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Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Recipe for a Great Demo Tape

In the last blog post, I wrote about the frequent need for more than one demo tape.  In this blog post, I’ll focus more on the breakdown of a successful demo.  This is really aimed at those who are new to the industry, though this recipe can be one for success at any level of experience.

It is typically recommended that you include five ‘spots’ in your demo tape.  That simply means that you include five different examples of your voice.  It is a good idea to use these different spots to highlight the range of your talent.  For instance, in a narration demo, you might want one spot to be the reading of an audio book, the next to be a documentary-style reading, the following to be a children’s book, and so on.

Standard practice is to make each of these spots 5-15 seconds long, with the goal of the overall length of the demo being 60-90 seconds. You may also want to use a couple of seconds for musical intro and outro. As an example, here is what a 75 second demo might look like:

Musical intro: 2 seconds
Spot 1: 15 seconds
Spot 2: 15 seconds
Spot 3: 10 seconds
Spot 4: 10 seconds
Spot 5: 10 seconds
Closing Statements: 10 seconds
Musical outro: 3 seconds

This, of course, is just a guideline, and you may find that some spots fall slightly short of the time allotted.  Others may be a bit longer.  The same is true of the closing statements, but as long as your demo falls within the golden 60-90 seconds, and portrays your voice talents in the best light, then you can feel good about a job well done.

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