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Doing demos without your band or using tracks

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by jive1, Oct 4, 2009.


  1. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    So for the sake of expedience, and saving the hassle of getting everyone together in the studio, I'm considering using backing tracks and/or playing the instruments myself for the band's demo. I'm not going full karaoke, but maybe programming drum tracks using loops or midi. The band is a cover band.

    By doing this, I won't need to get the whole band together to do a demo, and we have something to use for bookings sooner. The downside is that I'm not using the musicians that will be in the band for the demo. It's not that the guys can't play that stuff, they can. And the goal is to give an idea of what we sound like, so I don't think I am misrepresenting anything.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Let me guess... No one really wants to go and record.

    My band is doing the same thing. I have thought about it but in the end I think fingers will get squashed.

    Talk to them and see if they are serious. If not, I think you may be wasting your money.
     
  3. Yes, you're misrepresenting the band. Will anybody know the difference? Guess that depends on who's listening or if anyone cares.
     
  4. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound

    I see it as no different as an artist using one band for the CD, and another band for tour.
     
  5. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    No money is going to spent on the demo.

    The main issue is getting everyone together for a recording session that may take more than a few hours. We already practice once a week, and we want to use that time for working out tunes. Getting the additional time for recording at the moment is challenging.
     
  6. Record your rehearsals.
     
  7. scsm

    scsm

    Jul 26, 2009
    Manhattan, KS
    If you do record your demo this way would okay it with the band first; making it clear that its not some control issue, lack of trust in their playing, or any other reasons an insecure musician might think up.

    Just tell them its a time and money issue and see if they are fine with it.
     
  8. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Already cleared it with the band. Gave them final approval of any demo, since they will be required to play it.
     
  9. Use a couple weeks practice time as recording time instead - get the guitarists over to wherever the computer is, use guitar rig or POD or whatever for them and EZ drummer or BFD for the drums and record your bass whichever way you want when they're not there...I reckon that'd be the best option...
     
  10. kalle74

    kalle74

    Aug 27, 2004


    Quite contradictory, ehh...
     
  11. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Maybe. But, there are many bands who have demos that don't have the current members on it. For example, in my last band the drummer, guitarist, and bassist were different than what was on the demo. FWIW, the new guitarist and the old don't sound anything alike.

    IMO, I don't consider a demo to be the same as a CD. A demo, to me, is a throwaway object that you listen to once or twice and then discard.
     
  12. stflbn

    stflbn

    May 10, 2007
    Nashville
    You'd be surprised how good something like a Zoom H2 recorder can do live, then run the recordings through a mastering program like T-Racks 3 or such. Can work very well for assuring people of what they'll be getting with a live show.

    Honestly, I think it works 'better' for booking live shows because a bar owner or event can tell there's ambiance from a crowd in the recording and it's a live recording vs a potentially bland canned studio demo.

    IMHO.


    .
     
  13. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I have given this some thought. Unfortunately, I lost my H2 :crying:.

    One of the places we rehearse is in a concrete basement, which is a total bust for a recording environment. Too much of the wrong ambience.

    The other place we practice, we do it electronically with an electronic drumset and no amps or PA. This may be the better recording environment, but it still won't give it the "live" sound without adding some post processing.

    Still trying to ponder this. I wish we were all 17 again, and had all the time in the world to work on this stuff.
     
  14. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    A demo without the band sounds kinda weird to me. We always used as few studio tricks / multitracking as we could. The idea was to make a CD that sounded like the band you're trying to sell, and to make the CD easily reproducible when playing live.

    I never heard of doing a demo solo before. I guess the more important question is: Can you sell your band using the proposed demo? If the answer is a resounding yes, then by all means, use any tool necessary to accomplish your goal.
     
  15. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    It wierd to me too, but I'm giving it some thought. Not planning on making too glossy studiowise, and keeping it simple and close to the live arrangement as possible.

    That's the question I want to know. Never done anything like this, and don't know anyone who has. Wondering if this will accomplish my goal, or just work against it.
     
  16. Well, if you were 17 again, you wouldn't have any of the recording or musical experience that you have now. You would be sitting in your room after school and trying to pick apart Geddy's bass line from YYZ for your next "show" in someones basement. You know, the show where you are going to play through a borrowed amp that sounds like crap on your 1981 Hondo P-Bass. You'll play YYZ, badly, and wonder why no chicks are showing up in your cousins basement. Then you'll go home and hope Mom doesn't smell the skank weed that you smoked.

    At least, that was my experience. ;)
     
  17. If you are a cover band, I think you'd be better off just sending a mix cd of the songs you cover.

    In other words, I think it's a bad idea to not use your band for your band's demo.
     
  18. stflbn

    stflbn

    May 10, 2007
    Nashville
    Well, nashville's chuck full of 'bands' (solo musicians) who have recorded cheap demo's to get booked into a venue, then they scramble to put a band together to make them look good, yet have no clue how to form a 'band' to play the gigs. Unfortunately that has kind of become the norm here in Nashvegas. Craigslist: Solo musician needs musicians to form band... has gigs booked in two weeks.

    In my opinion doing it yourself screams that either you're on your own, or your band isn't capable of doing together. I've walked away from several of these nashville projects because the 'leaders' were obviously promoting themselves vs the whole band, when they were bringing people in for a true 'band' situation rather than backing solo musician. Really irritates them when you point it out and call them on it.

    I've no problem being in a 'project', but it irks me when the person forming it thinks their bright enough to convince others that it's a 'band' and not you merely being sub musicians to hopefully boost their doomed solo careers.

    :)



    .
     
  19. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Dude, were in my band? If so, that weed must've been strong cuz I sure don't remember.:D Was it was you I lent the Hondo to?

    OK, so maybe a 17 year old with wealthy and indulgent parents.....;)


    Thanks for putting this in perspective for me. When I was a kid, our first "demo" was recorded with a boombox I won at HS, and the PA we used were built from speakers we found in the trash that we put into cardboard boxes. Well, it didn't get us any gigs, but we got invited to some fun parties. Anyway, it makes a "less than adequate" recording environment seem more adequate. But, I still want to make a quality demo.
     
  20. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I'm not the singer in this band, and will use the actual singer for the demos. I'm not doing this as a solo project by any means. Mainly it's a time issue. I'd much rather have the guys in the band do the demo, but with school starting and the holidays approaching there's less time for the guys in the band to record. Also, now is the prime time for booking gigs, and want to get a demo out there sooner than later.

    But, NashVegas is sorta where I got the idea from. But, I really want this to be a band, and not about me. I'm certainly not talented enough to form a band around, and I have no delusions either. I'm just trying to book gigs in a timely manner.

    Probably more an issue of my impatience than ego. I wanted this demo yesterday, and have been trying for a few weeks to do this, and in my impatience came up with this idea.
     

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