In honor of the start of Shark Week, please welcome The Space Sharks. They will be discussing how to do DIY recording without getting eaten alive. Don’t forget to visit their links – I’m sure that you’ll be hooked on their songs. It’s music that you can really sink your teeth into. They are jawsome.
DIY Recording According to The Space Sharks:
So you want to rock and roll. You practice hard, write some songs, play some shows and get a great response. People come up to you and ask if you have any CDs for sale. With some ingenuity, you can record your own music without the need of a record company. Our band, The Space Sharks, records and produces our music ourselves. We’re not making a million dollars (ha ha), but we’re having fun and getting our music out to the people who want to hear it. You can do it, too. Here is some helpful advice.
There are so many cheap programs out there that allow you to record and mix on your laptop. We started on a Tascam cassette 4-track back in the day. It took us a while to get the drum sounds right. We moved on to a digital 12-track and finally to Pro Tools. But even when we were recording on 4-track cassette each song was a lesson. We learned how to multitrack. We learned better ways to mic our amps and where to position the mics on drums—mostly through trial and error.
Record, record, record. That moment in time is captured forever. It’s almost like a musical diary of where your head was at during that time-emotionally, lyrically and musically. I listen to things I’ve recorded as a young adult and think, “man I’m glad I made it through that. I’m a different person now.” Listen to your music in your car. It’s amazing how things will jump out at you as you hear your songs when you’re not fully anticipating the next verse or chorus. When you’re a more passive listener you can hear the parts where the song goes awry if it snaps you out of the zone. Or it can be a magical experience where your own music can surprise and move you!
Once you have your songs recorded you may wish to release them on CD or digital download. If you can, do the artwork yourself. Learn Photoshop. One thing that I believe is very import, is Mastering. Even though the songs have been recorded in a do-it-yourself approach, having your project professionally mastered will iron out any volume and EQ fluctuations, especially if you’d like your songs played on the radio.
Share, share, share your music. Duplication; if you can afford it, have some CDs manufactured. It doesn’t have to be a lot, maybe 50 or 100 or so. Give your music to friends. It’s also a great a way to break the ice with people who aren’t quite friends yet. “Hey, I made this in my basement with my band.” They’ll appreciate the gift and might come out to your shows.
Search the internet for ways to get your music heard. There are so many wonderful podcasts that play indie music of all genres. No matter how many followers a podcast or blog has, it’s important to establish a great relationship. It’s mutually beneficial to get your music heard by even a few people, and your promotion of the broadcast helps the podcast gain new followers. One thing always leads to another.
Believe in what you record. Be true to yourself and to your craft by writing songs that you’d like to hear, rather than what you think others might expect of you. Most of all, have fun doing it!
-Lonnie Richard, Vocalist/Guitarist with The Space Sharks