Music production is so different depending on who’s doing it.
There are so many things involved: arrangement, instrumentation and pre-production.
For instance, even before you decide to record anything, songs can come from many different directions.
A guitar riff and a drum groove can be a basis for a song.
A chord structure and a melody can become the chorus of another.
And a nice piano line a structure for yet another.
Songs can come from anywhere, and not every band or musician does it the same way. Then the technical side of music production jumps in with the recording, mixing and mastering side.
Where to Start Recording
I’ve heard from people:
“There are so many ways and so many contradictory advice on the web that a clear and to the point simple approach would give a great starting point.
I mean, having a “”Do this, and you will have a good sound”" is much better than “”You can do that, or that, or this, but if you do this, then …”"”
You can get frustrated with starting points when you’re trying to record your songs. Especially if you’re starting out and you don’t know any of the tricks or don’t have the experience to know what works.
The truth is, tons of great sounding records were recorded very differently. There’s no “do this, not that” solution to every situation. There’s only experience and knowing that what you’re hearing sounds good.
But if I had to give you simple starting points, here’s what I’d recommend:
Treat the wall behind the singer to reduce reflections coming into the mic. Then use a cardioid mic to minimize the room sound. Then simply focus on getting the best performance you can. Performance trumps technical perfection any day.
Start with your mic at the sweet spot.
- Acoustic: By the 12th fret.
- Electric: Just off-center of the amplifier cone.
Do it easy and use a DI box. If it’s too try use an amp simulator after recording but save yourself some heartache and don’t bother recording the cabinet.
Use the Recorderman technique. No doubt about it, it’s the easiest mic technique for drums. Especially in bad-sounding bedrooms.
If some of that stuff sounds too easy for you, feel free to experiment. These starting points are great for taking the stress out. From there you can build upon your skills and experience. But for now, at least you know where to start.
For more great starting points for recording and mixing, check out the Strategies bundle:
In there I teach just how easy it is to start recording great tracks with a minimal amount of equipment. I then teach you to take those tracks to a perfectly produced mix using practical and easy production tricks.