Mistakes to Avoid When Recording In-Home

It has become a common practice for musicians to set up a recording studio at their homes. Earlier, it was to evade the process of booking and paying for a studio and working in that fixed time. Now, with the outbreak of COVID-19, it has become crucial for artists to have a setup at home to stay active and keep making music. However, with the lack of professional help, artists end up making a few mistakes to avoid when recording in-home.

Choosing the Wrong Room

The room that an instrument is recorded in always changes the tone, and this is especially true for vocals. In a home setting, there are always limitations to finding a room because most people don’t have a custom-built home studio. You have to work with what you’ve got, which is not at all difficult if you make the right choice. Some of the things you should keep in mind while choosing a room for recording include:

  1. Fewer Windows to Avoid External Sound: Rooms with fewer windows help minimize external noises that can interfere with your recording.
  2. Some Sound Absorbents: Items like beds, couches, and pillows can make the vocals less reverberant. However, balance is key; too many absorbents can make your vocals sound dull.
  3. Avoid Hard Surfaces: Rooms with a lot of hard surfaces can reflect sound waves and create unwanted echoes.

You can work around things in a room to get the desired result. For example, you can put up a mattress or hang quilts between instruments to avoid harsh spill, or use duvets, heavy curtains, or mattresses as acoustic panels to create a makeshift booth around the vocalist.

Using Cheap Cables

The cables you use for your microphones, instruments, and to connect your equipment play a very important role. No matter how good and expensive your instruments are, they are only as good as the cables you use. There is a vast difference between a quality cable and an inexpensive, discounted one. Each cable used is carrying the signal of your recording, and cheap cables in the mix can add unwanted distortion.

Using Too Many Effects

Artists tend to rely on effects to compensate for the lack of clarity and overall quality in a home-recorded song. The most commonly used effect is reverb, which is used to make recordings sound less flat. But when artists drown their recordings with reverb, the notes become slurred together and indistinguishable.

Another mistake artists make while mixing at home is not leaving enough headroom. This leaves less room for improvement during mastering. Leaving headroom helps you prevent your mix from clipping and distorting, and leaves mastering the space to work its magic.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls in Home Recording

To further optimize your in-home recording process, here are additional tips and mistakes to avoid when recording in-home:

Ignoring Acoustic Treatment

Acoustic treatment is crucial for achieving professional sound quality. Neglecting this aspect can lead to unwanted reflections and echoes in your recordings. Invest in acoustic panels, bass traps, and diffusers to improve the sound quality of your recording space.

Overlooking Microphone Placement

Proper microphone placement can significantly affect the quality of your recordings. Experiment with different positions to find the sweet spot for each instrument and vocal recording. Remember that small adjustments can make a big difference in capturing the best sound.

Skipping the Planning Stage

Planning your recording sessions can save you a lot of time and frustration. Outline what you want to achieve in each session, prepare your equipment in advance, and make sure everything is set up correctly before you start recording.

Failing to Backup Your Work

One of the most critical mistakes to avoid when recording in-home is not backing up your work. Always make multiple copies of your recordings and save them in different locations. This ensures that you don’t lose your work due to technical failures or accidents.

Professional Services and Resources

To enhance your home recording experience and avoid common mistakes, consider leveraging professional services and resources. For example, Deliver My Tune offers music mastering services along with distributing your songs to over 60 music streaming platforms. It’s a cloud-based, automated music mastering service that allows you to upload your audio tracks in various formats, which are then digitally mastered using AI algorithms. The music can then be distributed on digital streaming services sites, like iTunes, Spotify, Shazam, etc.

Conclusion

Recording music at home can be incredibly rewarding, but it comes with its own set of challenges. By being aware of the mistakes to avoid when recording in-home, you can significantly improve the quality of your recordings and create professional-sounding music. Always choose the right room, invest in quality cables, avoid overusing effects, and leave enough headroom in your mixes. Additionally, don’t overlook the importance of acoustic treatment, proper microphone placement, planning, and backing up your work.

By following these guidelines and continuously improving your setup and techniques, you can achieve excellent results in your home studio. And remember, services like Deliver My Tune can help you take your music to the next level by providing professional mastering and distribution.

By implementing these strategies and avoiding common pitfalls, you can make the most of your home recording setup and produce high-quality music that resonates with your audience.