You may be reading this title and think, “Isn’t he giving away the store by telling people to record at home?” The answer is, no. In fact, there are many reasons why I recommend that artists have a home recording studio:
- Ain’t no thang. Unless you’re going to spend tens of thousands of dollars on your home studio, the average indie artist is unable to design and build a studio, and afford the gear needed to capture sounds at a comparable level of quality. I’m not worried about being replaced. But I do have ulterior motives…
- Better Songs. For a relatively small investment on funds, a home studio set-up will help you turn your “voice notes” recordings into larger, more developed ideas. By improving your demo recordings, you will see your song-writing itself improve. I can vouch for this, personally. The microphone is a microscope, giving you a very up-close view of each of your songs. You will know what needs to be improved or removed from your songs long before you hit the studio.
- Better Prepared. Unless your mom was a session player in the 80s, the recording studio can be a very foreign, intimidating environment to any musician. Sure you play gigs all time. Sure you jam as a band in the garage all the time. But how often do you rock out with headphones on, with a metronome clicking in your ear, surrounded by microphones that literally pick up the sound of your rapidly pulsing heart? Never. On top of that, you have the pressure of the ticking clock – reminding you that you’re spending a pizza every time you have to “run the song again” because you messed up your part! Well, the only way to get good at recording is you – you guessed it, practice recording at home. After a month of recording vocals or guitar in your bedroom, I guaranty that pesky metronome will become as normal as your resting heart rate and that super sensitive mic will no longer scare you away from taking performance risks.
- Recording is more fun. If you’re better prepared before you come to the studio – you’ll actually get to take advantage of all the tools available in a professional studio. When you work more efficiently, you will have you more time (and money) to explore creative ideas in the studio. Instead of running out of time, you may just run out of ideas – which is the better choice every time.
Now that I’ve convinced you WHY you need a home recording studio, stay tuned for my next article when I outline WHAT you will need for a home studio.
A good article on the web about studio monitor setup. Checkout the askaudio cats. Great articles over there.
After doing several recording projects for clients, I realized how important a budget is for making an album.
An album budget can help an artist determine:
- Where you record
- How many songs and which songs you record
- Who you hire to produce, mix and master the album
- Who you hire to perform on the album
- Who designs the album artwork
- Who takes the album photos
- On what medium you release your album (digital only, CD, cassette, vinyl)
You get the idea – there are a million decision to make along way in making a great record and most of them (at the independent level) in one way or another are decided by money. An artist must recognize that decisions with monetary implications can dramatically affect the QUALITY of their final output. For example – if you go ahead and decide to make a 10-song album versus say, a 5-song EP, you may get more songs on the album but what if that means you can’t pay for a good mixing engineer, leaving you with a 10-song album of songs that sound like you mixed them in your bedroom (’cause you did). Maybe it’s better to spend more per song – and release a smaller quantity with better quality. These are factors you need to consider before heading into the studio.
With this in mind, I’d like to share a free tool with you called, the Recording Project Calculator. Built in Microsoft Excel, it’s a pretty simple spreadsheet designed to help you plan and budget for you next recording project. I would especially draw your attention to the Cost Per Song numbers. This factor can be very helpful when determining how many songs to record.
Without further ado, here it is. Simply click to download it. Recording Project Calculator