Home Recording Studio Tips
and Techniques

If you own a home recording studio, I have lots of great tips to help you achieve that big sound. We'll cover everything from setup, to tracking, to mixdown.

Whether you are a beginner or you have been doing this for a while, you'll find valuable information you can use to make great-sounding recordings.

There is a lot to learn in the world of music production, but just like anything else, practice is the key to improvement.

I learn something new with every recording I create, so I spend as much time in my home recording studio as I can.

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home recording studio mixing board faders© Martin Fischer | Dreamstime.com

If you record regularly and use some of these recording tips, you will find each song you produce sounds better than the last.

In a very short time you will be astounded by the sonic improvements in your demos!

Here are some of the many ideas you will find within these pages...

  • Guitar recording techniques.
    I've learned that producing huge-sounding guitars and driving bass all starts at the source. If you want your rhythm guitar to really punch through the mix, try turning the distortion down and double-track it. Adding a third track recorded with a different amp setting and mic placement will thicken things up nicely.
  • Lead guitar recording techniques.
    When recording lead guitar try using a slightly different approach. Maybe use another guitar, and definitely a different microphone placement. There are many ways to get your leads to stand out in the mix.
  • Acoustic guitar recording techniques.
    These tips for recording acoustic guitar will help you to produce some great-sounding acoustic tracks.
  • Make the vocalist feel comfortable.
    Generally speaking, singers are sensitive by nature. Making them feel more comfortable will guarantee you a better-sounding track. So put the kettle on!
  • Vocal tricks.
    Make your vocals cut through and stand out by double tracking the chorus and lowering the volume of the double about halfway. Also a little early reflection reverb will give it depth.
  • EQ tips.
    To make each instrument sit well in the mix you need to carve out a place for it. Do that with EQ. When your instruments aren't fighting with each other, everything will sound much bigger.
  • Glue your tracks together.
    You can use effects such as reverb and delay to bring everything together into the same space. Try slapping a little room ambience across all tracks using a stereo bus.
  • Miscellaneous recording tips.
    From checking your mix on different speakers to giving your ears a break, these subtle tips can make a world of difference.

If you're planning to build a home recording studio, it doesn't have to cost you a fortune. There are so many amazing products out there and the cost of getting into pro audio recording has fallen to a fraction of what it once was. The home recording studio or "project studio" is now the rule rather than the exception.

Here are a few things to consider when planning your studio:

  • Choosing a recording system to suit your budget.
    Whether you choose a high end computer to run the latest Pro Tools system or a standalone digital recorder, there is something out there that will suit your needs.
  • Sound treatment choices and placement.
    Rectangular rooms don't work well for recording and mixing. Some simple, strategically placed studio foam can go a long way toward making things sound sweeter.
  • Best all-around microphones.
    You'll be better off selecting a few good inexpensive mics than one $1500 vocal mic.
  • Comfortable and practical studio furniture.
    If you're like me, you will spend a lot of time hunched over your mixer. Make sure you pick a comfortable chair, and a desk that's the right height with plenty of room for your gear.

Do some research and decide what you really need before you buy.

Remember, however, no amount of expensive gear can take the place of experience.

A good recording engineer can make a good-sounding demo on a cheap 4-track tape machine.

With study and practice, so can you. But you won't have to because these days there are so many better alternatives!

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