Indie musicians! How much did you pay at the local music production studio the last time you visited? Or maybe you haven’t gone yet. Do you have a CD? Have you been wanting to record one, but just didn’t have the time or money? Wish you had your own music production studio at home, where you could take your time and not worry about racking up fees at a commercial studio? Well, what’s stopping you?
Before you answer, let me guess. You know that “audio engineering” is a massive and complex body of knowledge that people go to expensive schools for. So you believe you have to obtain that entire body of knowledge if you want to record. Why not let the pros do what they were trained to do?
How did I do?
Was I close? If it wasn’t the assumption that you have to learn too much to be able to set up and record on you own home studio, it may have been another mistaken belief that you’d have to spend loads of money to get the stuff you need just to set your home recording studio up. Well if one or both of those beliefs are reasons you don’t act on recording from home, I have doubly good news for you.
Let’s start with the good news, and then I’ll tell you the other good news;). First – You don’t need to obtain the entire audio engineering body of knowledge in order to record your music. In fact, I estimate you don’t even need to know 1/100th of that material! Why? Because you aren’t trying to be a professional audio recording engineer.
You’re trying to be a professional musician! Let me put it this way. Do you need to understand how to build a computer in order to use one? All you need to know are some basics, and away you go! The same is true for audio recording!
More good news
Now for the other good news. Not only do you not need to spend boat-loads of money to get the stuff you need to start your music production studio, odd are you already have it! Yup. If you have a computer with a sound card, you already have the main components. All you need is recording software (which you can get for free!) and a microphone.
The software I refer to is called Audacity. It’s open source and amazingly powerful, especially for the price;). You can learn all the basics you need with this software, including multi-track recording and audio editing.
As for the microphone (or “mic” for short), this may be considered quite controversial by some purists, but I say start out with a humble plastic PC mic, which you can get for about $5.00. Once you learn to wring the best possible audio quality from that thing, you’ll be able to get the most from any mic you buy thereafter.
It won’t sound fabulous, but you will be amazed at how good you can make it sound with the right techniques. Then your next mic should be a USB mic like the Samson Q2U (not the headset kind!), which you can get for about $59. Your audio quality will be loads better than the PC mic.
So basically, if you’re a musician and have wanted to record from home, but haven’t acted due to belief in bad information, excuses are over! If you’d like step-by-step video tutorials on setting up and using your studio, come visit Home Brew Audio and find a site that wants to teach you only what you need to know to record and produce audio from home. HBA aims to use language and terms anyone can understand to make it fun and fast to learn professional quality music production.