Radio wants good sound. I’m going to reiterate that a bit here but dive deeper into the elements of that sound beyond just the production. But production is where we start.
Sound quality is the number 1 requirement for station managers and program directors in both realms of radio (the commercial side as well as the public/community/web radio avenues).
When big time mainstream artists release “demo” tracks, notice the amount of production work that has been done to the quality so that it’s “radio friendly.” There are exceptions to this rule, and some stations don’t hold to the sound quality requirement due to their broadcast signal, but for the most part quality is king here.
It’s audio only, therefore the sound quality having the top criteria makes sense.Where this applies to you is everything you post on your website, social platforms, and music outlets is a reflection of your brand.
Radio has a QUALITY rule, and you should too.
Put music out to your fans that is of high quality, preferably that has been worked through some form of studio recording and given a little tweaking on the EQ for the best quality.
Remember, some of these recordings and songs could be the first impression you make with a potential fan. You want that first impression to be positive, so give them a reason to come back. Plus, you want the music you link to or include with your Press Kit to be the best reflection of your band/brand that it can be.
Can you still release a demo version of a song or maybe even a video of a new tune you’re working on to your fans? Yes, of course.
There are exceptions to nearly every rule out there, and there are times when a short demo recording could be released to get a feel for what your Super-Fans think. But be careful with how you do that, and don’t make releasing unfinished songs as demos a part of your music release strategy for everything you do.
What if you’re cash-strapped, how can you get a high quality recording of your music made to post to your Soundcloud page? Wouldn’t it be better to release something so you have a representation of your sound?
Good question. This is the reason (excuse) many artists make for putting lesser-quality music on their site or sending to stations. It’s a bad idea.
[Gut Check] The reason for that has a lot more to do with what stage of the music process you’re on. This may sound harsh, but it’s the truth. From the perspective of a decision-maker for programming, you need to have experience doing this for a little while to be taken seriously, especially when it comes to releasing music for distribution.
If you’re using Reverbnation or Facebook page to get more fans, you can do that and still have a good quality recording. There are ways to get a strong quality recording of your music without having to spend thousands of dollars in a big studio. If you need help doing this, just ask me. The key point though is that you should make quality of recording a big priority for your music.
Quality is a branding avenue in music
As you prepare to post your brand to the world, make sure you are putting representations of yourself that truly reflect the high quality of art that you create. You don’t have to promote every single one of your songs, or promote each new one.
Make sure the music you are publishing for people to see is your best work, and make sure you’re playing these songs at shows. Don’t promote music to radio that you aren’t playing live in your gigs. That won’t serve your best efforts.