Studio Quality vs. Home Studio Quality
A lot of artists are spending time at their home studios recording, mixing and mastering. While this is can be efficient and more cost effective, the most important aspect that people forget is sound quality.
All Electronic or “In-the-Box”
While it may not be necessary to go into a recording studio for music produced “in-the-box,” the one thing that you may be missing out on is mixing in an environment designed for room acoustics. You get to hear what the track really sounds like in a room that has been properly treated.
Live Instruments or Vocals
It is recommended to go into a professional recording studio to record live instruments. Not only do you get access to top quality microphones and pre-amps, but you will also get access to the room acoustics in the live room which can be much different than the room acoustics designed for mixing. These live rooms can provide a natural reverb to your music so you don’t have to do as much processing in the mixing stage. The other thing that people do not think about is soundproofing. Everyone thinks about sound going out, but no one thinks of sound going in. Next time you try to record at home think about how many times you may have gotten the perfect take only to hear a helicopter or a car horn honking in the recording.
After the record is recorded the mixing stage begins. Perhaps you recorded some live instruments in a studio and plan to save some money mixing at home. While this works, my recommendation is to A/B your music to another source. This will help ensure you are on the right path, however, if you have bass build up in the corners or sound reflections you could get an altered mix.
It is recommended to let someone else master your music. Not only does this give another set of ears on the material, it gives you a break from the song. At this stage subtle treatments usually need to be added to get it to professional levels. Mastering engineers are experienced veterans. There are a lot of tools out there that can take a mix from soft to loud and people will call it mastering, but professional mastering engineers can hear things you may have missed that need to be fixed.
Sharing Your Music With the World
The time comes to share it with the world. Radio, managers, press contacts, fans, and booking agents. This is the number one rule: if you didn’t take a professional approach to recording your music, why would anyone in the business take the time to listen professionally? Treat your music as your baby, and if you want people to listen, make sure it competes with today’s current standards.