The music industry has never been more accessible. You no longer need to wait for industry heavy-hitters to grant you permission to record. Now all you need are a computer and a few software programs. Here are a few easy home recording tips to help you maximize your sound from the comfort of your own bedroom.
Don't be afraid to ask for help with your home recordings. It doesn't take anything away from your musicianship or songwriting talent if you reach out to other talented people. Your music may benefit from the addition of a drummer or some advanced production tricks. Think of collaboration as your first taste of real criticism. Once you release your music, people are going to say whatever they want about it, with little regard for your feelings. Working with other musicians in your home studio will help you get used to hearing other people's opinions about how you could improve.
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Start with video. If you have an iPhone, you have all you need to make a simple music video. Try recording yourself playing your best song. You might be surprised by how nervous you are, even if you don't intend to show the video to anyone. The sudden pressure to get through the whole song without making any mistakes is only a fraction of the nerves you'll feel when you record for real, or when you perform for an audience. Watching yourself on video is a great way to figure out ways you can improve. Videos are also another avenue toward expanding your audience.
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Don't Skimp on Decent Recording Gear
When you finally start recording for real, don't skimp on your recording studio microphone. This doesn't mean that you need to spend a lot of money on it. You just need to do your research and make sure you choose one that picks up nuanced sounds and reduces ambient noise. When the raw recording starts out as clean as possible, it minimizes the amount of work you have to do later on. Additionally, recording with a metronome is crucial. You can't layer individually-recorded tracks over each other or patch in edits unless all of your takes are exactly the same tempo.
Get A Good Recording Software -- That Works For YOU
When it comes to your home recording studio software, read as many reviews as possible and figure out which one will work the best for your specific goals. Don't opt for a program just because it's the most popular; it may be popular among bands that sound nothing like you, or for reasons that are irrelevant to your goals. If possible, download a free trial before paying for the software. If you get stuck while using the program, consider spending an hour or two in a proper recording studio with a staff producer. You'll get a crash course in the basics, which is well worth the $30 that an hour of studio time costs. Your best home recording tips will have come from a recording studio with all of the bells and whistles, and how many newbies can say that?
Give Yourself Ample Time To Mix
Once you've finished your recording, it's time to start producing and mixing. Give yourself more time than you think you'll need to perfect your songs. Try to go into the process with an idea of what you'd like the finished tracks to sound like. Without a plan, your music will end up sounding like more polished versions of a solo live performance. This type of recording is often effective, but you wouldn't be taking advantage of all of the options your recording software offers you. Play with sound effects and layered vocals. Challenge yourself to recreate the production on your favorite songs. You might luck into a happy accident that becomes your production trademark.
Your recordings are the culmination of all of your musical efforts up to this point. Don't cut corners when laying your songs down on tape. In 50 years you want to be able to listen to your own music and feel proud. Invest what you can in your music, and your talents will do the rest.