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Demo Tapes - What should be on them?

Discussion in 'The Business Side' started by DocSavage, Apr 10, 2002.

  1. DocSavage

    DocSavage New Member

    When you're looking to cater to a number of different kinds of promoters ranging from Happy Hardcore to Prog House, what kind of tape should you send out? I'm currently trying to put together a tape to give to promoters, but I'm not sure of the basics....

    How long should the tape be?
    Should I have a flashy intro?
    What kind of music should I have? Should I display more than one style?

    Some details into how others have put together tapes in the past would be greatly appreciated.

  2. MoRpH

    MoRpH Moderator

    Personally I don't do demo tapes, I just put promoters on the door @ gig and let them see for themselves, tape doesn't do justice to my live show (which is far more than just screen output and needs to be live).

    That said I'm currently working on my part of a doco on the australian VJ scene that will feature both heavily processed interview scenes (with me) and lots of live footage from (my) gigs. WHich when done will not only go into the doco but will become a streaming demo on my new site.
  3. eXhale

    eXhale video magician

    I'm also trying to do a demo tape for some time... unfortunately when I mix at home, it never has the same quality than when I'm mix at a party so I'm going to start recording what I do.

    I think it's good if you put several styles, to show you can do several things. Put 5 minutes of each style :) I guess that promoters aren't really interested in watching 2 hours of your mix anyway, unless they are video freaks. A VCD/DVD would be much better for this, since the promoter can directly pick the style s/he's interested to see.

    Just some ideas, like I said I haven't been much successful at doing this yet...
  4. bigloose

    bigloose ::>>>>--

    They are different way to do you demo.
    My "press pack" is gona be finished soon. It will be done in a cd format and will have:
    2 .pdf files with pictures, explanations, what I need...
    3-4 quicktime demo based on different music.

    When it will be finished I'll put the low rez files on the web and I'll post the url so you can check it.

    Thinking for the future to have a presentation in flash on the cd (and later DVD... but I'll have to buy a burner...).
  5. DocSavage

    DocSavage New Member

    I definately like the idea of having a computer cd for the promoter rather than a video tape. Cuts down on costs not only on material, but also on mailing costs as well. The only concern being that videoclips have to be relatively small in order to avoid being pixelated. Then again, I work with flash files so that doesn't really affect me.

    And since I'm a DJ to boot, I can also make the cd an enhanced cd and have both a 60 minute mix + 150 meg presentation file on the same cd!

  6. bigloose

    bigloose ::>>>>--

    you can have a pretty long demo on a cd if you use the right compression (and the quality is still good).
  7. MoRpH

    MoRpH Moderator

    Demos mixed @ home suck as they have no vibe and are terrible compared to live mix were there is energy, but seriously you can't capture the energy/vibe of the event that your working @ so there is no point just recording screen output, this is why you need to mix that with live footage of the event (even if your one of these boring vjs that just sits on your ass the whole gig), even if your not into the performance side of things.
  8. warpTV

    warpTV warpaholic


    I'm with morph on this one...set up a camera (or get someone else to do this) in the club to record both screens and party and the audio and some hands on shots (to show you are actually doing something.....especially if you perform onstage) At the same time record your output to mix over when the camera is to dark, out of focus looking at the floor etc
  9. MoRpH

    MoRpH Moderator

    Cheers Warp...... spoken like someone that has seen (or maybe produced :p) a few to many dodgey VJ demo tapes :)
  10. vjpixylight

    vjpixylight AKA Will O' The Wisp

    I hope we are trying to find videofreak kinda promoters, then they would be better to work for..I agree it is very hard to capture live setting on tape, but well edited demos that are 3-5 min. long still can have an impact, on anyone!!:D
  11. MoRpH

    MoRpH Moderator

    Yeah with a good edit and some nicely shot footage you can come close but I'm still yet to see one that truely captures it well. I think another key to getting the gig far beyond just giving the promoter your demo tape you need to talk to them and really let your infectious passion for video rub off on them... @least thats what I do, and normally oonce they have seen me live I have standing arrangements..... once you've had MoRpH you don't go back to winamp :p
  12. vjpixylight

    vjpixylight AKA Will O' The Wisp

    agreed. doing it live is where it all needs to be!! and getting gigs by promoters being present, and being based in a bigger city makes that easier, but don't you want to get out of your scene once in a while and play thousands of miles away??? Well you still need a good way to present what you do, unless you can afford to fly promoters in for your gigs...:D
  13. MoRpH

    MoRpH Moderator

    Well I get most of my interstate gigs by word of mouth with punters coming to syd, then going home and telling there promoters to fly me in... or I know a local VJ and they mention to the promoter I'm interested and if they have heard of me they are normally keen :) So I do quite a few interstate gigs and have NEVER done a demo tape......
  14. vjpixylight

    vjpixylight AKA Will O' The Wisp

    Again, it doesn't hurt to be giging round sydney, so those from elsewhere can see you...It is really quite different in the states... Much more localized...and there just isn't one city for punters to go too...
  15. MoRpH

    MoRpH Moderator

    OK enough OT waffle

    1.How long should the tape be?

    No more than 5 mins and make sure you watermark and brand it properly.

    2.Should I have a flashy intro?

    Do an intro that you are happy with... don't go over board though you don't want it to look better than the rest of the content, remember your trying to sell your live show, not video tapes (No.1 rule I would say)

    3. What kind of music should I have? Should I display more than one style?

    I would say maybe cover 2 related genres (eg.house/tech-house) in a tape (about 2-2.5mins of each with a nice clean mix).... do as many as you need to cover the styles you want to mix for.... don't do EVERY style under the sun in an attempt to get work, try to establish yourself with a few select genres then spread out when your ready.
  16. Meierhans

    Meierhans Spezialmusik

    More genres

    To content:
    I would like to put more genres on one CD.
    Do you think minimal-house/deep-house/tech-house and some smooth techno could fit in a mix of 5 minutes?

    To Format:

    I will do a demo CD in the next weeks (when i got some time to do it...)
    I thought about doing it as SVCD, because you can play em on PC and on DVD players.
    But i don`t know how many DVD`s can play it, so perhabs i got to live with VCD.

    Do you think this is a good idea???
  17. MoRpH

    MoRpH Moderator

    Hmmmm I don't think you can really fit that many genres into a 5min mix, musically..... with good results
  18. unjulation

    unjulation Moderator

    I agree with morph, now there's a surprise, about a 5 min mix, it aint going to show either the visuals or the music to there best, maybe do a tune of each type of music?

    but in principle the idea of a demo is good, how meny promoters do you know that will come to your gig, unless it's realy big and they can hob nob with "the stars" so what are you left with? the demo.

    or you could do both send a demo and then ask them allong at least by that time they have some idea of what you do and you aint just a voice at the end of the phone.

    but as with most things in this industriey word of mouth and being in the right place at the right time seems to count for much more.
  19. jesse

    jesse New Member

    I've done 3 'demos':

    1) My first tape I recorded at home.
    2) My second tape I recorded live.
    3) My third tape I recored at home.

    They're all on my website at www.subliminalimaging.com

    I happen to think they all turned out quite nice.

    I think we're gonna try to record our performance this weekend doing visuals for the Planet of the Drums tour and see how that turns out and hopefully put out another tape. I like putting out tapes. ;)

    :: jesse
    subliminal imaging

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