Recording your own music is always an amazing and exciting experience, yet when you’re doing it for the first time some moments and choices might be confusing for you. Most people start with the decision: home vs. studio? And there are positive as well as negative sides to recording at home, and that, in particular, is what makes this choice so hard. Let’s analyze the benefits and losses!
Advantages of Recording at Home
Most of those usually take place in the garage or some isolated rooms, and to begin with, many well-known artists started with home recording studios, especially singers. Now the trend of recording at home is returning again, and many famous performers are doing it, but their home studios are pretty much the same or even more efficient that some studios.
- Be the boss.
Recording in your garage makes you the boss of the whole process. No-one tells you what to do, and how the process should go. It also means you’ll have to ensure motivation all the time and don’t let yourself go down.
- Do it whenever.
You don’t have any specific time arrangements if you are comfortable waking up early and recording – why not? Or maybe you want to record on some days only or do it late in the evening. It’s totally up to you to fit recording into your schedule.
- No social pressure.
At home you have the atmosphere you got used to and pretty much it doesn’t require you to step out of your comfort zone. However, you might have some problems of that kind in a studio, with unknown people nearby, that can make you feel cautious.
- Time aspect.
There are many features to master and many things to understand before you will get intuitively how to record and what’s needed for the special moment in your track. In home studio, you’ll have all the time in the world to master some sounds, make it sound great for no price at all.
- Decorate in a way that makes you feel comfortable
I feel at home in my home and that is important. It is decorated in a way that makes me feel at ease. For example, I have a little herb garden that grows underneath an LED plant light. Looking at my little plants always relaxes me and centers me. Even the glow from the grow light is relaxing to me.
Downsides of a Home Studio
- No help.
If you don’t know how to do something, there is the internet, of course, but sometimes you need someone to pinpoint your mistakes and show you what’s lacking and what’s too much.
- Lacking equipment.
Technically, there are only some pieces of equipment you need to record at home, yet other things make it easier and make the sound good in the end. Plus the equipment also does vary and the cheap microphone will never sound like a good and expensive one. So if you’re planning to get yourself one, remember that quality does still play its role. And how many people have a high quality espresso machine at home?
- Usually no good coffee machine
I know I just mentioned this, but it is vital. Recording takes coffee. Good coffee. Without high quality coffee, no record would get made, so you absolutely need access to a high quality espresso machine. Most people do not have a good coffee maker at home, because they are expensive.
- Less professional.
So, in the end, it sounds much less professional and “clear” than a studio version. Again, there are many ways to improve it and you might be able to improve the quality gradually, with investing in your home studio, equipment, etc.
What many artists are doing is they practice at home a lot and record at home first before going to a studio and taking a final version. This allows you to experiment with the sound options and different settings and you don’t spend as much money as you would have if you tried to do all of it in a studio. The main disadvantage of the professional studio is its price, which might be high even for an hour recording session, and you might need more than that.
In the end, it comes down to the budget issue and your personal preferences. Maybe you should try both to make a decision, but trying to record at home is also a valuable experience, and it will teach you a lot about the process itself, so when you come to a studio you are not lost and have no idea where to start and what to do. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try different things, because, in the end, all you want is to improve your quality and your performance. Try both, understand what is more suitable, just never stop improving yourself.