Can I Record My Own Tracks?

Nowadays, technology allows us considerable flexibility in making records.  Not only are the tools of recording becoming more affordable and available, but the ability to easily share files makes it easier than ever before to record with other musicians and engineers, anywhere in the world.

This includes the ability for you to record your own performance, likely saving on the cost of recording facilities, all without sacrificing much in the way of quality.  Your mixing engineer can then incorporate these tracks into the mix.

Technically speaking, you can competently record your own performance with very little equipment.  Depending on your instrument, you’ll need:

  • one or more microphones, or direct injection boxes for instruments with built-in transducers
  • a device which links the microphone or direct box to a recording device
  • the recording device – a tablet, computer, even a mobile phone
  • basic or advanced recording software (often free or inexpensive)
  • speakers or headphones to play back your recordings

There are many possible configurations, depending on your budget and your comfort level with the technology, but suffice to say that recording is more accessible to musicians than ever before.

Don’t let a salesperson tell you that you need to spend a lot of money on any one of these pieces.  The most important factor is HOW you use the technology.  Where you place the microphone, what you do to control unwanted sounds in your recording room, and the natural quality of your instrument, have far more impact on your finished sound than the cost of your recording equipment.

Having said all this, would I prefer to work with professionally-recorded tracks?  Of course I would, but this is about YOUR music and budget, not mine.  Capturing a great sound comes with a variety of challenges.  While I encourage you to consider recording some of your own tracks, it is entirely possible that these challenges will merely help you decide that going into a purpose-built studio, with an experienced recordist, is the better choice for you.

If you feel confident recording your own performances, discuss this with your recording or mix engineer, who can give you valuable advice on how to get the best result.  If it doesn’t work out to your satisfaction, you can reconsider and try again.  If nothing else, you will gain useful experience and understanding of the process.

If you like what you read above, maybe you'd like to work with Allister at Tilted White Shed? Reach out through the Contact Us page.