5 Tips for Quality Home Recordings

Posted by Joey Sturgis on Sep 8, 2016 09:00 AM

Image via tunecore.com

Home recording can be a challenge. How do you get that studio quality minus the studio? Try these five tips below from the TuneCore blog and take your DIY recordings to the next level.

1. Fix your listening space

Recording, mixing, and producing all comes down to one centralized focus: a great listening environment. If you don’t know what you’re hearing, you don’t know what you’re mixing or creating.

I can’t stress this enough: Make sure your room doesn’t have bad reflections, weird resonating frequencies, or distracting acoustical properties. If you encounter any of these problems, use the internet to help you solve them. A great resource for something like this is TapeOp’s Acoustics category.

[4 Tips to Improve Home Studio Acoustics]

2. Reference everything

Want to sound like the pros? Listen to the pros, and compare your work to theirs. Don’t be biased, and be honest with yourself. Does your mix cut like theirs? If not, be willing to go back to the drawing board time and time again.

Just be careful not to pigeonhole yourself into being a copycat. Use this tip as a technique for improvement rather than a guide for ripping off success.

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3. Great sound isn’t by magic

You don’t need quirky plugins, cool, trendy techniques, or even magic tricks sold by thousands on the web to get a great sound. Mixing is fundamentally just dynamics and tone, and you can accomplish all of that with just volume, pan, EQ, and compression. Master those four things, and you’ll be on your way to unlocking great sounding work in no time. Add on the extra layers of sauce later!

4. Don't focus on the small stuff

Don’t forget that 99 percent of a great song is actually just the song itself. All that time you wasted on getting your snare to sound like x could have been spent worrying about better vocal melodies or even better vocal performances. Don’t get so caught up in the small stuff; nine times out of 10, the small tweaks don’t resonate with people as much as the actual song itself does. Present it well – that’s the main point!

5. Take your time

Don’t rush to the finish line! Sure, the more time you spend on a song, the more it rots. Alternatively, the less time you spend on a song, the worse it gets. Be careful about the balance here, and try to find the sweet spot that matches your creative flow.

Spend too long on a track, and you’ll massage it to the death. Spend too short of time on a track, and you’ll experience negative feedback. If you’re in a hurry, slow it down. Take your time to hear the song a few days after not hearing it to return with a fresh perspective.


Next up: How to Build a Home Studio: 5 Essentials You Need to Get Started


Joey Sturgis is a producer, mixer, recording engineer, programmer, writer, and performer. For a full decade, he has brought these powers to bear on nouveau strains of metalcore, post-hardcore, electronicore, and more, shaping a revolutionary new wave of hard music. Sturgis has racked up a massive list of credits for a who's who of modern cutting edge metal, channeling the raw power of bands like Asking Alexandria, Attack Attack!, Born of Osiris, Of Mice & Men, Attila, We Came As Romans, Blessthefall, I See Stars, and many more. Find him online at JoeySturgisTones.com and jsfpodcast.com.

Topics: Recording, Honing Your Craft


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