it will find a home.

laird
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Post by laird » Mon Mar 10, 2008 5:46 pm

80% no reply ever
19% rejects
1% lets make a deal



get used to it.
getting a label deal is not something that will probably happen with your first demo. Unless you know the label people.

your job, with your first demo, should be to get to know some of these people. not to get a record deal (and if you do get one, hooray!).

Send demos to labels, follow up with email, send another demo next year.

Send demos to bands you like. make new friends.

Play shows. Give demos to the bands you open up for.
hang out at the merch table. Maybe the label guys & gals are working there. Give 'em demos. Talk about playing more shows with the label folks.

the, send more demos.

Consider it a success when a label actually listens to your unsolicited demo.

most labels are run by folks like you or me. We dont have enough time to do all the stuff we want to do, or buy all the gear we want. etc... and they are probably getting scores of un-asked-for demos every week. It takes time to listen to all that crap. And, yes, most of it is crap. So when they do listen to your CDr, finally, and actually spend the time & effort to get back to you even just to say "thanks but no" then consider it a success.

If they don't say "never send us crap like that again" then send them a demo next year.

2bad
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Re: Demo rejects

Post by 2bad » Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:47 am

pieter wrote:



it's rare that an artist finds a label with a demo.
the label finds you...
that's why i hardly send out demos anymore to labels.
and if i do it, it is because i don't want to regret not doing it. when i'm 50 years old i don't wanna think like "what would have happened if i sent a demo to (fill in label name)...?".
how does that work :?

my music is various electronic, computer generated, some dancefloor some more laid back. no real musicians, just me and a machine

I realise labels are flooded but surely the cream must rise to the top and if something is good enough it will glisten like gold to whoever has the job of listening. I know people listen to demos because thats how they make money, money is there to be made.

SimonPHC
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Post by SimonPHC » Tue Mar 11, 2008 11:28 am

I've never sent demos and I got picked up by being on the internet.

now four releases down the line, I get sent promos from loads of labels and most of it I think is shit. my label boss recently showed me how much demos he gets sent daily and I was flabbergasted. and most of it I think is shit, so after a while you can't be bothered to listen to the same difference over and over again.

depending on what genre you do there are various options you can take.

for electronic music or music with a high collectability, like balearic or stuff like Deepchord, just get a distribution deal and press your own vinyl, if you think it's worth the $1500 of which you'll probably only see $1000 come back to you. this will get you noticed (provided the music is good) and this in turn light lead to other labels, or jobs or ...

creature
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Post by creature » Tue Mar 11, 2008 11:39 am

Set up your own mini label and release it your self and promote the hell out of it. I have been doing this for a few years now and The sales are getting better each month. Its rare that you could ever do it as a main living, but atleast you own all your rights and have the freedom to do what you want.

You can use someone like Tunecore.com to get you on the main download stores, kunaki.com for pressing limited cd runs and then sell these from your site + cdbaby + amazon etc

Just another option like :-)

Steve

stallos
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Post by stallos » Tue Mar 11, 2008 11:43 am

dont take things personally

there will be loads of people who dont even reply

80% no reply ever
19% rejects
1% lets make a deal

I am not sure where Lairds stats came from but they seem proportionally realistic to me. No reply is definitely the most common response I have had in the past. Laird makes some good points

At the end of the day there is always a market for good tunes so if you have good tunes and believe in your sounds you will find other people to believe in them too.

The people who do reply will give you some encouragement and some folks take time to say thanks but no thanks and even give you pointers etc.

No-1 likes putting they're hard work on the line for someone else to crush you with one sentence but the reward outweighs the risk.

just remember just coz someone at some label you love doesnt reply it doesnt mean your tunes are pish and you should give up! Keep positive, keep raising the bar for yourself. You will meet cool people along the way

Keep Sending your tunes out but dont harass the people you are sending them too. Many of them will get 20 or more unsolicited tracks a day

good luck

pieter
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Re: Demo rejects

Post by pieter » Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:16 pm

2bad wrote:
pieter wrote:



it's rare that an artist finds a label with a demo.
the label finds you...
that's why i hardly send out demos anymore to labels.
and if i do it, it is because i don't want to regret not doing it. when i'm 50 years old i don't wanna think like "what would have happened if i sent a demo to (fill in label name)...?".
how does that work :?
myspace, youtube, contacts, concerts... give you more visibility than a cd in their pile.
i'm not saying that there are no bands that aren't signed because of a demo/cd sent in - my post was only based on my own experience, and i read the same story elsewhere. i signed a record deal with a UK label: the owner was a friend of a friend (=contact). now i'm talking to a US label. they found me through myspace. they contacted me out of the blue.
if i may quote a belgian musician (alex callier/hooverphonic): "it's like a girlfriend. if you're looking for one, you're not gonna find one".

peeddrroo
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Post by peeddrroo » Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:10 pm

well, i wouldn't say you can't get a deal by sending demos. it happened to me twice (but i agree with the 80%/19%/1% thing).

anyway, that depends on what you call a demo. it's got to be pretty polished obviously. don't send a CD with a note saying "if you sign me, i'll do this and that better". do it before!

regarding rejects, i think it's a good school to improve and to get more confident. one thing: don't forget to follow up when you send a demo and harass the label DA with mails and phone calls. after all, it's their job.
just think that artists feed them. if there's no artist, ther's no label. so you're entitled to harass them.

if you get a feedback like "i liked your stuff but don't have room for new artists/releases" (which is often the case). try to make friend with the DA so that he'll help you and give you other contacts.

i think sending demos is a good thing, i confronts you to real life.

forge
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Post by forge » Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:32 pm

I went through a prolific demo sending phase a few years back and got quite a lot of responses - I dont really know what it's like now though

they were from big labels too, Defected wanted a track I'd already promised to Low pressings, 20 20 vision were going to sign one track but weren't into the others enough for a full release - NRK gave me a detailed response about what they didnt like about which tracks and why, Primary wanted another track that I'd promised to Low pressings, and the LP releases were also from a cold demo, I think even Bedrock replied. In fact I just remembered - strictly rhythm even got back to me and were trying to find out whether I had anything for Crystal waters to sing on for her comeback! :lol: needless to say I didnt at the time.....

the main thing with demo sending is to do your research and make sure you send the right stuff to the right people, and it probably helps if you check they dont have on their website "please dont send demos we have too many.." like warp - maybe even ring them to see if they are taking demos

generally speaking though, if you can get an adress for A&R then they are probably open otherwise they would keep it hidden

basically, start small, go for smaller labels that you know are into what you do, then build up from there

Precision
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Post by Precision » Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:33 pm

In addition to the excellent advice given here, you might want to have a look at the Computer Music special that's just come out, "The Musician's Guide to the Net". Not that I work for CM or anything, but it has a couple of Q & A features with PR people and some general tips on generating good publicity (which stay on the 'right side' of the law, if that's considered a bonus :P ).

I found it a good read overall :) (but I don't know very much about this stuff, so YMMV).

Good luck!

P.
Tone Deft wrote: it's hard to code Python when you're knocked up on morphine with your dick in a sling.

2bad
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Post by 2bad » Tue Mar 11, 2008 3:41 pm

Hmmm this is depressing, surely I'm good enough to bypass all this shit :P thanks for all the advice tho :)

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