Pre-screening is such an efficient concept. It gives musicians a chance to record themselves, which is ALWAYS beneficial. There is no hiding behind a raw recording of yourself.
"Do I really sound like that???"
That is why my biggest piece of advice when it comes to recording pre-screening materials is to record EARLY, and to record MULTIPLE TIMES. Yea, I said it. And it's in all caps, so I know you read it.
I'm going to be honest. I waited until the very last minute to record my pre-screening. I'm talking a day or two before the deadline. My setup consisted of my trombone, my iPhone 5c (#voicememos) and my computer. I had to rent Jamey Aebersold books and CDs from my school's library that contained tunes from the pre-screening tune list. It was pretty stressful...
Clearly, I managed to get my pre-screening in on time. And it would say it sounded good enough since I got invited to do a live audition … But I have to say, I seriously regret doing everything so last minute. Having to hunt down Aebersolds actually determined which songs I did for pre-screening, because I didn't have time to get a live rhythm section together to learn different tunes that I'd wanted to play instead. Plus, a lot of the CD play-alongs went over the time limit, so I had to use my iPhone to trim each song. Talk about tedious...
When you're recording a pre-screening for such a prestigious institution like Juilliard, you'd want to put your best foot forward. WHY? Well, that's because this just might be the very first time faculty from Juilliard hear you, and you obviously want to impress them! Ideally, you want to have everything organized to allow for the best recording possible. You don't want to be completely stressed out to the point that it gets in your way of making music.
Good luck and happy pre-screenings!!