Whether it's Soundcloud, Spotify, or YouTube, today's budding guitar heroes face many platforms where they can display their work and gain fans and credibility. Something they can, with a little luck, leverage into a full-time career. Of course, part of establishing a following on such sites is providing the best quality recording of your music for fans and potential fans alike to listen to. Luckily, that is a topic you can find out all about in the post below.
Learn how to use your recording software properly!
Overwhelming! That is what it can feel like to try and work out how to make the perfect recording when you first begin. However, there is no need to shuffle around in the dark, or on your own. The reason being that there is a massive wealth of knowledge and information you can access to help you.
Your first port of call should be investing in a book that details the program you are using. Beware of the ones that cover every little detail, though. The reason is that they can quickly feel like too much to get to grips with. Instead, you want one that will explain the basics. Yet, will also encourage you to noodle about on your own to get the feel of the software you have.
Once you know the basics, you can then further refine your knowledge by looking for tutorials online. The good thing about these is that millions of them cover pretty much any subject you may need. All the popular software like GarageBand will be there too, so you are bound to find the info you need without much effort at all.
Think about where you will do your recording
Many people have home studios these days, and they can be great places to record a track. However, they are certainly not your only option when it comes to a location to lay down your song.
After all, most people run their recording software on their laptops, so the world really is your oyster. That means you can create fascinating and unique sounds by recording in novel places such as echoing halls, public parks, and even live venues.
Choose the right microphone
It's not just the software you use to record your guitar licks that affect the end recording. Instead, it's a mixture of this and the equipment you choose as well. Of course, the most critical piece of hardware that any guitar player hoping to record needs to invest in is a microphone.
Unfortunately, there are thousands of different varieties on the market. Something that makes choosing the right one a challenge. The good news is that you can save yourself a lot of time and hassle by investing in a single good quality condenser microphone that will work equally well for a range of purposes.
A good condenser like the one you will find here will record percussion, acoustic, and vocals. It can even be used to record drums. Something that will save you having to buy a separate mic for each purpose.
Of course, it goes without saying that the better the mic, the better the sound quality, so be sure to do your research and pick one with the best reviews. If you can get a verbal recommendation on a person from a trusted musical collage or mentor, that's even better.
Make sure your guitar is up to the job
Just like when you are making a recipe, you will include the best quality ingredients, your guitar must be up to the job of being recorded. In particular, look out for dead strings that can mess with your guitar's tuning. Lubing up your strings is a smart move, too, especially if they are brand new. Alternatively, you can go for some nano-coated strings that should be soft as possible to the touch right out of the packet.
Finally, if you want the best quality recording possible, be sure to spend some time tightening up the machine heads as well, as this can stop annoying rattles messing up your track.
Pick a stand for your instruments
You may well be asking what in the hell a guitar stand has to do with recording quality? Well, it's all about being organized and being in control of your performance. Something that a guitar stand can help you achieve.
A robust stand like the ones from Hercules will help you know precisely where each of your instruments is, at all times—therefore making any transition from one to the other a much smoother tool. After all, you don't want to have to go back and edit out the sound of you fumbling with your guitar and dropping it as you make the change in your performance.
Invest in pedals to enhance your performance
Another smart move when it comes to improving the quality of your home recording is to choose pedals that help you create a more exciting and interesting sound, even though it's only you playing.
One great example of this is the effects pedals that allow you to place a delay or distortion on what you are playing. You will find distortion pedals of various styles and makes used to create remarkable effects for all sorts of music, from Heavy metal to Post-rock.
Alternatively, you may wish to consider a loop pedal, a piece of equipment that allows you to lay down bars, and then play live over the top of them. A device that can help you construct an intricate and complex piece of music with many parts, entirely alone.
Finally, some pedals serve other useful purposes, like a drum machine that you can now get. Of course, when it comes to drums that aren't played live, the sound quality is essential. With that in mind, be sure to look for products that create beats that sound as if a real person is laying them down. The reason being that this will give your musical work that extra flair and edge in any recording.
Consider a preamp
If you have been plugging your guitar straight into your interface, you may be experiencing a dull and tinny sound on your recordings. Fortunately, you can eliminate this by getting a preamp. That is, a piece of equipment that your sound passes through before it hits your recording device.
Happily, preamps are a piece of kit that is no longer expensive, as you can see from this post here. Although the tubes they come with are notoriously poor quality. Therefore, it's best to buy one separately and install it yourself before recording.
Mastering makes a difference
There are two options to choose from here. Get some software to DIY master your track, or get a professional to do it for you.
Of course, recruiting a professional is going to be more expensive. However, you will be paying for not only their skills but their expert advice on how to optimize your track. Also, by opting for a professional, you won't have to go through the hassle of learning to use mastering software yourself.
However, if you are looking to save some money over the long term, mastering your tracks yourself can be a great shout. It can also be a very satisfying experience. Especially if, like me, you find all of the techy musical tasks of recording and producing fun.
To master your track yourself, you will need to choose the right software that will allow you to pack as much punch into your recording as possible. The good news is that such things are not as expensive as they once were, as you can see from the rundown here.
The question of monitors
The question is not whether you need monitors on which to playback your track because you do. Instead, the question is whether to spend a small fortune on them or not. You'll find opinions mixed here with some voting yay on super spangly monitors that do everything but make you a coffee and take your calls.
However, there is an increasingly strong trend towards choosing more budget monitors for playing back your track. After all, if you have a good enough ear to note where your monitors lack in their sound profile, you will be able to make up for this in the mixing process without having to remortgage your house for recording equipment.
You can take so many different actions to make sure your recording is the best it can be. Be sure to consider the technical side of things by educating yourself on how to use your software and equipment and which microphone to use.
Make sure you are prepared for a smooth recording by testing and working in your guitars. Also, having a rack to hand if you indoors make any transitions easier and, most importantly, quieter.
Finally, be sure to experiment with different effects and locations to give your recording texture and interest. Then you will be able to add a uniqueness to your recording that will make sure it stands out among your peers' work.