Anyone can go into a garage, play through some microphones, and the send the result out as a demo tape in hopes of getting a recording contract or higher paying clubs in which to play. The problem is that if your demo is not up to par with what everyone else is sending, no matter how good you really are, the club or anyone else listening is not going to get a true taste of what your band or what you really sound like. Instead of messing around with shoddy old ideas, go about recording a demo that can really do you some good.
Recording a demo on a tape deck is never a good idea. If you have ever gone out and recorded a band through a video camera, you know exactly what your demo would sound like. These microphones are not meant to give you good sound. Instead, they try to suck in all the sound. The result is usually drum heavy, with distorted bass sound and the guitar and vocals are often lost in the crowd noise. If you get too close to the sound source, everything distorts into something so bad you simply can not listen to it any longer. This is why you have to find a better way.
The very best way to go about recording a demo is to go into a studio to do it. The problem with this for some acts is that this can be very expensive. However, you do have to spend money to make money. Call around to find the best price per hour or per project, and see what you can get. You do not have to record only a few songs. That will save you money right there. You can also make sure that you have the songs down pat when you get there so that you do not have to work it out in the studio, which will quickly add up. You will use up all your money before one note is laid down in the studio.
You can also look for a studio that understand that you are needing to go about recording a demo in the cheapest way possible. Ask them if they can do live pass for you. This means everyone plays at once, with some tracks then being rerecorded as needed, and if needed. This saves a lot of time, hence saving you a lot of money. This type of recording is not as exact as single tracking, but it will give you a quality product that you will not be embarrassed to play for those that need to hear you at your best.
If you know someone with a multi-track recorder in their home, this can be just what you need for recording a demo that you can use and be proud of without having to spend a fortune. If not, you have take some time to save up for what you need to get into a studio that can help you if you are really serious about getting better paying work and whatever else you seek. It will be worth it to take some time to save up what you need so you can do it all the right way. That will put you heads above most of the other performers in your area.