If there was a Home Studio Corner mantra, it would probably be “get it right at the source.”
Maybe I’ll get that tattoo’d somewhere…
Anyhoo, most of the tutorial products I sell teach you how to deal with the audio once it’s already recorded. Things like editing, EQ, and Compression.
But there’s a HUUUUUUUUUGE step to the process that comes in before you should ever THINK about slapping on an EQ or compressor. And that step is called recording.
It’s that ever-so-crucial step that comes between pre-production and editing. And if you want to have a great-sounding mix, you MUST record great-sounding tracks.
THAT’s where today’s question comes in.
You may be thinking to yourself, “Okay Joe, I get it. I need to get it right at the source, but what does that mean? How do I actually DO it?”
I’ve got good news and bad news.
The good news is this — you CAN get amazing-sounding tracks in your home studio. There are a bajillion variables and lots of obstacles, but if you have a lot of passion, a little bit of talent, and a whole truckload of patience, I promise that your recordings can, over time, get better and better.
The bad news is this — it ain’t easy.
Take me, for example.
When I first started out recording, I would spend hours upon hours with a microphone and a guitar, DESPERATELY trying to make the guitar sound like it did on my favorite albums. I knew next to nothing about audio. I didn’t really know how to use EQ, so I didn’t use it. I certainly had no idea compression even existed. All I knew was one thing:
I wanted this recording to sound good.
And so? I recorded…and recorded…and recorded.
Since I didn’t even know the word “mixing” existed, I didn’t even have the option to try to fix it in the mix. If I recorded something, played it back, and it didn’t sound like I thought it should sound, I deleted it and recorded again.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
I was “getting it right at the source” long before I knew I was suppose to.
And the lesson for you here is this. Developing a skill takes time. It takes effort. It takes lots of repetition. And it takes patience. But where there’s a lot of passion, patience seems to be in abundance, too.
Enjoy the process. Spend time with your instrument and microphone, and learn how to make it sound like a million bucks without a single EQ.
Will you be frustrated? Absolutely.
Will you want to give up? Regularly.
Will you get better recordings over time? YES.
There’s no secret “trick” to it. I don’t have a specific mic placement I use that guarantees a great-sounding recording. What I do have is a desire to make the track sound great. While all these plugins and other pieces of gear try their hardest to distract me, I regularly come back to the fact that I love music, and I want to make amazing recordings.
I need to revert back to teenager Joe, with a microphone, a guitar, and nothing else.
P.S. If you want to learn how to record everything from live drums to guitars to a 7-person choir, all as a part of the recording process for one of my songs, then click on this link and become a Production Club member:
I’ll teach you everything I’ve learned from my many, many hours of recording. In return, you’ll be better equipped to make great-sounding recordings in YOUR studio with the gear you own RIGHT NOW.