Whether you’re trying to get started in home recording or have been doing it for a while, there are a few things you have to understand, in order to be successful with it in the long run. There are also many tips and tricks to follow, but you don’t have to be a genius to figure them out. Here’s a look into some of the most important things to keep in mind, in order to reach your goals and dreams when recording music and becoming a name in the music business.
There are many tips that you may deem important when it comes to being efficient. Here are some of the most crucial ones.
- Know what you want to do. It’s best if you have a clear understanding of what you aim to do with your recordings. For example, if you just want to upload videos online, you’ll need a completely different plan than if you intend to record an album one day. When you’re clear on what your end game is, you can come up with a clear plan to succeed make simple changes as needed.
- Keep a clear space. You’ll need a clear space to record, whether you rent a studio, a room, or do it in your home. This space should be empty, and be large enough to hold the equipment you’ll be using. You have to also ensure that the sound won’t be bouncing off all of the walls. Take the time to draw up a sketch of how you want your electronics set up, so you can be certain that everything is in the right place and located conveniently.
- Limit background noises. You also have to do your best to limit all background noises. This means you can’t have things like leaky faucets and fans anywhere near you. These things that you drown out in your day to day life will come across very clearly when you’re recording, and they can really ruin a track. You don’t want that, so take all the precautions you can when choosing a room and figuring out which noises may be nearby.
- Get all the necessities you’ll need. Whether your budget is high or low, you’ll likely want to purchase every device you can get your hands on. However, you don’t need to do that. You only need a few items to get started, so there’s no reason to buy things you don’t know if you’ll use. You can always go back later and obtain additional equipment. The items you will need really depend on what you’re going to be recording. If you intend to record you playing instruments and singing, you’ll need your instruments, microphones, an amp, a mixer, monitors, and a computer at the very least. The computer will also need an audio editing program, so you can edit your music in real time or do it after you record a track. If you just intend on singing, you won’t need instruments, but you will need the capabilities of playing music while you sing, so you might need all of the other items. While you’ll need monitors to listen to your playback, you may also require a pair of quality headphones, to be able to listen to everything at all hours of the day or night. You don’t want to disturb your neighbors or the people that live in your house just because you need to get some editing done.
- Keep a wish list. Even though you only need to purchase the basics at first, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep a wish list. As you use the products you have, you may locate other items that are better for your needs. This is where this list comes in. When you’re able to upgrade your gear, you can go back to it and see the stuff you wanted. It also gives you something to look forward to. As a bonus, if you keep your list public and show it to your friends and family, they may surprise you with some of these items on holidays or birthdays.
- Try to keep your computer in a separate space. Since you’ll need to use a computer to edit and record your music, you will have to have one that is in good working order. It doesn’t matter if it’s a desktop computer or a laptop, but it does need to be powerful enough to run your audio editor program and be able to recognize the equipment you plug into it. It also should have enough hard drive space and RAM to respond quickly to your commands. No matter which type of machine you choose, it’s a good idea to keep it away from the area where you are going to record, since computers make a lot of noise when they are turned on. Alternatively, you can purchase a noise filter to take some of this ambient noise out of your music.
- Buy extras when you can. Since many of these items don’t come cheap, you’ll want to buy the extras when you can. In the case of microphones, you may want to get pop filters, and on other items you may want to purchase special protection plans. You should also keep extra cords around, in case you misplace one or something wears out. You definitely do not want to have to stop what you’re doing just to have to go get a specific cord. Use your judgment to determine what extras you need.
- Keep adapting. Once you get set up and start recording and doing other things, make sure you are always adjusting. If certain ideas aren’t working well, change them. If your setup isn’t as efficient as possible, change it a bit. If you don’t like the sound profile on your mic, use another one. It’s important that everything works just the way you want it to, so if it doesn’t, go ahead and make all necessary changes as quickly as possible. You don’t want that kind of thing to keep you up at night worrying.
There are also a number of tricks you should be aware of. Here is a look at some that can save you time and money. They can also help you get farther in your journey.
- You don’t have to have the most expensive equipment. While you don’t want to purchase the cheapest equipment out there, you also don’t have to purchase the most expensive either. Many brands have well-rounded items that are priced affordably and work just as good as more expensive models. Moreover, there are professional grade items that don’t have high price tags. Unfortunately, many products you’ll have to try first to see if they will work well for you. Remember to save receipts and packaging, in case you have to return something. It’s also a good idea to fill out all warranty cards, in the event that a product breaks or ends up not working properly. You’ll likely be covered and be able to get a replacement.
- Do your research. Before you purchase any equipment, it’s a good idea to do a significant amount of research about it. You should be well versed on the items you plan to use, so you’ll know what everything can do and how to do it. For instance, if you purchase a mixer that can be used with your guitar and microphone, you’ll need to know where to plug in what, how to use it, and what the different settings are. You should take as much time as you need with this step, since high quality equipment can be used for years at a time. You should also do research to make sure you get the best products for your purposes. It won’t do you any good to have electronics that are useless to you. The most important thing you’ll need to learn to use is the software that you have installed on the computer. There are likely so many things that it can do, so it’s a great idea to read the manual. This will give you the upper hand and you will also likely find out that it can do some really cool things.
- You can always soundproof. If you have no idea how to take sounds out of your studio space or need it to be quieter, you have many options when it comes to soundproofing. There are kits you can buy online or you can even use something simple like eggs crates. There are also videos that can teach you how to strategically place the materials in your room for maximum efficiency. Just a little bit of soundproofing can change the noise level dramatically. It’s even better if you can soundproof a large area.
- Ask around. You might be surprised when you hear what your friends or colleagues use in certain situations, so you shouldn’t be afraid to ask. They may know the best deals on items you need, or they might actually know who you can purchase some from. If you are acquainted with people that have already accomplished what you want to, they are likely to be a wealth of knowledge for you. More importantly, they can tell you what doesn’t work, which will save you time and money. Keep your eyes peeled for groups and pages that can offer you suggestions and tips. You can even look at professional videos and see if there are any clues of what equipment or techniques that they use that you can emulate.
- Take the time to look for deals. When it comes to getting a good deal on your gear, you have to take the time to shop around. Keep a list of the sites you trust and look at the items you want every couple of days. You should also get on the store mailing lists, so you’ll always be informed of when they’re having a sale or offering any special coupons or deals. It’s not bad to pay regular price for your items, but it’s better if you can get them for a lower price. You may just have to wait a little longer to acquire them.
- Go easy on yourself. You can’t expect to be perfect all the time, so don’t be too critical of your work. If something isn’t working right or sounds bad, you may have been sitting with it for too long. Take breaks every now and then or ask someone else to listen to your tracks. Chances are if you walk away from a project that’s giving you a headache for a moment; it will make more sense when you come back to it.
This isn’t a complete list of all the things you need to know, but if you take all these things into account, you should be able to meet your goals. It doesn’t take a lot to be able to make successful recordings, whether it is songs, videos, or podcasts in your own recording space. It also doesn’t take a sophisticated studio to make your work sound like it’s been produced professionally.
You don’t need a lot of money or a lot of space to be successful at home recording. You will however need to ensure that you have all the equipment you need as well as a suitable studio area. It’s very important to take your time and not rush into any purchases. This will help you get the most for your money and you can be certain that each piece will work perfectly for your needs. Keep all of these tips and tricks in mind when you are setting up your own studio and you may be surprised at how well it can all come together. Another good rule of thumb is to talk to everyone you know that can offer insight and take notes on what they tell you. They probably have details on certain products and shortcuts that you can use, stuff that is unlikely to simply come up in an internet search.