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Audio Recordings: Musicians Get Your Questions Answered & Learn What You Need to Make Your Own

By Brandon Robertson

A guide for all aspiring musicians. An experienced professional describes the first steps to making recordings for yourself.

Understanding what you need to make your own audio recordings is a lot simpler than it may seem. Figuring out exactly what you need gets confusing because of all the many options available and the source of your information (who?s telling you what you need).

There are a lot of options now, and that?s just part of the technological revolution. Having so many options is actually a good thing, even though, when you?re first starting to learn about recording it may seem overwhelming. The benefit of having so many options is that there?s certainly something out that?s within your budget that can do what you need done in your studio.

What you want to keep in mind is that, there are usually clear distinctions between different pieces of gear that identify what that specific equipment does and will do in your studio. However, sometimes these distinctions loose their clarity when you encounter a specific piece of equipment that does multiple things. Some units function as more than one tool and are something more like a Swiss Army Knife for the studio. Once you learn about and understand each type of equipment, and what it does for you in your studio and why you need it or why you may not need it, when you encounter equipment that?s like a Swiss Army Knife, you won?t be confused. You?ll simply understand that it is a combination of tools.

As for choosing the source of your information, it?s probably more crucial than actually understanding on your own, exactly what gear you need. At times, everyone needs a little direction and input, especially when there are so many options and so many new technologies, so you need to really consider where you will get your information from.

If you choose the wrong source, you will be misled and confused only more. You need to get your information from an unbiased source that doesn?t benefit from having you fall into the trap of thinking you need some certain product. Sales people and magazines are almost always biased sources. Although they can be a good place to get information from, you should realize that they are not necessarily the best authorities nor are they necessarily telling you the whole story.

A lot of sales people barely know what they are talking about, especially when it comes to recording gear. Often times they?re just pushing the item that?s going to earn them the bonus this week or make them the biggest commission. Magazines are really much the same. You?ll almost never see a bad review in a magazine, and that?s because subscribers don?t pay for the magazines, advertisers do.

Magazine writers and editors want to tell you how great product X is. They never mention the downfalls, and never tell you how you could get the same thing for less in another brand?s version or any other alternative that could save you money or get you better results. Magazines can be a great source of information, but you shouldn?t take what they say as the gospel truth.

Magazines and sales people can be a really good source for explaining product features though. As long as they know what they?re talking about, and aren?t just making up what they?re telling you, they can be a good source for learning about the features of equipment and software.

But let?s briefly cover what every studio needs in the most basic, rudimentary way: Every recording studio needs:

1. A way or place to store recorded audio.

2. A way to capture [record] audio Signals.

3. A way to replay and manipulate the stored audio [playback ability].

4. A way to hear the audio when playing back or while capturing it [monitoring].

5. A way to connect one piece of gear to another [connectivity].

As long as you keep these five requirements in mind, building the core of your studio will be simple. From there you only need to decide on exactly what device(s) will serve these five purposes in your studio setup.



Brandon Robertson is "The Home Recording Guy." Sponsor of The Independent Musician Source.

As a studio owner and veteran musician he's an expert at making great sounding recordings in home environments and on a low budget. He's teaching musicians all of the world how cheap and easy it is to record themselves and avoid wasting time and money at recording studios. His love of independent music has driven him to do whatever he can to support DIY and independent musicians everywhere.

He's the author of two current books that every musician should read or listen to, including "The Ultimate Home Recording Guide For Anyone On Any Budget," and "The 22 Proven Secrets For Saving Tons Of Money When Buying Music Equipment." His website can be found at

Copyright 2008 All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without prior written authority.

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