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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
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
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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