Published On: Sat, May 12th, 2018

Song Recording: An A To Z Guide

Back in the day, being a recording artist has been the ultimate goal for countless talented enthusiasts. Unfortunately, opportunities were scarce during that era, no matter how skilled you were in writing songs, playing instruments, and belting those high notes, leaving many talented artists unable to make their dreams come true.

But the tune is now different because the music industry has evolved. Thanks to progress in technology, aspiring young artists— and even ones who have aged and are only realizing their dream now— are able to show the world their talents through the magical avenue called the Internet.

Using a USB microphone, a pair of good headsets, a laptop with a user-friendly music software, and probably some “How to Record A Song – An A to Z Guide” article like this one, average Joes and Janes can already create their own music and become famous online.

photo/ free stock photos via pixabay

How Do They Do It?

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to produce your own music, from the pre-production to publishing.

Step #1: Pre-Production

The pre-production phase of a song recording session involves preparations to make the process as smooth as possible. This includes gathering all the necessary tools, materials, and software and choosing a location where the recording should be done. A lot of people don’t have access to soundproof recording studios, so it is important to make the most of what you have.

Some of the most basic tools and equipment you need include a reliable computer with a digital audio workstation (DAW) software of your choice, studio-grade headphones or speakers, one or two high-quality microphones, and an audio interface.

Step #2: Recording

While this phase involves actual recording, it may also include other steps like creating a track that will serve as a guide for multitrack recording, a process where each instrument in a band are recorded separately and are combined later in the mixing phase. This can be a pre-recorded drum loop or a simple metronome to create the tempo. Some people also use scratch tracks.

After coming up with a track guide, you are set to record the rhythm, harmonies, and melodies, one after the other subsequently. You may also add color or flares like piano or percussion fills background vocals and other sound effects.

Step #3: Editing

After recording, the next step is editing with the help of your trusted DAW software. Since you’re working based on a multitrack recording, you can edit each instrument independently from the other. The five main tasks in editing are noise reduction, arrangement, comping, time editing, and pitch editing.

Step #4: Mixing

When editing is done, it is time to proceed to the mixing phase. As mentioned earlier, this is the part where all your recorded instruments come together as one cohesive melody. Remember that the goal of this step in the song recording process is to blend all the sounds as one. Some of the common tasks involved herein are equalization, panning, balancing faders, compression, reverb, and automation.

Step #5: Mastering

Before you get to the mastering phase, your song should be bounced into one stereo file. After that, you can already apply the following techniques commonly used in the mastering process.

  1.    Balancing frequencies through further equalization and multi-band compression.
  2.    Maximizing loudness by limiting and further compression without removing too much dynamics.
  3.    Stereo widening to provide higher frequencies with additional “width.”

Step #6: Publishing

After you master your track, you are now ready to publish your very own song. Through this step, you are releasing your track for the world to hear for a certain amount of money or for free. There are various platforms to do this including YouTube and SoundCloud (if it’s for free), and Apple Music or Beatport (if you’re selling your track).

Author: Muhammad Tayyab


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