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My rock band was recording a Demo EP with a friend of a member of the band. This friend lost his job and house and left the country before he had a chance to mix and master the tracks. And he didn't give us a copy of the individual tracks to master. So we're pretty much stuck with OK recordings. They're not terrible, but they're not fantastic either. We've invested a lot of time on this, and I'd like to release it onto Spotify, iTunes, etc... We're just starting to try to get our name out there, and I believe that having SOMEthing (even if it isn't amazing.) to show people is better than nothing. Some people in the band believe that it is better to have an amazing album to wow people. Because if peoples' first impression of us is that we suck, then we wouldn't be able to win those people as fans. I think the recordings are good enough to distribute.
Is it considered good industry practice to only release and distribute "polished music"? Or is it ok for an artist to release and distribute an average quality album?

Its easier to listen to music, rather than talk about it. Here's a couple of tracks off this EP that I want to release:
www.eighthDaySlc.com

Thank you!

  • Well, mastering is a process you do on the mixed down stereo tracks. So that's something you still can do in order to improve the sound. If you're happy with your performance and the sound isn't horrible, put it out there. Try to get some honest opinions from your friends before if you're not sure. – Meaningful Username Nov 13 '14 at 17:32
  • Is the album of the quality of "Whats the Point?" or "Breaking Free"? – Eichhörnchen Nov 13 '14 at 17:42
  • Yes it is @Eichhörnchen. – Daryl Bennett Nov 13 '14 at 17:43
  • Yes? Uh... The tracks sound very different, which does it sound more like? haha – Eichhörnchen Nov 13 '14 at 17:43
  • And you're right @Meaningful Username. We can master ourselves. Thank you for your comment. – Daryl Bennett Nov 13 '14 at 17:44
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Think about what you want with your band. Are you looking to go and tour the world? Are you looking to play local clubs while you're all working? Something in between?

Next, consider how important this album is to your goal. If this is just a demo, it's probably alright to release, and if you're constantly writing and will have something new next year that will show development as a band, then your album is also probably ok for now.

I live in LA and I play in a few bands. The hardest thing for us is that there is an incredible amount of competition everywhere. We may be good, but there are so many more groups out there who can shred twice as hard as us. Additionally, as far as live music goes, people can go and see their favorite bands everywhere at any time: why would they bother going out to see my band? Therefore, a great sounding album and a noticeable social media presence is the best (and I would maybe even say only) way to gain interest in your music because, quite frankly, people besides your friends and family will be too lazy to go and see you play at a bar even if your album sounds professional and up-to-par with "industry standards".

So, here's a couple of things I noticed. The song What's the Point sounds decent. I would say it's totally releasable, but there are a few weird moments with the drums that you may want to fix. If people hear a boo-boo in the drums on the album, how might that effect their perception of you? how might they think it sounds when you play live? The song was a little empty too, I might on the recording do some guitar doubling and maybe increase the bass frequency range. I might also suggest a greater dynamic range in guitar tone. In the solo it sounds good, but in some of the other parts, it could be a little less distorted. The song Breaking Free sounds a little more demo-y than the first as well. You should be able to ask your friend for the stems to your production if you want to keep working on them. He can send them from anywhere in the world he has wifi.

So these were just some thoughts, just think about how nowadays your music is kind of like a marketing tool to encourage people to come to your live show. Think about all the bands in the world you are up against right now, and work towards the best product you can possibly produce. Good Luck!

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Once your music hits the public domain, it no longer belongs to you It belongs to your fans. Even if you do label it as a DEMO and release a good studio version later, some fans will prefer the DEMO.

If your putting something in the public domain for all to see, its needs to be completed to a quality you all satisfied with as a band. If you release something half baked you will always be making excuses about how good it "could be" instead of just doing it.

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