Posted: Mar 19, 2018
**Guest post written by Cassie Steele, content editor for GuitarFella.com.
"Since 2014, indie artists have been on top of the US music industry thanks to the growth of music streaming, shared playlists and the continued power of YouTube. Major music labels have continued to lose their grip during the era of Rdio, Pandora and Spotify as music streaming services continue to grow in popularity and in comparison FM radio continues to decline. While many successful indie artists are still tied to big labels for distribution purposes, many are seeking alternatives in terms of recording and producing.
We are living in the age of the home recording studio with especially indie artists producing top-quality tracks with inexpensive gear. While creating a home recording space to produce your dream indie album can be time and energy consuming the end result will be well worth it, especially if you want to achieve the best sound possible without sacrificing your artistic integrity. While many solo artists and bands alike are becoming increasingly frustrated with recording at professional studios, many more are turning to professional home recordings that offer better results as long as certain technical issues are considered.
By plugging your mic or guitar directly into your recording interface you may be left with a sound that is very transparent and lacks the volume and warmth required to make it a great indie track. Plugging your guitar or mic into a preamp first will immediately add the desired dimensions to everything you record. It is important to keep in mind that the preamp’s output will require a balanced audio cable such as a TSR or XLR. Don’t attempt to connect the preamp to your audio interface with just an instrument cable even though it will physically fit.
While research has never hurt anyone, trial and error have proven to be the best teacher when it comes to home recording. Most contemporary home-recording audio interfaces are very user-friendly and don’t require a lot of time and effort to learn at a core level. Start by simply experimenting and develop your own base knowledge.
There are many top-notch tutorials available online that will help you maximize your chosen audio interface. Don’t try to take in all the available information at once as it could overwhelm you and make the task of engineering your own great tracks seem daunting.
The importance of a good condenser microphone cannot be reiterated enough. Any indie artist mastering his own recording must make this purchase a priority as it will enable you to record acoustic instruments and light percussion (among other things) in addition to vocals. These mics can also be used as a room microphone to record drums. If you have to start buying separate mics for all these different tasks your wallet is bound to take a severe beating with the results not differing much to that obtained from using a singular large diaphragm condenser mic.
Many indie artists will turn to professional engineers to master their completed tracks. While most experts offer great services at increasingly affordable rates they are no longer an essential part of the recording process. Mastering software is relatively inexpensive, very user-friendly and effective. The various components of the mastering software, such as the Reverb or Compression units can be used to tweak individual tracks within the recording, giving the software significant purpose beyond just mastering the final tune.
There are many reasons to opt for home recording over a professional recording studio. If your artistic expression is important to you, you might want to consider recording your own music instead of signing to a label or having your tracks mastered by professionals. Recording at home does not have to be a fall-back option. You can optimize your home recordings as a very effective first-choice for making music and you are bound to not only enjoy the process but save a lot of money while doing so."
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