How to Choose the Right Equipment for Home Recording

How to Choose the Right Equipment for Home Recording

By Cassandra Largo

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Photo by John Hult on Unsplash

 

Home recording as a beginner songwriter can be a daunting prospect. You may be a master lyricist, but when you want to produce a record, you will have to get your head around complicated recording equipment. This can put writers off taking a concept and turning it into a finished product. However, there is plenty of help available for those just starting out. With the right tips, you’ll have a professional quality home studio in no time. Read on to find out how to get started with choosing the right equipment.

Keep It Simple

With professional recording studios in decline and the cost of home equipment coming down, it is a better time than any to create a home studio. If you wish to have unlimited access to your own personal recording space, then building your own is a great idea. However, the most important thing when starting out is to not do too much too quickly.

In order to make the investment worth it, keep everything as simple as possible. You want to be putting in the minimum time and effort. Otherwise, you will likely become overwhelmed and feel discouraged. Start with the basic necessities, then you can experiment with more complicated equipment as you build confidence and experience.

Computer

The computer will probably be the most expensive piece of equipment used in the recording process. If you are aiming to make recording as quick and easy as possible, then you want a powerful laptop, such as the latest Macbook.

However, most people already have laptops which are powerful enough for beginner recording artists. If you already have a decent laptop running off Intel Core i3 or higher, then this is probably all you need. Don’t buy a new laptop just yet, but instead invest that money in other equipment.

Digital Audio Workstation

After a laptop, your most important piece of equipment will be the digital audio workstation (DAW). A DAW is the system used for recording and editing audio. Getting the cheapest equipment will lead to poor quality, but you can save money by getting a DAW and audio interface combo. An audio interface for home studio recording is the hardware which connects your recording gear to your computer. By getting these two items combined, you’ll save both time and cash.

Once you have these two expensive items, you can purchase a microphone and whatever else is needed regarding the instruments you are using. Remember, keep it as simple as possible. Ease yourself into the process, while reminding yourself that every musician finds this process complicated and confusing. By taking baby steps, you’ll eventually be recording professional quality music from your own home.

Songwriters Association of Canada posts songwriter related news and events as a resource to members. Publishing these posts does not imply that the S.A.C. endorses the teacher, product, service, or company.
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The Best Ways to Promote Your Debut Album

The Best Ways to Promote Your Debut Album

By Cassandra Largo

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Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to produce and distribute songs through online databases and sharing platforms. No matter how great your music might be, however, it will never gain notoriety without a solid marketing strategy. There are multiple avenues through which new artists can promote their album and launch a successful career in the music industry.

Live Promotion

Even though the Internet is becoming one of the primary stages for new musicians, it still can’t compare to the personal touch. A live event offers unique marketing opportunities that you simply don’t have in an online forum. You can promote a new song before it’s been officially released, or sell merchandise with your band name on it.

If you’re an emerging artist, you can schedule to open for bigger names to gain exposure. Not only will this bring in a bit of extra cash flow, but you’ll also reach fans that are already into your genre of music. You can grow fan bases in other cities by scheduling out-of-state tours.

Social Media

Websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more can be an invaluable tool when connecting with fans. You can make social posts about new music and upcoming shows that your fans can share to help spread the word about your music. Social media sites are also a good way to keep up with other musicians so that you can work on building a professional network.

A Personal Website

While building a website may sound like a daunting endeavor, it’s actually easier than you might think. Sites like WordPress and GoDaddy make it simple for even the tech-illiterate to set up a website where their fans can visit to get the latest news and updates. You can include samples of your music, bios about you and your bandmates, and even landing pages to help you create an email signup list.

Collaborate

Collaborating with other musicians is not only a great way to improve your skills, but it can also expose you to an entirely new fan base. It’s best to work with bands of a similar genre, as their fans are already likely to enjoy the style of your pieces. You can release mash-ups on your album or through channels such as YouTube. Collaborating doesn’t have to mean writing a song together, however–you can always simply agree to share and follow each other on social media for more exposure.

It’s not easy to get your name out there as a new artist. By promoting yourself online and in person, though, you can work to build your brand and successfully sell your debut album.

 

 

Also checkout

 

 

Songwriters Association of Canada posts songwriter related news and events as a resource to members. Publishing these posts does not imply that the S.A.C. endorses the teacher, product, service, or company.

Born This Way- Shelly Peiken

Shelly Peiken is a multi-platinum Grammy nominated songwriter who is best known for her #1 hits “What a Girl Wants” and “Come On Over Baby”. She earned a Grammy nomination for the song “Bitch” recorded by Meredith Brooks. 

 
Shelly is a contributor to The Huffington Post. She is well known in the music industry as mentor, panelist, consultant and guest speaker and a fierce advocate of creators’ rights as a founding member of SONA (Songwriters Of North America).
 
We’d like to share Shelly’s most recent missive from her Serial Songwriter Blog.
 
Songwriters Association of Canada posts songwriter related news and events as a resource to members. Publishing these posts does not imply that the S.A.C. endorses the teacher, product, service, or company.
Born This Way
October 17, 2017
By Shelly Peiken
Checkout her article here!

You can also checkout her book available on Amazon and Audible.

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You can follow her on her social media

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Shelly Peiken- Life After Songwriting

Shelly Peiken is a multi-platinum Grammy nominated songwriter who is best known for her #1 hits “What a Girl Wants” and “Come On Over Baby”. She earned a Grammy nomination for the song “Bitch” recorded by Meredith Brooks. 

 
Shelly is a contributor to The Huffington Post. She is well known in the music industry as mentor, panelist, consultant and guest speaker and a fierce advocate of creators’ rights as a founding member of SONA (Songwriters Of North America).
 
We’d like to share Shelly’s most recent missive from her Serial Songwriter Blog.
 
Songwriters Association of Canada posts songwriter related news and events as a resource to members. Publishing these posts does not imply that the S.A.C. endorses the teacher, product, service, or company.
Life After Songwriting
October 3, 2017
By Shelly Peiken
Checkout her article here!

You can also checkout her book available on Amazon and Audible.

Screen Shot 2017-10-04 at 6.06.36 PM.png

You can follow her on her social media

fb-artScreen Shot 2017-10-04 at 6.04.51 PMTwitter_bird_logo_2012.svg

 

Shelly Peiken- Song Splits

Shelly Peiken is a multi-platinum Grammy nominated songwriter who is best known for her #1 hits “What a Girl Wants” and “Come On Over Baby”. She earned a Grammy nomination for the song “Bitch” recorded by Meredith Brooks. 

 
Shelly is a contributor to The Huffington Post. She is well known in the music industry as mentor, panelist, consultant and guest speaker and a fierce advocate of creators’ rights as a founding member of SONA (Songwriters Of North America).
 
We’d like to share Shelly’s most recent missive from her Serial Songwriter Blog.
 
Songwriters Association of Canada posts songwriter related news and events as a resource to members. Publishing these posts does not imply that the S.A.C. endorses the teacher, product, service, or company.
Song Splits
September 26, 2017
By Shelly Peiken
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In this article, Shelly Peiken talks about the struggles of splitting song royalties between multiple songwriters and gives helpful advice on what to do.
Checkout her article here.
You can follow her on her social media

fb-artScreen Shot 2017-10-04 at 6.04.51 PMTwitter_bird_logo_2012.svg

You can also checkout her book available on Amazon and Audible.

Screen Shot 2017-10-04 at 6.06.36 PM.png

 

Feature Article #6: “Back When I was a kid…”

For the Month of June the S.A.C. will be featuring a series of articles by James Linderman.

James @ Berkleemusic

James Linderman works at the James Linderman Music Lesson Studio in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada. He teaches guitar, piano, bass and music theory as well as contemporary songwriting and film composition, in studio, as well as over Skype to students all over the world.

Back When I Was A Kid…

by James Linderman

I am just about the age where it is appropriate for me to begin every sentence with, “Back when I was a kid…” Like, “Back when I was a kid, going to music lessons was tough. We had to climb over Canadian Shied rocks in our bare feet, and there was all this snow and it was uphill both ways and the teacher hit our knuckles with a gigantic ruler, and we had to play real music…the classics and…blah,blah,blah…

The first place my parents took me to, for guitar and piano lessons had a plaque on the wall that read, “The best lessons money can buy”. I thought that it should have read, “Our lessons are the most money we can legally charge for attempting to teach your certifiably un-musical children”.

The first “remarkable” lesson I can remember was just after The Beatles appeared for the first time on the Ed Sullivan Show. I told my teacher that he had to teach me how to play like The Beatles because that’s the music that I wanted to play. I can still remember his wicked laugh as he informed me that my parents would keep me in lessons no matter what he taught me and so he may as well teach me the music that he thought was best. I was doomed.

That meant a heavy dose of Ellington and Jobim for jazz and Bach and Mozart for the classical. It could be stated “for the record” that he inadvertently did me a favour by teaching me great music by great artists and providing me with a solid academic foundation. I did, however, reluctantly learn this music, that he and my parents loved, with the same closed-minded distain, that most children look at vegetables with.

My next teacher was very cool because he was a deal maker. He would say, “I will teach you a Rolling Stones tune in exchange for three well practiced pieces from your workbook”. This is the same approach that I teach with, to get academic work done, in my studio today.

The other aspect of music lessons that makes me say, “Back when I was a kid…” was the quality of my first guitar and the guitars many of us started lessons with, back in the early 60’s.

Back when I was a kid, my first guitar was a $25.00 Saturn, from the Sears catalogue store. I carried it to my lessons in its slowly deteriorating cardboard box, which was kept closed with one of my father’s old belts. My teacher just barely controlled his urge to smash this horrid instrument each and every week as he endeavoured, with limited success, to tune it.

He would beg my father to buy me a new one, only to have my dad snatch the guitar out of his hands and perform “Edelweiss” on it, (chord accompaniment with vocal), right there at the front counter. Why should my father entertain the idea of purchasing a new guitar from these people when this perfectly good instrument could produce such a masterpiece? My teacher would look on this with terrified disbelief. For me, this was an experience that it has taken many hours of music therapy to overcome.

The point of all this is that… back when I was a kid there were cheap guitars, out of tune pianos, drab books, lousy teachers, ancient pieces, and crazy parents and it still could not stop me from seeing the magic that there is in making music with your own hands.

I can also now say that, back when I was a kid, I really did not understand, just how great a gift my parents gave me, by investing in me as a musician.

 

Ad for Book wit Piano and guitar pick

James is the author of the book series titled “Song Forms for Songwriters” that is based on his primary academic discipline known as compositional abstraction. It is a system for creating new songs from shadowing single elemental features extracted from existing work.

James Linderman - QrtrPg_Ad_BookRelease1 copy

Disclaimer:   Songwriters Association of Canada posts songwriter related news and events as a resource to members.  Publishing these posts does not imply that the S.A.C. endorses the teacher, product, service, or company.

Feature Article #5: The Thrill is Gone

For the Month of June the S.A.C. will be featuring a series of articles by James Linderman.

James @ Berkleemusic
James Linderman works at the James Linderman Music Lesson Studio in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada. He teaches guitar, piano, bass and music theory as well as contemporary songwriting and film composition, in studio, as well as over Skype to students all over the world.

The Thrill is Gone

By James Linderman

There is a story I love to tell to my songwriting clients. It goes like this….

BB King had a massive hit song called “The Thrill is Gone”.

It launched his national and then international career to make him the most widely recognized ambassador of the blues.

He recording the song in 1969, with a string section and a production palate that would appeal to a mainstream (read “white” into the word mainstream) audience. The song took him from being a national, somewhat marginal blues artist to an international superstar. He opened for The Rolling Stones US tour that year as well, which certainly helped.What many people don’t know is that he did not write this song. His signature hit was written in the 1950’s by 2 writers, Roy Hawkins and Rick Darnell.

The other interesting fact is that BB King was born in 1925 making him almost 50 years old when his mainstream international career began.

Some would argue that “3 O’Clock Blues” or the song “Everyday I have the Blues” or his deal in the 1940’s with a major label or his songs recorded with Sam Philips, before “The Thrill is Gone” was recorded, were indications of a steady ascension to stardom but they would be mistaken to think that.

I remember hearing BB King in 1970 and for mainstream listeners, outside of blues fans in the US particularly, this was a new artist with a new song, period.

BB King was 50 years old playing a 20 year old song and taking the world by storm.

Today you would probably hear from music industry insiders that this could not happen today and they are correct…if by today you mean the business that they used to work in.

It is hard for me to imagine still taking anything they have to say seriously when Youtube and Spotify are the new reality and the internet is so far beyond the control of any of these industry insiders that I hear speaking on panels at music conferences and workshops.

It reminds me of what it might sound like to hear a group of dinosaurs discuss the ice age, as if we were still in it, just because it’s wintertime.

What can happen, outside of these music pundits limited perception is actually where this story becomes valuable to the rest of us.

BB King brought a marginalized genre to a mainstream audience by blending a traditional established piece of writing with a production element not normally found in that genres music but really valued by mainstream listeners.

Orchestrations were what mades a piece of music sound like it belonged in the public ear. It showed investment, made the piece sound like it should be taken seriously.

That trick, in a variety of applications, has been done thousands of times now…but we don’t seem to add it to the narrative for some reason….

For example, Eric Clapton put Bob Marley (and reggae as a style of music) on the map by recording “I Shot the Sheriff”.

Paul McCartney used elements of a Scott Joplin ragtime piece to build the piano performance for “Lady Madonna.

The intro to “Stairway to Heaven” is constructed from the intro of lots of previous compositions using a compositional technique called voice lead. Particularly, Baden Powell’s “Samba Triste” written in 1959 when Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin was 15 years old…..”Samba Triste” is definitely a jazz piece and Page took this compositional convention to a rock audience with great success.

All of these recordings display risk, all are synergies of style and production or genre and presentation.

When artists ask me what they should do today to stand out to become famous and get some hits, all I can think about is Justin Beiber joining forces with Skrillex and rebuilding his career and it is the same story…

 

Ad for Book wit Piano and guitar pick
James is the author of the book series titled “Song Forms for Songwriters” that is based on his primary academic discipline known as compositional abstraction. It is a system for creating new songs from shadowing single elemental features extracted from existing work.
James Linderman - QrtrPg_Ad_BookRelease1 copy
Disclaimer:   Songwriters Association of Canada posts songwriter related news and events as a resource to members.  Publishing these posts does not imply that the S.A.C. endorses the teacher, product, service, or company.