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DEMO

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A CD or other recording (sometimes called a "demo record" or "demonstration record") that is recorded for the purpose of audition. The recorded song(s) or instrumental(s) is shipped to, or otherwise delivered (e.g. via internet download) to a perspective buyer in order to eliminate a time consuming live audition. For example, a demo could showcase to a music publisher or label what a songwriter or recording artist has to offer, or to a club owner the potential of a band's live performance capabilities. Demos are also used to pitch jingles and other advertising commercials. Sometimes a demo is used to teach a studio musician a certain song or arrangement. It might also be used to show a record company the expertise of a particular producer. See Cross-links: DUB, ACETATE, AUDITION, COST, SOUND, VIDEO, MASTER, SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSION, PRESS KIT, MARKET under "Song Markets," COPYRIGHT LAW under "Notice of Copyright."

A writer-made demo is often a "neutral demo," i.e., a demo not made in any particular artist's style, or, one that would have appeal to a wide range of artists. It may consist of a simple arrangement with piano or guitar and vocals. A more sophisticated demo may include a lead vocalist with backup vocals and a rhythm section. Often publisher-made demos are of this variety.

A "demo master" is one that can, at a later time, be made into a master recording by adding additional tracks and perhaps sweetening with strings or horns.

In some cases a copy of a final edited master mix might be used as a demo to try to get backing for a national release.

As can be seen by the extensive variety of demo types, the cost to produce a demo can vary widely. Demo costs can range from as little as a few hundred dollars to even tens of thousands for an elaborate mixed down version.

Sometimes the buyer will reimburse the seller for the full cost of the demo, or sometimes costs are split 50-50 by two parties who together are trying to sell a song (e.g., by the songwriter and the music publisher).

Demos should be recorded on/copied to high quality CDs. The submitted CDs should be copies, i.e., not the master nor your last copy! Listen to the copies from start to finish to make sure these dubs have been copied satisfactorily. Clearly label both the box and the CDs themselves. The CDs should be accompanied by a song list with writer's/artist's names, one CD should be taped to the outside of the box, plus another included inside the box. Some companies may want you to include a lead sheet. Also include an introductory cover letter written and printed out using a word processor that identifies the type of songs and indicate the artists you think they might suit. If your intention is to get your own record deal, make that clear in your letter. This letter would also contain your name, return address, and phone number. Two notices of copyright should be affixed to the CDs in plain view, one for the…

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