The release of my new album, I Have A Dream, has been the center of many recent conversations. "Where did you record it?" is almost always the first question. Well...I did the whole thing in my home "studio." Yep, the office in my house. Just a room. And it was awesome!
Access to the top recording equipment and spaces, the best producers and engineers, and whatever money can buy is still recommended (I was short on the latter). These labels often lead to greater exposure, thus sharing our music with more people. At the same time, a good quality microphone and recording interface (in my home, it's my iMac with Logic ProX (the software used for recording), a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB interface (how I connect my microphone to the computer), and Ear Trumpet Lab's Louise microphone) can pass for a debut indy project. Before any of this, however, write good music.
First, I scratch out a rough take on my guitar and vocals with the tempo clicking in my ear. This sets the stage to layer the rest, or "multitrack." Using this "scratch" as a guide, I record my rhythm section - in my case this is the guitar and bass parts and anything else "rhythmic," such as a mandolin chop, harmonica, or banjo part. At this point, I like to add the vocals - all of them - from the lead to the harmonies. Finally, I fill in any solos or other production ideas, like a string section or synth pads.
This last step is often the "design-build" phase. I enter a project with a general idea of how I want it produced (i.e. start with just guitar, add percussion on 2nd verse, drop everything out at the last chorus, etc.), but when I begin doing these things, additional or completely different ideas often pop to mind. Because I am in my home studio and limited only by my imagination, I pursue many ideas. It's Free - costs nothing but time - and what is our time for if not to create joyous music for others.
Thanks for listening, Friends.