Demo recording

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A demo recording (also: demo tape , Demo Tape , demo tape , demo CD , short demo ; English show reel ) is in the music and film industry the name for a collection of work samples provided by musicians or actors for music producers , film producers and record companies are made .


The main purpose is the acoustic or optical presentation of an artist or a piece of music as a sample. During demonstrations by musicians often sound recording by home recording are produced music, show reels show of actors mostly excerpts of film and television productions in which the persons concerned were involved. They are sent to agencies , organizers , the press and record labels for demonstration purposes or presented on the Internet to give the recipient a first impression of the skills, style and assignment of an artist. Music demo recordings are also sold by some artists in the form of self-released sound carriers or as a direct download.

Where previously music cassettes , audio CDs and VHS video cassettes dominated, demo recordings are now mainly distributed in the form of audio files , DVDs and Internet videos .

Music industry

Composers or lyricists often have demos made of their newly created works in order to give a music publisher or record company an idea of ​​the extent to which their work is marketable. You can also record your own piece of music or have a demo made in the recording studio with studio musicians . Even the limited sound quality of the compositions recorded at home conveys a precise idea that allows a decision on the suitability for a studio production with subsequent marketing. Demos also play an important role in areas on the fringes of the music mainstream , as many underground bands do not have the financial means to record entire albums in studios and instead often release demos that can also achieve cult status. Demos of bands that would later become famous are often very collectible.

A promotion demo is a demo that is recorded despite an existing record contract in order to provide the record company with an audio sample in advance. The term “promotion” is confusing because a demo of a band that does not yet have a contract is also used for promotion purposes. Authors who have a contract with a music publisher provide them with promotional demos so that the publisher can play new pieces to interested performers or their producers. With various well-known artists such as Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen , recordings of pieces that are not included on any regularly released album have come into circulation in this way. For this reason, such bootlegs are very controversial among collectors. As The Bootleg Series Vol. 9 - The Witmark Demos: 1962-1964 , an album of demo recordings by Dylan was released in October 2010, which Dylan had made between 1962 and 1964 for his first two music publishers, Leeds Music and M. Witmark & ​​Sons . In this way, demo recordings exceptionally reach the interested public, because they are generally only circulated in the music industry and are not intended for publication.

Movie and TV

For an actor who would like to apply to film and television productions or acting or casting agencies, a current demo is part of the application material customary in the industry. In this context one usually speaks of showreels (English " show " (show, performance) and " reel " (film role, tape)). In terms of content, showreels are attractively prepared collages of many, mostly short scenes from our own production range.

As a so-called house role , demos are self-presentations by film production companies or advertising agencies, who use them to publish their previous work in the form of short film- like videos lasting 2 to 10 minutes on DVD or on the Internet.

Individual evidence

  1. Wieland Ziegenrücker, Sachlexikon Popmusik , 1987, p. 101