When you are new to the entire DIY approach of the music industry, the idea of recording a demo can seem a bit scary. As I have written in my blog Music Festivals, it is advisable to carry CDs of your work to festivals and tours, to sell to those who are awed by your performance. Adding information for them to connect with you online is also a good idea. Don’t worry about the money that goes into them. You will sell them and make a considerable profit. It makes sense to have the take-home product available for fans, when you are touring, performing your music and selling it. In order to make CDs, you will need to look up online to learn how to record demos. If you are also looking to get your own website, there are companies like Hyper Effects that can help you connect with your target audience efficiently. Hyper Effects is one stop for your website, marketing and cyber development requirements. It helps you to create a website to display your talent or sell your indie music or indie art. Their websites are easy to navigate.
The good news is that for those indie artists who need guidance, there are online courses that give you tips for stress-free, efficient and effective demo production. These DIY production techniques help you in completing your demo. They take your demo from conception to completion. A step by step guide can easily be found online, so search the web. Among the first things that you will need to do is to set the tempo for the entire song by recording your drum parts; that is after setting up your scratch track. The demo recording courses will guide you on many aspects of recording a live drum. Here are some pointers to help you record a live drum kit using two microphones.
As I have written in my blog Miscellaneous Tips and Tricks, your career in the indie music industry is your business and you have to take it very seriously. The only difference is that an indie artist has to be involved in a lot of roles in his business. You will be the CEO, model, navigator, driver, social media guru, musician and many more such. The important thing to remember here is that you cannot be an expert at all the roles. So, if you don’t know how to do something, don’t be discouraged. You can either learn or get help. If you take help, try to find someone who knows the rules of the trade. Look-up on the web. You will find answers to almost anything that you want to know. Give time to the instruments and the set-up. Tune your drums and pick cymbals that suit the song. You will mostly have some options in mind. It is advisable to try playing the song’s groove on different drums before you start setting up microphones.
Position your microphones carefully. Most indie artists, especially the first-timers would not have access to a whole studio worth of gear for recording the demo. Those of you who have read my blog Choose the Correct Mic, would know that in general, there are two types of mics. Dynamic and Condenser. Condensers tend to be more sensitive and responsive than dynamics, making them well-suited to capturing subtle nuances in a sound, whereas, Dynamic mics are better suited to handling high volume levels, such as from certain musical instruments or amplifiers. Here is a trick to make your job easy. Pick one condense and one dynamic microphone and place them strategically to get the best sound effect. Place the condenser mic about three feet above the snare drum in order to capture the overall sound of the kit. Then place the dynamic mic in front of the kick drum. This positioning will capture the overall drum sound and will also highlight the kick.
Your drummer will play an important role in the next step. It is important to get the drummer’s headphone mix right. By now you already know how to best place the two types of mics for demo recording. Once you have positioned the drums and mics right, speak to the drummer. Get his opinion to make sure he is happy with the headphone mix. This will ensure that the track and click are well balanced.
While speaking with my indie friends, I have learnt about the importance of options in all kinds of recordings. No matter how satisfied you are with your recording, it is always good to keep some options available, in case you find a fault in a beat here or there. Record a few takes, then listen back before packing up. Jot down some points that look important regarding what you like or don’t like about each take. This will enable you to efficiently compare all the recorded samples and decide which one take. You may also mix and match your favourite parts from different take to form an excellent demo to be used for your work.
Please share your experiences in the comments section and I will add them in my future posts.