Tips for beginners on home recording

If recording at home is something you are used to, it can be daunting. Almost all creative acts are now restricted to the home environment, so musicians don’t have much choice.

It’s good to know that today, more amazing music than ever is being recorded in the homes of musicians. You don’t need to have a large budget or a lot of technical knowledge in order to record professional-quality songs at home.

It is important to practice and develop your skills to improve your production and engineering. Here are some tips for those who are new to DIY home recording.

Install instruments and equipment only before the session, not during

In general, recording sessions take longer than expected. There are many things to consider when recording at home. You have to be aware of the instruments, recording gear, and human element. It is almost certain that something will go wrong.

If you have enough time before the session, you will be more engaged when you are ready to track your parts.

DIY home recording quickly teaches you that there are only so many hours in the day to spend on your work. These precious resources can’t be wasted! You’ll waste them by putting out a fire or setting up the equipment during your recording sessions.

The setup time for more elaborate recordings, such as those with drum kits, full bands, multiple microphones, and lots of overdubbing, will always be longer. It’s fine; we have all the time you need right now. Before you attempt to record at home, make sure that you are familiar with basic audio recording equipment and DAWs.

Select and mark a place to be recorded in

Your basement, bedroom closet, or shared dorm will not be able to match the sound quality, feel, and fidelity that a professional studio can produce with equipment worth tens of thousands of dollars. Do you need to have the scale and power of Led Zeppelin, with 200 musicians? I doubt it.

By doing some basic things, you can transform your home studio into an area where you can record professional-quality recordings. Let’s start with the basics.

It is important to turn off noisy appliances and furnaces, remove pets and roommates from the home, and reduce outside noises. If necessary, hang heavy curtains or blankets, place towels between the floor and door, and remove anything that may “rattle.” Even reasonably priced mics will pick up noises from the environment and distort your recordings.

Second, select a place in your house that is ” dead,” in other words, one that does not have a lot of reverberation or slapback. Recordings with large rooms, high ceilings, tiled floors, and many windows are noisy. Small, carpeted spaces with low ceilings and few or no windows are better.

If you can, cover your walls with fabric and wood panels. If this is not within your budget, you can cover your walls with inexpensive foam panels and blankets. If you are working in a small space like a closet or another small space with a confined area, hanging sweaters and clothing can be incredibly helpful for recording vocals.

If there is no place like this near you, consider building your own DIY vocal booth. The internet offers many options.

Do you record yourself or work with others?

If you are doing all the work yourself or if you have a second person helping your DIY experience will be very different. Working with a second person is not the same as recording your sessions.

Multitasking is a challenge. Often, you’re doing all of these things at once: engineering, performing on stage, producing, editing, etc. You’ll also have to change your perspective about the music that you make. It can be not easy to judge which takes were the most effective and played best. You may also find it difficult to be objective when deciding which ones to keep and which to throw out. When it comes to making difficult choices, it can be hard to separate the performer from the producer.

Self-recording can take longer for these and other reasons, but some musicians enjoy the intimacy of DIY recording. Plan accordingly, whether you record alone or with another person.

What works?

Remember that audio engineering takes time to master. It is not something that can be done overnight. You will find things to be proud of and areas you can improve on.

Pay attention to the results of your first attempts. Don’t worry if something doesn’t go as planned. It’s perfectly normal. Spend time trying to figure out the reason and then work on fixing it next time. This habit will allow you to build a long-term, productive home recording practice.

Many musicians find recording tedious and difficult, whether they are recording in a professional studio or at home. If you want to create great recordings, you’ll need to give stellar performances. This takes practice, and you will have many takes before you succeed.

Listen to your recordings and decide what you like and what needs improvement. You can use the same patience and discipline that you developed when learning to play an instrument. Best of luck!

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