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Recording Tracks On Your Own

Updated: Jul 28, 2020

If you know the basics about recording it's possible to record even on a very modest system. Some musicians will record the tracks on their own and bring them to me and mix and/or master. You may be able to save on recording costs by either partially or completely recording your own parts. I've had many clients record more involved instruments in my studio and record the basic individual tracks at home. More often than not a drum set is recorded in the studio as it often requires multiple microphones and interface inputs. Many basic interfaces only have 1-4 inputs which is enough for individual tracks or overdubs but not usually enough to fully capture a modern drum sound.

If recording at home pay attention to the sample rate and bit depth of your interface. I typically use 96 KHz sample rate and 24 bit depth. While I can import almost any type of file into my system it's generally good to record at 44.1, 48 or 96 KHz with a bit depth of 16 or 24 bit. Those are industry standards.

Eventually you will have to import the files into another system so take note of the tempo and any tempo or changes throughout the song. Always try to perform with a metronome click track or some kind of drum beat to be sure you are in time. Some songs have changing tempos, even if very slight. Most DAWs allow for custom tempo maps. Often it's helpful to create an audio click for the song and export it to help with synchronization in another system. This can save quite a bit of time when working with a song that has multiple tempo changes.

Lastly pay very close attention to the tone and listen for any electrical hum or noise that may picked up during recording. This could come from an un-grounded instrument, cheap cable, home wiring issue, bad power, etc. If there is noise in the recording it will likely become amplified when processing during mixing requiring specific audio software to mitigate and minimize the problem. Sometimes it works but it's possible the track may have to be re-recorded to correct the issue.

Keep in mind any MIDI sounds you use or FX plugins may not transfer to my system. You will have to print or bounce any external hardware synths, virtual synths or tracks plugins before bringing them to mix. If I don't own the plugin or synth the sounds won't load on my system. This should give you some tips for preparing to transfer your tracks to other systems. If you have any other questions contact me at Craig

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