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6 Steps to Sending the Perfect Demo Submission

By |2018-04-23T00:27:33+00:00January 23rd, 2016|Blog|

You just finished a smashing new track and want to send it to a record label! But you don’t know how or you did it in the past but never got a reply. Here’s a guide to send the perfect demo submission in just six easy steps!

Step 1 – Selecting the Tracks

The first thing you want to be sure of is that the tracks are finished! Are they? Then pick a maximum of two of your best tracks. It’s very annoying for record labels when they receive a “Hi, this is my album and I want to release it on your label”. Chance of signing your album like that is about a million to one. Besides, if you send two tracks and the record label really loves them they are likely to ask you for more on their own, which is when you can send the other tracks you have lying around.

What to Do?

Select your two best tracks of the moment to send to the record label.

QUOTE TO MAKE YOUR DAY
Hi
my name is Andrew and I have three albums ready to be released!
I want to sign them with your record label and release them in a period of three months, one per month.
I would also like a budget of $15,000 – for getting remixes of all tracks on the albums.
Please reply a.s.a.p. with an offer for a contract as I have four other offers to consider.

Kind Regards,
Andrew.

Step 2 – Preparing for Sending

Time to prepare the tracks for sending them out. Make sure you send a full-length track at a considerable rate, preferably 320 kb/s but the absolute minimum is 192 kb/s. The “please-f&$k-off-level” of the A&R Manager rises incredibly fast when he receives a demo of 2 minutes, asks for more and ends up with a crappy Nintendo/Super Mario sounding tune.

What to Do?

Render your finished track as an MP3 in a minimum of 192 kb/s!

QUOTE TO MAKE YOUR DAY

Hey there,
Andrew again! Via the following link, you can download a 50-second preview of a new tune I started 45 minutes ago.
Please advise on how to continue on the track and attach a contract offer if you wish to sign it.

Thanks, Andrew.

P.S. the preview is in 60kb/s as the server it’s hosted on is my parents and hasn’t got that much space.

Step 3 – Uploading

The times that you had to send a CD with full biography and discography to a record label are far behind us. Nowadays, we use this little thing called the World Wide Web, you might be heard of it somewhere. All record labels have a general email address where you can send your demos. Believe it or not, this is how 99,9% of the tracks get signed nowadays. So, it’s time to upload the music to the internet. Feel free to place the files in a RAR or ZIP file which is secured with a password for safety. We don’t want our music shared on Torrent sites, P2P’s or one of the million music sharing forums.

As you might know, there is a million file sharing sites out there, like YouSendIt f.e., which are entirely free to use. Here’s the top three, from the labels’ perspective;

WeTransfer

(www.wetransfer.com)
The best of all file sharing websites
Good: leave files to 30+ days.

Important: Do not upload your track to your MySpace or Soundcloud account to use for demo submissions. Labels want the track to be exclusive and not online for several months!

What to Do?

Upload your finished 192kb/s MP3 to one of the above-mentioned file sharing sites.

QUOTE TO MAKE YOUR DAY

Hey man,
Please check my MySpace account at(….) and listen to the fourth track.
It’s been online since January and after 50,000 listens and great feedback.
I decided it could be released on your label.
Please send a contract to sign it.

Thanks, mate,
Andrew.

Step 4 – Picking the Right Record Label(s)

Ok, so the tracks have been picked, rendered and uploaded to the internet. Now it’s time to send it out, right? No, not yet! First, it’s important to consider which labels you’re going to send it to. No need for sending a hardcore track to a progressive label, or to send the latest electro floor filler to a lounge orientated label. So where do you send it to? Three tips to find the perfect label for your music;

Consider your own taste. Which labels do you love and would you love to release your music on?
Compare your track to other music already released. Does it match certain points of other tracks? Then it might be worth sending it to the label where that tune got released.
3. Consult other producers/musicians to find out which labels they find trustworthy and do their job well. There are way too many labels in the world that promise you all the gold in the world but never pay.
What to Do?

Find the perfect label for your music, pick a maximum of five labels to send the tracks to and continue with Step Five.

Step 5, Writing the Email

We’re nearly there! Just one step away from sending the demo. But, as you might expect, I saved the best for last. It’s time to write the email, but what on earth do you write to a record label? Most important thing is that you email each label individually! It’s highly irritating for each and every record label, who all want their music to be exclusive, to receive a mass email that was meant for Label A, mentions Label B and was sent to Labels A-Z. Get my point?

Alright, now what to write in that email? Basically, the structure of the email might look something similar to the format given below.

What to Do?

Write a friendly, easy to read email for the A&R Manager of the record label.

 

To: A&R Manager
Subject: Attn A&R manager: Artist – Title [Demo Submission]————————————————————————–
Hi There,
No Dear Sir/Madam or anything, A&R managers are often your age.

1st Paragraph
Introduce yourself, not a full bio but just your name and age, and tell them why you’re emailing.

2nd Paragraph
Tell something about the track(s) and give them the download link. You might want to tell them not how you made the track but why the feeling you got while producing and want to transfer to the listeners.

3rd Paragraph
A short bio on yourself (just about the music though, they don’t care if you were born and raised in a back alley in London, Rio or Paris)

If you previously released some music, this is the place to mention it! If you had support on a previously unreleased tune from a big name, this is the place to mention it.

4th Paragraph
Close down the email in a decent manner and tell them where they can contact you (email address, phone number, IM)

All the best,
your-name

Step 6 – Sending!

Alright, time for the final step! Are you ready for it? Hit SEND!

Final Tips
After sending the demo, don’t expect an answer within the hour! All labels get tons of demos a day… the bigger the label, the more demos they get! And if they reply but don’t want to sign it, don’t lose faith. Just that they don’t like doesn’t mean it’s a bad track. Keep on making your music and doing your thing, if the music is quality labels will sign it eventually! Just remember, make music because you want to and like doing it, don’t aim for that Beatport number one position because trust me, you’ll lose all the fun there is in making music. We want quality, not quantity!

Credits: Celwin Frenzen, from Tutsplus