Everyone loves music – it’s one of life’s great pleasures. There’s nothing quite like enjoying some live music, listening to some great headphones, or playing music with your friends. Music is played, written, and recorded in every country in the world, so why not record it at home too?
If you have a passion for music, you may be writing music yourself. But, have you ever tried recording it? Luckily it’s not hard these days to record music at home in your studio. If you’re a music lover, read on for 7 important tips for recording at your place.
1. Get Some Soundproofing
If you want to record at home, there will likely be other noises that could interfere with your audio quality. Therefore, anyone setting up a home studio should consider soundproofing. Not only will soundproof material help keep unwanted noise out of your studio room, but it will also help ‘dampen’ the room, making your recordings sound nicer.
Plus, if you’re singing at full pelt and don’t want the neighbors to hear, soundproofing helps there too!! All you need is egg carton-shaped cardboard or some squares of foam and you can soundproof just about any room by sticking it to as much of the bare wall surface as possible.
2. Find an Interface
Assuming you already have a suitably powerful laptop or desktop computer, the next thing you’ll need is an audio interface. Like an external soundcard, an audio interface is a go-between that helps you connect instruments, microphones, and other audio input devices to your computer.
It will have inputs to suit all kinds of cables and a simple USB output to connect to your master device. Go for as good a quality audio interface as you can afford. The better rated it is, the more clear and strong your audio will sound.
3. Get a Microphone
The majority of music has vocals, so you’ll need a decent microphone too. Vocal mics don’t come cheap if you want high quality, but they’re so worth the investment. Look at reviews of the top microphones in your price range and, if needed, seek advice from other home studio creators. Don’t forget, you’ll also need a pop shield and microphone stand to make your singing hiss-free and easy to manage.
4. Decent Monitoring Helps
For your final piece of hardware, you’ll need some speakers for monitoring. When it comes to listening back to your recorded music, you want the best possible speakers so you can deeply analyze your recordings. Home studio monitors don’t need to be huge, so you can save a bit of money in comparison to what a regular studio may spend on monitoring!
Aside from speakers, you’ll also want headphones. Headphones allow you to record along to your tracks without them playing out of the speakers, so there’s no audio bleed. Go for over-ear ‘cans’ to get the full recording experience.
5. Choose and Learn Software
Now, it’s time to move away from hardware and onto the software. There are a few main players in the audio engineering game, namely Logic and ProTools. Both have their pros and cons, with most producers swearing by one or the other. That’s because learning and mastering one takes a long time.
Read up on their benefits and drawbacks, while also figuring out which one is better for your level of expertise. If you aren’t ready to commit, both have free or demo versions for basic audio recording that you can use to learn the ropes.
6. Tracking Your Songs
Now, it’s time to start tracking your songs. Everyone does this a little differently, so really it’s up to you how you want to build your tracks. Some producers swear by starting with drums and percussion, then building the rest of the song on top of that.
Others always come up with their main melodies first. This is all down to your style of songwriting. Go with whatever comes naturally first, perform it to a metronome, then build the rest of your song around it. No doubt, you’ll soon find your style!
7. Plugins Change the Game
To become a professional-level home producer you’ll want to invest in some plugins. Plugins can be viewed as digital amplifiers or digital effects pedals to help you manipulate and grow your audio soundscapes. Some classics include phasers, distortions, echos, and more.
Most software comes with basic plugins installed, but to take it to the next level, you may wish to purchase some higher-level software plugins. There are plenty of websites dedicated to plugins where you can hear demos of them in action before choosing what suits your style.
With these seven tips, you can start to build your home studio setup and develop your recording skills. Don’t worry, you won’t be perfect at first, but you will learn quickly if you really want to. Before you know it, you’ll be uploading albums to Soundcloud!