Recording a song is fun to do – plain and simple! Recording yourself is something that makes you sing your heart out. There are a lot of people out there who are using recording tools or apps like Smule, that lets anyone sing like a pro just by using their headphones. However, there are those who want professional recordings which require attention from the experts like music producers, recording engineers and audio engineers, etc. But what about those who are just new to the recording process like Don’t fret! I have exactly what you need for you to become a professional music producer in the convenience of your own room. Here’s what you need to know to make your song recordings awesome at home. Ready? Let’s start by:
Understanding the Music Production Process
As a home music producer – be on learning mode all the time. You are in competition with almost all music producers on the planet! Some are blessed to acquire their music production and engineering degrees at SAE Institute. Some just learned it on their own. One hiccup that you can encounter as a novice is not having enough experience in observing professionals work their magic inside a commercial studio. But, this shouldn’t stop you from learning the tricks of the trade. You must have a good understanding of how the music production process works to successfully record your songs at home. You can even make a name for yourself and be an authority without having to work for the Big Boys of the music industry.
When I started out, I looked for an assortment of ways for my knowledge and experience to expand. It took me three long years of studying, scouring every information I can find on the internet. I enrolled in local and online courses. I took every opportunity to get the information I needed and immediately applied those to my daily routine. My daily routine is – mix, mix, and mix.
Having at least a basic understanding of the music production process is the start to great song recordings.
Music Production – What You Need To Know
Art and Science Combined
The music production process is unique in every shape and form. As an art, it entails creativity, imagination, innovation, inspiration, and vision – all of which contribute to the unique quality of your craft. Best way to observe this is during song recording, wherein your singer should be able to express the emotion of the song while singing– all of which require inspiration, creativity, etc. As a science, the music production process talks about the science of sound, audio engineering, sound design, physics, hardware, and software, among others.
Music Production is a discipline. It has the essential building blocks or methodologies that work as the foundation for your next hit song. Every quality song produced goes through the same key concepts – from conceptualization to mastering – but it is your mixing style that would lend it unique quality.
This is how art and science meld into one product that exudes your personal style and your expertise.
Therefore, we now go to my second point.
Spicing up your song recordings with your own style
Are you into pop rock? Do you like to go to clubs? Maybe you are into Electronic Dance Music. Who are your influences? Do you listen to 80s music? How about the 70s? Reggae music may make you dance the night away!
You spice up your recordings with your signature style. If you are into Reggae music, your recordings will somewhat sound like so. It could be a mixture of two genres you like, for example, Reggae and Hiphop. It could Pop, Rock, and a little bit of Bossa. It could be a marriage of EDM and Rock. Anything goes!
Your style gives character to your songs. It actually creates a signature trademark. When people listen to your songs, will they think that you made those songs? Will they be able to associate the song to the maker/producer?
Your song greatly depends on your thought process. The song creation starts from an idea, which is being influenced by your taste in music. This affects the outcome of the song. As a producer, this is very important because your style impacts the creative flow of the recording process, like with which instruments to use, how many tracks to create, use of backup vocals, etc.
Following the 3 Key Processes of Music Production
You probably know your style, and you cant wait to get started.
Before you get ahead of yourself, you have to understand that there are step by step processes that you need to know and follow, since you are just starting out.
The industry experts tend to skip some of the steps because they have been doing this for such a long time. You have to familiarize yourself with the key steps. The three steps are:
Everything that you need to do in recording a song is captured by these steps. When you are in the process of writing a song, that is part of pre-production. Editing the vocal track – that is post-production. The recording part calls for overdubbing. For each step, there are mini-steps.
So, as a newbie, following the 3 Key Processes of Music Production means that you have to rigorously plan and follow it in sequence.
Yes. YOU HAVE TO HAVE A PLAN. So if you are not a fan of creating outlines, or timeframes, or you may be allergic to planning, then this process may feel unnecessary or too tedious. Besides, some people seem to get away with just winging it, right? Why do you want to limit your creative freedom when all you want to do is produce songs?
What does planning have to do with music production?
Planning makes your workflow smooth. It guides your steps from the starting point to the finish line. It keeps you focused. What planning does to you is to keep your mind steady and saves you from getting overwhelmed or sidetracked.
I remember when I was stumped with a lot of songs to record. I didn’t know which song to deal with first. I didn’t have a plan of attack. It resulted in procrastination, and I found myself too lazy to even get started. My goal to create my very first album in three months’ time resulted in ZILCH.
Through planning, you’d be able to figure out the steps you need to take to reach your goal. Instead of saying to yourself, “I have to finish one song,” you’d say, “I have to finish recording the vocals today, then tomorrow, vocal mixing.” This way, you avoid being overwhelmed and at the same time you get to celebrate mini-victories every time you complete a step. We are talking about some sense of achievement! Yay!
So how do you make sure that you experience these mini-victories consistently?
You have to hit the mini-steps in each process. Consider this your personal checklist.
The Basics of Music Production
First on this list is pre-production. Pre-production is a 4-part process which are:
- Writing a song
- Song Arrangement
- Recording a Demo
Second is the Recording Process. It talks about two things:
- Track Recording
Finally, the post-production process. It has 4 main parts:
- Sound Design
I will talk about these in detail on my upcoming series on the 3 steps of the Music Production process. I am very excited to share with you this valuable information. Watch out for my next blog!
How about you? Do you have ways that you can share to create your song recordings and make them epic? Let me know your thoughts! Please comment below!