Category: Record Music

The Right Recording Studio for Your Music

The Right Recording Studio for Your Music

By NationWide Source - Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Make no mistake: finding the right recording studio for your band is vital to coming out of a recording session with something that you are proud of. When choosing a studio, there are many variables to consider. Here is a primer for finding the right recording studio for your band:

Equipment

The equipment at recording studios can vary greatly. Go with a studio that has the support you need. If you need AutoTune and various Daft Punk or Chemical Brothers tricks and effects to get the sound you’re looking for, but you’re holed up in some spare room with just a microphone and a stool, you probably didn’t choose wisely. Learn what equipment is needed to get your desired sound, and find studios with that equipment.

Ambiance

Don’t let anyone rush you into a session before you have had time to get inside, examine, and get a feel for the studio. Musicians are sensitive to subtle and subjective things. If you have a bad feeling about a studio’s vibe, don’t ignore that. It may be a perfectly fine studio… but not right for you.

Proximity

When looking for good recording studios, consider how easy it is for you to get there. Famous musicians may travel far and wide to record their albums, but is this something you can afford to do? If you don’t have the funds or time for travel, find the best studio in your area that you can easily get to. If the best fit for you is far away and you can travel, ask the studio for recommendations or options on places to stay.

Reputation

Another factor to consider in finding an amazing recording studio is word-of-mouth recommendations. When interacting with others, especially fellow musicians, mention recording studios. You might be at a concert, talking with random friends, or even on a music message board when you discover your perfect recording studio.

Resources

There are a lot of great resources for finding recording studios and the best part is you don’t have to scavenge all over unfamiliar urban territory and dead ends to do so. Online resources like Studio Referral Service, The Jam Stop, and Indie Music Digest are just three of the many websites that can help you find the best recording studios for your particular needs.

If you have used a recording studio, how did you pick the right one? If you used an online source to find it, would you recommend the source to other artists?

See also: Recording Studios: The Process




3 Comments
...Keep Reading
Recording Music: Essential Equipment for a Home Studio

Recording Music: Essential Equipment for a Home Studio

By NationWide Source - Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

The music industry is constantly changing. One of the more recent changes is the ability to produce high-quality recordings without using a multi-room million-dollar studio. Equipment for a home recording studio can be very reasonably priced. Check out these core pieces you’ll need to get started:

A Computer

When choosing which computer, answer these questions: do you need to be able to do mobile recording? Do you want to use an Apple-based or PC-based DAW? Your answers will determine whether you check out laptops versus desktops, Macs or PCs. This will be an expensive piece, so choose wisely.

Digital Audio Workstation

Once you have a computer, you need to choose which Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) you want. This program collects all the audio recordings, hosts and translates the midi into instruments, and mixes the recording sessions. Pro Tools ($699) and Logic Pro X ($199) are two of the most popular, but there are many that are close behind, such as Cubase ($499), Studio One ($99-$399), and an excellent free program called Reaper.

Interface

You’ll need an interface for the analog (microphone) to digital (1s and 0s) conversion. If you plan on recording drums or multiple instruments at once, look at interfaces with at least 8-channels. Presonus’ FireStudio Project ($399) is reliable and recommended. If you are doing a lot of programming and only recording one instrument at a time, you should look at 2-channel interfaces, which run about $100.

Microphones

There are a million microphones to choose from. For a good and flexible option, consider a large cap condenser. It can be used to record vocals, acoustic guitars, guitar cabs, and more. Two examples are Sterling ST-51 ($99) and Studio Projects C1 (used for $120).

Headphones and Monitors

Finally, to listen back and mix what you’ve put together, you’ll need either headphones or mixing monitors. If you can’t get both, choose the headphones, as they can also be used to allow people to listen to click tracks or previously recorded tracks while recording.

Starting a home recording studio can be expensive, or it can be as simple and inexpensive as the core pieces listed above. You can save further money by buying used instead of new. Either way, if you set up a quality studio and have the skills to back up the equipment, you could make your money back by offering your studio services to other musicians.

Weighing the pros and cons of creating a home recording studio? Read more hereHave you already set up a home recording studio? What is your favorite essential equipment?

See also: Performing vs Recording: A Musician’s Focus, Recording Music: Pros and Cons of Creating a Home Studio, Music Recording Equipment: The Best Microphones, Music Recording Equipment: Finding the Right Headphones, Music Recording Equipment: Digital Audio Workstations.




4 Comments
...Keep Reading
Recording at Home

Recording Music: Pros and Cons of Creating a Home Studio

By NationWide Source - Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

In terms of convenience, comfort, and flexibility, it can be very beneficial to set up your own home recording studio. If it’s not done well, though, it can waste your time and money. Here are several factors to consider before making an investment and setting up your own studio.

Budget

How much can you really afford to spend on your home studio, and is this enough to create a proper studio? Are your band mates chipping in (and who retains ownership?), are you fundraising, or are you funding it solely? If you’re just wanting to skip the cost of using a professional studio, you might not come out ahead by creating your own. Weigh the costs carefully.

Space

Find a dedicated space that is big enough for multiple people, their instruments, and the recording equipment. Make sure the space has good acoustics, that there is no echo in the microphone, and that there is as little external noise as possible.

Equipment and Software

Do some research and create a list of essential equipment. Are these items something you possess already, or will you buy them? And, if you buy them, are you buying them used or new? Top-of-the-line or budget-friendly? Don’t limit yourself to mics and cables; consider amps, speakers, headphones, instruments, drum machines, samplers, computers, software, etc.

Choosing the right program or combination of different programs is very important. Cubase, Logic, Ableton, and Avid are popular choice for many in the industry. MIDI controllers give you unprecedented control over recorded music as well as let you create new beats, songs, and loops.

You can think outside the box a bit. For example, an iPad includes the music production software GarageBand, and the device can (with the right applications and in the right hands) replace very costly equipment such as drum machines, samplers, and synthesizers.

Use

Consider how much use your home studio will get. Are you just using this space for yourself or your band? Is it to record one song, one album, or numerous albums? Recording music for other artists can ease the financial burden of creating a studio, but you still have to put in the time.

In the end, a home recording studio can be a great investment when done correctly.

Have you created your own recording studio? What advice do you have for those considering doing the same?

See also: Performing vs Recording: A Musician’s Focus, Music Recording Equipment: The Best Microphones, Music Recording Equipment: Finding the Right Headphones, Music Recording Equipment: Digital Audio Workstations, Recording Music: Essential Equipment for a Home Studio.




7 Comments
...Keep Reading
Focus Your Time: Performing vs. Recording

Performing vs Recording: A Musician’s Focus

By NationWide Source - Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Should you start recording or keep performing? This is an inevitable dilemma for any musician who wants to promote their music, but it shouldn’t be a hard one to figure out.

Thanks to the plummeting cost of recording technology, it’s easier and cheaper than ever to record and produce a demo of your music. The rise of social media platforms and online content has pressured many artists into thinking they need music available now. Before you book a studio session or rush off to craigslist to find discount microphones and a bootleg copy of ProTools, consider the following:

Why do you want to record your music?

Are you sending press kits to venues, trying to book shows? Are you sending demos to record companies? Have your fans been begging for recordings of their favorite songs after you rock a show? If you answered yes to any or all of the above, it might be time to think about recording.

Did you come up with your band name last week and finally finish writing your second song today? Don’t even think about recording—yet. It’s just not time. Your sound will inevitably change and, hopefully, improve as you continue honing your craft. Focus on developing and polishing your sound. Keep rehearsing, and take every opportunity to play in front of real people. Build your music portfolio and your fan base. When you have a cohesive, well-rehearsed set that you have played for cheering crowds, you can consider recording.

Can you make the time for recording?

Recording a song well (by yourself or in a professional studio) can take days to weeks depending on the circumstances. It’s a serious time commitment and requires patience and skill to produce something desirable. Can you take time off from work, rehearsal, gigs, and your personal life to get this done?

Who will do the work?

Whether you visit a studio or record your own music, recording can be a frustrating and creativity-killing process, especially if you’re inexperienced. Using a professional studio can reduce some of the stress, but it can also be a pricey investment. Are you willing to take on this task? If not, have you found a studio you can work with?

Keep quality in mind.

While it is important to give fans access to recorded music, do not record your songs on a whim under less-than-ideal circumstances just so you have something to put on your website, MySpace, or BandCamp page. Remember, a sloppy recording can hurt you just as much as a well-recorded demo can help you. If you can’t do it right, it’s probably better to wait until you can.

If, after considering these points, you’re ready to record, congratulations and good luck! If you need more time, don’t be discouraged; you’ll get there soon enough.

Have you made the transition from performing to recording? How did you know the timing was right? What advice do you have for artists considering recording their first album?




9 Comments
...Keep Reading