Make the best out of your band's demo, part 1

Before starting to record an album it would be a good idea to make a demo of all the songs that you're planning to record. However, making a demo may be very time consuming thing to do, so, that's why it's important to make the best out of the time spent on the demo. In my earlier post The best decision to make before starting a recording process I already discussed how we used the same tempo throughout the demo, recording and live performance.

Before going any further to explain the demoing phase on STUD's last album I briefly tell what we did differently with our two earlier albums. With the earlier demos we recorded the basic tracks, that is rhythm guitar, bass and drums, live in our rehearsal room using a simple Zoom H2 stereo recorder. The stereo track from Zoom was transfered to Pro Tools and synced to a click track (the basic tracks were recorded playing to click). After that the vocals, guitar solos and keyboards were added, and the whole session was mixed down finalizing the demo phase.

Now, going back to our last album's demos, we didn't make the basic tracks in our rehearsal room, but did everything from the start in Pro Tools. The demo drums were done with EZdrummer 2, which is absolutely wonderfull tool for making drum tracks fast. It's super easy to drag drum parts to EZdrummers's drum track and edit, copy and paste pieces together.

For guitars I used a plugin. I tested several different plugins for guitar, but when I first time tried Scuffham S-GEAR I was totally sold. S-GEAR doesn't have any of that high end fizz that makes many other plugins sound unnatural. It has pretty cool presets too, which you can use as a starting point. The bass track for the demo was actually a guitar tuned down an octave and run through Softube's Bass Amp Room, a compressor and an EQ. For keyboards I used plugins that come with Pro Tools.

With these steps and tools I was able to make the basic tracks for the demos, and even use some of the tracks on the final recording. In the next post I will go further in the making of the demos for our new album. So, stay tuned, if you wanna read more!



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