My latest recorded song is here! This was a big step forward for me in expanding my songwriting into full-band territory. It is one thing to write for piano and voice, but coordinating multiple instrument lines is another thing entirely. It’s great when you finally get to hear everything that was once in your head come to life out loud.
I recorded this song with the help of a friend (who was learning along with me) and free software. Although you can tell a difference between the quality of my recording and a professional recording studio’s equivalent, doing it this way saved me hundreds of dollars and taught me some valuable lessons along the way.
Three main lessons I learned during my first major DIY recording process:
1. Back-up the audio files constantly. The computer I was using crashed several times during the recording process, and I lost all the files more than once. I learned to not only email myself copies of the file, but also save it to at least two thumb-drives. I couldn’t believe it when one of my thumb-drives got fried and caused me to lose all the files.
2. Invest in a good audio software program. For this recording, I was using a free version of Audacity, and it had a lot of bugs in it that caused problems when trying to save the file (it wasn’t saving derivative sound files in the overall project) and editing tools like reverb were not usable in my version. In essence, what you are listening to is hardly edited at all. After this experience, I now have pro tools and am getting acquainted with how it works.
3. Balance the audio tracks using headphones instead of awesome surround-sound speakers. I know this is completely basic, but for some reason I didn’t do it and now it will be awhile before I get around to re-editing it to balance out some bass levels because the computer that has the audacity file on it is hundreds of miles away from me. Oh, regrets.