If you’re an aspiring musician or independent artist, you might be wondering how to record your own music at home through a DIY music production process. By doing this, you could potentially save a lot of money, time, and effort that goes into producing a song.
In the 21st century, there’s an app available for just about everything, including the music production process. There are new software and production gadgets that now exist to make it a lot easier for hopeful, young musicians to get their content across to the masses.
In the past, the process of creating a music track was arduous. But now, you can record your own music and involve yourself in the music production process from home!
So let’s get into how you can do just that!
For the intents and purposes of this manual, we’ll have to assume that you have a laptop or desktop computer. If you don’t have one, go out and buy one, and then continue reading.
Got it? Good.
While you can record your own music using a smartphone as well, this article will mostly focus on computer technology.
Now before you start downloading virus-prone software or buy some unnecessary technology, let’s first take a look at how you should approach the process of how to record music at home.
As an aspiring musician, it’s vital for you to take a look at the basic overview of the equipment you should have before you can start producing your own music. Once you get a basic understanding of these steps, recording your own music will be a lot easier!
Step 1: Install your Sequencers/DAW
The software you use is what truly takes your music to the next level! This is your first priority when you begin your foray into the music production process!
Sequencers, or Digital Audio Workstations (DAW), are the software that allows you to actually produce your music by recording, mixing and mastering the track.
These might be expensive to afford, but free DAWs exist as well (such as Cakewalk by Bandlab). The price varies from hundreds of dollars to completely free of charge. This software, when combined with the high quality of laptops and desktops we have available today, is capable of mastering the music production process.
Beware though. This is a tough step, and it might be difficult for you to understand how the more technical aspects of this software work before you start to record your own music.
You’ll be able to find tutorials, such as this one, which teaches you how to work Cakewalk by Bandlab. Similar videos for the DIY music production process are available all over the internet.
Keep in mind!
Each DAW comes with its own version of each different effect, e.g., delay, reverb, compression, etc.
Step 2: Recording your Sound
The way you choose to record your sound is very important. You need to have a microphone or a recorder of some form. But I’m guessing you already knew that.
The kind and quality of your mic will impact the recording. There are several you can choose from; tube mic, condenser mics, etc. Find out which is the best pick for you!
If you can’t really understand the purpose of each different kind of mic, you can also use the pre-installed mic inside your laptop or desktop. But don’t expect to have awesome sounding quality that way.
If you’re using a microphone, you’ll also need to use a microphone cable, otherwise also called an XLR cable. A 15-30 ft. cable shouldn’t cost you more than a few dozen dollars.
Step 3: Audio Interface
How can you get your audio interface working?
You’ll need to connect your AC (wall plug) and your USB cable. Hopefully, by this point, your computer will have recognized your device. Whether or not it does depends a lot on the interface you’re using.
It might not recognize the device, and you may have to install drivers. These should be available on the CD that comes with the hardware. Don’t worry if they’re not there! They’re accessible on manufacturer websites, and you can purchase them there.
If all goes well, your audio interface should be running in no time, and your foray into the music production process will soon begin!
Step 4: Installing your Keyboard and Pad Controllers
These provide a lot more versatility in your music production process than that provided by your desktop keyboard and equipment. Some MIDI keyboards and pad controllers are equipped with mixing tools which can help you balance your sound out.
There are several MIDI keyboards and controllers available in the market which you can purchase to help you record your own music. Ideally, you want one that’s easy to use and control, as well as one which gives you space to create fun tunes and experiment with your sound as an independent artist.
Step 5: Installing plugins
You might not necessarily need a plugin if you have all of this equipment available to you. But if you’re wondering how to record music at home that sounds amazing, installing a plugin could be your answer.
Plugins result in easier audio processing and sound synthesis. There are plugin production companies like iZotope which create innovative plugins to help edit audio. It provides more room for experimentation through more sound and editing effects.
Step 6: Check for Levels
By now, your software and hardware should be compatible and functional. Make sure that you check for levels on your mic. There is no one process to do this. Checking for levels depends on the software you’re using.
Make sure you check for levels in a way that is compatible with your mic and software.
Some extra tips for musicians on how to record music
- Make sure your room tone is all set. You should keep tabs on it through the entire music production process.
- Make sure your hardware is all set up correctly and adequately secured. The last thing you want while recording is loose equipment.
- You’ll have to weigh the pros and cons of recording levels through either auto or manual settings.
- Make sure someone is monitoring your recording through some headphones!
- Take external and internal noises into consideration; the hum of appliances, the gust of a strong wind, the sound of a stray cat. Even something as little as the sound of a spontaneous beep from your computer can throw off your recording completely.
There you have it!
Recording music at home is no easy task. It can be arduous and difficult, particularly if you’re a beginner musician who is not well versed in its technical workings.
However, as tough as it might seem, it truly is a blessing for aspiring musicians and independent artists alike to be able to record music at home.
Are you going to use these tips to record your own music?
Let us know in the comments!
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