It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that we've entered a new golden age of music.
This article has been written by guest blogger, Via Cane.
Now, we aren't saying that the quality of music in recent years exceeds that of the years that came before. That's not for us to say, as the quality of music is purely dependent on taste and differs for everybody. However, there's no denying that recent years have given us an unprecedented amount of new material from new artists coming from a multitude of genres. For this, we have streaming services such as Spotify to thank, as they've helped transform the music industry by making it more accessible than ever before.
Another factor that has led to this is the rise of the DIY movement when it comes to producing music. The Independent highlights how bedroom pop artists, such as Billie Eilish, Rex Orange County, and Clairo, have paved the way for a new generation of musicians by breaking away from traditional recording practices and record labels, and taking the process into their own hands. Indeed, with today's technology, it's now possible to produce songs (or even an entire album) from the comfort of your bedroom. If this is something you're interested in doing but have no idea where to start, read on for some tips on DIY recording for beginners.
First things first, there will be essential equipment that you'll need to start recording your first track. Considering this is a guide for beginners, we'll try to keep it as barebones as possible.
To kick things off, you'll need a good Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). This is where most of the work will be done, especially if you won't be using any live instrumentation in your track. If you're on macOS, GarageBand is a decent option, but there are also plenty of free DAWs to choose from online.
While you may opt to use your laptop or computer's built-in microphone, this may not cut it if you're looking to get high fidelity vocal recordings. The Rode NT1-A has a crispness and focus that is perfect for recording vocal tracks. And while it's optimal for acoustic pieces, the mic can hold its own against the backdrop of heavy percussion instruments and electric guitars as well.
Lastly, plugging an instrument or a mic straight into your recording interface is never a good idea as it will lose a lot of its depth. To fix this problem, simply plug the mic or instrument into a preamp first to get a clearer and more succinct sound.
Your Space Makes All the Difference
Now, one major difference that your bedroom or room will have from a professional studio is that studios are built with sound in mind. This means that the overall acoustics in a recording studio is simply just better than your average room. However, there are ways to get around this without completely breaking the bank.
One thing you can do is to put heavy curtains on your windows to keep sound from the outside world from disturbing your recording. Adding a store-bought diffuser can also go a long way to improving the quality of your recordings. If you're up for the task, Popular Mechanics details how it is possible to make a diffuser from scratch!
Limits of Postproduction
This last tip is more of a reminder about the limits of post production. Post production isn't some magical solution that you can resort to when you're unhappy with the music you've recorded. This is doubly true when you're starting out and only have a basic understanding of the software you'll be using. Be sure to be happy with the tracks and parts you've recorded before proceeding to master the tracks and your life will become significantly easier.
If you're looking for a little inspiration, check out our piece on Billie Eilish and how she produced her Grammy-winning album from her bedroom!
Written by Via Cane for rslawards.com
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