Music production can be INSANELY costly. Especially when you’re just starting out and are trying to pay the bills while producing music. However, making music is a passion and something that can’t be stopped by barriers surrounding money. So for that reason, we’ve put together a list of affordable and easy to follow music production tips – to turn your music production session into a hassle-free and enjoyable experience.
1. Create A Home Studio
First on our list is creating a home studio. There’s no reason to spend thousands of dollars when you’re just starting out. The main reason, there’s a way to create an awesome home studio for next to nothing which will still work great!
Pick a room in the house to record that isn’t overly large but also isn’t as small as a closet. Hang some sleeping bags, blankets, and rugs around the room you’re recording in to make the music sound drier. You can even place a blanket over the microphone stand and keep it in place with clips or pegs.
2. Position Yourself and Your Speakers in the Right Place
You never want to be directly in the middle of the room since it can cause a large dip in your basses and throw off your sound completely. Try standing on a side of the room (especially if this is where you set up blankets) to get the best sound. Be sure to check your mix on headphones to be sure you’re recording sounds solid.
Remember to place your speakers in a way that captures the sound accurately and will not affect playback. You should aim your speakers across the longitudinal axis of the room and be sure to keep the bases even. Pro tip: don’t be tempted to raise the EQ to level out the issue you might be having with bass.
3. Remember to Tune
Tuning in crazy important! Over time, your instrument can become untuned due to weather, knocking up against something, and even just playing it. We prefer GuitarTuna (on the app store) since it helps tune our guitars, as well as our basses in an easy to use app. However, if you’re using recording software, most DAWs will also come with a tuner to use.
4. Monitor Your Volume
Now it’s time to get a little technical. Check your analog device to see what signal levels your device can handle (most are slightly above +15dB VU) and build in a safety margin by setting the average signal level to approximately -15dB to prevent accidental clipping and loud signals during mixing. Remember, keeping the signal strength at a reasonable level will help with post-production. We also talk about this more in our Audio Engineering 101 article in case you want to learn more.
5. Use Your Headphones to You Advantage
Headphones are an essential tool of any music producer. Handy for listening to tracks without waking up your neighbors at night and for listening to the specifics in your music, this mighty tip will save you tons of hours in the long-run. Make sure to pick up a pair that has split functionality so you can hear what the left speaker picks up through the left side, and hear what the right speaker picks up through the right headphone side. Open-back headphones are what we recommend for an accurate mix.