How to submit your demo

So you’ve finished your first tune and want to send it to a recordlabel? Here are some useful tips from Armada Music you should read first !

Read the full article at the Armada blog !

Amsterdam Dance Event 2016 is about to hit and this is the perfect opportunity for you to Get signed to your favorite record label. But in order for that to happen, you will first have to know send your music to the record label you love, which can prove to be pretty tricky. We’re here to guide you every step along the way; this is where you learn how to submit your demo…

Throughout the years, so many producers of dance music have tried to get signed to their favorite record label. But in most cases, their burst of creativity didn’t even reach the ears of an A&R manager at all. We hear you thinking: “How is this even possible?” Bear with us as we explain.

Take into account that an A&R manager is already working full-time to ensure the success of his current artist roster. This leaves little time for actually listening to music from (largely) unknown artists, mostly because there’s no guarantee that the effort put in actually pays off. Now add the fact that record labels could be receiving over a hundred(!) demo submissions a day. Do you see the problem at hand?

All of this suggests that time management is essential. The A&R managers have to comb through a seemingly endless list of demo submissions in their search for undiscovered gems, knowing they only have time to listen to a handful of songs. They have no choice but to be extremely picky. So, there’s only one thing they can base their selection on… The first impression.

1. How To Submit A Demo – Where To Start

Many of you have never even personally spoken to the A&R manager in question before sending over your music and that’s exactly why you have to make a darn good first impression. First things first, you need to know who to contact.

For starters, look up the labels you’re interested in and that would prove a good fit with your sound. Now try to find out how the labels’ A&R managers would like to receive a demo submission. After that, it shouldn’t be too hard to submit your demo in a proper manner, right? WRONG!

Even though a secret tool called ‘the internet’ can easily assist in providing you with good examples of how demos should be sent in, a shocking amount of producers still fail to submit a demo in the right way. Let’s start by showing you what will HURT your chances of getting signed. Exhibit A presented below…

2. How To Submit A Demo – What Not To Do

*sigh*… Though anyone should be able to figure out that this is – clearly – NOT a good way to send in your music, you’d be surprised how many of these demo submissions we get. And let us be very clear about it once and for all… This is NOT the way to go.

This person – let’s call him Mr. X – gave us a sterling example of a demo submission that will end up in an A&R manager’s trash can. Let’s go into detail and explain why this one isn’t any good.

DO NOT attach your demo directly to the email
Attaching files directly to the email…. Just don’t do it, ok? It might seem wise to you at first and we get that. You’ve done it because the A&R manager can immediately download the track and listen instantly. The A&R manager only has to face a few seconds of downloading before the best song ever made can roar from his speakers. That’s perfect, right? Well… No…
Sorry to burst your bubble, but that won’t go down well. Some A&R managers may like the OPTION of downloading a demo submission, but forcing it upon them is never a good idea. Whenever you attach audio files directly to e-mail, it will only make sure the A&R manager’s mail box is out of disk space in no time, annoying them quite a lot. And we don’t want to get on an A&R manager’s nerves, now do we?

DO NOT send unfinished work
In this specific case, the demo submission wasn’t even a finished piece of music. Let us address this problem by asking a question… How can you expect an A&R manager to judge your current level and potential based on something that isn’t even in its final stages?
Make sure the record is finished completely and not “still in need of minor tweaks”. Don’t make excuses beforehand and don’t waste precious time by sending in half-finished stuff. The same rule applies to submitting teasers, bootlegs and mashups. In the case of the bootlegs and mashups, know that labels can’t even release these due to legal issues.

DO NOT underestimate (or overestimate) the importance of text
About anyone can tell you why simply adding “Please Answer” to a demo submission is no good. Frankly, it’s the fastest way to get rejected or even ignored entirely. Text might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re thinking about a good demo submission, but it can actually make a difference.
Of course, we do understand that not everyone is a native English speaker or well-versed at it. But this doesn’t have to be a problem. If you think your skill in the English language is not good enough, you have two options. Either you do everything in your power to master the language or you ask someone for help. Whichever way works for you is fine, as long as what you write makes sense.


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