Music Industry

How To Submit Your Demo

how-to-submit-your-demo

Today is your time to shine and get signed to your favorite record label. But you have to send your music to the record label you love to make that happen, and this can prove to be a bit tricky. Luckily, we’re here to guide you every step along the way. This is where you learn how to submit your demo…

NOTE: This article offers general rules of thumb to help you along the way, mainly for labels that still want to receive demo submissions via e-mail. To submit a demo to Armada Music, you can just use this link and follow the instructions.


Countless producers are trying to get signed to their favorite record label. But in most cases, their music doesn’t even reach the ears of an A&R manager. We hear you thinking: “How is this even possible?” Bear with us as we explain.

Take into account that an A&R manager is already working fulltime to ensure the success of his current artist roster. This leaves little time for actually listening to demos, mostly because there’s no guarantee that the effort put in pays off. On top of that, record labels (especially the larger ones) often receive over a hundred(!) demo submissions a day. Do you see the problem?

All of this suggests that time management is essential. The A&R managers have to comb through a huge list of demo submissions to find the diamonds in the rough, knowing they only have time to listen to a handful of songs. They have no choice but to be extremely picky. So, there’s only one thing they can base their selection on… The first impression.


1. How To Submit A Demo – Where To Start

Chances are you have never dealt or spoken with the A&R manager of your favorite label before. This is exactly why you have to make a superb first impression when you send finally submit your demo. But, first things first.

Look up the label(s) you’re interested in and ask yourself if your sound/music suits the label. If yes, you may continue. Now, look up how these labels/A&R managers prefer to receive a demo submission. Most labels have this information clearly stated on either their website or their social media. After that, it shouldn’t be too hard to submit your demo in a proper manner, right? WRONG!

Though a secret tool called the internet can easily provide you with good examples of how demos should be submitted, a shocking amount of producers still fail to do so. Let’s start by showing you what will HURT your chances of getting signed. Exhibit A presented below…

how-NOT-to-submit-your-demo


2. How To Submit A Demo – What Not To Do

*sigh*… Though anyone can figure out that this is NOT a good way to submit a demo, you’d be surprised how many times we come across demo submissions like this one. And let us be very clear about it. This is NOT the way to go.

This is a sterling example of a demo submission that will end up in an A&R manager’s trash can. Let’s go into detail and explain why.

DO NOT attach your demo directly to the email 
Attaching files directly to the email might seem wise at first and we get why. The common explanation is that the A&R manager can immediately download the track and listen instantly. There’s only a few seconds of downloading before the best song ever made can roar from the speakers.  It seems perfect.  But it’s not.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but it won’t end well. Some A&R managers may like the OPTION of downloading a demo submission, but forcing them to do so is never a good idea. Whenever you attach audio files directly to e-mail, it will only make sure the A&R manager’s mail box is full in no time. Consequently, you are getting on the A&R managers nerves, because you just made his everyday work a whole lot more stressful. Trust us when we say that you don’t want that to happen.

DO NOT send unfinished work
In this case, the demo submission wasn’t even a finished piece of music. Let us address this problem with a question… How do you expect an A&R manager to judge your skill and potential based on something that isn’t even completed?

Make sure the record is finished completely and not “still in need of minor tweaks”. Don’t make excuses beforehand and don’t waste precious time by submitting half-finished stuff. The same rule applies to submitting teasers, bootlegs and mashups. In the case of the bootlegs and mashups, know that labels can’t even release these due to legal issues.

DO NOT underestimate (or overestimate) the importance of text   
Simply adding “Please Answer” to a demo submission is no good. Frankly, it’s the fastest way to get rejected or even ignored entirely. Text might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re thinking about a good demo submission, but it can actually make a difference.

We understand that not everyone is a native English speaker or well-versed at it. But this doesn’t have to be a problem. If you think you can’t speak (or write) English well enough, you have two options. Either you do everything in your power to master the language or you ask someone for help. Whichever way works for you is fine, as long as what you write makes sense.

Please have a look at the demo submission below. Would you want to listen to the music after this e-mail?

(NOTE: The first one to decipher this e-mail and post it in the comments below wins a cookie)

bad-english-demo-submission


3. How To Submit A Demo – How To Stand Out

Now, we’ll focus on what you SHOULD do. Thankfully, not all demo submissions we receive are as bad as the previous examples. Many of you DO understand the importance of making a good first impression and try to act accordingly. As did this guy!

the-perfect-demo-submission

To the one who wrote this, thank you for presenting us with a great example of how a demo should be submitted. Let’s summarize what’s so good about it.

File delivery via private SoundCloud link + download option 
Although it may differ per label and A&R manager, sending your demo to a suggested mail box with a private Soundcloud link is pretty much always the way to go. In short, the A&R Manager is one click away from listening to your music and is also able to check out some of your other productions, which might just tip the scale in your favor. Plus, his mail box won’t get clogged with audio files. PERFECT!

Brief introduction and track description 
We do not need to know the size of your pinky toe or what kind of childhood you had. A brief introduction and some relevant information is actually all we need. As far as we’re concerned, the introduction text should be short and include a few lines about:

  • Yourself;
  • Your career;
  • The track itself;
  • Past successes and future ambitions;
  • Your style of music;
  • Why you think this track (or your sound/music in general) or music suits the label.

If you can summarize this in about five sentences, you are good to go as far as text is concerned. If you wish to write a novel regardless, we advise you to reconsider your current career choice. 

Being kind and easy to work with
A&R managers are human. They can have good days and lousy days, just like anyone else. As much as rude emails could worsen their mood, a bit of gentleman-like behavior could brighten their day. Trust us, you DON’T want to come off as an arrogant or resentful person. A&R managers are dealing with their artists on a daily basis, so being difficult to work with won’t increase the odds of getting signed. Instead, be kind and easy to work with, even when things don’t go your way. It will pay off in the long run.


4. How To Submit A Demo – Dealing With Rejection

Not all demo submissions end up getting signed. It’s sad, but true. You may not like to hear it, but there’s no point in keeping quiet about it either. But this does mean that submitting demos can be very stressful, especially when getting signed to a label is something you have want so badly for so long. But no matter how often you get rejected, you shouldn’t let it get to you. After all, every “NO” is an opportunity for you to learn.

Whenever your demo gets rejected, try to think of what you could’ve done differently. Things that would’ve made your demo even better. Was the beginning of the song strong enough to hook the listener? Did it stand out from other tracks in the same genre or was it a bit too generic? Try to learn from your own analysis as well as the A&R manager’s feedback. It will help you become a better producer.

The road to getting signed is a tough one. But the more you learn, the better the chance for you to succeed in the end. Determination is key. You can do it!


Should you have any questions, please place it in the comment section below and we’ll answer to the best of our abilities. A quick tip, don’t submit a demo in the comment section. 🙂

 

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191 Comments

  • Reply
    Alex Glasbergen
    October 14, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    Hi Ruben,
    Thanks for your ‘ How to’-article!
    How many demo’s do you get in your mail box each day and how do you listen to them? Do you listen to all of them? And do you listen to the tracks from start to finish, or are you skipping directly to the main part, the hook or the drop?

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      October 17, 2016 at 1:21 pm

      Although I don’t have direct access to the demo submission mail box, I can safely say that there are hundreds coming in each day. Our A&R managers always aim to listen to all quality demo submissions, but unfortunately, this is simply impossible to do.

      As far as you last question is concerned, an A&R manager is more likely to skip through the record in his first listen, looking for certain elements and hooks that surprise and interest him. When he finds such elements, chances are he’ll listen to a larger part of the record to check whether or not there’s enough potential there to follow up on. I hope this answers your question(s).

  • Reply
    Miguel Mazariegos
    October 15, 2016 at 12:06 am

    I’ve just finished a track this is very usefull for me

  • Reply
    Nemanja Matovic
    October 15, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    How much does it takes for you to hear the demo when it’s sent out?

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      October 17, 2016 at 1:15 pm

      I’m afraid I can’t really give you a fair indication of how much time it would take. If you’re extremely lucky, it might be listened to instantly. But it all depends on the quality of the demo submission and the amount of time an A&R manager is able to put in listening to demo submissions throughout the week. Don’t get mad when it takes (too) long. When it’s been two or three weeks since, you can always send a kind reminder by e-mail. There’s never a guarantee that your demo gets listened to, but you only fail when you stop trying.

      • Reply
        GlobFreq
        December 27, 2016 at 9:07 am

        Thanks for this information, Ruben!

        What email address would be most suitable to send the demo on. And to send a reminder email?

  • Reply
    Joey
    October 15, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    Is an extended mix with a dj intro and outro a no no as well or would a radio edit of the song be more acceptable?

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      October 17, 2016 at 1:11 pm

      As a general rule, sending over a radio edit would be your best bet. This is simply because it takes an A&R the least amount of time to check it out. However, if there’s a specific reason for sending the extended mix instead of the radio edit (for instance: because you think it adds something), you can always do so. But you may want to add an extra line of text explaining why you’ve chosen to send a full version instead.

  • Reply
    Bart vh
    October 18, 2016 at 1:16 am

    Dear
    We make a lot of tracks where we have the urge to put an already existing vocal from a track on it because then we have an idea how the track with original vocals could sound. Is it wise to send the demo with those existing vocals to give the A&R manager a better view of the track, our should we remove the existing vocals from the track to send it as a demo ?
    Kind regards !

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      October 18, 2016 at 12:15 pm

      Hi Bart,
      This is a very good question. My suggestion would be to go the extra mile and submit a demo that already has the original vocals in the first place. It may take some extra work, but it will show that you take the prospect of a career in music very seriously. I know it can be tricky to find good vocals without the luxury of being a well-known artist, but there are probably tons of singers out there waiting for the same kind of opportunity. Plus, it might even allow you to demonstrate some nice songwriting skill, which can only increase the chance of sparking an A&R manager’s interest in your music.

  • Reply
    Bramatteus
    October 18, 2016 at 2:26 am

    Hello, Ruben!
    First, many thanks for these knowledge you shared with us. So helpful, really. I’d like to ask you something more specific about, for instance, a demo submission of a remix of a track, with parts of it’s original acapella worked thtougout the remix, But this original peace being a production released by the very label in question. For legal questions, could the demo be embraced by the lebal? Would it be a good way to submit or it’d be better to try a original by firts? Thanks so much for the attention. King regards.

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      October 18, 2016 at 12:22 pm

      Hi Matteo,
      Glad to be of service :). Legally speaking, the label is allowed to release the demo as a remix of the original track, as long as they own the master. However, I would strongly advise against sending a remix of a track to a label as a demo. One thing A&R managers are looking for is something that’s different, unusual and creative. It is very hard to show these producer traits in something that’s a “different version of another track”. That’s essentially what a remix is. It’s much harder to impress through a remix than it is to impress through an original track. I hope this helps.

  • Reply
    Ryaz
    October 18, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    Thanks for the great article Ruben!

    I’ve heard mixed things about whether to send the unmastered mixdown vs sending the fully mastered version of a demo. Which one do you recommend for us to send?

    Also if a demo is good enough, does it matter if I have other completed tracks to showcase that could influence the signing of the demo sent? (Basically a fresh starting artist). Thanks!

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      October 19, 2016 at 8:38 am

      Hi Ryaz,

      Although mastered versions are always preferred, any A&R manager with a reasonable amount of common sense knows that not every fresh-starting artists has either the know-how or money to submit a mastered version. Plus, many labels can provide their own mastering services and will even do so regardless if your demo submission is mastered or not. Submitting a mastered version might make it easier to impress the A&R manager. But if your music already stands out and sparks his interest, it shouldn’t really matter if it’s mastered or not.

      As for your other question, if the A&R manager feels your demo has the potential of becoming a global hit single, it probably won’t matter. But you have to ask yourself if that’s likely to happen. An A&R manager might not be sure whether of not to sign you/the track and when this occurs, him being able to check out other songs might just tip the scale in your favor. There’s no harm in going the extra mile to increase your chances, right?

  • Reply
    Josh Jaydrn
    October 19, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    Hi Ruben  Thanx for your Massive info. Several times I send demo’s to a label or a publisher. Can you tell me how to write a proper reminder mail when you don’t get an answer, without being a pain in the ….
    The thing is I allready send such a mail but I didn’t get any feedback at all. Kind regards. Josh Jayden

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      October 20, 2016 at 8:57 am

      Hi Josh,

      I know sending a reminder already feels as if you’re being a pain in the …, but as long as you remain kind and don’t lose your temper, you should be alright. There’s never a guarantee that reminders will get you a response, but it never hurts to try. That being said, if one or two e-mail reminders still don’t get replied to, it’s time to look elsewhere to sign your demo. Maybe you’ll have more luck with that specific label later on.

      In case you still need one, here’s an example of a reminder e-mail. I can’t guarantee you that this is the ideal way, but this is how I would send one.
      ———————-
      Dear [insert name of A&R manager/label representative]

      I hope you’re having a great day. I want to kindly remind you that I’ve sent a demo submission to this exact e-mail address on [insert date] and haven’t received any reply yet. I know you are extremely busy and have little time to listen to demo submissions, but I still hope you can find a spare moment to listen to the song I sent you. The e-mail subject is [insert subject of previous e-mail]. The track is [describe track/style] and fits [label name] because [mention why it fits the label].

      Thank you for your time,
      [Name]

      • Reply
        Leo
        November 6, 2016 at 1:36 pm

        Hello Ruben! How long should i wait until i send a reminder?
        Thank you for your answer in advance!
        Kind Regards, Leo

        • Reply
          Ruben Meijer
          November 9, 2016 at 9:53 am

          Hi Leo,

          I would say between two and three weeks. If a reminder doesn’t get you anywhere either, you could think about trying a different label. Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    George
    October 20, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Hi Ruben,
    Can I send a demo to several labels? So I can have a choice of what label I want to work. Is there communication between competing labels to verify whether the demo was sent elsewhere?

    Thanks for the great publication,
    George

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      October 21, 2016 at 10:18 am

      Hi George,
      To be completely honest, I would advise against sending a demo to several labels (at once). I get that you want to be able to choose who you want to work with, but let me ask you this.
      When you get a reply from a label saying they want to sign your music (based on your demo submission), what would your response be? “OK, but I want to wait for other offers first”? That’s called pushing your luck and it might backfire and leave you with no offers at all. Let’s be real, you (probably) are not in a position to be THAT picky. If you were, you probably wouldn’t have to rely on sending demo submissions to get your music signed.

      I’d advise you to pick which label you want to work with first. Send them your music. If they don’t want to sign that specific track, then (and only then) you can move over to the next label. Rinse and repeat.
      Once you’ve successfully gotten one or multiple of your tracks signed, you can always start the same adventure again by sending new material to your preferred label. Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Alexander S.
    October 22, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    Hi Ruben, I understand how hard this is to answer stupid questions. Here are some of them.

    1. Sometimes to save time I’m sending a demo recording without the Intro and the ending (leaving only the essence of the views), it is acceptable to You?
    2. Do I have to make a radio version of the track?

    P.S.
    Thanks for the replies. I hope You have not tired 🙂

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      October 24, 2016 at 9:06 am

      Hi Alexander,

      Let me start by saying this. A radio edit isn’t the same as an extended version without the intro and ending, so cutting these will just make you end up with an weird extended version. Radio edits should have their own kind of build-up, often less extensively and shorter. So in my personal opinion, it doesn’t really make sense to just cut the intro and ending to save time. If that’s what you’re doing it for, you’d be better of creating an actual radio edit.

      Having said that, a radio edit isn’t always required. It differs per genre. With music styles such as Trance, techno and the more club-oriented styles, you can just send in an extended/full version most of the times. But if we’re talking about House, Deep House, and other genres that are more heavily featured on broadcasting stations nowadays, I would suggest a radio edit. Hope this helps.

  • Reply
    Laurent
    October 22, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    Hello Ruben

    I would want to know if a not producing DJ could be supported if he wishes be known better.
    Or it is only reserved for the elites which already have a good base fans.

    kinds regards

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      October 24, 2016 at 9:12 am

      Hi Laurent,

      If I understand your question right, you want to know if a DJ that DOESN’T produce his or her own music can knock on a record label’s door for support. You’ve got two options here:

      1. You seek out a booking agent/ agency who can help you get gigs. Through those gigs, you’ll probably be able to (slowly) build a nice fan base.
      2. You can learn how to produce music. I’d suggest this one because very few DJs have been able to become superstars without being able to release (their own) music. It’s much easier to stand out and gain recognition if you’ve got your own music to play. This is the hardest road to take, but also the most rewarding in the end.

      So to answer your question:
      Unless you are willing to learn how to produce music and start building up your career from there, a label will not really be able to help you out. In essence, a label is there to release music, not to get you gigs. Hope this helps.

  • Reply
    Tom
    October 23, 2016 at 11:33 pm

    Do most people send just the breakdown and drop/chorus (besides the ones that need the other segments like you mentioned)?

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      October 24, 2016 at 9:17 am

      Hi Tom,

      To be honest, I don’t know how often this happens. This is simply because I do not have direct access to the demo mailbox. But I’m sure that it DOES happen and that is NOT the way to go. Sending just the breakdown and drop/chorus won’t do because it lacks a very important segment, one that’s only shown throughout a full record. And that is the build-up. There’s no way for an A&R manager to know if you can keep a listener interested long enough before the breakdown and drop/chorus hits if it’s completely missing from your demo submissions. This is why I advise against just sending the bits you mentioned. Hope this helps.

  • Reply
    Max
    October 24, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    Hello Ruben!

    Recently I’ve sent a demo to Armada. How much time I should wait before re-sending or sending to another label? I mean a case when no one has checked my email.

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      October 25, 2016 at 8:50 am

      Hi Max,

      As a general rule, I’d say it would be best to wait between two and three weeks before sending a kind reminder. Even if you’ve sent the perfect demo submission, there’s no guarantee yours will be picked from the bunch. So remain kind and persistent, even if you feel you’re not being heard. If you think it takes too long, you might want to consider sending your demos to labels that aren’t as well-known but still suit your sound. If you can get a few releases out there on (arguably) smaller labels, a bigger label might pick up on your music as well, with or without demo submission. I hope this helps.

  • Reply
    Justin Cortez
    October 25, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    Hi, Ruben!

    This article was great! Really helpful! How would this process change if one wanted to write and sing for the label? I write songs and sing as well. I have a huge passion for electronic music, but I would like to write the choruses. Is there anything that would change? Do I contact the same people?

    Thank you for you time!

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      October 26, 2016 at 3:53 pm

      Hi Justin,
      Very intriguing question. To be honest, I don’t have a lot of experience regarding that specific aspect of demo submissions. But as far as I’m concerned, it shouldn’t differ all that much from a ‘regular’ demo submission. A&R managers are very well trained in hearing potential and skill. Even if they are specialized in a specific genre, they can still accurately assess the potential of someone who produces (or in your case, sings and writes) within a different genre. I’d recommend going about it the same way, meaning that you can just send in your best work and explain what you do in the e-mail, with the emphasis on your work as singer-songwriter of course. If you’re dealing with a professional team of A&Rs and they like what you do, they’ll happily put you in touch with the right people.

      That being said, there is a way for you to impress even further (in my humble opinion). I don’t know if it’s something you see yourself doing, but you could really stand out if you would also produce your own (electronic) music, next to being the singer and songwriter of the track. Imagine the possibilities for a record label :). Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Ruslan Suleymanov
    October 28, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Hello Ruben,

    Thanks for useful article! I have a question: Yesterday I have sent a track in style of uplifting trance with vocal elements (cut vocal effects). Whether will review my demo? For exaple, the vocal which I use is legal and doesn’t need tags. It’s a sound library «Voice of Gaia» (for Kontakt VST). I bought it on official «Native Instrument’s» website.
    Thank you for you time,
    Ruslan

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      October 28, 2016 at 12:06 pm

      Hi Ruslan,
      Thank you for your question (which I hope I’m interpreting right). Here’s the answer.

      If you have bought an official license for the VST/library (which you stated you did), then there shouldn’t be a problem with you using its sounds in your music. You’re good to go!

  • Reply
    Jonas Lindahl
    October 28, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    Hi Ruben!
    Good to read this article! Have a question. Could it be of benefiting interest for release, if a producer also dose DJ jobs and not just been sticking to production for meany years?

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      November 1, 2016 at 4:41 pm

      Hi Jonas,
      Although you don’t necessarily have to be a DJ to be a successful producer, it could help your case in certain ways. As a DJ, you know what works on the dance floor and this can be used to your advantage when producing music. Secondly, being a DJ might help you to spread your music to a greater audience. Are you required to be a DJ to get your music released? No, not at all. Could it help tip the scale in your favor? Who knows. It can’t hurt, that’s for sure. Hope this helps.

  • Reply
    Phillip
    October 29, 2016 at 10:25 am

    Hello Ruben! Thanks for this article, really helpful for me! I have a question. I’ve sent a demo to Armada and it has been checked (I can see one play on Soundcloud), but no one replied me. Does it means that demo has been rejected? Or I have to wait for some time (before sending to another label)?

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      November 1, 2016 at 4:46 pm

      Hi Phillip,
      Thank you for your question. Honestly, I can’t say whether or not your demo was rejected, but I don’t want to make things look better than they are. There’s a good chance that your demo didn’t suit the taste of the A&R manager who listened to it. But in any case, I’d wait around two or three weeks after the initial demo submissions before sending that very same piece of music to another label. Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Viktor
    October 30, 2016 at 5:34 am

    Hello Ruben!
    Thank you for your article, it is really helpful)
    I just wanted to clear, if it is important to be a pro DJ and have fans, live sets, (!)money, ability to create many tracks in short time to get released on a label. BTW, doese the track have to be mixed&mastered in studio by pro’s on legal software, or home recording is ok for demo? After all, what is the common sequence of events after an A&R thinks “That’s a good enough track!” and I receive an e-mail with congratulations? And finally, is the release on a well-known label just a way of becomming popular or does it bring money itself? (Or probably should I pay for release, I don’t know)
    I would be greatful if you answere my stupid questions 🙂

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      November 1, 2016 at 4:57 pm

      Hi Viktor,

      1. You do not have to be a pro DJ to get your music released, but it won’t hurt your chances if you are one. It might tip the scale in your favor. That being said, your music won’t ever get rejected BECAUSE you are a DJ. But you won’t get signed simply because you enjoy a career as a DJ either. Your demo has to be (at least) up to par to get your music released. Whether or not you’re a DJ shouldn’t make a (big) difference.

      2. Although you might impress an A&R manager more easily with a demo that is already mixed and mastered professionally, we don’t expect this. A home-recorded demo submission will do just fine.

      3. I’m going to start responding to the final part of your third question first: NO, you do not have to pay money to get your music released. If a record label asks this of you, they’re frauds. As far as the rest of your question is concerned, you’ll probably receive an e-mail from an A&R manager stating he’s interested in releasing your demo. Chances are he’ll request minor tweaks to ensure the highest quality possible and have the legal department draft up a contract for one or – if you’re lucky – several releases. Whether or not you’ll make money off the track depends on whether or not people are willing to pay money for it (iTunes, Beatport) and/or find it good enough to stream on a regular basis. Either way, you’ll always receive a certain percentage of the revenue generated by the track. The percentage is stipulated in the contract and the bucks you may or may not receive are called ‘Royalties’. But unless millions of people around the world have touted your piece of music as the biggest hit single of the era, don’t expect to get rich through one single release.

      Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Milad
    October 31, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    Firsly, thanks for the great and a informative article.

    Secondly, Id likecto ask why I dont get a “NO” from any labels?
    I would like to know what Im doing wrong, that I dont even get a rejection email from record labels?

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      November 1, 2016 at 5:03 pm

      Hi Milad,
      I’m sorry to hear that you do not receive any feedback. I’m afraid I can not tell you why this is, but I do know that it won’t be the last time you’ll encounter this. Thankfully, there are ways to ensure that you DO get feedback. You can attend in-person demo submissions (demo drops) such as those during Amsterdam Dance Event or, in our case, the Armada Talent experience. You can also join certain Soundcloud communities who will happily provide you with tips or try to get in touch with artists you adore and ask them (politely) if they have some spare time to give you a bit of feedback. Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Olaf
    November 3, 2016 at 8:20 am

    Hi Ruben,
    thank you very much for the huge bundle of information in your article.
    I plan to submit a demo soon, but at present I do not have a soundcloud account, yet.
    In order to share the track with my family and friends I have added a visualisation and uploaded the track as a video on my youtube channel.
    Do you think it would be acceptable for an A&R Manager to follow a link to the video on youtube in order to listen to the demo track rather than following a private link to soundcloud?

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      November 4, 2016 at 10:31 am

      Hi Olaf,
      Although some A&R managers might accept demo submissions via a YouTube link, I strongly discourage you to do so. They prefer a certain way of demo submissions for a reason, so I would advise to not deviate from that. Instead, why don’t you just create a Soundcloud account? It’s free of charge and is actually a great way for people to discover your music, whether it is signed or not. I hope this helps.

  • Reply
    Gorkem Gokkaya
    November 5, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    Hi Ruben,

    Hope you’re doing well?

    Just a quick question. As there are almost hundred labels under Armada, should I specifiy the label name when I am sending out a demo via e-mail.

    Like “To Armada/Statement” etc.

    Cheers,

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      November 9, 2016 at 9:51 am

      Hi Gorkem,

      Yes, I would definitely specify this. For two reasons:
      1. You will show the label that you’ve done your research and are interesting in getting the best track/label fit possible.
      2. You will make it very clear which sound you’re going, meaning the A&Rs can judge your potential and skill accordingly without having to guess what genre you intended to indulge in.

      Hope this helps!

      • Reply
        Milla
        March 20, 2017 at 9:58 am

        Hi Ruben,
        Thanks for your great information!
        I got a rejected email saying not suitable for our label! Does it mean that the reason is not mentioning A State of Trance in it!? Cause it doesn’t fit Armada but ASOT!
        Help 🙁

        • Reply
          Ruben Meijer
          March 20, 2017 at 2:08 pm

          Hi Milla,

          I’m sorry to hear that. It means that your sound is not what our A&R team is looking for at the moment. But by all means, keep making music and keep improving. You’ll get there! Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Vasundhara
    November 9, 2016 at 2:42 am

    Hi Ruben , Hope your doing well ?
    I have a question as well . Is it important to have a social media Base & Fan following to get your signed track ? I mean As of now Im at extremely basic level . No one knows me except few of my freind’s That Im a Producer , so would that be a Disadvantage for me . Would you prefer a Guy who has more following & have a social media over a guy who has nothing except some decent tracks that can be released ?

    Also , Suppose If i make 1 track & send it to a Record Label & its get Rejected . After a month , I send another & again if the A&R managers don’t find it good enough & reject that , so will they Block me ?

    Thank you so much ?

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      November 9, 2016 at 10:00 am

      Hi Vansundhara,

      It all comes down to the quality of your music and your potential as an artist. Everyone has to start somewhere. As long as the quality of your music demo meets the standard, it doesn’t matter whether or not you have a big following on social media.

      And to your second question, the answer is no. No they will not block you, as long as you stick to the demo submission guide lines and always remain kind and an all-around nice person to deal with. The only reason for an A&R manager to “block” you would be if you spam a lot (I’m talking about demo submissions and reminders multiple times a week), if you don’t stick to the demo submissions guidelines (at all) or if you are very difficult to deal with. Hope this helps.

  • Reply
    Yossi
    November 9, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    hey ruben 🙂
    for sent my demo track,i need to send to your email my soundcloud privte link (of the track) + download from there right?

    ty !

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      November 9, 2016 at 4:04 pm

      Hi Yossi,

      You should indeed send a private Soundcloud link with the OPTION for downloading. Some may prefer to listen only, while others may prefer to download. It’s all about giving them a choice.

      Also, make sure that the track you send in is 100% finished, meaning it is full length and you feel that you couldn’t have done a better job.

      Besides that, don’t forget to include (a bit of) informative about yourself, your style of music and what label you feel would be a great fit with this kind of sound. If in doubt, you can also check the article again to be sure. Hope this helps!

      • Reply
        Yossi
        November 9, 2016 at 5:09 pm

        ty for the fast replay !
        i have one more quastion,from the moment I sent the demo, after a while meant to be an answer?or not be answer?

        • Reply
          Ruben Meijer
          November 9, 2016 at 5:46 pm

          Hi Yossi,

          Although we (and many other labels) always aim to reply to demo submissions, this is not always the case (for a more detailed explanation, please revisit the first part of the article). That being said, do not despair if you haven’t received a response in due time. You can send a reminder about two or three weeks after the initial demo submission. If, despite all that, you don’t get a response, move on and pick another label. You can always return to your first label of choice when you have another kick-ass track ready to submit, right? Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    VASUNDHARA
    November 10, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    Hey Ruben , Thanks a Ton for your reply ! It will help me a lott . I had One Last question – What are the qualifications & Experience needed to become an A&R Manager ? Or even to become a Trainee at ARMADA MUSIC ?

    Thanks & Regards

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      November 15, 2016 at 1:06 pm

      Hi VASUNDHARA,

      I’m afraid I can’t really give you a detailed explanation of what’s needed to become an A&R manager, but you’d have to really know what works music-wise. This is something that seems to come natural for some people, but may take other ages to learn through various positions in the music industry.

  • Reply
    Abu Farhan
    November 14, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    Hello Armada People! I am Farhan, from Bangladesh. I make Electronic Dance Musics and I really want to show my demos to you. I really didn’t understand how to send you a Demo track of mine in a best way. Will you guys please tell me how i will send you my demo? Thank you so much 🙂

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      November 15, 2016 at 1:08 pm

      Hi Abu Farhan,

      Chapter three of this article should tell you everything you need to know about sending your demo to Armada Music. Our e-mail address for demos is demo@armadamusic.com.

  • Reply
    Andrew
    November 15, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Hi Ruben,

    Let’s imagine I am unknown Producer with no or almost no fan base at all. I’ve been producing music for a long time, however, didn’t release it to the world before in terms of uploading to SoundCloud, Youtube, etc.
    Now I think that I have created a potential hit song (again let’s imagine it) and I send a demo to a label via SC link with download option. Surprisingly, A&R listens to the demo and considers it as potential future hit as well, but when he checks my profile he finds that I am “out of nowhere” without any following and presence in Internet or whatsoever.
    Is there a guarantee in such case that:
    A) A&R could decide not to release the track by unknown producer, but rather “steal” the idea of the track and pass it to someone popular and well-known (he can then copy particular track elements, duplicate chord structure, melodic part, etc.)
    B) By downloading the demo track on A&R computer the track might leak somewhere before it gets released and something similar to point A) happens
    I am asking since we send a demo to A&R in the first place and no doing any copyrights on our music, so then only chance to prove it is your is by showing that private SoundCloud upload. Would that be enough to protect your music property at all times?

    Thanks,
    Andrew.

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      November 15, 2016 at 1:23 pm

      Hi Andrew,

      A) Although it may be possible for a label or A&R to “steal” an idea, no one in his right mind would do so. If word of something like that gets out, you can put money on the fact that the label will lose at lot of fans, respect and revenue. So I think you’re pretty safe. Besides, if you can prove that you’ve created the idea first and sent it to the label in question as a demo, it will be very easy to prove the copyright infringement.

      B) Copyright law if pretty complicated to explain and I don’t think a four-page explanation would give you the answer you seek. So I’ll just give you the short answer. Yes, it should be enough to protect your music property. But in all honest, the chance for a track to leak from an A&R’s computer is pretty nonexistent. So I don’t think you have to worry about that.

      I will state that I am no expert in copyright law, but these are just my two cents. Hope this helps.

      • Reply
        Andrew
        November 16, 2016 at 2:58 pm

        Thanks, that perfectly answers my questions. I guess it makes sense to send your hit song (if that really is, let’s imagine that is) to well-known and respected labels.

  • Reply
    Andrew
    November 15, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Hi Ruben,

    Another important question for me is – how song remakes are getting processed and accepted by A&R? To better understand my question, let’s consider the real example released on your label – a song “Are you with me” by Lost Frequencies. Obviously, the artist used the vocals (lyric part) and melodic part (the actual notes) for another original song by Easton Corbin. Lost Frequencies added a modern vibe to the track and it sounds fantastic, however, how to Intellectual Property issue is getting resolved in such cases? Is it you who have to sort this out and receive a permission from original author (and agree on terms) to release such a remake? Or is it a label who will deal with all those formalities if they really like your remake? And whether there is a share of royalties with original author afterwards, when track has been released and became a hit?
    So in short, could you do a remake of any older song (without anything extra) and send it to a label. I have found that in current modern music world this is one of the best paths to have your breakthrough as an artist. There are many other examples like Jonas Blue with “Fast Car” or Kungs with “This Girl” as these guys were not the original authors for lyrics and melody.
    Thank you for your answer,

    Cheers,
    Andrew.

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      November 15, 2016 at 1:31 pm

      Hi Andrew,

      There’s no way for me to provide you with an actual answer to the first part of your question, as licensing, legal/contract business and all of that isn’t what I deal with on a day-to-day basis. I’m not the one responsible for seeking the original author’s permission, nor am I tasked with the negotiations following this kind of requests. Our team(s) at Armada Music ‘do however deal with these formalities (as you call it) from time to time and I am pretty sure that the original author gets a share from the royalties if he wants to.

      So yes, you could do a remake of an older song and send it to the label. But you shouldn’t expect an immediate breakthrough though, as it doesn’t happen to a lot of artists. You can always try though. Hope this helps.

  • Reply
    Andrew
    November 16, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    Hi Ruben,

    Thanks for answering – I meant “breakthrough” in a sense of getting more attention (same way as remixes of popular track can bring). And I do agree that these “formalities” in many cases may be only required in case the remix/remake song goes viral.
    I do understand that in order to have an immediate breakthrough there must be many things and conditions that worked well together at particular point of time and making a TOP quality music is just one of these things. Sometimes even luck plays the big role 🙂
    Cheers.
    /Andrew

  • Reply
    Yossi
    November 16, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    Hi Ruben,
    i sent my demo a week ago,and i did not get an answer.
    They didnt hear my demo (i know because there is no play in my soundcloud,i sent only to armada..)
    how many time is taking?
    they didnt hear my demo..

    thank you !

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      November 17, 2016 at 9:15 am

      Hi Yossi,

      As I explained in my previous reply to you, you can send a reminder about two or three weeks after the initial demo submission. If, despite all that, you don’t get a response, move on and pick another label. You can always return to your first label of choice later with a different track. Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Alvaro Delgado
    November 20, 2016 at 2:26 am

    Hi Ruben,
    first of all really cool and helpfull article.
    One of the things that actually worries me when I want to send a demo to a label is which subject (in the mail) I am supposed to write. Should I write my name and the track name? Any suggestions?

    Kind Regards

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      November 21, 2016 at 1:13 pm

      Hi Alvaro Delgado,

      Interesting question! To come up with a clear answer, I might have to speak to some A&Rs to see how important the e-mail subject really is. It might even depend on whether they use their personal e-mail or a special demo box. In the case of the latter, you don’t really need to add something along the lines of “demo submission” to the subject, since it’s quite clear that it is. In that case, I’d just use ARTIST NAMESONG NAME [GENRE].

      In the case of a demo submission to an A&R’s personal mail box, I’d add “demo submission” to it. So: Demo Submission: Artist Name – Song Name [GENRE]. If necessary, you can also add the label for which the demo is intended by writing “Demo Submission for [LABEL]:”, followed by the rest of course.

      I hope this helps.

  • Reply
    Andrew
    November 21, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    Hello Ruben. What is the preferred format for sending? Wav or MP3?

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      November 23, 2016 at 9:30 am

      Hi Andrew,

      The preferred method is the following:
      1. Upload your demo to Soundcloud. 320 kbps Mp3 will do just fine.
      2. Add a PRIVATE Soundcloud link (with download option) to your demo submission e-mail.
      3. Be glad that you didn’t attach wav or mp3 directly to the e-mail. Your demo would’ve ended up in a trash can if you did.

      • Reply
        Andrew
        November 25, 2016 at 3:49 am

        Many thanks for your reply .. I hasten to ask one more question. I saw only that the Armada began working with the “Label Worx”, but I have already sent via email demonstration. Does it make sense to resend the track through the Label Worx? Many thanks! Regards

        • Reply
          Ruben Meijer
          November 25, 2016 at 9:58 am

          Hi Andrew,

          We’ve indeed decided to start working with Label Worx to have the process of demo submission go more smoothly. Yes, I think it could be wise to send one now via the new method. The same rules as mentioned in the article apply, but it’s made a bit easier for everyone.

          • Andrew
            December 6, 2016 at 3:20 am

            Thank you Ruben. I send a demo. I would hope that the A & R to answer. Never before did not get an answer …

          • Ruben Meijer
            December 6, 2016 at 8:06 am

            Best of luck to you, my friend!

  • Reply
    Blaž
    November 23, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    This article and especially its comments and replies are BY FAR the best and most complete piece of information regarding demo submission, ever!

    Thank you for taking time writing this and replying to our questions!

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      November 23, 2016 at 2:38 pm

      Hi Blaž,

      I’m glad to hear it! Thank you and rock on!

  • Reply
    Thomas
    December 1, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    I do have a question . To save time , can i send in a chunk of a track (meaning that the track is finished , but i skip the intro and the outro ) and this way i will end up with a product that is probably 3-4 minutes in lenght instead of 6 maybe 7 minutes , saving the A&R some time ? Also , can you be a bit more specific about the sound quality of the demo . Does it have to meet already the standards of a track that is being released for sure by a label ?

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      December 5, 2016 at 2:39 pm

      Hi Thomas,

      Whenever you send a demo, you want the listener to be hooked from the first second. You want the listener to really feel the music and for him or her to WANT to keep listening and invest more time. If you think your intro (and outro) are lacking this quality, a better suggestion would be to make sure it IS interesting to listen to. Otherwise, solely skipping the intro and outro will come back around whenever you’re invited to send in the full record. Your second option is to create a radio edit of the song, which is still a full version, but simply a lot shorter (3-4 minutes).

      You question about “sound quality” is a bit unclear, so I’ll just answer the various interpretations.
      1. If you mean sound quality as in 320kbps mp3 of 16-bit wav, etc, go with the demo submission guidelines of the label in question. If there aren’t any, go with 320 kbps mp3.
      2. If you mean sound quality as in mastered or not, most labels prefer a non-mastered version because they have their own specialists they trust. If you think you can do a swell job yourself, you can by all means give it a shot. But remember, it’s just a demo at this stage.
      3. If you mean sound quality as in how good the record is musically, then yes. You should definitely aim to meet the level of awesomeness already achieved by the tracks released on the label. Why else should they release your music?

      Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Michael Ommen
    December 1, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    Hi,
    there is one thing I’d like to know. What if I don’t wanna create a Soundcloud account and I have my own private server, where I store my demo tracks (with secret links, of course). Will those tracks also be recognized or is Soundcloud THE ONLY way to go?
    Best regards,
    Michael

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      December 5, 2016 at 2:46 pm

      Hi Michael,

      Personally, I wouldn’t mind. But my opinion is not important, so let me ask you this question in return.

      If a record label clearly states that they would like to receive their demos in a certain way, do you think it will increase your chances of getting signed if you choose to ignore their preferences? Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Joan
    December 3, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    Hi Ruben,

    Thanks for this special article and awesome information (and also to reply honestly to all the comments). I will send a demo soon, but at the moment I’m improoving to give you all my best. I have two questions and please, give your opinion.

    1- Do you know how much time the A & R listen to the demo? I imagine that the first 10 seconds are the most IMPORTANT and then they skip to another song (if they think the song isn’t good enough). I’m not sure to start the demo with kick/fx/.. or start differently with chords/strings..but I’m worried about it because the song must be comercial and catchy in seconds and we have to get the attention of the A & R!

    2- The A & R listen always to the beginning of the song or sometimes start to listen at a different part (for example at the breakdown)?

    We keep in touch, Thanks!

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      December 5, 2016 at 2:55 pm

      Hi Joan,

      I’m not A&R manager myself and therefore not an expert in what they would find appealing. But I would like to encourage you to be different, because it is as you say: the first ten seconds can make or break a song.
      The thing with kick/fx/… is that it’s all generic and (in general) not that interesting. I have an exercise for you to help you out. Make a playlist of at least thirty tracks you like a lot. Not shuffle them around and listen to the first 10 seconds of each on shuffle mode. Mark those who you’ve been able to identity correctly within these 10 second and start to analyze what makes the first ten seconds of these songs so interesting. Learn from that and apply where you see fit.

      As for your second question, I wouldn’t know. This is different for every A&R manager. In most cases, I think the A&R manager will start at the beginning and skip ahead a few times to see how the tracks will evolve. But I would like to emphasize that this is a mere guess on my part.

      Hope this helps!

      If you want to make a song that is commercially viable as in a potential radio smash, why not start off with a vocal hook or a nice riff. It immerses the listeners in

  • Reply
    Mike
    December 7, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Hi,
    I think this article posted before the ability of submission section.( because in that section, armada has a form and we don’t have to write anything)

    my question is, e.g. I have 5 music, and I send the 1st demo to them, and after a while, I send the 2nd demo and so on, are they going to flag my name as spam, because I sent them a couple of demos and they read my name and think I’m just sending one demo over and over?

    Or is it recommended to send all 5 tracks at once or in one day?

    Kind regards.

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      December 7, 2016 at 2:44 pm

      Hi Mike,

      You are correct, this article was written about a month prior to us changing the way in which you can send your music to us. That doesn’t, however, change the fact that this info would help many of you in your quest for getting your music signed, either at Armada Music or another label.

      As for your question, here is my recommendation:
      Send your best track and your best track only. If A&R managers like what they hear or need to hear a bit more to decide, they’ll ask you for other (unsigned) tracks themselves. That way, your demo submission won’t ever be considered spam. 🙂

      I hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Karol G.
    December 9, 2016 at 6:07 am

    Hi there Ruben,

    First of all – Thank You for work You have done here – very informative! Also i would like say another separate “BIG THANK YOU” -for time You have answered here for another peoples even then when answer was in article itself or answered few times for others 🙂 People! Read answers and question here before making new questions. Invest 5min to read all so Ruben don’t have waste his time and focus more on Yours demo to listen 🙂
    PEACE!

    Have a nice day and tons of positive emotions across!

  • Reply
    Stanislav
    December 14, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    Hi Ruben

    Great article, I would also like to send demos, so I read through the whole thing, and I understand why it came about.

    It is obvious that it is possible to write each refusal reasons that producers would like to hear personally understand and will not accept demo if ARMADA then not worth any price to promote a different label, but rather again and better.

    I would ask how many of about a week demo you have to work and how many eventually accepted?

    Thank you
    Stanislav

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      January 2, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      Hi Stanislav,

      As far as I know, we get hundreds of demo submissions a week. Few of them are good enough to get accepted, but there are always some hidden gems to be found. There’s not a set percentage of demo submissions that get signed. A batch of 100 might have ten great tracks one day or another batch may have none. As long as you work hard and learn more and more each day, your changes if getting signed will continue to improve! Hope this helps.

  • Reply
    KRIOGENO
    December 16, 2016 at 8:01 am

    Hi I’m DJ KRIOGENO I create acidgothgabber music it’s a type of hardcore but it’s a version that I have invented by myself I’m on YouTube just type KRIOGENO and you’ll get live mixes in HARDCORE and original acidgothgabber tracks made by me all the separate tracks are my personal songs and the live sets are filled with all kinds of artists and music that is remixed by me greetings from KRIOGENO original acidgothgabber dj and I hope you like my music too
    Thanks for your time
    R.C

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      December 16, 2016 at 8:16 am

      Hi KRIOGENO,

      Although I’m sure your music is truly one-of-a-kind, I would like to kindly suggest for you to read the article first. That might clarify a few things! Hope this helps 🙂

  • Reply
    Chris David
    December 21, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    Hi, Ruben, I’m Chris David, I have a question:

    In the demo the song should be sent complete or only part?

    Thanks, greetings. 🙂

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      January 2, 2017 at 9:55 am

      Hi Chris David,

      Please send the song in full. Never, and I do mean never, submit music that isn’t finished and never send in only a part of the song. You want an A&R manager to judge both your current ability and your potential and he can’t do that if you only send part of the song. Show him you have an understanding of how to build (up) a song and do this by submitting your music in full. Hope this helps.

  • Reply
    Steeveen
    December 25, 2016 at 2:26 am

    Hi,
    I would like to know how to be known?
    Cheers,
    Steeveen

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      January 2, 2017 at 9:57 am

      Hi Steeveen,

      Work hard, work harder, work your butt off and then work some more. Talent may show you the way to success, but it’s hard work and dedication that take you to the finish line. Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Andrew Sood
    December 26, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    Hi Ruben,
    Thanks for this amazing article! I always come back to it to look at the questions and your responses to see if I can learn anything new. I have a couple of questions.
    Firstly, in the Armada Demo Box, it asks if the track was mastered. I mastered the track myself, so in no way is it professional. Would I be better off sending the unmastered mixdown or the master that I created myself (and which answer would I select for that question)?
    Second, I noticed that it is now required to attach a mp3/wav file to the submission in the Demo Box. Which would I be better off sending? The mp3 or the wav?
    Thanks again for this great article!
    -Andrew

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      January 2, 2017 at 11:09 am

      Hi Andrew,
      Thank you for the kind words! Firstly, I would suggest sending an unmastered mixdown, unless you are 100% confident that you did as good a job mastering as any professional would be able to.
      Secondly, since it states MP3/WAV (MP3 or WAV), you are free the send whichever you choose. Just make sure it’s 320 kbps when you’re sending mp3. Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Alex
    December 27, 2016 at 2:34 am

    Hi Ruben,
    Extremely informative and helpful article. Really cleared up a lot of stuff for me. I have a question though;
    I’m 15 years old and have been producing electronic music for about a year or so. In October, after tons of emails and effort, I finally got a record label deal and my track was released (on Beatport, iTunes, etc.) on a rather small record label. That being said, with only one release, clearly I don’t have many followers or fans on my social medias.
    Let’s say I write a great, professional sounding email and they love my track, but then they find my social media accounts with close to no followers, will that stop them from wanting to sign me? Something tells me that big record labels don’t like to deal with small producers… Am I wrong?
    Kind regards,
    Alex

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      January 2, 2017 at 11:18 am

      Hi Alex,

      I just going to be blunt here. Yes, you are wrong. I know where your thoughts are coming from, though. I can’t speak for other labels, because I don’t know what their guidelines concerning demo submissions from unknown artists are. But I know for a fact that Armada cares about the music and that’s not just because I work there.

      I am going to present you with an example here. You have probably heard of Lost Frequencies. ‘Are You With Me’ was his first song on Armada and coincidentally also his first-ever release. None could have predicted that the song would become a global hit single. And that’s the thing.

      Every track signed by our A&R managers is a track we strongly believe in to do well. Lost Frequencies didn’t have a lot of followers on social media when ‘Are You With Me’ got signed, but that didn’t stop us from believing in the record. And it shouldn’t stop you from giving it your all either. Work hard, be dedicated and know that your time will come as long as you keep trying. You’re young and seen one of your tracks released. You’re on the right track; now it’s just a matter of pushing forward! Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Roxane
    December 27, 2016 at 4:52 am

    Hi Ruben ! First of all, thank you for your really informative article ! It’s nice to see a label doing this kind of work, and it pushes Armada even higher in my list of “the-best-labels-in-the-world”.

    As you seem to be really active on this article, I have four more questions, if it doesn’t bother you:
    1) How does an A&R manager listen to a track ? Does he starts the song at the beginning and stops after 10 seconds if it’s not good enough ? Does he go to random parts of the demo ? I know that each might have different habits, but do you know what is the most common ?
    2) Is it possible that the A&R manager likes only one part of your demo (let’s say the drop) and tells you that this part has potential, but that you should re-do everything else ?
    3) If you make a “mistake” in your demo, for example an instrument that doesn’t please the A&R manager, too much reverb on a synth, the kick being too loud or anything like that, is it an instant deny ?
    4) And finally, could you get asked for a collaboration after sending your demo ? For example if, by some miracle, your drop fits perfectly the lead/cords of sombody else ?

    Thank you again for your precious help !

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      January 2, 2017 at 11:38 am

      Hi Roxane,

      1) There’s no definitive answer to this question. As far as I know, every A&R manager has his or her own routine when it comes to checking out demos. While some may skip to random parts, some may only listen to the intro or the breakdown or whatever. I think it’s most common to listen a few second of the intro and then skip to a few other parts, including breakdown and drop. But that’s just my prediction and not at all based on facts. But look at it this way. If your track is excellent and hooks listeners from start to finish, an A&R manager will definitely notice. But you don’t need me telling you to give it your all :).
      2) Yes, this is definitely possible. If an A&R manager thinks your work/track has potential but needs some tweaks in order to become up to par with professionally released tracks, he or she will tell you. He or she may not want to sign your track, but ideally, the A&R manager will give you some pointers to work on.
      3) I’d be really surprised if a single mistake would be a deal breaker. Maybe if a track shows production flaws from start to finish or if your harmonious elements are just plain off-key, but not if you’ve made ‘mistakes’ like the ones mentioned in your question. These small things are easily fixed and won’t make an A&R manager hate you :).
      4) I’m not sure about this, as I don’t know if a situation like this has ever happened. It might occur, who knows. Just know that you’re free to say NO if you don’t want to share your creation with another person. Making music can be very personal and I’m sure anyone would understand one’s reluctance to accept such a requests.

      Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    jimi
    January 3, 2017 at 7:05 am

    Dear … Ruben greetings, I see you are very kind to answer every question from us, you are very much appreciated, I have some questions I hope to have your help thank you very much for your appreciated time … good day

    1) How often does the A & R manager review the demos, if every day, or every week, review only a few, for example … Such day only review 10, and leave a week free or days off to review the Demonstrations

    2) How long do you need to wait, when you have already sent to manager A & R the track how long do I have to wait, and if for example do weeks go by as I should remind you?

    3) If the manager liked the track and wants to sign it in as long as you inform and inform you by email?

    4) When you sign with the seal, if the producer is a minor can you always sign with the seal?

    5) When you sign with the seal, will you be told about a different specialized mail just for you?

    6) When you have already signed with the label you can choose which date you want to release your next tracks?

    7) you have already signed with the label you are very successful with your track, now how can you access to start playing in various festivals and armed can you name your own manager?

    Thank you very much for being so kind and kind thanks … regards

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      January 9, 2017 at 3:40 pm

      Hi Jimi,

      1) I can’t really say. It all depends on the spare time an A&R manager has. It’s also possible that there’s one personal responsible for checking out the demos, only to forward a few to the responsible A&R manager when the track has potential to be good.
      2) I’d say two to three weeks. One reminder is enough. If you don’t hear anything even after sending a reminder, you can move on to different labels.
      3) If an A&R manager likes a track, this doesn’t necessarily mean that he wished to sign it. But yes, if he’s interested, he’ll inform you!
      4) I’m afraid I don’t really understand what you mean by ‘sign with the seal’. Could you clarify?
      5) Same as 4). Please clarify and I’ll be happy to answer.
      6) I don’t think you can. You might be able to if you’re a huge artist (we’re talking top level here), but in general, the record label itself will just plan out the release date of your track. Also, signing one track doesn’t mean they’ve also signed other tracks. It all depends on the deal both parties have agreed on.
      7) No. If you want to play at various festivals, you need a good booking agency. Your A&R manager can’t help you with that. Gigs and release are completely unrelated as far as that goes.

      Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Shaky
    January 3, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    hi Rubben
    the track that we wanna send must be wav format??
    and where should I send my track for you??
    and the last question , what will happen after?

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      January 9, 2017 at 3:42 pm

      Hi Shaky,
      You can use wav format or 320kbps mp3 to upload to Soundcloud for your demo. Now that we’re ourselves are working in another way, you can send either of those directly via https://www.label-worx.com/demo/armadamusic. Afterwards, someone will give your demo a listen and will definitely get back to you if he or she is interested. I cannot promise that you’ll get a response either way, but that is what we aim for. Hope this helps.

  • Reply
    J. Denjy
    January 4, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    Thanks for the nice article, Ruben!
    I see a lot of artists in Soundcloud claiming that they are supported by various big artists. Is that because they actually get a response from an demo submission directed to a big label such as Armada? I mean how do those people receive the support and what did they do in order to actually receive that? Does this have something to do with demo submissions at all?

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      January 9, 2017 at 3:44 pm

      Hi J. Denjy,

      Thank you for your question. I don’t think this has anything to do with demo submissions, but rather with certain artists playing their track during a live set or in their own radio shows. As far as I know, it’s not because of a demo submission of some sort. Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Frederic Ward
    January 6, 2017 at 12:49 am

    Would it be a good idea to maybe make a “demo edit” to submit to them? I mean something that is slightly shorter than a radio edit, but still gives a good idea of the full track.

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      January 9, 2017 at 3:46 pm

      Hi Frederic Ward,

      I’d stick to the norm and just go with the radio edit. Why try to stand out in this way when your music should speak for itself? Also, don’t create an edit just for the sake of it. If your track isn’t meant to be played in a shorter version because it will lose some of its strengths (for example, Trance music rarely has radio edits), just stick with the full version. Hope this helps.

  • Reply
    Ebin
    January 8, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    can i get any gigs when i got release my track at this label?
    thanks

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      January 9, 2017 at 3:48 pm

      Hi Ebin,

      You might gain interest from booking agencies (which could in turn lead to gigs), but I wouldn’t count on it unless your track immediately becomes a global hit single. Besides, isn’t releasing at a label awesome enough? Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    bernhard vuckovic
    January 10, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    Where i should send my music material..is there any email adress to reach the A&Rs?

    https://soundcloud.com/burn666/fucking-hands-up-1

  • Reply
    Julius
    January 11, 2017 at 1:39 am

    Hi ruben!
    I learnes so much from this article and it shows what i did wrong in the past, thank you so much!
    So my question is that what if the demo was a collaboration? Or that someone would be featured too? Would the two of them be signed as a group or would the other person get into the label too?
    Is it acceptable at all?

    Thanks for your time!

    – Julius (A.K.A JeiWee)

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      January 11, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      Hi Julius,

      Interesting question! What you need to understand is that when you sign a track to a label, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are one of the label’s (exclusive) artists. It all depends on the deal offered/signed. Usually, you will sign one single track to the label (or more if it’s an EP they’re interested in). This will require the collaborating artist to sign as well. If, by any chance, the label would be interesting in signing you as one of its artists as well, they will probably send an separate offer/deal regarding that matter.

      Important to know, my knowledge on this subject is far from adequate. For all we know, my answer could be way off. Don’t hold it against me 🙂
      Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Jeffrey Beach
    January 11, 2017 at 5:17 am

    Hi Ruben,

    How many people does your record label sign in a year on average?

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      January 11, 2017 at 2:53 pm

      Hi Jeffrey,

      Your guess is as good as mine. Do you mean the amount of artists that sign exclusively to the label per year of the amount of artists that sign either one or multiple records to the label per year?
      The first one might not exceed the amount of thirty or forty, whereas the second option could go well into the hundreds. Hope this helps.

  • Reply
    Jeffrey Beach
    January 11, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    Ruben, that does help. Thank you for answering. We have been sending submissions every few weeks and it is very nice that your company has replied to each track. We understand that not every track may be a fit, but we will continue to send new tracks as we produce them. We think the biggest mistake is people give up after being rejected a few times and do not take it as a learning experience.

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      January 11, 2017 at 4:28 pm

      Hi Jeffrey,

      That’s a very healthy mind set you guys have there. I strongly encourage you to keep trying. Talent only gets you so far and such dedication will definitely help you achieve your goals. Best of luck to you!

  • Reply
    Thomas Coleman
    January 11, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    Hi Ruben
    Awesome article! Ive actually checked back quite a few times to read what people are asking. My question. Ive sent 2 demos to the new Armada labelworx box. Ive had a not for us reply regarding 1 track after 3 weeks. Its now 5 weeks and nothing on the 2nd I sent both same time also 2nd is the better of the 2 tracks. Im holding off for response incase the A&R like a track does it take longer to get a reply if its something they are considering?

    Cheers
    Tom

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      January 19, 2017 at 8:46 am

      Hi Thomas,

      Logically speaking, I think the “not for us” response is likely to have been a reply to both tracks at once, though I (naturally) can’t say for certain. If they’re considering, they would have probably message you right away. Never stop trying though. You’ll get there!

  • Reply
    Vasundhara
    January 16, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    Hi Ruben , Firstly A very Happy New Year ! I just wanted to ask you out of curiosity , I have a friend who is an Amazing producer but he’s also partially deaf & having tinnitus and other hearing issues as well. Supposing he send’s a Track to Armada & A&R manager likes it but then they come to know about his Physical disability , Would they still consider releasing it ? I mean would you people still Invest on that guy who has potential but maybe if he goes deaf in future , Would you think that your efforts will be drained out ?

    Thanks & Regards

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      January 19, 2017 at 8:51 am

      Hi Vasundhara,

      Thank you, a happy new year to you as well. This is a very good question. Unfortunately, I’m not THIS involved in the A&R business, so I cannot give you any helpful answer. Logically speaking, I’d say single releases won’t be that much of a problem, but it could become an issue on the matter of long-term deals/contracts. But that’s just me speaking and my opinion doesn’t necessarily reflect others’, let alone the opinions of actual A&R managers.

  • Reply
    Alex
    January 20, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    Dear Ruben.

    I have a question about some tracks Im really interesting to sending here. And my fear it’s I don’t have vocals for one of these tracks and I feel like it’s complicated and frustrated to get a good singer. I think the track has an amazing potential. I payed just for some Loopmasters vocal packs and to be honest is a waist of money. If I want to send as a remix maybe I can but of course just would be added the vocal without any other stem. Then would be as unnoficial remix or Bootleg but as I read at your article is not a good idea. So there’s a possibility to send the whole track without the vocal.

    Sincerely.
    Alex

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      February 2, 2017 at 3:48 pm

      Hi Alex,

      I understand your struggle. Getting a good singer to feature on your record this early in your career is indeed quite hard to realize. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Have you ever considered writing to music academies or even putting up flyer in them? These are people that are extremely talented, yet also in the early stages of their career, looking to get out there. If you find a good vocal, the extra effort will definitely be worth it. If you really don’t want to do this, you can of course send the track without the vocal. Just make sure the track is interesting enough without one. Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Kristina
    January 25, 2017 at 8:08 am

    Thank you for this article. I used this link https://www.label-worx.com/demo/armadamusic to send a demo to Armada, but DemoBox does not have enough space. Will it be possible to send it later?
    Thank you,
    All best for you,
    Kristina

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      February 2, 2017 at 3:50 pm

      Hi Kristina,

      Can you try to send a demo again? It has been about a week since your question and I wondered if you have been able to send your demo since. Please let me know!

  • Reply
    Juana
    February 9, 2017 at 8:42 am

    Hi , thank you for the article, it had great information.

    My question is how long does a demo have to be?

    Does a demo count as per song or per album?

    Thank you

    -Juana

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      February 16, 2017 at 11:20 am

      Hi Juana,

      Depends on the music you send in. If you think you’ve created the next pop-meets-deep-house radio smash, it doesn’t make sense to submit a 9-minute long masterpiece. A duration for three to four minutes will do just fine. On the other hand, if you’re submitting a Trance record meant to be played at festivals, you can submit a much lengthier song, roughly between six to eight minutes (as original mix).

      As for your second question, depends what you send it. If you submit every track of your album individually, it probably counts as a lot of demo submissions. I’d just keep it as a whole and send the whole album as a one-piece.

      Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Daxesh Chaudhari
    March 15, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    What about the beginners ???
    Or for the first track ??

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      March 20, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      Hi Daxesh,

      The process is the same for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or not or if it’s your first demo submission ever. Best of luck to you!

  • Reply
    Shangool Bala
    March 16, 2017 at 9:16 am

    Hi Ruben !

    What does your record label do ?
    I mean what can we expect from you as a record label when you get us signed as an artist ?
    Do you monetize our music ? And if yes – could you explain how ?
    Do you do management or booking or 360 as its done by major record labels of UMG or WARNER ?
    Do you consult you artists ? Or do you duplicate CDs or DVDs ? (Sorry this way is so outdated and abolished but I wanted to ask).Or do you submit it to Itunes and Spotify instead ?
    Well your publisher is SONY and we all no that they do not take care of our copyright as they say.
    So how do you sell records and monetize ? Or do you only imprint (and then we go monetize ourselves and give back some percentage to you)
    Do you make music videos ?

    I mean with variation in record contracts these days we have totally odd contracts like LADY GAGA getting paid to advocate Hillary Clinton.

    So my question is : Today I am signed to ARMADA music.What does this record label do to my carrier and what am I expected to do in return for the record label ?

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      March 20, 2017 at 2:01 pm

      Hi Shangool,

      Unfortunately, I am not the person to ask these questions, as I don’t feel I can give you a conclusive and unambiguous answer. That being said, I’m sure that – once one of your demo submissions had made one of our A&R managers take notice, you’ll soon find yourself in a conversation with someone who’d do a better job at answering these questions than I can. Best of luck to you!

  • Reply
    Otabek
    March 22, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    Hello Ruben! I’m Otabek from Uzbekistan! Really great job You do! You help many people go a right way in process of sending demos. I have a question. How must I send notes for label? Word? Midi? Or in some another way? This is only a part i could not understand. Thank You so much!! Say hello to Armin:) I’m Your best fan from Uzbekistan!!!

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      April 21, 2017 at 10:08 am

      Hi Otabek,

      I wouldn’t send notes, melody, chord progressions or similar stuff at all. Instead, try to build your own track around those notes and submit the entire track via demo submission instead. If you’re not sure about some of the aspects of producing, maybe some of our other blogs can help you. For instance, this blog about How To Use Reverb. Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Ümit
    March 27, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    Thanks for the article in first place,

    i remarked that u are releasing more and more progressive & deep House typ of music. So i wonder if u are still happy to recieve trance tracks or should i look else where for that purpose?
    Cheers
    Ü

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      April 21, 2017 at 10:04 am

      Hi Ümit,

      We release music in a wide variety of genres and Trance music is absolutely one of them. We have several Trance labels under our wing, including Armind, A State Of Trance and Who’s Afraid Of 138?!. So yes, we are still happy to receive Trance tracks via demo submission. Hope this helps.

  • Reply
    Mallory
    April 14, 2017 at 1:50 am

    Ruben,

    Someone probably already had a question for this, but is this the same process for vocalists? I want an opportunity to be heard and I am not sure if your label is only scouting for producers only, not vocalists. If so, do I just send in a simple demo of my cut vocals or do I need to make a cover? What do you suggest?

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      April 21, 2017 at 10:13 am

      Hi Mallory,

      You can always try sending in a demo of your vocals while stating that that’s what you do, but I honestly don’t know whether that will get you anywhere. Another way for you to go about this is to scout for (up and coming) producers in your area or online and to collaborate with them. That way, you’re already putting yourself out there. The last option is to take up producing yourself and to become unique in the way that you produce and provide vocals on your own tracks. This last method could be a fair bit time-consuming, but it could be an interesting path to take if you’re serious about pursuing a career in music. Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    EshAN
    April 14, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    i have a question to you that if my song which i had sent to armada demo and luckily the AR maneger loves that song and he is ready to release it can you please tell me the further process before releasing the track and what all profit or salary can i get and which place i must sign?? i kindly request please reply brifly to my question… 🙂

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      April 21, 2017 at 10:15 am

      Hi EshAN,

      If one of your demo submissions will get picked up by an A&R manager, I’m sure he’ll be happy to answer these question. I’m not really the person to ask these questions to. Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Ramin
    April 23, 2017 at 1:17 am

    Hi Ruben,

    First I like to thank you for all the helpful information you have provided us.

    I had a question regarding Dj & Producers performing gigs after a few successful releases. All the super DJ & Producers make the real money from DJ gigs/festivals and royalties are there as a side income, so will a new artist after a release or few releases with a prominent label like Armada, get help with getting gigs to make a good income? what does it take to get to that level? should one look for a good manager? Your advice would be greatly appreciated, Thanks 🙂

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      May 11, 2017 at 1:07 pm

      Hi Ramin,

      If your new song becomes a hit, you may very well get some (or a lot, depending on the size of the success) gigs out of it. But you shouldn’t really count on it to happen so easily. Most of today’s dance music superstars have started at the very bottom, doing gigs in low-end bars and in their local nightlife scene. You’ve got to put a lot of effort in both DJing and producing. They complement each other, but success on one end doesn’t guarantee success on the other end.

      That being said, as long as the record label in question isn’t also a booking agency, you should look elsewhere for help. This could indeed be a good manager or a booking agency. In general, record labels are where you go to release your music.

      As for your question what it takes to get to that level, work your *ss off. And then do it some more.

      Hope this helps!

      • Reply
        Ramin
        May 12, 2017 at 1:39 am

        Got it, Thanks a lot Ruben !! your information was very helpful 🙂

  • Reply
    Aman
    April 28, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    Hey there!! I want to ask that if I am luckily got signed for my track to my preferred record label then do I have send the demo again? Or I can now release my track directly from some other way when I’m already signed before?

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      May 11, 2017 at 1:13 pm

      Hi Aman,

      Even if you’ve already released at a specific label, your new single will have to be ran past the label’s A&R. This is because the A&R needs to ensure the quality of every song that gets released on the label. One good song doesn’t mean that every track that comes next is good or suitable as well. That’s just the way it works. If you’ve already released at said label, you’ve already had contact with an A&R. Instead of going through the demo submission process again, you may be able to send your new track to him/her directly. But apart than that, it’s pretty much the same process as before. Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Tomasso Da Costa
    May 12, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    Hola Ruben,

    Hard pressing question,

    I’ve listened Armada catalogue partially specially Armada Deep. Interesting sonic qualities, but let me ask you. You hear a demo, proper radio edit with strong sonic identity and impressive mix down. The sender is a rather unknown producer with quite few releases of the same quality. Would you and your team consider to break thru the artist (along with an EP or album from the artist)?

    Or is it more progressive process of releasing a series of singles before deciding to invest in a 360 deal?

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      May 16, 2017 at 4:30 pm

      Hi Tomasso Da Costa,

      For starters, there are loads of different deals. Up-and-coming producers often seem to think that a 360 deal is the cream of the crop, but as the creator of the music, you’ll be turning over a whole lot. But most importantly, 360 deals just don’t happen that often anymore. From what I know (and I’m by no means an expert), you’ll be looking at something less comprehensive, such as a license deal. This will mean that you’re signing an agreement for one or a few singles, maybe with a first option for the label to sign more. Immediately signing an entire album from a (fairly) unknown producer doesn’t happen that often, to be fair. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible though. If the music sent in is truly that extraordinary, the A&Rs in question will definitely consider. It’s just a matter of how much they believe in the music. Once these first singles have proven to catch on, the chances for a better/more exhaustive deal get greater, as long as both parties feel that the cooperation works well. I hope this answers your question.

  • Reply
    Arnold
    May 23, 2017 at 12:32 am

    Hi Ruben,

    Tnx for your endless patience.. I guess you by yourself have given all record labels out there a human voice. I would like to submit a demo myself, and I’m a bit puzzled what to make of the question posed in the demo submit-form whether the submitted track is an exclusive track. What’s the catch? No doesn’t seem to be the right answer, but what difference does it make if someone has already heard the track? Seems to me signing something m a k e s it exclusive?

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      May 24, 2017 at 4:14 pm

      Hi Arnold,

      Thank you for your message and your kind words.

      With the question about exclusivity, we mean to ask whether the track you’re submitting has already been signed to another label. We have to know this, because if we sign your track even though it’s already signed to another label, we have a legal issue on our hands. There’s no catch whatsoever and it doesn’t matter to us whether someone else has already heard the track. It’s about whether it’s already signed or not.

      If it is already signed, please put down “No”. If it is not yet signed and therefore eligible for us to sign, you can answer with “Yes”. I hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Vince
    May 26, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    Hello Ruben,

    Thank you so much for this topic, it really helps a lot. Me and my group are actually hoping to start sending our songs to Armada, Anjuna, and whoever else can accept our songs. When we get signed, after we get enough experience of how things work, we also hope to one day launch our own Label and etc.

    Now in terms of first impression and submitting your demo, what if you had no experience of doing live DJ gigs, sending music to Labels, and just an inside room, on-going producer/engineer. In other words, what if NOBODY KNOWS ANYTHING ABOUT YOU, but you still want to work your chance of obtaining “Being Signed”?

    I have never been signed before and never DJ’d live before, but I have been working on my sound, producing, and sound designing. To tell you the truth, when we start sending tracks, it really will be our first time getting in touch with ANY LABEL in the music world. So I believe this is probably a HUGE LEAP and a GAMBLE. Any further advice would help.

    -Thank you, Vince

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      May 29, 2017 at 4:21 pm

      Hi Vince,

      Starting off is always difficult. It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to publish a book, get signed to your favorite label or learn how to deal a punch like Mike Tyson. It all comes with practice and taking chances.

      Yes, doing something for the very first time is indeed a huge leap and gamble. Even the most talented DJs and producers will get rejected tons of times, but this also provides the opportunity to learn. Try to evaluate what you did and how it turned out, consider applying the feedback given (or at least try to understand why someone felt that way about your music) and try to see the positives, even when you think there’s none to be found. That’s what separates those who will succeed from those who never will.

      You have a long road ahead of you. But as long as you stay focused on your goal and keep on track, you’ll cross the finish line eventually. And that’s when you can start running bigger races, one step at a time. I hope these words of encouragement help you out! You can’t succeed if you don’t try and you can’t fail if you never give up.

      • Reply
        Vince Carmelo
        June 6, 2017 at 11:41 pm

        Hello Ruben,

        Thank you so much for the hint and tips. More importantly, thank you for the inspiration. So now that I have learned about this, even though we are not known by anyone, just definitely give it a go and just hope for the best?

        -Vince

        • Reply
          Ruben Meijer
          June 26, 2017 at 3:49 pm

          Absolutely! Stay course and who knows how far you’ll come in the next few years.

  • Reply
    Kipros
    June 7, 2017 at 11:55 pm

    Hi and from me..I sent a track and i believe it have lot of power to get in your label but it need vocal bcs i cant find!!If u ike it u maybe take it and put vocal on it to finish?

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      June 26, 2017 at 3:50 pm

      Hi Kipros,

      This is the perfect opportunity for you to take matters into your own hands. Finding the write singer and/or songwriter is also part of the production process. We’d hate the take that chance to learn away from you :). Best of luck!

  • Reply
    eden
    June 13, 2017 at 4:12 am

    hey ruben,
    almost 3-4 months ago I finished some tracks,
    at first I sent exclusive tracks, and waited 2 weeks for each label to answer,
    but I didn’t get any answer so I sent the soundcloud private link to almost 65 labels,

    I check the number of plays of my track, after months, it’s still zero, no one played it, I also sent reminder email but they didn’t read it,
    I even sent my demo to very small and unknown labels, but no answer,
    the link is working,
    so I found spinnin records talent pool which you can send your demo and if it gets enough vote, it gets higher in chart and they listen, and I checked other demos to see if they answer or not, and I saw that spinnin is answering,
    so I sent my demo and it went on number 1 of the chart, but I still don’t get any answer, :(((((((((
    I feel like I’m ghost,

    so my question is am I ghost or i’m unlucky AAAAAAAASSSSSSSS FFFFFFFUUUUU-CCCKKKKKK
    I also tried(ok I stop talking about my miserable life)

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      June 26, 2017 at 3:58 pm

      Hi Eden,

      Starting out is really, really hard. This might sound a bit strange given how much you want to get signed, but maybe you should try to NOT focus on that so much. Instead, focus on improving. Read as music blogs, articles as you can, watch tons of YouTube tutorials in your spare time and try to implement it in your own productions as you see fit. Go back to what made you want to pick up producing music in the first place: your love and passion for music. Maybe you’ll find it easier to improve if you’re not pressuring yourself so hard in getting signed to a label. Might be worth a shot. Let me know how it works out. Hope this helps.

  • Reply
    Ajay
    June 13, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Do they download 4k Music Video?

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      June 26, 2017 at 3:54 pm

      Hi Ajay,

      Am I right that you assume to ask whether label managers accept 4K music videos as demo submissions? If so, the answer is no. You would do best to stick to the file formats as stated in the article. Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    safeer
    June 17, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    Do i have to master the track before sending to you ??

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      June 26, 2017 at 3:53 pm

      Hi Safeer,

      It is not mandatory for your demo to get mastered before sending it to us. If you take a look at our demo submission form, you’ll see that you can point out to us whether your track has been mastered professionally. Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Maikel
    June 19, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Hi Ruben,
    If you – for example – want to send your demo to a Belgian or Dutch label, can you write your text in Dutch or do big labels (only) work with English speaking A&R’s? So maybe it’s better to write in English to be sure?
    Thank you!
    Maikel

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      June 26, 2017 at 3:48 pm

      Hi Maikel,

      I suppose that depends on the label. If it’s a record label that only operates on Dutch territory, Dutch should suffice. But if a label distributes music across the world, as most labels do, English will always be your best bet. As a general rule, I’d always include an English version of your e-maim, even if a label is based in the Netherlands. Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Jeff
    June 23, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    “You can’t succeed if you don’t try and you can’t fail if you never give up.” is very good advice. I think most music producers give up too easy and the ones that make it stay the course.

  • Reply
    Kristina
    June 27, 2017 at 9:49 am

    Hi Ruben,

    Thank you for your great job, the info is very useful for us.
    I’ve submitted a demo two weeks ago and there is no answer. I’d like to send a reminder. You told to send it to demo@armadamusic.com above but now the demo submission form works and only. Where should I send it to now?

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      June 27, 2017 at 11:17 am

      Hi Kristina,

      This is a very good question. Since we’ve switched to using the demo submission form, it is no longer possible to sent us reminders. I’m sorry to say that I do not know if that will change in the near future. On the bright side though, not having to deal with reminders makes it easier for us to comb through the actual demos. In any event, don’t refrain from sending us your new music. Who knows what will happen! Hope this helps.

  • Reply
    Kristina
    June 28, 2017 at 11:32 am

    Thanks for the reply, Ruben. I will send )

  • Reply
    Adi
    July 12, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    Can a 15 year old like me submit demo to you?
    If yes, how can I submit them to you?
    Thanks:)

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      July 13, 2017 at 4:08 pm

      Hi Adi,

      Of course you can send us your demo, age isn’t relevant. Head over to this page and follow the instructions. That’s all. Hope this helps!

      • Reply
        Adi
        July 14, 2017 at 4:37 pm

        So, Can I submit Tropical House?

        • Reply
          Ruben Meijer
          July 14, 2017 at 4:38 pm

          Hi Adi,

          Yes, you can. Although I have to warn you, we don’t deal in Tropical House that often. But who knows, your own spin on it might surprise us. Best of luck!

  • Reply
    Akhil Aditya
    July 13, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    How can I submit music to you?

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      July 13, 2017 at 4:09 pm

      Hi Akhil Aditya,

      You can submit your music by heading over to this page and following the instructions. Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Max Harris-Janz
    July 14, 2017 at 7:32 am

    Hey Ruben, awesome insight and advice! My question is: What if I think I did a well enough job, but one aspect isn’t good enough. Do Labels ever help with shaping a demo submission?

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      July 14, 2017 at 2:12 pm

      Hi Max Harris-Janz,

      I’m not an A&R myself, so I can’t be 100% sure. But I think this depends on what that one aspect you’re mentioning entails.

      If it’s simply a lead synth or any other sound they don’t fancy, I’m pretty sure most A&Rs will help you shape up the demo, as long as they feel it has significant potential.
      If it’s a bigger problem – something like a horrid mix or bad arrangement – a few tips probably won’t cut it. But even though this means the A&R manager won’t sign it, you may be lucky enough to get a few pointers regarding the problem at hand.

      That being said, I don’t think any labels or A&Rs help improve a demo they aren’t interested in. Their schedule is already packed and every second spent on something that won’t eventually become a product of the label could mean you’re missing out on the next big hit.

      I hope this answers your question.

      • Reply
        Max Harris-Janz
        July 15, 2017 at 5:05 am

        I feel I have a decent song to submit now 🙂 I’m only worried an amateurish Intro or an ok Outro could be a deal breaker without me realizing. Maybe they end up wanting a better drum Intro, or the high-hat rhythm could be better. Or something minimal like that. I’d hate for it to be the reason why I’m ignored upon submission, but if it’s something they give pointers on or possibly assist, would help me to feel more at ease before submitting. I wasn’t sure how that aspect usually plays out.

        Thank you for your response!

        • Reply
          Ruben Meijer
          July 17, 2017 at 3:05 pm

          Hi Max Harris-Janz,

          If your demo gets rejected without a reason whatsoever, the best you can do is to start analyzing yourself. Try to figure out what one of their releases has that your demo doesn’t any vice versa. Every bit of this is part of the learning process. The truth is that everyone gets rejected a dozen times trying the make it. The ones that eventually come out on top are the ones that don’t let those rejections kill their motivation. The ones that prevail are the ones that keep trying no matter how hard it is. Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Vasundhara
    August 6, 2017 at 10:34 am

    Hi Ruben , I hope your well . I wanted to ask you , what happens after A&R Manager likes your track ? How does he contact you ? What are the paper works required post selection of your track ? How much time does he needs for releasing your track ? After your song is selected & you send another track of your’s which he doesn’t find decent will the A&R manager will guide you ? I’ve never been on the other side of selection so I was really curious about the post selection process .

    Thanks

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      August 17, 2017 at 11:27 am

      Hi Vasundhara,

      Since you’ve asked multiple questions, I’ve tried to organize them so others can easily find the answer to your questions as well.

      1. What happens after A&R Manager likes your track ? How does he contact you?
      If an A&R manager likes your track enough to think it deserves a release, he (or a representative of the label) will contact you. I don’t know through which medium he’ll reach out to you, but if you’ve sent your e-mail address along with your demo as contact info, chances are he’ll send you an e-mail. In my opinion, that’s most common practice.

      2. What is the paperwork required post selection of your track?
      As far as required paperwork goes, think general info that’s required to make an agreement valid in the court of law. This includes things like name and address, whether you have already signed your publishing with another party (and if so, which one), whether you own the master rights, etc. To be honest, you shouldn’t really worry about this. It’s all pretty straightforward.

      3. How much time does an A&R manager need to release your track?
      This depends on a whole number of factors, the most common being the release schedule. Unless there are very special circumstances concerning your release, you should count on a minimum of four to five weeks between signing your track to a label and its actual release. This is because there’s a lot that needs to be done, including (but not limited to) mastering, drafting up (and signing) contracts, creating assets (e.g. artwork, release text and maybe even video) and delivering the track itself to digital services such as Beatport, iTunes and Spotify. All in all, you would do well to be (and remain) patient. After all, you’re not the only one who’s eager to see his or her music released.

      4. After your song is selected , does the A&R guide you if he doesn’t find the next track you send decent?
      There’s no clear answer to that question. Some might and some might not. This depends on the A&R, how much time he has to spare and on how bad or good that second demo actually is.

      I hope this answers your questions. Sorry it took me some time to respond!

  • Reply
    Vasundhara
    August 20, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    Thank you so much Ruben ! Finally I have a clear vision 🙂

  • Reply
    Vince
    August 30, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    Hello Ruben,

    Me and my friend did a remix for Super8 & Tab. Because it was a remix contest, via Splice, we of course got the stems to be able to play around with. Unfortunately we lost the contest, but Super8 & Tab said themselves it was hard for them to decide who won. I was wondering, because the song itself belongs to Armada, is it ok if we can still send the remix to Armada for them to check it out and see if they will release it anyway (If of course they are satisfied with it)?

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      September 6, 2017 at 2:31 pm

      Hi Vince,

      This is a good question. I can’t say for certain that Armada owns the master rights to that Super8 & Tab record (since I don’t know the title and not every single from these Finnish Trance stars was released on Armada), but I trust you’ve done your research. Unfortunately, only winning such remix competitions warrants a release in most cases. You can always try to send it to us, but I don’t whether it would make a difference. Instead, you should put your heart and soul into a new record that even trumps the quality of your remix for Super8 & Tab’s record and send it to us when it’s done. Who knows what may happen then, right?

      Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Koustav Sinha Ray
    September 5, 2017 at 11:52 am

    Hey, how would I come to know whether my track has been signed or rejected? How many days should I wait before sending out to another record label?
    Plz reply.
    Lastly, I would like to thank you for this straightforward and understandable blog.

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      September 6, 2017 at 2:35 pm

      Hi Koustav Sinha Ray,

      Let me start off by saying that you’ll definitely know when a label is interested in signing your track, simply because they’ll reach out to you in that case. Ideally, they would also let you know if your demo submission isn’t right for them or up to their standards. But with hundreds of demo submissions a day, you can imagine there isn’t always time to do so. In general, I’d say you should wait a week or two before sending your music out to another label. If they haven’t been able to tell you they’re interested by then, it’s their loss right? I hope this answers your question.

      P.S. Thank you for the kudos 🙂

  • Reply
    Artturo
    September 6, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    Hi Ruben. First of all congratulations for all the support and advice you give us that we have doubts with our talent and you help us to solve them with your real advice thank you very much.
    My question is the following if my demo (big room) could send it to armada music? that is my doubt many thanks again for your time……

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      September 7, 2017 at 3:19 pm

      Hi Artturo,

      Thank you for your kind words. Of course you can send Big Room tracks to Armada Music. If the quality is up to par and it fits one of our labels, we’d be happy to release it. Just be sure to use our demo submission form every time you’d like to send us your work. Good luck!

  • Reply
    Jin
    September 14, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    Hi Ruben. First of all, thank you for you article.
    I have 2 questions about the vocal.
    Since there is no appropriate singer whom I could work with, I sang my demo song by myself. I tried hard but it doesn’t seem professional at all.
    In this situation, which one is better between sending demo file with my vocal or file with piano instead of my vocal?
    And Is having an experience as a DJ essential for being accepted by labels?
    Thank you again.

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      September 18, 2017 at 4:27 pm

      Hi Jin,

      I think neither of the two options you’re suggesting are what you should be looking for. You state that there’s no appropriate singer whom you could work with, but I feel that if you put some extra effort in your search, you’ll be able to find one. I don’t know to which lengths you’ve already gone, but you could think about reaching out to friends or family to see who may know someone, put up an advertisement or flyer in music academies or reach out to vocal coaches who may want their students to get some extra practice. In any case, having a professional vocal on your track is ALWAYS better than singing yourself (unless you’re a professional singer as well) or using piano to fill the void. If I HAD to choose, I’d go with piano. Just remember that there are always other options.

      As for your second question, it is NOT necessary to be a DJ if you want your music released by labels. It may make these labels more inclined to put time and effort in you on the long term, but to have your music released simply requires your music to be good enough. That’s it.

      Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Arvind
    September 15, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    Hey Friend,
    I have 2 questions:
    1) Do you accept Remix tracks?
    2) Do you deal with Future Bass tracks?
    I hope you would reply quickly:)
    Thanks

    • Reply
      Ruben Meijer
      September 18, 2017 at 4:31 pm

      Hi Arvind,

      1) Generally speaking, we do NOT accept remixes. This is because a remix is not an original recording and its copyright lies with a third party. That means we cannot legally release the remix, unless we would somehow be able to obtain these rights. This is why sending remixes is strongly discouraged and why you should always send original work instead. Also, whereas original tracks are original ideas from its creator, remixes are different interpretations of another artist’s ideas. If you want to show your true potential, submitting original tracks is definitely the way to go.

      2) If your music is good enough and what we’re looking for, we’ll find a way to release it. Genres don’t matter to us; what matters is the quality of the music. So yes, feel free to submit your Future Bass tracks!

      Hope this helps!

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