How it should be done.
We will assume that you have set up your home studio and attained a capable level of effeciency on whatever instrument / s you have
choosen, and move on. Here is some solid advice from one musician -
- The first things you need are enough GOOD songs that you're comfortable with other people hearing them. You need to remember that your reputation is on the line and people will want to listen to your music before they buy it.
- If you are reading this, than I'm assuming that you don't have enough money to pay for studio time. That's okay, because neither do I. Personally, I record my music onto Sony Acid Pro 6.0. This is a good program for only a few hundred dollars. there are cheaper programs out there, but I haven't been able to find one that can help me produce the quality product that Sony Acid has helped me create. Save your money and start with a quality program. If your music started out bad, than it will still be bad no matter what program you use, but at least you will have the tools to improve and evolve into the musician you want to be.
- Don't be discouraged by a few songs not coming out the way you wanted them to sound. I have that problem almost every time I record a song. The best advice I can give anyone is to focus on your strengths until you improve your weaknesses. For example, if you can't play guitar cleanly and fast at the same time, than keep it slow and creative. If you can't sing high notes, than focus on the lows. As you evolve into a more creative musician; you will learn what you need to work on and how to work around your flaws.
- Now that you have the program; it's time to record. I like to start with a drum track, then layer a couple of guitar tracks, some bass or keyboard, and record the vocals last. Sometimes I change the order of this, but this formula is what I'm most comfortable with.
- Now that you've recorded your song, you need to listen for ways to improve it and make all necessary adjustments.
- I suggest writing many extra songs and model the album after your best songs. I recorded over 100 songs and I kept 23 of them. These weren't all my best songs, but they fit well together when played in succession. I started out by eliminating all the bad songs. Out of 124 songs, I only thought 61 of them were good enough to put my reputation on. My favorite songs in this CD are 'Necromancy', S#!T Kickin', and 'Hooray for Genocide'. I had to make sure that these three songs were on the album and I chose the rest of the songs by how smooth I could transition the album and still include a few stand out tracks.
- Now that your CD is recorded, fine tune it until you think it is perfect, but you do need to know when to stop. It will never be 100% perfect in your mind and you can edit a song to death, but there must be a time when you decide that you've worked hard enough and you are satisfied with the end result(otherwise your music will never see the light of day).
- After you finish recording, send it off to a professional mastering engineer. I used on online company called 'Channel Fuse Media' and they did a great job for only $99.
- While your music is being looked at by a mastering engineer, you need to develop some artwork. You can hire someone to do this or you can try it yourself. I'm not a great artist, but I still, somehow, came up with an eye grabbing logo to put on my cover. Look all around you for inspiration and if you aren't an artist, at anything other than music, than keep it simple. I got the idea for my logo by watching a vicious dog bark. I pulled out my camera phone and kept snapping pictures until I got a good view of it's teeth. I uploaded the picture onto my computer and I traced the teeth and drew some blood. I looked for the most appropriate font I could find and I placed it in the most appropriate manner that I could imagine. I didn't want to make things to complicated, since I was out of my element, so I put my drawing on a black background. I messed around with my artwork until I got it right.
- Now that your artwork is complete and you received your music back from the mastering engineer, listen to the reference CD supplied by the mastering engineer and make sure they did the job right. If they didn't, than have them redo their mistakes. If it sounds good, than send it off to have your CD manufactured.