In a big boom for the music industry, Adele has surpassed the 5 million sales mark this week, the first artist to hit that record in one year since 2004. The feat is great for the industry, which as a whole has been struggling the past few years. According to Reuters, album sales have been decreasing an average of 8 percent each year since 2000, with a jump to 13 percent between 2009 and 2010. As more fans turn to digital music, it will be interesting to see how this affects album sales in the future.
If recording an album is on your bucket list – or if you’re hoping to make it big in the industry – it’s time to stop making excuses! If you don’t have the funds for a studio session, there are tons of recording programs available to help you become a pro in your own home. And once you have that demo, the sky’s the limit. Send it out to record labels, sell it at any open mics or gigs you go to, and don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth.
Here’s a great list we found to keep your to-do list in check as you prepare for recording a demo:
1. Pick your recording venue. Are you going to book a studio? Are you going to record at home using your computer? Make sure whichever venue you choose is equipped with everything you need, and if you’re recording at home, make sure you understand the acoustical quirks of the room.
2. Choose your recording method. There are two basic choices available to you: Recording live – that is, all instruments and vocals being recorded in one take – produces a raw, rough sound. Or multi-track recording – each instrument being recorded independently on its own track- gives cleaner and more polished sound. The right one for you depends on the music you are making. Hardcore punk? Go live. Radio friendly pop? Go multi-track.
3. Set up. For the drums, each individual drum should be miked, and the cymbals should each have two mics. The bass and guitar should each go through a DI. If you have a double guitar part, or to get a really clean sound, the guitarist can have a mic plus be hooked up to an amp in separate room, to prevent bleed of the amp sound into the mic.
4. Record. Time to do the actual recording. Don’t get caught up in the details and don’t record for hours on end. A demo should be short, sweet, and to the point.
5. Mix your recording.
Remember that labels don’t expect a demo to be perfect. If you’re recording at home on a computer, and mixing is easy enough, don’t feel pressured to execute a perfect mix. A rough mix is fine. If you’re recording in a studio, the engineer or producer can mix your recording for you.
6. Master your recording. (This step is completely optional.) Mastering involves a final EQ process and also adds a bit of compression. Keep in mind that people who master recordings have styles all their own; no two people will master the same recording in the same way. If you decide to get your recording mastered, make sure you get an unmastered copy as well, in case you don’t like the finished product.
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