It’s a good time to be a musician. While professional studios have their advantages, more people are now making music from the comfort of their own home. Thanks to the advancements in technology, making music is now more accessible than ever before. In fact, both ease and accessibility have helped birth an entire genre. CNBC’s article on bedroom pop details that easy access to high-quality music software has paved the way for the rise of bedroom pop. This DIY movement is only the beginning, as artists like Clairo have taken the same approach to music-making and become a huge success.
If making music is something you’ve always wanted to do, now is as good a time as any to start. Now, we understand if you’ll be needing a little help along the way as this is probably something entirely new to you. Luckily, we’ve put together some tips to help you record your first album or EP.
Get the Gear
While going low fidelity (lo-fi) is certainly an option, it may not always jive well with the sound that you’re going for. This is why making sure you have the proper equipment is important.
Luckily, one of the things you need comes free with most computers. If you are making music at home you will need a good Digital Audio Work Station (DAW), as they are one of the biggest contributors to the DIY music-making scene. With it, you’ll be able to create instrumentals and backing tracks for your songs. If you’re on macOS then your computer already comes with a free one in the form of GarageBand. If you’re using Windows then Ableton Live Lite is your best bet.
The other thing you’ll need is a good mic. Now, you don’t want to go overboard with this as all you’ll need is something to accurately capture the sound of your voice. For this we recommend the sE Electronics X1 A microphone. The sE Electronics X1 A’s biggest draws are its pristine clarity and natural sound, allowing for a blank slate due to it not sounding overhyped or overproduced. What’s great about this mic is that you can also use it with live instrumentals as it comes with a -20 dB pad switch that helps extend the dynamic range, which helps it stand up to the sound of booming drums and electric guitars.
Keep the Noise Down
Nothing’s worse than a perfect take being ruined by unwanted noise. Now, soundproofing your room is out of the question as that’s simply too costly. However, there are things you can do to help keep noise out of your room.
One quick and easy way to keep sound out would be by installing weather stripping on your bedroom door and windows. While it’s usually used for cold weather, weather stripping goes a long way when it comes to keeping unwanted sounds out of your room.
Take a Break
Creating your first EP is a stressful endeavor and the last thing you want is to feel burnt out while recording it. Fast Company highlights how burnout can make being creative harder, which will affect the quality of your final product if not addressed. One thing you can do is to take breaks. Put on your favorite album, read a book, or watch a movie. Do everything you can to replenish your creative juices and you’ll come back to your EP recharged and ready to go. Remember that one advantage of recording your EP at home is that you don’t have a deadline to work too, so move at your own pace to get it right.
Once you’re done with your EP, you’ll need help promoting it. For more information on this, check out our article on ‘Promoting Music: A Beginner’s Guide as an Indie Artist’.
Written by: Jamila Byrone