Schools Training

Recording an Album: Traditional or DIY?

23 JAN 2013
Career Path : Audio Engineering

Many musicians dream of recording an album. While that was once only possible with costly recording studio time, these days you have many more options reflecting changes in technology. As well as the traditional route, it’s now possible to produce listenable recordings in small studios or even in the comfort of your home:


Going Traditional

There are still plenty of reasons to go the traditional route. That means making a demo recording and sending it off to production companies to see if any of them like your work. The advantage here is that you get to rely on years of industry experience. If your audition passes muster, you’ll have the expense of a professional grade recording included in your contract. A graduate of an audio engineering school with lots of experience will do the mixing for you, or even change up the instrumentation and give your raw creativity some polish.


They’re also going to take care of distribution and promotion for you. This option can be best if you’ve got your heart set on an album, you know you’re good but you also not adverse to changing your product up to follow current music trends.


The DIY Route

There are also plenty of motives to keep everything in house. One good reason is if you’re friends with a skilled audio school graduate, or if you know sound inside and out. For example if your body of work depends on your time in a DJ school and you mostly deliver up remixes, the work is done for you. With a friend, whether the audio equipment is yours or there’s, remember that it’s still a business venture.


Of course it’s possible that one of the reasons you want to self-record is because you don’t think your music is profitable, or meant to be. Maybe you’re covering works you can’t sell for a profit, for example as an act of fan loyalty or as an academic exercise, like as a final project to show off in audio engineering school. Or maybe you have a distinctive voice or effect you don’t want to lose and your work is a small slice of the market. Obscure doesn’t mean bad, indeed this could even be your strategy to getting yourself discovered when you make yourself into an underground hit.


Here you’re going to need to know your stuff really well. There will be no music director to shave the bumps down, or microphone veteran to straighten out your mistakes. You may even consider a stint in audio school yourself if you’re really serious about this. You’ll need good quality recording equipment, a place to play with the right acoustics and these days, the right software. It’s true you can burn copies of your product onto CD at home, but for mass distribution, you should probably consider making them available as a digital music file.


Regardless of what you pick, one can only hope you have the best of luck with your creative project.



Visit Trebas Institute for more information on DJ school.