How to Record Music at Home
Updated: Nov 1, 2018
In 2008 I finally procured a specialised computer,with the necessary hardware and software plugins to begin the journey of recording music digitally at home. I had no idea of the expedition that I’d be venturing into, and it reminded me of what it was like when I first learned an instrument. In that same year, the cyber mutation of web 2.0 was exploding through social media sites like My Site, Facebook and blogs. In fact, Dooley, J.A., Jones, S.C., Iverson, D.C., (2012) discusses that growth (through Technorati - a search engine for blogs), increased from 133 million in 2008 to 450 million in 2010(users). Despite the fact that there are literally hundreds of sites devoted to home recording(my approach is that there is not one specific way/process to record music. What I can comment is how I undertook a mammoth project of recording 11 songs to a professional level with a world-wide release through major streaming services and music related sites.
I remembered day-dreaming at age 18 of recording an album of songs with my friends and releasing it. I’m interested in sharing this experience, what and how I did it, and under what circumstances I took the choices I had (acknowledging that I’m a full-time employed dad and near completing an IT degree part-time). I was lucky in that I had good people around me to consult in areas that I’d had no training, for examplethe science of microphone placementby Sigismondi, G., Waller, R., Vear, T., (2014) provided excellent technical know-how. In essence I planned, managed and recorded most of the instruments, including vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass, and drums/percussion (also in electric format). I also made sure that each of the performing musicians had up to date versions of mp3 files to listen to, and scheduled recording sessions at my house (studio) to record their parts.
In this blog I don’t focus much on actual mixing and mastering as that requires a whole different trained skillset that centres on pedantic, and hyper-critical decision-making choices based on sonics, levels, and overall textures. (See some examples posted since September 2018 in twitter– Pereztroika J, 2018)
I should emphasise that my blog topics focus on my researched and advisedexperience through the recording of the above instruments, including the process of choosing a suitable microphone and musician based on the song/ music. I hope you enjoy it.