10 Possible Home Recording Mistakes for Beginners
There are lots of mistakes home recording beginners possibly make day by day in their recording journey. Let’s discuss a few of them and see if how you can avoid them.
1 – Recording louder tones
Most home recording beginners believe that the louder the tones they’re recording, the better the result they will get. Believing that way can be a massive source of frustration. What’s worse is that you are somewhat like jumping to the notorious brick-wall limiter. This is because if you make loud tracks, they will, unfortunately, give dynamic loss, pumping sounds and distortion. Such negative effects can ruin your mastering process.
When things like that happen, you better have to pay a mastering engineer than to waste time squashing your tracks for nothing.
2 – Too much use of the effects
Most beginners rely on effects to achieve the warmth and overall quality of the recording and that’s a big mistake. In attempting home recording, reverb is the most common over-used effect as it sounds less flat and appears to be more professional. In reality, it’s not. Removing the flatness of vocal recording is not that easy.
If your recording sounds so wet and you use reverb over and over again, the notes become indistinguishable because you slurred them together. Do your best to start the recording as clean as possible right in the first place to prevent this from happening.
3 – Proper intonation is ignored
Instruments are one of the essential elements in the recording and guitar is one of those instruments that oftentimes ignored. If you don’t check the strings or the guitar itself is not properly tuned, forget about getting good recording results. The tones you’re recording should have clean, accurate and warm sound and it depends on the proper intonation of your instruments.
Make sure also that the neck of your guitar is not bowed. Bowed guitar neck can lead to inaccurate tuning and can give poor quality recording.
4 – Poor cables used
Cables are important to connect your rig together. If you use cheap or poor cables, you can’t make a good connection. Cables go for all aspects of your recording so they should be as good as your equipment.
Each cable you use is carrying the signal that the recording needs to get done, poor cables can add unnecessary distortion that can destroy your mix. You don’t have to buy the most expensive cables just make sure what you purchased has a good quality.
5 – Wrong view on presets
Presets can be the ultimate cheat in music production. It can also be the only way to produce. But most beginners have an unreasonable approach to presets that the end goal kills satisfaction. An open mind to samples and presets is important in music production. Presets use to compliment your sound and increase your efficiency radically.
Presets should be used without losing the integrity of the tracks. You can make it best if you mix genres of music that aren’t related, traditionally.
6 – Not trying on different speakers
Using only one set of speakers especially for mixing is a big mistake. The bass levels are not consistent with any other set and thus hip-hop and other bass-heavy music needs to use different sets of speakers. Testing your mix on a few separate speaker sets is important to make sure that you don’t get too weak bass.
Speakers on the car, computer or iPod can be used to listen to music sounds but monitor speakers are much more effective in a studio recording.
7 – Dynamic range is forgotten
In music mixing circles nowadays, beginners put no dynamic range on their production. They have the mentality that louder tracks get more attention. The problem in increasing the volume of your mix is that it makes the dynamic range of your tracks compressed. When the dynamic range is compressed, you typically rob out the resources that your master engineer needs to do their job.
Master engineers use multiband compression meticulously but inexperienced mixers apply a mastering compressor plug-in in a wrong way that they create loud sound but muddy low-end. They have also created a bright sound in the mix but the high-end is aggressive.
8 – Panning becomes lacking
Balancing different elements within a stereo field is vital in giving your mix some dimensionality. Panning everything at or near the center will only give cluttered-sounding. This also gives lacks of definition in your mix. Panning, when done right, is a great way to get separation between background vocals and guitar parts and to other parts of the mix as well.
There’s nothing wrong with panning a bit off of the mix just make sure to keep its balance. Always keep the middle less cluttered if you have a blend of guitars and other instruments to allow your ear hear more of the cool production you wanted to get done.
9 – Broke vocal placement
Another possible home recording mistake that most beginners possibly make is having a poor vocal placement. Placing vocals in a mix is a bit challenging task. That’s why it needs an extra care to put vocals the right way.
If it is your song and obviously you know the lyrics, it is easy to forget that others know nothing yet. Everything you hear is a track that sounds equally right where in fact it’s a bit sitting in front and a bit behind on the track. The result? The vocal is placed in the wrong way.
10 – Inappropriate room
Choosing the right room is important in getting the best home recording. But people often forget its importance right before making the recording and setting up everything in the very first place. So before you seat and sitting in to mix, know your room first. Know which room is best in which the hearing is great.
Make sure that before jumping on the recording, use your ears and listen carefully to your room. Experiment every corner before you can make potential mistakes.
It is not easy to get mistakes when you already spent a lot of time setting up everything. Beginners usually make mistakes but if it happens over and over again, that’s another story. So focus and do your best and you will get discovered somehow.