Seven recording tips for your next independent music project

Recording tips for your next CD project

So, you’re ready to record your band’s next independent release and are looking for some pointers.

 

Here, from Disc Makers’ Jason Ojalvo, are seven things to keep in mind while planning your next (or first) foray into the world of sound recording.

 

  1. Set realistic goals: Ojalvo suggests deciding first on the size and scope of your project. Are you after a CD to sell at gigs, to distribute to friends or for nationwide or even worldwide distribution?
  2. Set a realistic budget: The kind of recording you hope to produce and what you want to use it for will to some degree determine the budget as well. (For example, an album and packaging fit for national airplay and distribution will cost more then one you plan to sell to fans at local performances)
  3. Pick the right studio: Ask other bands who they would recommend. Choose studios and producers who have created recordings you would like to emulate. Interview studio engineers and producers and ask for samples of their work to be sure your goals and their approach are a good fit.
  4. Come prepared: Know your material, record rehearsals to identify problem spots, make sure you’re well rested and prepared to do your best.
  5. Make the right choices: Picking the right microphones, choosing whether to plug your electronic instruments direct or mic the amplifiers, creating the right mood for the best performance, planning out track arrangement and effects—all will have a huge impact on your final recording.
  6. Know what you want: Be sure the recording you leave with sounds as great on a simple car stereo as on those high tech studio speakers and evaluate the sound against recordings you admire
  7. Master mastering: Decide what format is right for your project (DAT, one-off CD, PMCD, reel-to-reel tape, or 1630). Hire a professional mastering engineer to give your final recording that professional sound.

 

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3 Comments »

  1. […] Here are some more recording tips from independent Nashville based Renaissance Recording Studio’s John Wheeler. […]

  2. 7thLevelMaster said

    Will you be posting the best ways to bootstrap the CD covers and burn actual images onto the CD’s. I get complaints from customers that the colors on the covers look off and I’m trying to get them to look more real. I can usually sell to people that aren’t as savvy, but other buyers tend to figure out I’m selling bootstraped copies. Thanks for any help you can give me!

  3. Hessinger said

    You are, I believe, referring to bootlegging, an illegal activity in which you copy other people’s recordings for resale, a practice we at n10ah definitely do not condone. Bootstrapping, at least in a business sense, is the technique of starting a business, or in this case a website, with no financial backing in the hopes that someday it will generate enough revenue to support itself.

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