If you’re on a budget, but still looking to get your recording done so your fans can hear you music, we have some tips to help make home recording a bit easier on you.
A good microphone coupled with a good audio interface is the very foundation of a good recording. You don’t need a $1000 mic, but a decent microphone will do the job. The audio interface needs to have clear preamps and introduce minimal noise in the recordings. Your recording software needs to be good, so that there are no latency issues. Take some time to know your gear well before starting to record. It’s important to understand the equipment that you will be working with.
The mic has to be placed at the right distance from the mouth to capture the full sonic range of the audio. As a rule of the thumb, start with 9 inches of distance. Too near, and there are chances of capturing breaths and pops. Too far, and the vocal will sound boxy and weak. You also need to use a pop screen so that the breath and explosive “b” and “p” sounds can be filtered out. These pops and explosive sounds are very difficult to fix later on. A very inexpensive way to make a pop filter is a piece of panty hose wrapped over a hanger. No, we are not crazy. We have actually tried this before and it works.
You need to decide in advance what recording formats you want to use. The best format to use for recording is either wav or aiff. Use 44,100 Khz and 16 bit settings for best quality You can always go higher than this is needed. It is always advisable NOT to record in mp3, as the format cannot capture the entire pristine spectrum of audio frequencies. But if you have to record in mp3, record at no less than 320 kpbs.
You want to make sure your recording levels are good. It’s okay to do a few practice runs until you get the sound right. Play around with it. It will make your life easier if you get it right in the beginning as opposed to if you’re still fumbling around with it through each song. If you make a mistake while recording, it’s ok to retake it as many times as you need until you get it right. Not everything can be fixed in the mix.
You want to make sure all of your instruments are in tune together. The best way to do this is to tune before every song and share a tuner. By sharing a tuner, you are all tuning to the same set of standards.
Common sense; While recording in your home, make sure your cell phones are off. If you have the AC or heat on and you know when it kicks on it makes a noise, turn it off while you’re recording. You want to eliminate any unwanted noise in your recording space that will never be able to be taken out of the mix.
When you’re recording your tracks, record them without any effects. It’s easier to add an effect onto a specific track when you are done. It is harder to edit out anything that sounds funny when you’re done. It’s always the best option to start with a clean recording and add whatever you want after.
[Reprinted From: http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/]