With the state of the music industry as it is
today, many, or I should probably say most independent musicians
attack the process of recording their record on their own. I have stated before that
engaging the services and expertise of a professional engineer and
music producer can be the best thing musicians and bands can do when
they have put all the material together and are ready to go into the
recording studio and record their album. However, I have also stated
that this can be an expensive process and a lot of artists just do
not have the budget for this.
Over the years I have worked with many artists,
record producers, and recording engineers, in the studio during the
music recording process.
If the budget perimeters prevent you from hiring a well known
and professional music producer and engineer, and you’re basically
doing it all on your own, most likely in your own home-grown
recording studio, here are some very important tips and a guide for
the DIY Album recording process:
* It’s probably a good idea to put
together a ruff-up live demo of the material you plan to record. This will help you to
ascertain the best and worst parts of the songs.
rehearse all of the songs – even more than you are considering
recording – Work on arrangements to come up with the strongest songs
and parts possible.
Make sure everyone knows all of their parts like the back of
their hand. You should
be able to play all of the songs in your sleep.
* USE A
CLICK TRACK – The flow and tempo is extremely important. The drums drive this rhythm
– so make sure everything is perfectly in sync.
Beginning the Recording
* Make certain everyone is in total tune
Go through this process as if you were on stage in front of a
thousand screaming fans – record with emotion. Worry about the technical
aspect afterwards. This
can always be adjusted.
* Punch in whenever possible as
opposed to repeating parts.
It can be easy to burn out.
* Put the focus and
essence of what your music is all about. If you are primarily a vocal
band, place a lot of emphasis on the strongest part of your
* Record The rhythm first, over dub the other
parts. Don’t worry
about effects – You can add them later.
* Don’t over do
it. Spread out your
sessions. The old
theory of remaining in the studio for 12 – 14 hours per day is
another good way to burn out and not be
* Make rough demos of every session
progress. Review it
quietly in your own time and space at various levels and machines –
such as your car or ipod.
It is important that you do not rely on the loud level from
the studio to critique your product.
* When it comes time to
mix – bring in a couple different sets of ears. Other musicians or friends
can be a great second opinion.
You may be too close to the music and recording to detect
deficiencies that other may pick out.
The Final Process – Mixing and
* As stated above it’s always a good idea to
have alternative opinions.
Bring in other musicians. Although – too many opinions
can be difficult to deal with.
Simply put all the opinions in place – then leave it alone
and move forward on your own.
* View the production as one
finished piece or as a whole.
Don’t focus too much on particular instruments. Everything should be mixed
equally correct to ensure the overall sound.
* No matter
where you mix – please use the same speakers as you used in the
studio. If not you’ll
be easily befuddled at how different everything sounds.
* Mastering: For optimal sonic
superiority, I highly recommend that you engage the services of a
professional mastering engineer for this process. The new ears and expertise
of a great mastering engineer can make or break your product.
There you have it – Just a few basic tips for recording a
great CD. I will go
into more technical detail in future articles. Best of luck.
©2016 Ken Cavalier All Rights