Monday, November 3, 2008

Home Recording Tips, Learned the Hard Way

1) Save often.

2) Make sure you're comfortably in front of the mic and can reach the mouse/keyboard. Slightly repositioning yourself to set up punch-ins can noticeably change your tone.

3) Tell your wife when you are about to hit record.

4) Take time to pet your cat before you start, so they don't come asking for attention mid-take.

5) Save often.

6) If patience is a virtue, be the Pope.

7) Give yourself some breaks, and try not to obsess.

8) At a certain point, it's not going to get better, you're only wasting time.

9) Play less.

10) When layering several guitars, find a distinct tone for each based on it's role in the song. The same tone on top of itself just gets muddy.

11) Save often.

12) Learn how to use your equipment, inside and out.

13) When all else fails, reboot.

14) Learn the part, then press record. Doesn't work as well the other way around.

15) Sometimes, it just doesn't sound good. Chalk it up as a learning experience.

16) Try to figure out what time your neighbors get home from work (if you live in an apartment).

17) Save often.

18) Getting the part right is always easier than editing pieces together.

19) Before you say, "I can fix that." and move on to the next part, make sure you can actually fix it.

20) Learn to use what you have. You'll never have the ideal equipment, but many times the best results come unexpectedly by not being able to do what you think you need to do.


Alex Athans said...

Great tips. I especially like "save often."

I had a Tascam 4-track when I was 16 and I used the hell out of it. Good times....

Paul said...

Excellent list!

I've lost my share of work by experimenting with new VSTs that were unstable enough to crash my DAW.

My favorite is: "20) Learn to use what you have." I think far too many musicians get into the mental trap of "I can't make good music until I can afford to buy (something)." Even bargain bin gear can sound pretty good, if you learn to use it instead of wasting time dreaming about what you can't afford.

KevOz said...

I like this list, too. And as Paul mentioned, #20 is great. I've been using the same keyboard workstation (Yamaha SY77) for 19 years this March...and I even managed to fit in some Mattel Synsonics Drums (from '83!) on my "Digital" release last year. I love working with what I have and coming up with new sounds. It never gets old, even with "old" equipment.


Anonymous said...

21) Save often.

tb said...

Well said. :)

Adrian said...

3) Tell your wife when you are about to hit record.

BWA-ha ha ha!! Right on!

[hits record, halfway through part, finally nailing it...]

[door opens] Wife: 'Honey can you...'

"Honey": 'awww ffff******CK!!!'

Wife [meekly]: 'oh... sorry'

[Defeated face]