when you are first starting or even trying to put an idea together it might be hard to process how to go about recording instruments in your digital audio workstation. I have experienced this and countless other people as well. It’s not time to panic its time to take a step back and analyze where things are going wrong and simplify everything. In this article, I am going to show you guys my process of how I record my instruments when I am in a session or even when I am doing everything within the software instruments. Let’s dive in.
The three step process includes
Build it piece by piece
finish it with a blueprint
Each step of this process will include how to record instruments in each step of this process.
everybody starts to record their songs somewhere.if you have put together a small melody already or even a drumbeat to work with then that’s a good place to start.
it can be anything that comes to your brain first that gives the spark to continue with the flow.
let’s say you have a song planned and it’s in your head you gotta get these ideas out, the better way to do that is to lay down the foundations. I would always advise.
set your tempo first
this is something that has to done at first even before you start to put down inspiration.its just very crucial as it adds volumes to how your music is going to be shaped.tempo is the backbone of every musical composition.
every small musical piece starts with the tempo and then it branches over to other elements that you might need to add to your composition.
the basic groove always floats around the tempo and its very much essential to have the tempo dialed in first and have the time signature figured out as well.
Get the click track to run
if you are starting with the melody turn on that click track and get started.it will give guidelines for your creative workflow.
when i started i always made this mistake of recording parts of a song without metronome and when i play it back again it would sound really bad.
in case you are not starting with a melody at first get your drum sections recorded first.it will help your session musicians to have a proper reference point to follow.
Record all drum elements
Start recording all drum elements first if you have a drummer on set then you can start Looking at the ideas for the groove.
once you have ideas for the groove its time to record various variations of the groove including things like fill in’s, build up.
mark each recorded drum part for specific areas of the song. it’s very crucial to have a clear strategy to go about recording everything at first.
Build it piece by piece
when recording elements of a song people get their twisted and just go all in and put together bunch of ideas without even having a clear idea of what they want to create.
that’s where this advice should be followed .build the song piece by piece.put one melody and one layer at a time.
don’t just book all the session musicians at a time when you cant handle them.start with one and work your way up.
record multiple takes and as much as you can out of the session. its going to help you when you are arranging your music and if you don’t like something all you have to do is to swap with another recording from that session.this can be done only if you have taken the time to record multiple takes of the same piece while you are actually recording instruments in the session.
don’t waste time during the sessions have a clear plan how you are going to record each instruments.
Finish it with a blueprint
its always easy to start but finishing is the hardest part of the recording process.it requires so many decisions to be taken.
I like to have a small to-do list in my hands as I start my recording process as it keeps every bit of the process to be accurate and in a sequence.
making music may sound fancy to a lot of people but nobody really understands how much goes behind finishing a song
I keep at least three to four to-do lists for each process that I am doing. some people it’s stupid and you don’t need to have a list.you have to understand that even the Apollo mission to space had a checklist so they wouldn’t forget anything.
finishing beats and songs are something that we all struggle as creative people as it is hard to pull ideas from our heads but it’s just impossible to finish the project.
as said above the order of recording a song is simple you start with the inspiration and have a click track going and record each one of your session musicians or even your software vst instruments.
if you are like me I just always would organize each aspect of the project and make sure I am doing everything exactly right.
sometimes we have to cut some slack but having a proper recording schedule increases the value of our professionalism to another level.
if you expect one thing from your studio its respect .its earned by how you conduct your self.
its always about finding your own way to do things instead of looking for the magical process.
i was struggling to record instruments at first as well.once i started to make some mistakes and learn from them everything became so clear to me .
Just because something works for others don’tmean that it’s going to work for you as well. ts going to take time to develop habits that actually sculpt how you are making and even recording music.
in reality people are really diverse and the process is also really diverse so don’t beat yourself up thinking that this is how its done .i have to do exactly like this.
Maslin JE is a Music Producer/Composer Who has been working in the Music Industry for over 10 years. Having an evolution from being a church keyboardist to becoming a full-time entrepreneur he has gained an abundance of experience in music production and entrepreneurship.