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#1145417 - 10/15/18 01:29 PM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 7,623
couchgrouch Online content
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It's not crap, Cheyenne. It's fact with few exceptions. Unless you can email Kenny Chesney's producer your guitar/vocal living room demo, you need to fork over a grand. I've heard plenty of demos of hit Nashville songs and they were indistinguishable from the final cuts. They even tailor the demo singer to the artist they intend to pitch to. That's what discouraged me about Music Row, the expense. Hell, the songs themselves were nothing special at all. You need to kiss serious ass and pay through the ass on top of that. For a born dissenter with shallow pockets, that ain't for me.

Some love the Music Row system and good for them. But if you don't fit in, don't despair. The money isn't what it used to be and if you don't crave the validation, you don't need the headache.


Nashville demos etc:

https://www.soundclick.com/bands3/default.cfm?bandID=431939

other demos:

https://soundcloud.com/wabash-cannibal

Amazon Kindle books by Robert George you may enjoy:

1) Americana

2) Teenage Graceland

3) The Will to Be

4) Fort Mystery

5) Wheel Sea

6) My One True Love
#1145432 - 10/15/18 06:18 PM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
Joined: Nov 2016
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Perry Neal Crawford Offline
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WOW! I should not have started reading this thread while sitting in my wheelchair. Now I am motion sick! My head is spinning! What a learning experience this thread has been for me, as I am in the category Cheyenne cited (the average Wannabe Writer has not got much idea about Production, certainly not to a Record Release Standard). I am a wordsmith. I am a lyricist. I can listen to a beat and rhythm and conjure storylines with words to match the timing and mood, but when it comes to contracts, production, mixing, mastering, post-production, manufacturing, cover art, ISBN, copyrighting, marketing, and distribution, I am clueless and must rely on the professional members of my producer's team (musicians, engineers, and Bernie Grundman mastering, and Lansdowne-Winston-Bloor-Hoffman House publishing).

If I hadn't had a good demo to showcase my storytelling with professional music to back the stories (done in a pro-studio with $$$ provided by a toy company), I would have no audience now beyond my children and grandchildren (the best audience anyway). My demo, done professionally, was impressive enough to excite a producer so much, he was willing to do it all at his own expense (considerable indeed). We have done four albums together. He will not release anything not done to Record Release Standards. Every sound must meet his uncompromising standards that have been honed from over 50 years as a professional musician. Music he has done for movies, television, producing, recording and engineering for other performers has placed him in contact with professionals in all parts of creation and the business end of the music industry. I just hopped on for the ride, my words being my ticket for the adventure.

This site is gives me more than my own experience can afford me. The knowledge and expertise in this collective body cover more than any one person can glean by themselves in a lifetime. Thank you all.

#1152553 - 04/09/19 05:31 PM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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Originally Posted by Fdemetrio
Originally Posted by Deej56
Fedmetrio,

Appreciate the listen. In regards to your question, the short answer is “no.” It’s not based on either of those two songs . . . and actually, based on my limited understanding, BIAB doesn’t quite work like that. They use live performers who essentially work their ways through a chord sheet playing in different styles/genres. So while some styles may be reminiscent of certain artists, they are not per se based on the any one particular artist.

For this tune, I was looking for style something more Willie Nelson sounding, or even a slow Presley type ballad. In the end, I usually end up doing a mix and match, working my way through different instruments and styles (kinda like auditioning the performers) and work in what sounds good to me.

Thanks again for stopping in!

Deej


Biab DOES work that way. They do style lifts and even band lifts. For instance, you could easily find a Mark Knopfler style solo, with his picking style and strat sound. and it may say something like "Sultans Today" Or a BB King "Thril is gone style"
or if u wanted a rolling stones backing band, theres a style set for that. Guitar rig works in a similar way, they have sounds preset to what you want to sound like...this patch will sound like angus young, this one will sound like Queen

What they do is take the most popular stuff ever recorded from different eras, and have studio musicians play a similar version of it. Then its actually a midi track, which goes through an algorithm and it will spit out different variations of what was originally burned into it. But they model a lot of the music based on whats been done already


Hi FD,

I feel a need to address what you wrote to Deej here.

You say, "What they do is take the most popular stuff ever recorded from different eras, and have studio musicians play a similar version of it. Then its actually a midi track, which goes through an algorithm and it will spit out different variations of what was originally burned into it."


As I have said several times in this thread, you are referring to a past era of BIAB--BIAB before 2012. Midi is still available to use, but Realtracks AUDIO has superseded midi as the main, central, "go to" feature. Very few BIAB users use the midi styles at all. Realtracks Audio are actual audio performances from actual pro-studio musicians, playing along to a long, boring chart that runs through most every key, no midi involved whatsoever in this process.

And these "charts" the musicians are playing are generic "circle of fifths" kinda charts, and every performer plays the same chord chart, so..ahem..when you say, "they play the most popular stuff ever recorded from different eras, and have studio musicians play a similar version of it." --THAT, kind sir, is wrong, wrong, wrong. EVERY PERFORMANCE STYLE plays the same "circle of fifths" style chart that runs through most keys, so the algorithm that can snatch specific chords from specific performances can do a consistently good job of it. If there was inconsistency in the audio-rendered-chord charts, there would be mayhem at BIAB central, LOL.

For the most part, very few of these styles refer to or are copying actual songs or even artists that exist in the real world, but are more generalized. Whereas in the midi era, you'd have BIAB styles named after songs or artists, with Realtracks they wanted to offer something that was less specific to an artist, but more specific to a genre. And the BIAB labeling of Realtracks has followed suit. Instead of a midi style named "Mylie" or "Miles ballad" you have Realtracks styles labelled, "Country Syncopated w/Resonator Guitar" or "smooth jazz ballad with trumpet solo" --but with BIAB post 2012, to dial in a specific artist or song, one must either go retro and use a midi style, or God forbid, write the darn thing out by hand and render it with a virtual instrument in a DAW..ooh shudder at the thought..kidding..

There are some exceptions. Funny you mention Dire Straits, cuz when BIAB transitioned into their audio era, they started to still make a few styles that referred to artists and songs, and Darin Favorite's playing on the Realtracks style, "Sultans of Straits" is spot-on Mark Knopfler--partly because Knopfler's way of touching a Strat is very specific to him and few others (Richard Thompson being one of the first) BUT also because BIAB hadn't figured out their new path was to move away from "artist specific" styles and into "genre specific styles" which is 99% of what they are doing now and mostly since 2012, with Realtracks Audio..

A prior issue I'd like to address. I think the reason you thought BIAB sounded like crap is because back when it was all midi, (midi being the prior BIAB era that you've been talking about, unbeknownst to yourself) when playing a song in BIAB, you were hearing "Roland Sound Canvas" or "Edirol Hyper Canvas" --which came with BIAB. These were basically teeny tiny "soundfonts" that would give a producer an "idea" of what it could sound like. NOT MEANT FOR FINAL PRODUCTION..No..When producers used BIAB as a tool before Realtracks, they had to render the midi to a virtual instrument in a DAW, such as Cubase or Logic. THEN and only then would that midi style come to life and be anything nearly good sounding. But some instruments still sounded crappy when rendered to audio via virtual instruments. Strummed guitars for one, always sounded crappy. I don't think I ever rendered a strummed guitar from midi to audio via a virtual guitar that was usable. But the Realtracks audio guitar styles are all pretty good, and few since the Dire ones sound like anyone in particular, but umbrella over particular genres nicely.

You can still search through BIAB's "songpicker" by writing in names of famous songs, and oft times a Realtracks audio style will be mentioned. But if you listen to that style, it simply shares the same tempo, time signature, type of note rhythm (straight or swing 8ths, or straight or swing 16th notes) and shares a BASIC common feel, such as "country ballad" or "sparse Americana."

If you don't want to research for yourself and don't trust me (a daily BIAB user for over a decade) for whatever reason, ask Vic if what I say here is true or not. He uses Realtrack era BIAB more consistently in every song more than me, at this point, and you yourself have made nice comments on his songs.

There is no debate to be had on this issue. There is NO MIDI involved in a modern day, everyday usage of BIAB. It is only optional, and as far as midi goes, you are indeed correct. But hardly anyone uses the midi functionality in BIAB, anymore, and there are hardly any Realtrack audio styles being generated at BIAB headquarters that sound like particular artists, unless it's an artist that is simply sounding like themselves..they've had several well known studio musicians performing Realtracks, mostly from the jazz world like Jeff Lorber and Ron Carter.

Mike

Last edited by Michael Zaneski; 04/09/19 10:55 PM.

Fate doesn't hang on a wrong or right choice
Fortune depends on the tone of your voice

-The Divine Comedy (Neil Hannon)
from the song "Songs of Love"
from the album "Casanova" (1996)
#1152556 - 04/09/19 07:13 PM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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Neil Cotton Offline
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I substitute real tracks for midi as I feel fits a style/song

#1152570 - 04/09/19 10:32 PM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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Deej56  Offline
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Mike,

Thanks for chiming in here . . . in my limited experience with BIAB, I'd agree with what you've written. Having visited and posted on the BIAB forum, I can add that MIDI is pretty much (for lack of a better word) frowned upon there . . . and in the songs I've done in BIAB I've only used a single MIDI track. Everything else has been a "Real Track," which is as you described.

Sure, there are a few song styles that clearly are intended to mirror certain artists . . . but I find that more the exception than the rule (sometimes to my frustration) . . . at least with regard to BIAB in its current form. I can't speak to how it was prior to a year or so ago. I don't expect to input chords and choose what artist it's going to sound like . . . it's a bit more involved than that, in my experience. It's less confined than that, for better or worse . . . with a lot more choice.

Just sharing my impressions and experience . . . I'm not looking to debate (as has been done above) the merits of using BIAB to produce songs. It's got its positives and negatives (more that former than the latter, IMHO, but I'll leave it at that).

Regards,

Deej

#1152573 - 04/10/19 02:28 AM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: Vicarn]  
Joined: Mar 2010
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Cheyenne Offline
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Cheyenne  Offline
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Spot on VIC Too MANY waste money on songs that are quite frankly

not finished , Yes of course a well produced song certainly helps

Any decent publisher can hear a hit from a simple but well sung Demo

The ones who cant ? do not bother with them


One of the most important principles of songwriting is to remember that a good song is a partnership of many different components, all working together to produce a satisfying musical experience.

In that respect, song components are either enhancing or compromising their combined effects.
#1152587 - 04/10/19 11:11 AM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
Joined: Dec 2000
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couchgrouch Online content
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It's partly a matter of whether they can hear it and partly whether they can pitch it. A publisher pitching to Tim McGraw's producer at a meeting knows he has a far better chance with a $1000 demo of an uptempo southern rock song than a g/v of the same song.

I don't have a lot of contacts but the ones I have are quality. You need the expensive demo. The only alternatives are to kiss Music Row ass until you have the personal emails of artists and producers OR you're invited to write with the artists. I'll bet MAB would say the same thing except he would call it "networking".

That's gonna take a whole lotta time and money. If you have that much time and money, why do you need the royalties from a hit? With YouTube etc, royalties are down, esp with five fricken people on the credits of one of those crap songs.

Tin Pan Alley is over. No radio song written by "pros" in 2019 will be as good as Up on the Roof. Unless you love the "game" of Nashville, New York, LA or Austin, just be happy where you're
at. If you consistently post strong material on the internet, word will spread. And you won't be forced to tweet PC nonsense to keep the press writing positive reviews of your latest "very personal" album.

Last edited by couchgrouch; 04/10/19 11:15 AM.

Nashville demos etc:

https://www.soundclick.com/bands3/default.cfm?bandID=431939

other demos:

https://soundcloud.com/wabash-cannibal

Amazon Kindle books by Robert George you may enjoy:

1) Americana

2) Teenage Graceland

3) The Will to Be

4) Fort Mystery

5) Wheel Sea

6) My One True Love
#1152589 - 04/10/19 01:18 PM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
Joined: Dec 2008
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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John Lawrence Schick  Offline
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PA
Most publishers are lazy today. They want broadcast quality demos up front. They definitely aren't going to redo your demo themselves. And I doubt they'll pitch it to the big artists unless it's a high quality recording. And yes, musically it's gotta knock their socks off. Exceptions? Always, especially if you're a well established songwriter.

Best, John smile

#1152593 - 04/10/19 05:23 PM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
Joined: Sep 2017
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JaneK Offline
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I'm new here and this is my first post on any forum. I have never heard of BIAB (is it Band in a Box?) I use midi to compose with but it sounds like "midi". Does BIAB sound better? Is it something like Pro Tools or is it used differently? I do "play" all the sounds on my midi keyboard, strings, piano, organ maybe a pad or 2 and use EZ drummer for the beat, record it all on the DAW with vocals. The quality of sound misses the mark and doesn't sound professional.

I have taken a few of my songs and had "real" instruments put to them but in my opinion and the opinion of a few other people the songs are still lacking something. It costs loads to go into the studio and just do a few songs, and then you realize you cannot pitch the songs because they still sound like a demo.

#1152594 - 04/10/19 06:12 PM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
Joined: Jul 2006
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Michael Zaneski Offline
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Michael Zaneski  Offline
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California
Hi Jane,

Very nice to meet you.

BIAB (yes, it's Band-In-A-Box) since 2012 works mostly with phrase generated audio. Stored inside BIAB are 20,000 hours of audio recordings played by professional studio musicians. The user inputs chords into BIAB and then chooses a "style" from among thousands, then after pressing "play" the internal BIAB algorithm sorts out what audio to capture for your song. So in a nutshell what BIAB does is generate semi-specific audio, based on the user's input--audio (files) that can then be chopped up, edited, and anything else you would do in a DAW.

The newest BIAB can go right inside your DAW, as a VST plugin these days, as well, but I still prefer to import audio into the DAW myself.

Out of the box, you can get acceptable results with very little learning curve, other than writing chords, choosing a style, and hitting play, then if you like what you hear, either export as audio into your DAW, or use BIAB as a VST plugin inside your DAW.

To get really pro-results, there's a bit of work involved. I cross-fade and composite two or three performances, choosing the best bits..

I also use the midi functions (in BIAB) that can provide midi of the exact same audio performance. This comes in really handy if you want a "virtual instrument" to play in unison or in harmony with a particular BIAB performance aka audio file of that performance.

I use virtual instruments in addition to BIAB. I don't play them from a keyboard, but "write" the midi info into my DAW, and then assign that info various virtual instruments. The quality of the music relies partly on the writing, but mostly on the quality of the virtual instruments you are using, and the amount of time you are willing to tweak the midi info to make the results sound better. Good virtual instruments, like those that run in Native Instruments "Kontakt" sampler can be fantastic. But still a performance may need tweaking.

To make really good demos from the desktop, you need a good DAW and a sampler like Kontakt (all the best virtual instruments aka "libraries" are written for Kontakt), and BIAB can be the icing on the cake, because it truly is like having a stable of great studio musicians at your disposal. Many here use just BIAB and a DAW, and get perfectly good results.

If you have specific melodic ideas you want in your music--this is not something BIAB can do. As good as the studio musicians are, they aren't mind readers. This is why virtual instruments/libraries running in a good sampler like Kontakt can be very important. If writing specific melodies is something you want in your music, then you will definitely need good virtual instruments. NEVER use the midi soundfonts that come with Windows. Those are horrible. AT least be using the instruments that came packaged with your DAW, and learn how to tweak various midi CC parameters (such as vibrato) to get more "expressive" realistic sounds, then you're off to a great start..

It took me a few years to get anywhere near good, using all of the above (and Melodyne for pitch correction), and can get expensive if you start lusting after lots of virtual instrument libraries, cuz some can run a few hundred bucks. My LA Scoring Strings cost me, I think, $800 bucks, back almost a decade ago now, and I still haven't learned the software as well as I could..

But if you are in for the long haul, maybe it's worth it.

If you have a vision of what you want to make, then that will set you in motion with the actual doing..Don't expect great results overnight, but keep at it, and over time, you will hear your hard work pay off.

To hear BIAB in action, head over to the MP3 forum..several members here use the software, such as Vic and Deej. Vic uses BIAB more exclusively in his demos than Deej or myself, so his might give you a better idea of what your can do with BIAB. Also, check out the BIAB listening forum that's part of their site. Some really good producers share their stuff there.

Mike


Last edited by Michael Zaneski; 04/10/19 09:30 PM.

Fate doesn't hang on a wrong or right choice
Fortune depends on the tone of your voice

-The Divine Comedy (Neil Hannon)
from the song "Songs of Love"
from the album "Casanova" (1996)
#1152596 - 04/11/19 01:06 AM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 199
JaneK Offline
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JaneK  Offline
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California
Thank you Mike. I most certainly am missing out on things in the DAW recording world. I've got to look into this.


Jane K

#1152603 - 04/11/19 09:55 AM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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Originally Posted by Michael Zaneski
Originally Posted by Fdemetrio
Originally Posted by Deej56
Fedmetrio,

Appreciate the listen. In regards to your question, the short answer is “no.” It’s not based on either of those two songs . . . and actually, based on my limited understanding, BIAB doesn’t quite work like that. They use live performers who essentially work their ways through a chord sheet playing in different styles/genres. So while some styles may be reminiscent of certain artists, they are not per se based on the any one particular artist.

For this tune, I was looking for style something more Willie Nelson sounding, or even a slow Presley type ballad. In the end, I usually end up doing a mix and match, working my way through different instruments and styles (kinda like auditioning the performers) and work in what sounds good to me.

Thanks again for stopping in!

Deej


Biab DOES work that way. They do style lifts and even band lifts. For instance, you could easily find a Mark Knopfler style solo, with his picking style and strat sound. and it may say something like "Sultans Today" Or a BB King "Thril is gone style"
or if u wanted a rolling stones backing band, theres a style set for that. Guitar rig works in a similar way, they have sounds preset to what you want to sound like...this patch will sound like angus young, this one will sound like Queen

What they do is take the most popular stuff ever recorded from different eras, and have studio musicians play a similar version of it. Then its actually a midi track, which goes through an algorithm and it will spit out different variations of what was originally burned into it. But they model a lot of the music based on whats been done already


Hi FD,

I feel a need to address what you wrote to Deej here.

You say, "What they do is take the most popular stuff ever recorded from different eras, and have studio musicians play a similar version of it. Then its actually a midi track, which goes through an algorithm and it will spit out different variations of what was originally burned into it."


As I have said several times in this thread, you are referring to a past era of BIAB--BIAB before 2012. Midi is still available to use, but Realtracks AUDIO has superseded midi as the main, central, "go to" feature. Very few BIAB users use the midi styles at all. Realtracks Audio are actual audio performances from actual pro-studio musicians, playing along to a long, boring chart that runs through most every key, no midi involved whatsoever in this process.

And these "charts" the musicians are playing are generic "circle of fifths" kinda charts, and every performer plays the same chord chart, so..ahem..when you say, "they play the most popular stuff ever recorded from different eras, and have studio musicians play a similar version of it." --THAT, kind sir, is wrong, wrong, wrong. EVERY PERFORMANCE STYLE plays the same "circle of fifths" style chart that runs through most keys, so the algorithm that can snatch specific chords from specific performances can do a consistently good job of it. If there was inconsistency in the audio-rendered-chord charts, there would be mayhem at BIAB central, LOL.

For the most part, very few of these styles refer to or are copying actual songs or even artists that exist in the real world, but are more generalized. Whereas in the midi era, you'd have BIAB styles named after songs or artists, with Realtracks they wanted to offer something that was less specific to an artist, but more specific to a genre. And the BIAB labeling of Realtracks has followed suit. Instead of a midi style named "Mylie" or "Miles ballad" you have Realtracks styles labelled, "Country Syncopated w/Resonator Guitar" or "smooth jazz ballad with trumpet solo" --but with BIAB post 2012, to dial in a specific artist or song, one must either go retro and use a midi style, or God forbid, write the darn thing out by hand and render it with a virtual instrument in a DAW..ooh shudder at the thought..kidding..

There are some exceptions. Funny you mention Dire Straits, cuz when BIAB transitioned into their audio era, they started to still make a few styles that referred to artists and songs, and Darin Favorite's playing on the Realtracks style, "Sultans of Straits" is spot-on Mark Knopfler--partly because Knopfler's way of touching a Strat is very specific to him and few others (Richard Thompson being one of the first) BUT also because BIAB hadn't figured out their new path was to move away from "artist specific" styles and into "genre specific styles" which is 99% of what they are doing now and mostly since 2012, with Realtracks Audio..

A prior issue I'd like to address. I think the reason you thought BIAB sounded like crap is because back when it was all midi, (midi being the prior BIAB era that you've been talking about, unbeknownst to yourself) when playing a song in BIAB, you were hearing "Roland Sound Canvas" or "Edirol Hyper Canvas" --which came with BIAB. These were basically teeny tiny "soundfonts" that would give a producer an "idea" of what it could sound like. NOT MEANT FOR FINAL PRODUCTION..No..When producers used BIAB as a tool before Realtracks, they had to render the midi to a virtual instrument in a DAW, such as Cubase or Logic. THEN and only then would that midi style come to life and be anything nearly good sounding. But some instruments still sounded crappy when rendered to audio via virtual instruments. Strummed guitars for one, always sounded crappy. I don't think I ever rendered a strummed guitar from midi to audio via a virtual guitar that was usable. But the Realtracks audio guitar styles are all pretty good, and few since the Dire ones sound like anyone in particular, but umbrella over particular genres nicely.

You can still search through BIAB's "songpicker" by writing in names of famous songs, and oft times a Realtracks audio style will be mentioned. But if you listen to that style, it simply shares the same tempo, time signature, type of note rhythm (straight or swing 8ths, or straight or swing 16th notes) and shares a BASIC common feel, such as "country ballad" or "sparse Americana."

If you don't want to research for yourself and don't trust me (a daily BIAB user for over a decade) for whatever reason, ask Vic if what I say here is true or not. He uses Realtrack era BIAB more consistently in every song more than me, at this point, and you yourself have made nice comments on his songs.

There is no debate to be had on this issue. There is NO MIDI involved in a modern day, everyday usage of BIAB. It is only optional, and as far as midi goes, you are indeed correct. But hardly anyone uses the midi functionality in BIAB, anymore, and there are hardly any Realtrack audio styles being generated at BIAB headquarters that sound like particular artists, unless it's an artist that is simply sounding like themselves..they've had several well known studio musicians performing Realtracks, mostly from the jazz world like Jeff Lorber and Ron Carter.

Mike


Well the midi tracks for sure sounded like crap.

The main problem with $1000 demos even still is there is no way to know by what percentage you increase your chances by having a $1000 demo. do you go from a 1% chance to a 2% chance, not worth it, or from a 1% chance to a 50% chance. Nobody knows, we do know that without the great demo you wont be heard at all

In the end if everybody has a 1000 demo, then we start all over again. I still believe it comes down to how good your song is. Your melody, your chord progression, your hooks, good being subjective of course. But you could have a $10k demo, if the person in charge doesnt think they can make money on it, in the trash it goes.

Your best shot in my estimation is recording your own stuff, releasing it as you, or if you cowrite releasing it under your cowriter, and see what happens online.

If writing for fun, you really dont need demos at all, unless you record demos for fun.

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 04/12/19 02:28 PM.
#1152608 - 04/11/19 12:03 PM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Michael Zaneski Offline
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You're most welcome, Jane. Don't forget to have fun in the process!

Mike

Last edited by Michael Zaneski; 04/11/19 09:05 PM.

Fate doesn't hang on a wrong or right choice
Fortune depends on the tone of your voice

-The Divine Comedy (Neil Hannon)
from the song "Songs of Love"
from the album "Casanova" (1996)
#1152609 - 04/11/19 12:49 PM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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Then again, all recorded music is no longer acoustic/ live music. All recorded music has to route through different playback devices (amplification and speakers). Even “live” music is altered by its acoustic environment. I think of MIDI instruments as recorded/ sampled “live” instruments. There’s a world of sounds out there. I appreciate them all. I once had a violin major, fresh out of music school, ask me who played the violin on one of my tracks. She said that violinist had so much feeling and expression. She was impressed with the sound the violinist got out of his violin. Wanted to know what violin he used. I told her it was a Kirk Hunter violin. laugh

Moral of the story... "if it sounds good, it is good".

Best, John smile

#1152610 - 04/11/19 02:44 PM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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Originally Posted by John Lawrence Schick
Then again, all recorded music is no longer acoustic/ live music. All recorded music has to route through different playback devices (amplification and speakers). Even “live” music is altered by its acoustic environment. I think of MIDI instruments as recorded/ sampled “live” instruments. There’s a world of sounds out there. I appreciate them all. I once had a violin major, fresh out of music school, ask me who played the violin on one of my tracks. She said that violinist had so much feeling and expression. She was impressed with the sound the violinist got out of his violin. Wanted to know what violin he used. I told her it was a Kirk Hunter violin. laugh

Moral of the story... "if it sounds good, it is good".

Best, John smile



Hi John,

I agree wholeheartedly. The one thing I dislike about Keith Jarrett is not that he occasionally stops a solo performance to chew out the audience for a camera or a hushed whisper, but because he has some kind of Gurdjieff-like belief that acoustic instruments are somehow "truer" music makers, and I just can't follow his argument.

Sample libraries can sound great. So can (modern, post 2012) BIAB which is a different paradigm altogether, being more like Sony's Acid platform that ushered in loops some twenty years ago..wow..time is flying by!

And the thing is and why I disagree with folks that say, "you just need this or that" is that BIAB compliments sample libraries because they work differently and have different strengths and thrive around different instruments. I would never use a BIAB piano front and center for instance, because from phrase to phrase, you can hear the sustain getting cut off, then starting again, and in a very unnatural way. Very annoying. But Musart's Pianoteq is a brilliant "physical modelling" software that can morph into ANY make of piano known to man, and has a footpront under 100 megabytes! And good sampled pianos (like Native-Instruments') can sound realistic too. Sampled guitars are catching up.

BIAB's main weakness is it's inability to play specific melodies. But that's the forte of sample libraries. So together, in a DAW, you've got the best of both worlds.

But if I was to be stranded on a desert island and had to choose one type of software to compliment my DAW, I'd go with sample libraries, cuz they are MUCH more versatile than BIAB. They can do BOTH chordal work and melodic work equally well, but sometimes take so much time to tweak the midi CC info that one thinks, "darn..if only BIAB had pan flute performances, I could just write the chords in BIAB and have Zamfir do the rest." wink

Mike

Last edited by Michael Zaneski; 04/11/19 09:04 PM.

Fate doesn't hang on a wrong or right choice
Fortune depends on the tone of your voice

-The Divine Comedy (Neil Hannon)
from the song "Songs of Love"
from the album "Casanova" (1996)
#1152611 - 04/11/19 02:53 PM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Martin Lide Online content
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Martin Lide  Online Content
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Originally Posted by John Lawrence Schick


Moral of the story... "if it sounds good, it is good".



Yes. Inarguable.

Recordings are made to be listened to. "If it sounds good, it is good."

#1152620 - 04/12/19 12:10 AM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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I wouldn't waste any money on a demo. Either learn to play and find others who can to and record something live with personality and style, or pay someone to do it and watch your money go up in smoke for nothing. Because, as we've all said a million times, unless you are ASKED to pitch personally by someone who is a decision maker in the room, the rest is a waste of time. Even if their "decision" power only goes from you to a "yes, this can eat 4 minutes of the final decision makers time without costing me my job" type of power. You HAVE to have an in, or you HAVE to already be an artist/songwriter in demand. The best way to be in demand is to create something FOR REAL, using either your talent or a band you construct (or a brilliant studio pro doing pop/electronic/rap/R&B etc. style that can be ALL samples, drum machines and programmed music with a show stopping vocalist. If you don't have all of the above on your side, just make some damn music for yourself, your local friends/family and if you can impress them all enough to ask their friends/families to check out your stuff or better still come out to a club some night to hear you perform live, then do that. That is where it STARTS. You can also just play live into a camera and create a youtube channel (or another social media platform) and start building content that attracts repeat business... you can pull anyone in by a clever title alone.. but you better deliver SOMETHING when they show up or you'll be done. Most people making music are NOT making music worthy of people's time to listen to it. Over the years I have had SOOOOO many people BEG me to listen to their work and though I have had enough juice to get material to a handful of successful artists over the years (and have done just that one several occasions) I rarely hear anything worthy of anyone's time, let alone a company that would have to spend a million dollars just to CONSIDER doing something serious with you. The opportunities are so limited and the time of decision makers cannot be wasted EVER or people get fired or they simply get forgotten immediately and for good. It's cutthroat, it is unfair across the board, you'll be met with every level of prejudice from actual malicious identity politics stuff to simply because they don't like the shirt you wore in the room. You have to eat a lot of s^it even on a good day and that is IF you have the goods and that almost NEVER is true. People who have the goods have proven it in the trenches a hundred times over. They have filled rooms with paying customers who anxiously awaited your appearance and want a piece of you when the show is over. People who have "IT" were often born with it, not because they deserved it, it just IS. And if you DON'T have it, you can't fake it. And you can't fake anyone out either. I know many people who qualify as having "IT" but who STILL fail usually due to their own inability to do the work, take the time, preparation and complete single minded focus to make it. It is only the rare case of having both. Exceptions? People who get in the door because they are part of, or highly connected TO the ruling elite class. For super attractive women and gay men, they can use sex to get in the door sometimes. Otherwise, you have to BRING IT which means you have to HAVE IT first, then you have to WORK IT until you can MAKE IT. And today, you can look forward to a FRACTION of financial gain of previous eras. If you sign a deal, the money you get upfront is usually the last money you will make from your music directly with only a tiny number of exceptions.

Want a reality check? Watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dJQdF7cvbU&list=LLlABkig0jxlPHR5gVTHvrLw&index=2&t=0s

That's just one of a hundred videos I could give you. It's a bunch of Rap artists talking truth about becoming an artist and signing that "deal." "But I am a songwriter" you say. Well, if the TALENT gets screwed this bad, imagine how at the mercy of massive corporations you are as just the writer, one of millions and millions and millions of others when every artist and label has a century worth of songs already written by themselves or their people meaning they keep the money so why are you wasting their time? Brutal doesn't even begin to describe it.

Make music to please yourself. If you have enough talent to do that, you are blessed and should revel in it. 99.9% of people do not have that ability. If you can also move your friends and family, BONUS. In truth, if your music speaks universal truths to people in a way that is original, unique or extremely pleasing, you will find an audience even if it is via this message board. Keep getting better and pleasing yourself because music is telling yourself the truth that you need to hear but your mind knows you aren't quite getting it so your mind tricks you by producing a piece of art to tell you the truth about yourself. If you can do that, others will respond. Even if you do it with BIAB or on a guitar and scratchy vocal on your porch or via some program on your computer. UNIVERSAL TRUTHS are key. First you have to respond to yourself. It is easy to lie to yourself, but you're still smart enough to react when you start telling the truth. When you start saying something meaningful and in the most meaningful way you can. You won't become famous unless you have "IT" but you CAN have a satisfying life with your music and even have the respect and admiration of a good number of others in a niche you invent around YOU. That's what I suggest people focus on. Most will ignore this hard earned advice and that puts you into the teeth of the beast. Good luck with that.


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justplainfolks

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

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#1152630 - 04/12/19 08:25 AM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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Everett Adams Online content
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I guess the main reason why record labels want to get their artist as young as possible is because they are much easier to impress and get their names on contracts that benefit the labels and rob the artist. Mainly because being that young you know nothing about the business side of music, all they see is the big advance that they get that must be paid back plus all other expense to get that artist out there. All the young artist sees are stars in their eyes while the label sees dollar signs in their eyes.

I read where a lot of artist are not looking to sign with these major labels anymore because they are either getting smarter or they've heard too many stories from artist that have been robbed by these labels. It might be a good thing if these labels go under, then maybe we'll start hearing better music on radio.

#1152634 - 04/12/19 09:34 AM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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Dave Rice Online content
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Before I forget... let me first welcome Jane K to JPF:

You picked an interesting and somewhat adversarial post to begin your participation here... (chuckling a bit...) and I hope it won't make you think we are "at each other's throats constantly" at Brian's Website. If you are a music fan or music creator, slide over to the MP3 Forum (down the main page) and you can hear song-posts by other JPF participants... or post your own if you can provide a link to another website or legal storage outlet.

Wow! Guys and Gals:

I don't use BIAB but have made use of the services of BIAB Artists and they sound pretty good to me. My method is different and works fine for me... but... as I have often said: "If you can create a song or melody with a Kazoo and it "goes viral"... more power to you." The method of creation pales in comparison to the final product which first had to be "roughed out" on an instrument of some description... and, if a song, decently vocalized after a great lyric was scribbled down on paper, papyrus or stone tablets! The "Final Product" had better be practically air-worthy or cause immediate rapture in high places if it is going to enter the fray to compete for the charts.

Sadly, little of the above matters because there are too many of us creating "white noise" and the ears in Nashville, LA, NYC, Sheboygan or Atlanta are confused to the point of not wanting to hear anymore. Besides, the interns tend to do what they are told and the good stuff (those with free passes past the gate guards) goes straight to the ivory tower for worship or rejection. Terrible odds. You should all "give up" immediately... leaving the field for me alone!

Later, ----Dave from West Mayberry

#1152639 - 04/12/19 10:36 AM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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I find it a little amusing, a little sad, highly ironic, and a total learning experience..this thread..

My intention was clearly to help folks use BIAB (and Melodyne) better, so as to become better at producing songs themselves. I think that is self-evident in every post I made.

First I saw it morph into an attack on the software itself, which was unfair, since I was basically saying to the folks who already use the software, "here's how to use it better."

And now it seems more focused on whether it's worth it to pay for demos or not..

And from where I sit, whether or not people who do what I do are doing something worth paying for.

Okay dokey..

AS I said a learning experience..

I've learned that indeed, no good deed goes unpunished..and moreover, once you put something "out there" into the hands of the public, it's really no longer yours, and whatever benign intentions you may have had, don't really matter.

Carry on, as you were, but I'm out..

I do believe, though, that "hope" is a rather un-quantifiable thing that is being left out of the equation, out of this last round of thought. We all need some solid form of it. Making something, creating something tangible like a good recording of a song is always on the plus side of hope.

Mike

Last edited by Michael Zaneski; 04/12/19 12:42 PM.

Fate doesn't hang on a wrong or right choice
Fortune depends on the tone of your voice

-The Divine Comedy (Neil Hannon)
from the song "Songs of Love"
from the album "Casanova" (1996)
#1152644 - 04/12/19 01:22 PM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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Fdemetrio Offline
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Fdemetrio  Offline
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Originally Posted by Michael Zaneski
I find it a little amusing, a little sad, highly ironic, and a total learning experience..this thread..

My intention was clearly to help folks use BIAB (and Melodyne) better, so as to become better at producing songs themselves. I think that is self-evident in every post I made.

First I saw it morph into an attack on the software itself, which was unfair, since I was basically saying to the folks who already use the software, "here's how to use it better."

And now it seems more focused on whether it's worth it to pay for demos or not..

And from where I sit, whether or not people who do what I do are doing something worth paying for.

Okay dokey..

AS I said a learning experience..

I've learned that indeed, no good deed goes unpunished..and moreover, once you put something "out there" into the hands of the public, it's really no longer yours, and whatever benign intentions you may have had, don't really matter.

Carry on, as you were, but I'm out..

I do believe, though, that "hope" is a rather un-quantifiable thing that is being left out of the equation, out of this last round of thought. We all need some solid form of it. Making something, creating something tangible like a good recording of a song is always on the plus side of hope.

Mike


Mike I have a response to this. I see you took down the scathing remarks u made, i sometimes do that to. For what its worth, i came across the info of the real tracks actually being saved as midi internally online, i think it was by the makers of the software. Perhaps u can write Peter Gannon for details, i may not have articualted right as Im not a BIAB nerd

The point was, these demos are not enough to cut the mustard, if there is even mustard to need cutting. Ive been saying that since day one. Its not to attack BIAB, its a usefull software but nobody is going to get serious consideration with this software. The reason perhaps for the switch in emphasis of the thread is that its becoming a band in a box forum, they already have one. Theres more to songwriting and music than band in a box, theres also the art and fun of it, nobody goes there....




Last edited by Fdemetrio; 04/12/19 01:57 PM.
#1152645 - 04/12/19 01:28 PM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Fdemetrio Offline
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Originally Posted by John Lawrence Schick
Then again, all recorded music is no longer acoustic/ live music. All recorded music has to route through different playback devices (amplification and speakers).

Moral of the story... "if it sounds good, it is good".

Best, John smile


Yeah Ive been known to say that as well. One thing though, what sounds good is also a matter of debate, When my folks were around, nothing I could play myself or my albums SOUNDED good to them. It was always ahh God damn turn down that noise........

If u go on home recording forums, there will be rigid debates as to what sounds good and what doesnt.... we cant win!

#1152647 - 04/13/19 04:24 AM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
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Originally Posted by Michael Zaneski
I find it a little amusing, a little sad, highly ironic, and a total learning experience..this thread..

My intention was clearly to help folks use BIAB (and Melodyne) better, so as to become better at producing songs themselves. I think that is self-evident in every post I made.

First I saw it morph into an attack on the software itself, which was unfair, since I was basically saying to the folks who already use the software, "here's how to use it better."

And now it seems more focused on whether it's worth it to pay for demos or not..

And from where I sit, whether or not people who do what I do are doing something worth paying for.

Okay dokey..

AS I said a learning experience..

I've learned that indeed, no good deed goes unpunished..and moreover, once you put something "out there" into the hands of the public, it's really no longer yours, and whatever benign intentions you may have had, don't really matter.

Carry on, as you were, but I'm out..

I do believe, though, that "hope" is a rather un-quantifiable thing that is being left out of the equation, out of this last round of thought. We all need some solid form of it. Making something, creating something tangible like a good recording of a song is always on the plus side of hope.

Mike


By the way Mike, I regret (mea culpa) that I did NOT first thank you and celebrate your contribution on this post. It was an outstanding, straight forward explanation in great detail. It was a credit to you and all the educators who have come before and will come first, and I am sorry to have helped diverge it off the rails, but I am SOOO incensed when people are convinced spending 1K of money they usually don't have to start with thinking an unproven song will suddenly be heard by decision makers and change their career trajectory. BIAB is absolutely fine to get your ideas down in a listenable form and I think doing so is both fun and satisfying. More power to anyone doing so, please do not stop. Just please people.. don't waste money on expensive demos. It is a dead end. If you only write lyrics, and you WANT some type of success you have to do the work FIRST to put yourself in position for success. It means meeting people, forming a band (even if you don't play, you can be the lyricists, van driver and gear hauler if needed). You can supply a place for rehearsals. You CAN find a way to get people to work with and it is a BLAST! I don't care how old you are, how young, or anything in between. But it takes that much effort at least to do something FOR REAL. All the BIAB demos in the world will not make you a commercial success.. that is not how it works. It isn't because of BIAB being good, bad or otherwise. It's because that isn't WORK on the level of finding success in the music business. What is it? It's fun for sure. It's a release. It's PRACTICE. It's a way to let a band HEAR your idea in musical form. It will make a demo for what "demo" originally meant. To show someone a new, but not yet finished, song. For a band to learn. For fun. For friends and family. That's a lot. But with today's "business" it doesn't work as it used to. It used to be fine to get just about ANY version of a song down to convey your idea to decision makers. That is no longer true. The reason? It is CHEAP AND EASY to record great sounding REAL music (with the caveat that many genres use samples and keyboard players to input the entire music bed and add vocalists into cpu processors and make them sound like anything they want on a simple decent modern laptop and a few programs a bit more complicated than BIAB). With the bar SOOOO very low to produce professional sounding music, the market is beyond saturated. FOREVER.
In all of the remaining time on earth we don't need any more songs.. we will not run out of songs to fill the airwaves for many millennia. .And every year going forward, we'll add another 1000 years of music to the pile that always grows with all previous music being squashed underneath.

That was my point. But it does not refute or discredit BIAB and it certainly should not have ignored Mike's work, effort and contribution.

THANK YOU MIKE!


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
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"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

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#1152649 - 04/13/19 06:36 AM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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Everett Adams Online content
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I've seen people lap up and buy some pretty poor quality music just because the song spoke to them or they liked the artist. The industry has pushed the quality of the production so high just to get the sale on the production alone that the quality of the song, the lyrics, the story, means little. The idea of songs, at least in some genre, is to tell a story or idea that people can relate to. The song says what the listener is thinking but can't verbalize in their own words. That's why love songs are popular, or use to be popular, it says what the audience feels but can't say for what ever reason. Most people are not poets. Many people, especially men, are reserved or shy about telling their mates how they love them, but they will request a love song (or sing a love song, if they can sing) for their mates that conveys the message that they want to say. Love still exist (I hope) but not so much in many songs today. It is more about drug, alcohol, partying and one night stand sex, and of course fast cars and pickup trucks. It's all about production, the sound, not the message, keep polishing the turd till the turd is not even noticed. The music becomes the message.

It's like the lowly potato, most young people will not want potatoes to eat unless it is deep fried, battered, spiced, chipped, curled, wedged, flavoured, etc etc. It is still potato but all the other things make it more attractive, not more nutritious or healthy(probably less so) but it is what "sells" the consumer on eating it.

#1152653 - 04/13/19 09:32 AM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Fdemetrio Offline
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Originally Posted by Everett Adams
I've seen people lap up and buy some pretty poor quality music just because the song spoke to them or they liked the artist. The industry has pushed the quality of the production so high just to get the sale on the production alone that the quality of the song, the lyrics, the story, means little. The idea of songs, at least in some genre, is to tell a story or idea that people can relate to. The song says what the listener is thinking but can't verbalize in their own words. That's why love songs are popular, or use to be popular, it says what the audience feels but can't say for what ever reason. Most people are not poets. Many people, especially men, are reserved or shy about telling their mates how they love them, but they will request a love song (or sing a love song, if they can sing) for their mates that conveys the message that they want to say. Love still exist (I hope) but not so much in many songs today. It is more about drug, alcohol, partying and one night stand sex, and of course fast cars and pickup trucks. It's all about production, the sound, not the message, keep polishing the turd till the turd is not even noticed. The music becomes the message.

It's like the lowly potato, most young people will not want potatoes to eat unless it is deep fried, battered, spiced, chipped, curled, wedged, flavoured, etc etc. It is still potato but all the other things make it more attractive, not more nutritious or healthy(probably less so) but it is what "sells" the consumer on eating it.


To me, if a song speaks to somebody, it's good. There are songs out there that I have no idea why I like them. I love the song "pretty in pink", not my style, not anything I would pay money to go and see, but some reason that song speaks to me on some level. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nu0sYQRECkY

One of my favorite Doors songs is "Love Street" of all the great songs they have, that one gets to me somehow. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pldftoUbM80
Theres a ton of songs that I hear on the radio that I cant turn off, even though Im not more than a casual fan. Ozzies Crazy Train is one, that frickin harmony on "Going off the rails" gets me every time. One of the whimpiest songs ever I love is called Truly Madly Deeply, by Savage Garden. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQnAxOQxQIU

Im almost embarrassed to admit some of the songs I like, but I cant deny they hooked me in some way. Im usually embarrassed to tell people my favorite Doors song is Love Street, i just think its a phenomenal melody and Jim just sells the whole song with his crooning.

You know, sometimes its the lyric, sometimes its one line, sometimes its the story, sometimes its melody, sometimes its the groove. Sometimes it's the musicality, the instrumentation, guitar hooks and guitar solos, sometimes, its the energy...enter any ramone's song. Often times its the singers voice. I listen to Tom Pettys "Wake Up Time" one time I listened in headphones half asleep, I swore the guy was talking to me personally. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AtcYvOz2vc

I think when you're a band or artist, you have more ways to capture an audience, as a writer, you have melody and lyric.

Today alot of the music is computer driven, and im sure the stuff has been tested and it works. You cant call it bad per se, its done for a different reason


oh yeah another favorite song I have that I dont admit often is Roxy Musics More Than This.... Absolutely killer, but dont tell no one...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOnde5c7OG8

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 04/13/19 11:19 AM.
#1152779 - 04/17/19 10:59 PM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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JaneK Offline
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Hello everyone,

Regarding the subject of making great demos - Yes, you must have good songs to start with. You must not be a mature woman if you are just starting out. And of course, you must have a lot of connections.

My problem with getting professional demos done is that they often turn out boring and unimaginative. If you ask for production help from recording engineers and sessions players (I play keys and do my own vocals for my songs) they end up giving you lackluster versions of songs (They still get the money even though they don't deliver the goods you expected).

Of course you find this out later when you get critiques on song forums (not here yet) and other songwriters tell you it is not anywhere near ready.

Not impressed so far here in Bakersfield with the recording studios here (We only have a couple). So I try to do it myself at home with the "built in the DAW" sounds and various plug ins. But I am an amateur everything -taking up a DAW at my age isn't easy - I don't know if I will ever get the "finished product" sound. And yes with all the music out there, and no real appreciation of music from the general public, you say to yourself, well it is just a hobby, a very fulfilling hobby and at least find maybe a few people who want to listen.

Thanks for welcoming me to your forum. Really interesting stuff here.

Jane K

#1152782 - 04/18/19 07:22 AM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Martin Lide Online content
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Martin Lide  Online Content
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Originally Posted by Fdemetrio
Originally Posted by John Lawrence Schick
Then again, all recorded music is no longer acoustic/ live music. All recorded music has to route through different playback devices (amplification and speakers).

Moral of the story... "if it sounds good, it is good".

Best, John smile


Yeah Ive been known to say that as well. One thing though, what sounds good is also a matter of debate, When my folks were around, nothing I could play myself or my albums SOUNDED good to them. It was always ahh God damn turn down that noise........

If u go on home recording forums, there will be rigid debates as to what sounds good and what doesnt.... we cant win!


I believe that you are missing the point.

If the Rolling Stones did not sound good to your parents, that is not at issue. Not their kind of music. That's personal preference. This thread to me, is about whether or not a listener likes a recording that is their tastes.

For example, A hypothetical recording artist may hear a demo made at home with BIAB et al and it may sound good enough to be in contention for his next album. It may also sound good enough for consideration by his producer.

But then, you tell them..."that was done on a home computer with band in a box."
And they reply..."Throw it out then. We only want the real thang demos."

Not likely. "If it sounds good, it is good."
And getting better all the time.

#1152783 - 04/18/19 07:28 AM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: JaneK]  
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Martin Lide Online content
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Martin Lide  Online Content
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Originally Posted by JaneK
Hello everyone,

Regarding the subject of making great demos - Yes, you must have good songs to start with. You must not be a mature woman if you are just starting out. And of course, you must have a lot of connections.

My problem with getting professional demos done is that they often turn out boring and unimaginative. If you ask for production help from recording engineers and sessions players (I play keys and do my own vocals for my songs) they end up giving you lackluster versions of songs (They still get the money even though they don't deliver the goods you expected).

Of course you find this out later when you get critiques on song forums (not here yet) and other songwriters tell you it is not anywhere near ready.

Not impressed so far here in Bakersfield with the recording studios here (We only have a couple). So I try to do it myself at home with the "built in the DAW" sounds and various plug ins. But I am an amateur everything -taking up a DAW at my age isn't easy - I don't know if I will ever get the "finished product" sound. And yes with all the music out there, and no real appreciation of music from the general public, you say to yourself, well it is just a hobby, a very fulfilling hobby and at least find maybe a few people who want to listen.

Thanks for welcoming me to your forum. Really interesting stuff here.

Jane K



There is reality to this. I've no doubt that the Nashville demo factories have to hold their nose as they make many recordings. I've no doubt that they consider many, if not most of their clients as internet wannabees who have no real talent or prospects. I suspect that the idea is to sit down and put something out that "checks the boxes" as a professional or quasi professional recording and move on.

#1152788 - 04/18/19 09:29 AM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: Martin Lide]  
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Fdemetrio Offline
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Fdemetrio  Offline
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Originally Posted by Martin Lide
Originally Posted by Fdemetrio
Originally Posted by John Lawrence Schick
Then again, all recorded music is no longer acoustic/ live music. All recorded music has to route through different playback devices (amplification and speakers).

Moral of the story... "if it sounds good, it is good".

Best, John smile


Yeah Ive been known to say that as well. One thing though, what sounds good is also a matter of debate, When my folks were around, nothing I could play myself or my albums SOUNDED good to them. It was always ahh God damn turn down that noise........

If u go on home recording forums, there will be rigid debates as to what sounds good and what doesnt.... we cant win!


I believe that you are missing the point.

If the Rolling Stones did not sound good to your parents, that is not at issue. Not their kind of music. That's personal preference. This thread to me, is about whether or not a listener likes a recording that is their tastes.

For example, A hypothetical recording artist may hear a demo made at home with BIAB et al and it may sound good enough to be in contention for his next album. It may also sound good enough for consideration by his producer.

But then, you tell them..."that was done on a home computer with band in a box."
And they reply..."Throw it out then. We only want the real thang demos."

Not likely. "If it sounds good, it is good."
And getting better all the time.


I agree with all you said, but one thing you may be missing is the internet effect. The internet has created more amateur writers, recording artists, recording engineers, critics, politicians, sportscasters, healtcare pros, experts than any other time in history. You'd be amazed at how many production nerds comment on professionally released albums, and say "Oh my Goodness, what were they thinking on that reverb..or that is the lamest sounding guitar I have ever heard. And we know about the common auto tune complaints.

And we also cant dismiss that the majority of people WONT like any song, no matter how much money was pumped into the production or not. There are hit records that have 100 or more tracks to them, meticulously layered and processed. And still MOST people will say "Oh man I HATE this song....."

Your point about a listener saying "this is band In a box" so throw it out, is not the right argument. People dont know who recorded what, whats a sample, what isnt, whos using auto tune and who isnt, who is tripling the vocal and who isnt....all they know is a wall of sound that their ear tries to sort out for a pleasing experience.

They dont know band in a box is making it sound less exciting to them, they just know it doesnt sound exciting to them. Thats not to say they will say "Oh gosh this sounds terrible, they wont, cause it doesnt sound terrible. But play a band in a box demo, and then play a hit song off the radio back to back. If it cant compete, then it wont compete

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 04/18/19 10:03 AM.
#1152796 - 04/18/19 11:00 AM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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Martin Lide Online content
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Fd

Im not sure that we are talking about the same thing, My view of this is much less complex.

Martin

#1152797 - 04/18/19 11:12 AM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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Martin Lide Online content
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Martin Lide  Online Content
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Fd

Im not sure that we are talking about the same thing, My view of this is much less complex.

Martin

#1152817 - 04/20/19 10:49 AM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: Martin Lide]  
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Fdemetrio Offline
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Fdemetrio  Offline
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Originally Posted by Martin Lide
Fd

Im not sure that we are talking about the same thing, My view of this is much less complex.

Martin


I know, you have stated your view before. You feel that in order for somebody to like a song, it must be recorded well. That if you expect somebody to listen to your song, it should be recorded well.

What Im saying is that when people are listening to the better recording, more often than not they are enjoying the sound of the track, and not really the song.

But you need great songs for anything else to really matter

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 04/20/19 01:10 PM.
#1152839 - 04/20/19 11:33 PM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: couchgrouch]  
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Originally Posted by couchgrouch
It's not crap, Cheyenne. It's fact with few exceptions. Unless you can email Kenny Chesney's producer your guitar/vocal living room demo, you need to fork over a grand. I've heard plenty of demos of hit Nashville songs and they were indistinguishable from the final cuts. They even tailor the demo singer to the artist they intend to pitch to. That's what discouraged me about Music Row, the expense. Hell, the songs themselves were nothing special at all. You need to kiss serious ass and pay through the ass on top of that. For a born dissenter with shallow pockets, that ain't for me.

Some love the Music Row system and good for them. But if you don't fit in, don't despair. The money isn't what it used to be and if you don't crave the validation, you don't need the headache.


The world has changed. There is no reason to fork over a grand unless you have a grand to waste and you like what you get for the money. A great demo is not getting you anywhere unless you already have the connections you need to get a decision maker to WANT to hear your song and WANT to help you based on your already established relationship. They are not helping strangers no matter how amazing your song is. If you truly have something great, they will just take your idea, rewrite it and put it on in their own name and life goes on. People need to stop wasting their money on stuff that really didn't work much even decades ago and is a joke today.


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justplainfolks

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

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#1152840 - 04/21/19 07:40 AM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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Neil Cotton Offline
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Neil Cotton  Offline
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A phrase that rings in my head when I really like one of my songs and think I might Nashville demo it.
"you can't polish a turd" LOL
There are so many writers with inside tracks, including the artists, that it's a lottery level gamble.

#1152921 - 04/24/19 09:31 AM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Martin Lide Online content
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Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney

The world has changed. There is no reason to fork over a grand unless you have a grand to waste and you like what you get for the money. A great demo is not getting you anywhere unless you already have the connections you need to get a decision maker to WANT to hear your song and WANT to help you based on your already established relationship. They are not helping strangers no matter how amazing your song is. If you truly have something great, they will just take your idea, rewrite it and put it on in their own name and life goes on. People need to stop wasting their money on stuff that really didn't work much even decades ago and is a joke today.


The truth can be brutal, but it's always refreshing to see.

I remember other sites (dream churners) where people would be parroting all of this..."Nashville is a family. Everybody looks out for everybody and they all want is for your success." I remember thinking to myself..."What a load of complete crap."

Back in my troll days, I would enjoy making it clear that I felt that way and quickly be dismissed as a heretic and deluded fool.

Like I said...in a world that is 85 percent crap, the truth always looks good to me.

#1153042 - 04/28/19 10:30 PM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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Sue Rarick Offline
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There is always the option of Royalty Free music catalog sales that can really accommodate any music style or even quality if someone were say looking for a garage band just starting out sound. Even though they may only use 20 to 30 seconds of your song they should be about 2 minuets.

Problem with Royalty Free music is that it takes a while for anyone to find you and there is very little money until it gets wide distribution. It's a gamble but for me I'm retired and it keeps me off the street when not doing CGI stuff on my workstation.




#1153095 - 05/01/19 11:18 PM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
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That's a rational approach Sue. People need to REMEMBER why they are making music. The only right answer is because they can't NOT make music. If you could stop, you should stop. Find something more productive to do and leave making music to those people who are driven no matter what they face. It is so unlikely to lead to real money, especially if (as an artist) you are over 25. That is already too old for 99% of any opportunities as an artist. It's just reality. That doesn't mean someone older can't make a great living working hard, gigging and choosing your actions carefully and with well earned wisdom, but if you hope someone ELSE will hear you and help you, it is highly unlikely today that they will help you if you are more than 25. Even, in truth, if you are over 23. At that point, you'll have to go he hard way, on your own, busting your ass and forcing your way into relevancy. Sure, there are people who break through short term due to a gimmick.. a video, something viral etc. but straight up making it just based on your music and having someone discover you and spend millions in dollars and in equity trade (favors, reputation, the whole deal) is not happening once you are old enough to be a competent parent. Frankly the best thing you could do for the world at that age is to start having healthy children with a spouse and teaching them to be good people will values and morality and empathy for others and common sense with a competent work ethic. Few people are doing that anymore. And as you go through those experiences (i.e. real life which doesn't place yourself as the most and only important thing in your life) then you might have someone WORTH writing about.

But I digress. Don't spend money on a demo that you can't afford to lose outright. If it is your hobby and you have cash to burn, spend it how you want. I would suggest finding a young talented artists, help develop their career in exchange for them performing and fronting your writing. That is what I would do. Hell, I might even do that when I retire from this.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justplainfolks

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

[Linked Image]
#1153224 - 05/09/19 04:59 PM Re: Making Great Demos with BIAB [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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Sue Rarick Offline
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I have done exactly that Brian - Had two young rappers come to me and although the songs were good they had no show experience - I told them to go out for a year or two and do any live gig anyplace and don't worry about money - learn how to sell yourself to an audience - then come back to me.

Don't know how it worked out for them - I could see AC was about to die and sold my biz and was one of the first to desert a sinking ship.

One of the sad parts about entertainment today is that the small clubs where the old folk played and the young folk learned their craft have all but died. Till the Beatles got to play all the time in a small club they basically sucked. Springsteen when he was playing local dances sucked - it was the house band gig at the stone pony that turned him from boring to an entertainer.... those places where a young person could look and learn how an old timer could play an audience for the most part all gone.

Last edited by Sue Rarick; 05/09/19 05:05 PM.



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