Thanks to the abundance of recording equipment on the market right now, you can record anything you like from your own home. That opens up music, podcasting and more to anyone who wants to get involved. As you’re recording from home though, there’s some common mistakes that you’re most likely making. Here’s what to look out for, and how to improve your work.
- Not Checking For Background Sound
In a professional recording studio, background sound is something that you won’t need to consider. As a home recorder though, you need to think about what the listener can hear in your recordings. You don’t want background sound such as the AC rumbling or the traffic outside getting in on the action.
Typically if anything like this happens, you’ll need to do another take. It can be time consuming, but it’s worth it to get the clean audio. You can take some steps to soundproof your space, too. For example, you can hang noise reducing blackout drapes on your windows, and place a soundproofing strip under your door.
- Keeping Your Equipment Packed Up
This is a difficult one, as of course you’re recording at home so space is at a premium. You may pack up all your equipment when you’re done so it isn’t in the way. The problem is, if you want to start recording you have to get it all out and set it all up. It’s time consuming and annoying for you.
If you can, try and keep it set up in your home. Some have a closet that they use, with everything inside it. When they are ready to start recording, all they have to do is open the door. If you can’t do that, having a corner of a room dedicated to your equipment also works.
- Using Too Much Compression
This is a mistake that so many people new to recording make. When they mix their own tracks, they use way too much compression and it damages the overall sound.
Instead, use a light hand on the compression on your tracks. You’ll see that a little goes a long way and you’ll get a much better sound.
- Putting Too Much Into A Track
As you have full creative control over the track you’re making, you’ll be tempted to put everything you can into it. Why not add in that third guitar or that sample? It feels like the more you can put in, the better your track will be. However, as the saying goes, less is more.
That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t throw everything at the wall when you’re recording. Try out everything when you make the track, and then comb back through it. You can edit out anything that you feel doesn’t contribute to it as a whole, and make it less crowded.
- Not Using Guide And Click Tracks
Want to record by just hooking everything up and starting to play? You can do that, but you’re not going to get a polished end result. You should take the time to create guide and click tracks first, as they will help you keep everything in place and create structure before you start.
A guide track will include a demo of the song, with markers for where each part should be. The click track will keep the tempo of the song so everything stays on course. Make these first, and they’ll make all the difference.
- Recording Your Levels Too Hot
What does this mean? You may have been advised to record as hot or loud as you can without clipping. In the days of analog recording, you’d do this as it created a warmer sound. These days though, this doesn’t work with digital recording. In fact, you can make the sound worse as computers don’t handle sound the same way.
Instead, you’ll want to record at around 50%. This gives you the best sound without damaging the sound, so you can get the best takes.
With this advice, you’ll be able to get the very best out of every recording you make at home. Try these tips and you’ll see the quality of every track you make drastically improve.