We live in a time where anyone can record, since technological advancements have made high quality recordings possible from various accessible devices. With inexpensive gear you can achieve great results, and this has created the age of the home studio.
If you’re not a sound engineer, recording and producing a track is a daunting prospect. Through trial and error you’ll gain experience, and to help you en route to an effective recording experience, here are some top tips to consider:
Get a Preamp
If you plug an instrument directly into your recording device, this produces a transparent sound with minimal warmth and volume. Plugging a microphone into a preamp resolves this issue, and this will add volume to your recording. Preamps can be obtained cheaply, so they are worth their weight in gold. The output will require an audio cable like a TSR or XLR cable.
Use the Web as a Resource
You can read all the books in the world before you start recording, but the best approach is trial and error. Dive in headfirst, and learn from your mistakes. Software programs like GarageBand are user friendly for basic level production, and you can later use the web to learn specific tasks. YouTube is a great source for learning, since there are various tutorials regarding the execution of different functions. There will be a video covering every topic you can think of, so if you need to program a snare drum, look it up. Seek and you shall find, and you’ll continue to learn new methods as you proceed.
Don’t be overwhelmed by information. You won’t learn everything overnight, but with patience and persistence you can become an expert. It’s also a good practice to make multiple recordings of the each take even if you think that you got it right on the first try. This will save you from having to go back if you find a mistake later on in your editing process.
Consider Using a Choir
If you want to introduce the depth of a Composers’ Choir, you can hire a professional choir to sing a choral piece of your own composing. Choirs can execute an incredible range of vocals over instrumental compositions, and bring a touch of magic to any recording. With a choir section throughout your song, it will stand out from anything else out there and bring technical brilliance and melody to your recording.
Invest In a Good Microphone
Buying a good condenser microphone is mandatory, and when you master your own recordings you’ll definitely notice the difference. This will allow you to record acoustic instruments, light percussion, and a host of other things. There are plenty of excellent options for under $200, and with a one-size-fits-all approach, a good microphone can capture all aspects of your recordings, including drums.
Get Decent Monitors
Though you can buy excessively expensive monitors for playback, they’re not really necessary. If you’re on a budget, nothing fancy is required. All that matters is you can play back your material effectively, program sounds, and add finishing touches to your music without being impeded in post-production.