How Will A Music Label Find Me?

This blog post will focus on one of the anxieties that every new music producer gets in this turbulent and busy world, which is: how to reach a music label aside from sending in demos.

Can your music make it to the ears of a label owner?

Following one of my most popular posts on how to send demos, this post will focus on the opposite approach, which is to slowly get labels to come to you instead of hunting them down. Call it reverse psychology if you want, but it could also be called the art of letting go. As Einstein said,

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

To understand how a label works and to help you prepare your strategy, perhaps I can share my own experience first. Here are some pointers:

Being a label owner is a bit like being a talent scout in sports. You have a routine of listening to music from within your own circle and of checking your preferred sources like charts and podcasts, as well as finding music through friends of label artists. Then there are moments where you’re a bit freer or more curious, and you’ll dig through SoundCloud for a few hours. I found some pretty incredible artists on SoundCloud and I find that it’s easier than ever to find unknown artists — raw talent. But while it’s easier and more exciting than ever to find unsigned artists, it’s also overwhelming.

The label owner and yourself face the same issue: how can you connect to each other to form a perfect match?

Maybe you don’t realize this, but you might not yet know which label will be your main career companion. It’s a bit like finding true love; it’s out there, but it needs the right timing to happen.

As the label grows, the owner tends to want to sign friends of the label’s artists and artists related to those that have already been signed.


Mainly because, in my case, I want to deal with people I feel are great to work with. Also, because while the music label is defining its sound, I want to keep some sort of logical progression from release to release. I won’t sign in a rush, or sign a track that sounds crazy good without knowing who I will be dealing with. Difficult and finicky personas are my pet peeve, and I will try to stay far away from them.

Running multiple projects can become messy with difficult people.

Dealing with contracts and such is so annoying, and I’d As an electronic music producer, networks and networking are extremely important for helping a record label labels find YOUprefer doing it with someone who clicks with me. I trust my friends more than Facebook or a polite exchange over email.

So what does that tell you? How do music labels get to you if they want to sign you?

Stop worrying about labels, and instead work on your network. Spend more time connecting with artists who inspire you. Befriend newer artists who also struggle. That struggling artist or that other dude you met can eventually be helpful at some point.

Some inspiration to meet people:

  • Soundcloud: Follow artists that inspire you. Comment on their tracks and go listen to people who also love the tracks.
  • Soundcloud groups: There are nice communities out there that you can join and where you can post your new ideas. Some music label owners are also there sometimes.
  • Facebook groups: If you search a bit, you’ll find many groups you can join. People will discuss topics or share a new find. There’s always something to read.
  • Google Hangouts: A bit like Facebook but one great feature is to have group video calls. Then you can talk all together. Quite fun.

The music label that needs to work with you will find you at the right moment, when they need to. It demands a certain faith in the process, but while waiting, go back to learning sound design and making new friends.

Use Mastered Tracks To Submit A Great Demo

This post will cover some essentials on how to submit a music demo to a label you want to join.

How to send a demo to your favourite record label

If you’re a music producer and have been making a few tracks, perhaps you thought it would be a great idea now to submit a music demo to a label. I mean, that’s pretty much what we all dream of as musicians, which is to be part of a community of artists we appreciate and to be appreciated in return. That sense of accomplishment is something you’ve been pursuing for a while and will most probably be chasing for years to come. Trust me.

I’d say that if you want to reach your goals or be part of a label, especially one that has a certain notoriety, you’ll need to be prepared and to do things right.

I thought I’d make a list of rules for you, starting with these:

  • One demo, one label. Think of who you want to send your music to, check out the latest tracks released by the label, and then pick your tracks accordingly. If the label has been there for a while, chances are they might have a restricted number of artists and that their sound has changed over time. So make sure you’re up to date.
  • Before contacting the label, make sure you’re following the label on social media. This might sound silly, but if you’re sending to a label you’re not following and tell them you’re a fan, it just looks bizarre. It’s something label owners do check.
  • Find the contact to submit to. I could write an entire post about this alone, but I’ll summarize.
    • Check if the label has a website and find the specific contact information for demo submissions.
    • If they have a submissions policy, read it. It’s that simple, but important! If it’s written down, it’s because they want you to stick to it.
    • Send a first email to see if the label is accepting demos at the moment.

You now have the 2 main starters: the label and the how-to-submit. Now, let’s get to work.

Preparing your music demo for submission

Unless the label has a precise modus operandi, here are some general guidelines that work for most labels.

  • Check list with green and red pen over white paperAim for an EP. The magic number of tracks to start with would roughly be 4, so start by picking the best fitting ones. It’s not a good idea to send too many tracks at once since label owners already have a lot of demos to listen to (Note: the Soundcloud age has really brought smoke-screening to whole new level), and it makes you look a bit confused in your intentions.
  • Send your best stuff mastered, if possible. But ask the label for its preference. As much as this sounds obvious, you’d be surprised to know that as a label owner, I do receive music that sounds half-finished, pale, or improperly mixed. It doesn’t show you in your best light, and a first impression can only be made once. Ask someone to do the mixdown for you if you’re not sure.
  • Don’t submit remixes. It’s not up to you to pick the remixers at this point. That’s just awkward.
  • If you send Soundcloud links, make sure your tracks are private. Send full tracks. Use playlists too.
  • Always name your music demo files or record labels might find it later and not know whose it isIf you send tracks, use a service like WeTransfer, and I’d recommend sending mp3 files, in maximum 256 kbps. Sadly, there are people with bad intentions out there, and giving the real masters is risking trouble if the label releases your song. You still have rights over it, but I’ve seen labels do this.
  • Name and tag your files with your name, and title your song correctly. I sometimes find a demo months later with no information at all, and it’s quite frustrating to find out who made it.

Okay, you have your tracks ready, now let’s move on to the first contact.

  • Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 13.19.12Send your email to only one person!
  • Introduce yourself. Like any emails, business or casual, you gain attention by keeping things short, concise, clear and simple. Don’t share your bio (it has no value in decision-making), your releases to come (if you’re too busy, it can be turned against you, and if you have nothing, it can be… well, not good either), that you like the label (why would you contact the label otherwise?), or your 17 different profiles on all those music-related sites.
  • Say what you’d want from the label. Are you up for an EP? Or a vinyl only? Would you like remixes? Be precise but not demanding (you’re not signed yet!).
  • Don’t ask for a money advance or be cocky in any way. It’s pretty much a turn-off for everyone.
  • Start a conversation and invite the person to get back to you. Ask questions and try to open a space for discussion.

Great! Email sent, tracks submitted. Now, it’s far from over — next there’s follow-up!

  • Wait at least 1 week to follow up. When you do, make it very short and simple.
  • Bigger labels request time. Be patient.
  • Do not send your demo to other labels. But if you do, definitely not to more than one. I’ve heard so many stories of people submitting to a bunch, and then 2 wanted to signs the tracks… Sadly, after trying to please both, the artist ended up being discarded for his lack of commitment. So, be careful.
  • Again, be patient. Make more music, but don’t send more music unless the label owner asks for more.

At this point, it’s a bit of a follow-up game. You can give up on the label if there’s no answer at all after 1 month. If there are no plays on your Soundcloud links, that’s of course a bad sign. You can also track who listened. Some label owners hate to receive tracks that have multiple listens, so if you’re recycling a demo, I encourage you to delete the tracks or start from scratch.

If you give up on the label, be polite and just send a last email to thank them for their time and attention and to say you’d be interested in submitting more in the future.

Good luck!

SEE ALSOHow Will A Music Label Find Me?

Music Production Tips: How To Start A Track

This post shares some proven tips for electronic music producers on how to start a track. I’ve also made what will be the first in a series of YouTube videos on production, where I guide you through the process of getting your song started.

How to start a track in electronic music.

So, let’s face it. You’ve been dying to make music. After reading a bit and watching videos, you got a copy of Ableton and then… well, now what?!

You’re not alone. Many people are overwhelmed when they first open their software packages. There’s this weird-looking Excel grid in front of you, with all of these knobs and buttons. You thought it would be simpler, and many of your friends told you that making electronic music was actually very easy. Maybe not.

Here’s a method I’ve been using for over 10 years, and I’ve been teaching it as well. If you use it with discipline, you’ll get really awesome results after only a few sessions.

The 5-step method for making a song

But before I start, I want to give you my definition of what a song is, because this will help make sense of what follows.

A song is a recording of an idea that develops through a period of time, changing and evolving as it creates its own vocabulary. Two sub-ideas can be added to support the main idea, injecting a narration into  the song that brings it to life.


Start your new track with a simple kick


  1. Drop a simple beat to begin. This is simple to get started with and will give you a good feel for the track. No need to get complicated for now. It will also help you to start jamming, because jamming over no beats is a bit awkward (though it’s still possible with practice). You won’t need the best kick in the world here. No time to design one, just drop something generic. I often say that you’ll finalize your kick selection once you know what the main idea you want to explore is. This will help you to stay in tune.

2. Create a quick structure for your song. This is temporary. OneDrop a simple beat to start your track of the most common myths about music production is that you create the structure as you go. This is not always true, nor is it practical. If you make some simple technical decisions at the beginning, you’re liberating your mind from the stresses of organization, while the limitations you impose on yourself here will even force you to be creative. It also gives you visual references for organizing the samples in the structure.

3. Hunt for sounds. Here, there are no rules. You can buy samples, find some that are free, recycle some from past tracks, or go to sites like Splice and Puremagnetik to find fresh ideas. This is just to fuel Step 1, and also to prepare you for Step 4.

4. Do some sound design to develop or create new ideas. You imported sounds. Now put them in a sampler, morph them, and play with them to get something new. Slice loops, or open a synth and play with knobs while you record yourself. Make tons of recordings for this current song, but remember that they can be used in future productions as well. Then you can take what you like, drop them into the pre-organized structure, and decide how it starts, what it sounds like in the middle, and so on.

Nothing is permanent! This whole method is about finding the drive of your song. Once you get into production, then things will get a bit more serious.

Coming to a session with no preconceived idea in mind is the best way to remain open to new possibilities. If you go into the studio with an idea that you want to try, you might spend a lot of time tweaking and might miss all of those happy accidents.

5. Save your project and close it. I always suggest not working more than 1 hour on a project. After an hour, save and close it, and do something else. Your concentration and creativity will degrade over time. Next time you open the song, after a few days, you’ll know right away what works and what doesn’t. And having already begun the track, you will have a have a fresh energy, which is ideal to kickstarting the next next step.

Check out this video tutorial I made on how to start a track, and subscribe to my YouTube channel if you like what you see!

SEE ALSO : Music Production And Studio Tips

How To Define Your Label’s Identity With Your Sound Engineer

In this article, I discuss the impact that music mastering can have for a label, and how a good sound engineer can help.

What is label mastering and how you can benefit from it

The term “label mastering” might sound new to you, but it’s something that can make one crew stand out from the others. When I refer to a label’s sound identity, I’m referring to the impression you want your label to leave with fans. For them, a label is:

  • A sign of quality.
  • A sure bet that the sound will sound as great as fans expect.
  • Whenever you look back, that sound still remains.

Label mastering means “making sure the sound is adjusted so each release sounds close to the others, and having a signature that makes your label unique.”

As examples, I could name Chain Reaction and its dirty techno sound, Ostgut with its driven techno, or Perlon’s quirky music.

Think of your own favourite label – one that has been running for years. Now think of the label’s early releases and compare them to the label’s more recent work. There’s a correlation, right? The sound is great, regardless of the release date.

Shaping the sound

A sensitive sound engineer will pay special attention to the label owner’s aesthetics and take a moment to listen to the artists to understand their musical direction. The partnership between an audio engineer and the label is as critical as the graphic designer is to forging the label’s visual identity. I see a label as the product of a strong collaboration between the three.

  • The label owner/manager decides the content of the catalogue.
  • The sound engineer analyzes the releases and directs what will suit them, sound-wise.
  • The graphic designer will aim to visually represent the way the sound feels.

Label mastering means that you will work hand-in-hand with your sound engineer to develop the direction of your label in the long run. If people can use your label as a reference, you’ll know you did well.

my demo is not being listened

Now, a tip for musicians that are sending demos abroad. So often, I see musicians sending me music for my label that sounds like nothing comparable to what we do. It always amazes me to think artists have no idea that a label aims to maintain a certain sound aesthetic. Of course, some labels are more open to different genres and ideas, but in general, the sound quality is what really will make the huge difference in deciding whether your tracks will be accepted or not.


You might also want to consider having a trusted engineer do a proper mixdown for your song, which I can help with.

SEE ALSO : The Changing Dos and Don’ts of Contacting Record Labels

Need Help To Finalize Your Unfinished Songs?

In this post, I will discuss the advantages of having someone else take a look at your unfinished tracks.

Time to finish those sleeping projects

Have you ever watched those renovation shows where an expert takes over a messy apartment and gives it a complete makeover? I know that for myself and most people I know, these shows make us dream. We love the transformation, the before and after, the journey to an incredible final product.

Now what if I told you there might be a future for all those unfinished songs of yours?

Are you one of those producers that have dozens of projects that were never finished?

Perhaps you are here because this rings a bell:


  • You get bored of the song you’re making.
  • You get a new idea that seems better than the one that you’re working on.
  • What you work on doesn’t sound like what you have in mind.

I hear these comments all the time from fellow producers or aspiring ones. Not being able to finish a song is a very common problem for all of us. The world goes by so quickly today, and being exposed to so much music on Soundcloud triggers our A.D.D. and stimulates the excitement to always want to do more. As an artist, you set expectations for your own work too high, which then leads to you getting overwhelmed and succumbing to procrastination.

Many people have ideas, but once they get on the computer they get lost in the details of sound design and start to feel very sluggish. Eventually, the hype disappears and the person gets bored.

The problem is, your song might actually be great, and you’re not realizing it!

Just like with mixing, sometimes asking someone else to take a look can be critical to pinpointing what was wrong.

I once said to a friend, “That chord here is just too loud and makes the rest of the sounds pale!” That was all he needed to hear to finish what became one of his favourite songs. I’m not taking any credit here: the important part was his curiosity and openness to asking for help.

That’s often the main obstacle here: asking for help.

Mainly because you think:

  • It won’t be my track if someone does it for me.
  • I won’t feel proud of it.
  • It’s not going to work, period.

I can tell you one thing, and that’s that when it comes to remixes, people usually work fast. Well guess what? Asking someone to take over a song that’s blocking you is just like asking for a remix. The only difference is that you’re the maestro who provides the creative direction.

You’ll also need to have enough trust to be able let go of things. This is for your own good.

In the meantime, here are a few tips of mine:

  • Set a deadline on when a song should be done.
  • Set reminders and alarms.
  • Don’t spend more than 30 minutes at a time on the song.
  • Impose limits on yourself.


I can help you produce your song and finish it. Fast.

One of my specialties is listening to an artist’s vision, and then using their creative direction to help bring their projects to fruition. With almost 20 completed albums in my portfolio, I’m ready and eager to put my experience to work for you. Book me today!


SEE ALSO: Getting Lost in the Sea of Tracks

A Great Sound Engineer Will Give Your Song Its True Sound

In this blog post, I will explain how important it is, for the sake of your music as well as for the mastering process, to have a good mixdown. I also want to make the point that working with a trusted sound engineer who knows how to master can be a game-changer.

The Importance Of A Good Mixdown

No matter who your sound engineer is and how skilled he or she is or what equipment they use, there will never be a great-sounding master without a killer mixdown. A good audio engineer should understand your needs as well as your song. An engineer with experience can do that, but choosing the right one is important.

What is a great mixdown?

  • It has a perfect balance of sounds. None are battling to get heard.
  • Each part shines and feels right.
  • The stereo image gives your song a big impression.
  • The song breathes, it doesn’t sound harsh.

There are a few challenges you might face in completing your song.

Perhaps this is familiar?

  • The bass sounds muddy.
  • The main melody seems overshadowed by other sounds.
  • The song lacks overall punch.
  • Your track’s percussion sounds shy.

Sometimes, doing the mixdown yourself won’t give your project the treatment it deserves. If you spent countless hours creating it, you know that it has to sound right. Many producers, even experienced ones, know that a second pair of ears will do it justice. It’s no surprise that most of the best producers give their projects to a trusted mixing engineer.

There are some other challenges too:

  • Your studio is technically challenged (eg., lacks acoustic treatment, no sub, not EQed, etc).
  • You simply lack experience.
  • You’ve heard your song too many times and can’t make decisions.

Again, those are the kind of problems that many people have.

It’s important to choose a sound engineer who has a great understanding of the musical genre you’re producing. This will ensure your sound is in tune with what’s on the market.

Why me?

I’ve been doing mixdowns for myself and others since 2002. The number of songs I’ve done is hard to calculate, but the one thing that matters is that my clients are always satisfied. With almost 20 albums released under my Pheek moniker, I understand the challenges and know when compression should be done, and how.

My main task is to understand what you want to do so I can help you define your own personal sound.

In future articles, I will explain some of my tricks on how to get your music sounding proper.

But if you need an audio engineer like me, don’t hesitate to book me now!

Welcome to my new site!

I can’t believe I haven’t made a new website in years! I definitely waited too long. Should I apologize? Being Canadian, I guess I should.

But seriously: this is it. Pheek’s Mixdown and Mastering will be both a blog and a business outlet for my audio services geared towards electronic music producers. I’m really thrilled to forge ahead and push this into full gear.

Quick intro: I’ve been mastering since 2004, when I launched my label Archipel. Back then, I wanted to be in control of everything, and the aesthetic quality of my label was primordial to me. The vision I had for the sound was perfectly defined, and I wanted it to remain the same no matter what. Soon enough, other label owners started expressing their interest in my mastering skills, because they heard through word of mouth that I’d do it. Now, with all my mastering experience, what I’m aiming for is:

The long-term sound development of artists.

Being artistic in my line of work, I don’t want to simply do limiting/compressing jobs.

Taking the time to do things right.

Plus, I really want to be involved in production. You’ll say, how is production linked to mastering? Well, the better your mix, the better the mastering.

There are so many people who want to create but are overwhelmed by all the options, what things to buy, and all the tutorials available, but who have no expert adviser to talk to. I’ve been providing that for years to the artists on my label, and it has paid off in so many ways.

Let’s do things together!