The Importance of Good Gear
If you have a very modest budget for recording your music, you can still create professional sounding recordings. But for that you have to know what you need and not what you want – which could be some fancy expensive equipment that you have heard of. Some of the most common mistakes that a lot of music producers make when purchasing gear are:
1. Buying More than What you Want
If you are planning to only make demos or recordings for personal pleasure than there is no point in eyeing a 24 track mixing desk or a Pro Tools HD Rig. You will be better of with a DAW like Logic Pro and a simple USB interface Portable which you can easily pack in a suitcase along with your laptop and make music wherever you are – whether at home or traveling. Basically before you begin your journey into the world of music production, consider your needs and be realistic about it.
2. Buying the Wrong Gear for the Job
A lot of people believe that spending a lot of money can get them great sound. Sure but only if it is the right equipment for the job you have at hand. A Shure SM-57 Mic will sound better when recording a guitar amp than a Neumann Mic which costs 10 times the former. If you are only going to play a midi keyboard for programming music, then a simple M Audio or Samson Midi Keyboard will do the job better than a more expensive Roland A 800 which has got lots of knobs, dials and controls – things which you may not use 99.9 % of the time.
3. Misunderstanding the Need for Equipment
It is best to invest in a very high quality sound card like an RME Babyface with a single preamp input than buying a cheaper soundcard with 4 or 8 inputs. Over the long run, your audio productions will benefit greatly from the superior audio quality you get when recording with the quality audio interface.
Objective and Subjective Sound Quality
When you say objectively, a recording of a voice or instrument that sounds very close to the original source when played back can be termed as a ‘good’ recording. Subjectively speaking a strange or distorted sound which is different than the original source can also be ‘good’ if it fits into the context of the song. Equipment that affects or alters sound in a way that is familiar with you is more likely to sound ‘good’ to you and the audience than unfamiliar sounds. The Roland 808 has been used on so many hit recordings that it sounds great to most R & B and Hip Hop producers. Similarly a cranked up Marshall sounds great to rock guitarists, A Hammond B3 Organ sounds perfect to blues musicians and a vintage LA-2A compressor is what the doctor ordered for an audio engineer.
On the other hand, unfamiliar sounds can also grab a listener’s attention and and make a song stand out. If you want to produce a good song follow the classic advice – Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue”. At the end of a recording you should ask yourself the questions – Is everything sounding too clean and clear? Or is everything too muddied and processed? Can you borrow an idea from another song / production to improve your own song? Think about these facts when you start to learn music production. In our next article we will cover the various options when it comes to buying the best quality microphones for home audio music production.
If you would like to buy quality soundcards or microphones, we can help you choose and decide the best one for your needs. Click here for more information or call us on 98206 07875.