Recording an Album: Traditional or DIY?
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, itâs now possible to produce listenable recordings in small studios or even in the comfort of your home:
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, youâll 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.
Theyâre also going to take care of distribution and promotion for you. This option can be best if youâve got your heart set on an album, you know youâre 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 youâre 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 thereâs, remember that itâs still a business venture.
Of course itâs possible that one of the reasons you want to self-record is because you donât think your music is profitable, or meant to be. Maybe youâre covering works you canât 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 donât want to lose and your work is a small slice of the market. Obscure doesnât mean bad, indeed this could even be your strategy to getting yourself discovered when you make yourself into an underground hit.
Here youâre 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 youâre really serious about this. Youâll need good quality recording equipment, a place to play with the right acoustics and these days, the right software. Itâs 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.