How to Record Music like the Pros by ILE Records
Introduction Every aspiring singer or musician, if he wants to share his music with others and strike a record deal, needs to learn the best way to record his music... and do it well. You could sound great playing live but, by using the wrong recording equipment, the final result might not do justice to your talent.
In this presentation, we will see what tools to acquire and how to best leverage their power to ensure that they all add to your "sound" rather than detract from it.
Recording Methods First of all, you need to decide whether you're going to record live with your group or record every instrument and vocals on their own (what we call "multi-track"). Depending on that choice, you will need different set-ups. While the first option might be the best for a band as it necessitates the least amount of work, here we will mainly focus on the second as the majority of artists work straight from their room (or/and don't always have access to musicians). We will give you tips for arranging your small home studio or show you what to pay attention to when selecting a studio where to record.
Voice Recording Getting good quality vocals is a matter of choosing a good software to record as well as a good interface. But not just that... If you need to invest in reliable brands for equipment, you also need to learn how to use it. Mic placement is almost as important as its choice. So, make sure that it's isolated from other sources of noise and that it's located far from the walls or any other reflective surface. You can also use accessories such as pop shields for even better results. In the end, you want to make sure that your voice is captured with the least amount of external interferences as possible.
Voice Recording For your choice of microphones, even though there's different models, sizes of diaphragm and price ranges, you can never go wrong with the following brands: –
MXL As for recording software, there really is no contest. While some people are happy with their copy of Cubase, Pro Tools is what true professionals of the industry use (Logic comes as second best).
Music Recording Once you have your vocals down, you'll have to face yet another choice. Will you use pre-recorded sounds to build your track or will you record original music with instruments? While the second option is obviously the best, you need to either know how to play the guitar, the drums, the keyboard, etc. or know people who do. Also, going down that road will turn out to be a lot more time consuming and costly, especially if you record in a professional studio. If you're on a budget, you don't need to hire musicians and spend your every last dime. You can rely on Pro Tools and its huge sound database to build your music.
Music Mixing Whether you go to a professional to do the mixing with a board or use your computer software, the principles remain identical. First you will want to mix with 2 tracks so that the sound coming in the left ear is different from the one coming in the right (stereo effect). This will add a level of depth to your music. Drums are the element that brings the rythm and sets the tempo. That’s why you’ll always start your mixing with it. Continue with bass guitar and vocals, but make sure to center those so that they’re evenly distributed in both ears. When adding guitars and keyboard, use reverb and delay to make the whole sound "rounder". You can also experiment with other effects but don’t overdo it.
Mastering Mastering is usually done by an engineer and consists in preparing the track so that it can be listened to on all types of audio systems. While not compulsory per say, mastering will make your song sound clearer and more professional by balancing the frequencies and adjusting every component.
EQ processing and compression are also part of the mastering process and contribute to the portability of the audio file.
Conclusion You can make music for yourself or your friends and still call yourself an artistâ€Ś but if you want to step up to the plate, you will have to record yourself and let everyone know about your passion. We hope that this presentation has made the whole recording process clearer and that it gave you the will to follow through and start spreading the word about your music. Come on, the world is awaiting!
Want to learn new ways to bring your music to the next level? Visit ILE Records at: http://ilerecords.com/?page_id=7