How To Start Making Music That Sounds Good
At this point, your job is simply to get better. You now know that using the software and actually getting your computer to record and/or playback music you created isn’t that hard. What is hard is writing songs that sound musical.
Turns out even those simple pop songs everyone makes fun of aren’t that simple. The first and foremost difference between your music and those that seem simple but still sound good is music theory.
But Everyone Says Get The Shure Sm57
Sure, the Shure SM57 is a great dynamic microphone, primarily because its extremely versatile for recording different types of instruments. It also has a higher SPL level, making it better for recording loud instruments like drums.
However, youll never get that lush, full-sounding vocal with a dynamic microphone that you would with large-diaphragm condenser microphones.
A condenser microphone sounds more broadcast-ready, because of its warm, full-bodied sound. You can record voice-overs, warm vocals for your tracks, including acoustic instruments like violins and guitars.
Generally, a condenser microphone makes a good start because youll be able to tackle more audio and music projects with it.
Installing Your Keyboard And Pad Controllers
These provide a lot more versatility in your music production process than that provided by your desktop keyboard and equipment. Some MIDI keyboards and pad controllers are equipped with mixing tools which can help you balance your sound out.
There are several MIDI keyboards and controllers available in the market which you can purchase to help you record your own music. Ideally, you want one thats easy to use and control, as well as one which gives you space to create fun tunes and experiment with your sound as an independent artist.
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Recording Studio Business From Home: Pros
One of the biggest benefits of running your studio from home is that you won’t have to commute to work, saving you a great deal of money and time. Without a commute, you won’t have to sacrifice your personal life to successfully run your business.
Another benefit of a home studio is that you will not need to spend money renting a space for your studio. You can spend this extra money however you wish, including investing in better equipment for your business.
Working from home can also help you fulfill your family commitments, such as spending time with your spouse or children.
When running your studio at home, you’ll also be able to more easily and effectively respond to client emergencies.
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Essential Item #3 Microphone Cables
Yep, pretty boring, but essential!
Dont spend too much here. If the cable works, it works. You need a balanced XLR cable.
I find that the middle ground is usually best with accessories.
Dont go for the most expensive option but dont go for the cheapest either. You want things to last.
Id check out the Mogami CorePlus mic cable.
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Create A Brilliant Brand
The style of the logo will be down to personal taste and also the type of music you will be releasing. If you take a look at various record label logos, youll find that many of them are quite simple. A lot of label logos are in a square box or circle with the labels name in text. You might want something simple, or you might want something eye-catching. Either way, you should start thinking about style and colour schemes to help your designer.
Try these guys for getting a logo:
- Run a logo design contest on 99 Designs
- Get a budget logo design done on Fiverr
- Create your own using Canva
Know What You Need And Work Within Your Budget
If youre on a tight budget, you can go for a minimalist approach and buy gear thats compact and affordable. As long as it does the job, youre better off starting with the basics. However, if you have more money to spend, you can go ahead and splurge on a more intermediate set of studio equipment.
But before buying anything, its important to set a specific goal.
- Are you taking music production as a hobby?
- Or are you planning to make a full-time living with it?
According to Stephen Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, effective people always start with the end in mind. So knowing the reason you set your studio and visualizing it will determine the type of equipment youll invest in.
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How Much Money Will It Cost
If youre getting started from scratch, one of the first things youll want to know is how much money it will cost. This will depend based on your goals, but if you already have a halfway decent computer or laptop then you can expect to pay around $300 for a basic setup with one decent microphone and everything you need to record your first track.
There are a few things to think about when considering cost. For example: how many tracks do you need to record at the same time?
Its not uncommon to use 6-8 microphones to record a full drum kit. Not only will you need the microphones, stands, and cables, but youll need to have an audio interface that has enough inputs to hook everything up.
Dont think you need to go out and buy a dozen mics just to start recording. You can always start with one or two and slowly build a collection from there. You can even do a great job of recording drums with 2-4 microphones, but more on that later..
Getting Ready To Record
If youve got a grasp of the basics and already own the essential equipment, such as a recording interface, microphone, and cables, then youre ready to record your first track. Lets walk through all the steps to get things hooked up and ready to go.
The very first thing youll need to do is make sure you have the software or drivers installed that came with your recording interface. For now, Ill assume youre working with a USB interface. If youre working on a Mac, you may not need to install additional drivers depending on your interface.
If youve got a Windows-based PC or laptop, then the first thing you should do is install the drivers for your interface either from a CD-ROM if it came with one, or better yet, go to the manufacturers website to download the drivers to make sure that youre getting an up to date, and presumably the most stable version of the drivers.
Setting up Your DAW / Recording Software
There are plenty of options at your disposal for DAW software. If youre on a Mac, then I would recommend either Reaper or Garage Band. If youre a Windows user, you could try Audacity, which is totally free, although I would highly recommend getting started with Reaper.
Reaper is a great program thats easy to use, and also free for 30 days. After 30 days, you can either buy the license or otherwise you can continue using it, but it will make you wait for 5 seconds before the program fully starts.
Configuring Your Interface
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Creating Your Record Label’s Team
When you first start out, you may very well be doing absolutely everything at your record label yourself, but if you want to grow, youll need to recruit a team eventually. Major labels have departments for everything, including A& R, marketing, radio, PR, websites, and more. Of course, you dont need all of these functions right away, but anything you cant do yourself, youll either have to find someone who will work for cheap or perhaps you can hire an outside company to pick up these tasks for you.
Acoustic Foams And Panels For Acoustic Treatment
More often than not, most beginners start with buying expensive gear before considering acoustically treating their rooms or home studios. Although buying acoustic foams may seem like the last thing to do for your studio itll go a long way, especially if you plan on mixing and mastering on your own.
Soundproofing a room, on the other hand, is different from acoustic treatment. When it comes to soundproofing, the goal is to keep the sound from leaking into the outside of your room and vice versa. If you have that extra money to spend, you can, of course, include this item on your list.
In acoustic treatment, however, you are simply controlling how sound is reflected balancing its diffusion and absorption in order to make better-sounding recordings.
The good news is these days companies specializing in room acoustics have room analysis services, in the form of a questionnaire or app, which you can use to analyze your home studio for free. Here are some examples:
Once you get an idea of how to treat your rooms, find a local distributor of these brands in your country and have them shipped to you. You can also buy these items off Amazon if you want something more affordable.
Here are three types of common acoustic panels for home studios:
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Step : Define Your Brand
Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.
If you aren’t feeling confident about designing your small business logo, then check out our Design Guides for Beginners, we’ll give you helpful tips and advice for creating the best unique logo for your business.
How to promote & market a recording studio
This is a âpeopleâ business, so the best marketing results will come from having lots of contact with potential clients in person, asking for their help in spreading the word about your recording studio, and using online social media as well as free postings on Craigslist. Traditional paid advertising is not generally effective for this type of business. Donating services to charitable events and participating in local community activities are two other great options for attract new clients.
Competition in the music recording business is intense, so reputation is everything. Many recording studios become successful by becoming the focal point of an emerging music genre. Use of a recording studio by successful musicians attracts others.
Promotional efforts may include discovering hot new talent, and then producing and recording them. If they become successful, this is a great way to promote a recording studio.
Home Recording Studio Essentials For Beginners
Are you an aspiring artist who wants to build your own recording studio? They say start small, but where do you really start?
Having a home recording studio is something that is now becoming fairly common among music producers, artists, and even hobbyists. The thing about the modern recording studio today is you really dont need much to start producing music.
Thousands of branded studio equipment have now become accessible and affordable more than ever, and the digital age has made it easier with computers and plugins replacing studios.
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Where Do You Start
Home recording is now massively accessible, with a wide variety of options on the market to suit almost any budget and level of experience.
Whether you are looking to create a simple project studio setup in your bedroom, or youve earmarked a room in your house for a fully-kitted out home recording studio recording music on a laptop or desktop computer is easier and more affordable than you think!
Back in the day, even the most basic studio was full of expensive equipment run by bearded techies who knew a lot about the dark arts of science and engineering! These days, however, you dont need a PHD in acoustics or be able to rewire a circuit! All you need is the right equipment and a little bit of background knowledge, and you could have your first demo in a few days!
To help you on your way, weve created a six step guide to give you all the tools and knowledge you need to get your home recording studio started.
Point The Speakers Towards Your Ears
Most speakers are designed to be angled inwards pointing at your ears- not pointing straight ahead.
Also, consider the vertical angle of the speakers. If the speakers arent at ear level, tilt them upwards or downwards accordingly.
Thats it for home recording studio monitor placement.
I realize thats a lot to consider, so dont worry too much if you cant meet every requirement.
To be perfectly honest with you, my listening environment only meets 80% of these needs. You have to make compromises.
Now that your speakers are in the ideal location, you can consider treating the room acoustically.
You can learn more about monitor placement in this video:
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You Will Want To Use Overdubbing
Overdubbing is the practice of recording tracks on top of pre-recorded tracks. Recording a whole band at once can be very expensive and challenging because it requires a lot of microphones , sound isolating panels, and perfectly in-sync musicians. Additionally, audio may bleed from an instrument into the wrong microphone, so you could have the sound of the snare drum on your acoustic guitar track.
Once audio has bled, it severely limits the amount of post-processing that can be done to your mix and prevents your song from having a studio-quality sound. In pro studios, this problem is usually fixed by placing miked amps in separate rooms from the drum kit, but because youre working with a budget home studio, overdubbing is going to be your friend.
You should begin by recording the least melodic component of your song and gradually move up to the most melodic component.
When you start recording from scratch, begin with the least melodic component of your song, such as drums, and gradually move up to the most melodic component, such as vocals. Building a mix this way allows an in-sync outcome and makes it much easier for you to edit the song.
Take Some Basic Lessons
For any business, especially for creative businesses, we need to develop expertise in this particular sector. Without expertise, we cant go long.
Audio recording is not an exception. In this field, only those people go long who have extra skills in recording, music programming, mixing, etc.
So, here Ive listed some of the best courses available online.
Let me explain all these tools to you.
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Are Macs Better For Music Production
Macs run well, crash infrequently, offer a lot of power out of the gate, feature an intuitive interface and design, and live a long time. With fewer maintenance costs, the price of admission is usually worth it. These machines really are perfect for music production and creative endeavours in general.
What Microphone Is Best For Vocal Recordings
There are many different microphones with a frequency response specifically tailored to vocals.
Vocal microphones should almost always have a cardioid pickup pattern. A neutral leaning frequency response is ideal, since you want to accurately capture the voice. When making a vocal recording in your home recording studio, its usually best to use a condenser microphone, like the Rode NT1-A, because its highly sensitive and picks up on treble detail. However, plenty of vocalists use and get great results from dynamic microphones such as the Shure SM58 or the Shure SM7b.
As for placement, your mic stand should be away from the walls of your room, but this matters less if you have premium acoustic treatment. You want to make sure youre not singing with your mouth right on top of the microphone, because this will likely cause it to pick up plosives , fricatives , create sibilant sounds , and fall victim to the proximity effect.
A pop filter ensures your voice sounds free from unpleasant plosives and sibilance caused by pops of air that would otherwise hit the mic capsule.
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Home Studio Setup: Placing Your Monitors
Before you consider acoustic treatment, you need to make sure to organize your room in the right way.
Its easier to start with an empty room. This gives you a blank canvas to work with.
The main thing to consider when designing the layout of your room is the position of the speakers.
When recording, you are mobile . You can move the microphone around the room.
But once you set up your speakers, theyre gonna stay there.
Heres the ideal way to set up your room
Is Mastering Always Necessary
Decades ago, when all studio recordings were intended for sale, everything was mastered.
Today howevernow that many amateur recordings are done just-because
Home studios will often do their own mastering, or skip it entirely. And thats fine.
If all you do is share your music with family and friends, then who cares?
- If you want to record music professionally, or
- If you simply want your work to sound as good as it can
Mastering your mixes is a MUST.
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