Music Producing & Engineering Course 13: Scratch Tracks and Demos
Scratch tracks and demos are essential to the production process. They provide context for ideas, work as a guide, help to spark new ideas, and can significantly help you save time in the studio by providing a blueprint from which to work. In course 11, you’ll learn the importance of a demo track and how it functions as a tool to sonically express a musical thought or idea.
Developing “the producer’s ear” doesn’t happen overnight, it takes experience and lots of work in the studio. In this course, you’ll learn about pre-production demos (songwriting, feel, idea) and production demos (garage, Nashville, production). There are varying degrees of “polish” with each of these demos, but each has a place in the production process
You’ll be making three different demos in this course: mainstream alt-rock, modern pop, and a genre of your choice. You’ll learn to clearly display musical ideas for chord changes, feel, and style of the song and create a distinct sense of form (verses, chorus, etc.). There will be the ever-present course review, quiz, and blog entry for this course as well.
The objectives of course 13 include understanding the initial process of creating a scratch or demo track, how a rough idea can lead to a polished product, and whether a scratch track or demo is heading in the right direction. You’ll also learn how to create your own scratch or demo tracks and use those beginnings to start shaping a professional recording.
Gain an understanding of the initial process of creating new musical pieces.
Understand why starting with a rough idea can lead to a better finished product.
Be able to create rough scratch tracks and demos for musical pieces.
Be able to determine whether a scratch track or demo represents the proper direction which will likely lead to the final product being what is visualized.
Be able to create scratch and demo tracks for musical ideas.