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