Guide for home recordists:
Many home recordists run into the problem that they don't like the results they are getting. When I first started recording I had this problem with everything I recorded. Every time I finished a song I would be very excited about it until after I listened to it enough to realize that the sound of it was simply not up to the standards of the songs I was comparing it to on the radio or on CDs.
When I made my first full length CD, I solved this problem by getting a very expensive education from a Grammy winning engineer at a hit producing studio. It took me about five years of working with experienced pros plus independent education and experimentation to get to the point where I could make a recording on my own that sounded "professional" to me.
Many home recordists are good at recording tracks that will work to make professional sounding recordings. Where they often fall short is after that: editing the tracks and mixing them. Editing means eliminating everything from each track that sounds bad and/or altering (or "effecting") everything that sounds bad until it sounds good. Mixing means making all the tracks work together so that the final mix is sonically equal to or better than any of the individual tracks.
Mixing is not easy. There are always sonic conflicts that create a combination muddiness, harshness and other doo-doo (technical term). A poorly mixed piano or guitar part can make an otherwise good vocal sound bad. The hardest part of the process is isolating the exact nature and frequencies of the conflicts and using surgical equalization, compression and other tools to resolve them.
I find that a lot of home recordists would like help with this and I am happy to do it. Mixing is my favorite part of the process.
Another problem home recordists have is that they want their songs to include tracks of instruments they can't produce well enough for their tastes. Many recordings are destroyed by taking a perfectly good guitar/vocal track and putting lame bass parts and drum machine tracks on them. We can fix this.
If you would like to make home recordings that sound like professional recordings, I suggest you follow the steps below:
1. Make a list of the songs you want to record. Make a project sheet for each song. This can be as simple as a piece of paper or a google doc with the title of the song at the top.
2. On each project sheet, under the heading "Tracking step A," list the tracks you want to record yourself (or have already recorded), for example: guitar, piano, vocal, etc.
3. Next, pretend you have an unlimited number of session musicians at your disposal. Then, on your project sheet, under the heading "Tracking step B," list the tracks you would like to add to each song such as bass, drums, piano, sax, strings, etc. in order of priority.
4. To get a free consultation, send me an email briefly describing your project and any questions you have. Attach or append your project sheets so I can see them. Include a phone number and the best time to reach you. I will call you with a free consultation.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Copyright © 2010-16 by WM Bromfield
Page updated February 12, 2016