Submitting a demo – tip 4

Someone asked me a very good question about how important the CD packaging presentation is when considering a demo. What I’m trying to do with these blogs is to get people to understand that they need to take some time and make some effort with the presentation because firstly, record labels receive so many demos and you want to make your demo stand out. And secondly, it’s common sense and to an extent, human nature, that if the whole demo package looks as though it’s been thrown together with little or no thought or effort, then why should the label put any real time or effort into listening to it?

So, the CD packaging is, in my opinion important in helping to make a good initial impression. Try and think of the initial experience of the person who will listen to the demo as a tactile and visual experience – the package is opened, a CD case with a nice looking cover, easy to read print details of the tracks accompanied by a concise one sheet with good photo.

I certainly wouldn’t expect to receive a demo as a manufactured CD. A CDr is absolutely fine and what the vast majority of labels would expect to receive (assuming like my label they ask for audio electronic music CDrs), but do ensure that when you burn the CDr you burn it as an Audio CDr – the number of times I receive demos that are sent containing MP3 data files or other data files. At AD Music we listen to instrumental music demos on a CD player, so if it doesn’t play, it gets binned. Also, a lot of printers contain easy “on CDR printing” programs, so it really isn’t that hard to produce a CDr with on body print, and even a picture.

As far as the packaging is concerned; if you’ve recorded an album of music,  you may have an idea for a cover and there are plenty of stock image websites with nice pics for cover ideas for as little as $5 (five dollars) – here’s an example It doesn’t take much with todays technology to add a name and title, print to size an album front cover and print some text on a homemade tray inlay, or even on the reverse of the “album cover” if you’re sending it in a slimline case. If you really don’t have a clue about artwork or on-body printing for a CDr then check out a local recording studio; not necessarily a big pro studio, but smaller project studios who would probably burn you some CDrs with on-body print very cheaply and even do the artwork – it’s something we do at my studio quite inexpensively.

So to sumarise my answer – CDrs are fine, but think about the packaging and present it as best you can. Remember the obvious though – ultimately, the music and it’s production/presentation is what will decide. But that said, how much effort is perceived to have gone into the presentation of the demo says something about the artist and the person!

~ by admusic on December 13, 2008.

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