This is what a record label's in-tray looks like!

David Mellor

David Mellor is CEO and Course Director of Audio Masterclass. David has designed courses in audio education and training since 1986 and is the publisher and principal writer of

Monday December 17, 2012

Everyone who has ever made a demo recording wants to get it heard by a big-shot record label executive.

But it isn't that easy...

First of all, many record labels will not accept material unless they have asked for it first. They will send back unsolicited demos unopened.

And if they have asked for material, the photo shows what they might get.

Would it fill your heart with joy to have to sift through all of that?

Well yes, there might be a golden nugget somewhere in the pile, and that's what makes it all worthwhile.

But also in the pile will be submissions that are completely unprofessional and unusable. There will be submissions that are so far 'off topic' that you would have to wonder what the person who sent it in was thinking about.

And... it's a time-proven empirical law that if a package looks professional, then the music inside will be professional too. It just doesn't happen that a shoddy, thrown-together package contains a musical gem. Not in my experience anyway.

The moral?

You're in competition, right from the start. Send your stuff in a neat package, with not too much tape so it's difficult to open.

What's inside should have the total look and feel of professionalism. Give the A&R guy the feeling that the music on the CD is going to be right up to standard even before he puts it in the player.

That 'golden nugget' will be there somewhere...

By the way, without doubt the best CD mailer I've seen is made by Brieger ( Their Nr. 706 product holds the CD firmly and also has a clasp for the paper contents - letter, biography, reviews etc. Many mailers handle the CD fine, but the paper contents get bent and distorted. Clearly it's better for everything to arrive flat and crisp.

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