I got the chance to sit down and speak with Transference Recordings Boss Lee from Future Engineers. I thought it would be nice to ask him about some Label questions as a lot of people don’t seem to know the process behind getting signed.
The latest 12″ on Transference can be heard here
In random order
  1. Do I need to master my own music before I send to u?  No, if a track is right for the label it will be professionally mastered before it is released. If you are confident at home mastering and want to send a version that is louder for the clubs, then this is ok as long as it doesn’t compromise the dynamics and the general quality of the mix.
  2. How many should I send? It’s important to only send your best work initially, you want to create as great an impact as possible. 2-4 tracks is a good starting point (unless you have 10 killer tracks!). Once you have established a relationship with a label, then you may be able to send unfinished or works in progress for feedback, depending on the relationship you have with them. They may be able to give you constructive feedback and help to steer the direction of the idea towards a sound that you or the label are aiming for.
  3. Should I expect a reply? Personally, for Transference I would try to respond to all demo submissions as I know how important it is for artists to receive feedback on their music. However, “bigger labels” do not always have the time and the resource to respond to everyone given the volumes they receive, so you may only get feedback if it’s something they are interested in signing.
  4. What should I do if I don’t hear from you? I think it’s ok to send a courtesy follow up email a few weeks after you have submitted a demo. On the odd occasion there may be circumstances where for one reason or another the demo wasn’t received or the email has been overlooked and forgotten about. Be careful not to over do it though, as this can have an negative impact on your brand if you’re constantly hassling labels and DJ’s for feedback!
  5. Am I going to be rich? Some artists are fortunate enough to make money from the music they truly love. Sometimes artists compromise their sound in favour of a pay cheque, it depends on your priorities. I think it’s important to have an alternative means of earning a living as the music business can be up and down. In my experience, doing music as a hobby to begin with allows you to be as creative and experimental as you want to be without worrying about whether or not a track is going to sell!
  6. Is it important to email or contact the label owner first before sending? I don’t think it would hurt to send a courtesy email to a label or DJ giving them the heads up that you are about to send them a demo, although it wouldn’t be compulsory. Again, be careful not over do this as they probably receive a large amount of emails/demos.
  7. What happens in a remix situation? I will generally approach an artist to remix a track for the label, if I feel their sound would bring something new to the track. Sometimes if an artist is really feeling a track then they can ask if it’s ok to do a remix, this depends on the relationship you have and obviously wouldn’t generally work if you didn’t know them or they weren’t an establish artist that you were familiar with.
  8. What format do you use 16, 24 or 32bit? MP3 is ok for an initial demo but for final pre-masters I would use minimum 24bit.Wav file.
  9. Should I leave headroom for mastering? Yes, between -6 to -3db is generally best practice.

Thanks mate for the time and the answers!

Now go and check the 12″ on Bandcamp here and support the artists and get those tracks going!

That’s all for now
Billy Dauntless
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