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  •  The EvO:R-Pedia Musicians Tips Section

    Welcome to the EvO:R Tips Section. We call this section EvO:R-Pedia because it is like a complete reference library for Indie musicians...Just about every tip has been used so you won't find false promises and a series of books to buy after reading each tip. This section was put here by musicians so that people that followed can take this knowledge and use it's power.

    Digital Home Recording = Patience
    by Drew Vics

    I finished production on my self-released debut CD "No more waiting" in cramped solitude in a 6 by 12 foot studio that I built in the basement of my home.

    One thing I learned through the entire 2 year recording process (hey, I have a full time job, need to pay the bills) is something many professional musicians and recording artists already know: patience is certainly a virtue, but frustration can still take its toll, explosively.

    The do-it-yourself home recording buff always runs into the proverbial wall, and often repeatedly bangs his head on it. The major frustration lies in knowing what we want but not always knowing the best way to get it. If I was recording on tape instead of digitally I'd have miles of the wasted stuff piled to the ceiling in my studio. I re-played, re-recorded, re-edited and re-mixed until I was blue in the face, and that was just for the demos! When I was ready to begin recording for the actual project I decided to do some homework first.

    I will not profess to being a recording studio expert at any degree, I just learned what I could from the best resources I had at my disposal. My goal was to record, mix and master the project as best as I could in my home studio, simply because I didn't have the money to pay anyone else to do it. Okay, I confess, I also love a challenge, and making music is a passion of mine.

    I learned about mic placement for recording guitars and other instruments, vocal recording techniques, and I even made my own pop filter out of one of my wife's old stockings (it had been washed) and a coat hanger, talk about cheap! A good one only costs about 21 bucks.

    I'm not a pro, not yet, but what I can offer the songwriter, musician who wants to make his own recording is just a small piece of advice: take your time, and learn as much as you can before you start. Practice, and play with the equipment you have so you gain knowledge through trial and error. It helps to understand why things happen, so if you make the mistakes and know how they affected the recording you've learned a valuable lesson.

    For those on a budget, don't think you need to spend thousands of dollars to make a decent home recording. I bought and 8-track digital recorder on ebay, got a PC from a friend, bought Cakewalk Pro Audio 9, a sound card and I was set to go. It only cost me about $1000 for all that, materials required for building my studio were extra, but wood and sheetrock cost a lot less than electronics.

    Another key to good home recording is to control your environment. Background noise can kill the greatest mix. If you pay attention you might even hear the phone ring on one of the tracks on my CD. I forget which one, but it was right during a lead, I liked the take so much, and the ring was so faint, that I decided I could live with it. I did subsequently unplug the phone for the remainder of the recording process.

    It would be benefitial to tell others in your house when you'll be recording so they refrain from slamming doors and thumping around.

    Learn from others' mistakes. There are many online forums where home recording aficionados share their knwoledge, and various levels of expertise. Many of the problems we encounter in recording ourselves have been experienced by others and solutions have been shared.

    The internet is a great resource. You can find sound advice from professional musicians and audio recording experts who truly care about the art of recording and are willing to share some of their insight. All you have to do is take your time and browse around. Be specific. If you're looking for a way to solve a particular problem do a search relative to the issue. A generalized search will return too many results, if you target your search you'll find answers much quicker.

    Here are some links to get you going, but remember, these are a few of many. The world wide web is HUGE, there are tons of resources out there, find the stuff that helps you!

    Drew Vics is a singer/songwriter and musician who lives in northern New Jersey. Listen to samples of music from his debut CD release "No more waiting", digitally recorded and mastered in his home studio, http://drewvics.com

    This article is intended as inspiration and advice for the musician and would-be home recording engineer. Anything is possible, you've got to want it.

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