How to Record Your First Song:
It’s no secret that we’ve all had a fair bit more free time during the Government-imposed lockdown we’ve all been navigating in the past month, whether you are on furlough or continue to carry out your work from home. Pretty much everyone has a musical idea at some point, so why not put pen to paper (or mouse to hard-drive if you like!) and record your first song! In this article, I’ll be laying out some key tips for how to turn your idea into something you can share online.
1) Start out by setting up an DAW
DAW stands for Digital Audio Workstation, and will be an integral part of synthesizing all of your musical ideas. The most popular options out there include Pro Tools, Logic Pro X and Ableton Live. In reality, you could without get the job done with any of these options, but each has their own benefit. Pro Tools is renowned for recording – so if you are not using any Virtual Instruments, this could be the software for you. Logic Pro however, is well known for its ease of editing, and variety of virtual instruments. So if you want to add a variety of keyboard, string or virtual drum sounds, Logic could be the one to go with. It is also the bigger brother of Garage Band, which is free to download for Apple users. In reality – this is the software that many people learn the ropes on.
2) Brush up on your song-writing Skills
Whilst we all have ideas for a certain riff, vocal melody or drum hook, the hardest part of songwriting is actually linking these parts together. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve wrote a guitar riff or catchy chorus, but have struggled to link it together with a great verse without it sounding like two songs clashing together. Consider taking some songwriting lessons to help bridge this gap!
3) Consider taking a Vocal Tune-Up
So you’ve got the first few parts of your song down, and the structure is exactly where you need it to be. Now comes the vocals. When it comes to singing, it’s really important that you lay down a great take. Whilst you can try and touch up any missed notes in auto-tune software as Melodyne – this is really best avoided where possible. First off, the software to do is pretty expensive, and secondly, it’s not a habit you really want to be getting into. Moreover, you can only really change the pitch of the notes. So if you’re slightly out of time, it’s going to be hard to get these in time.
So why not taking a singing lesson or vocal tune-up to get your vocals up to scratch. These can be arranged online, and can make a massive difference as to whether your track turns out to be the finished article or not! Top tip: explain to your vocal coach that you’d like some help getting your vocals ready for a track you’re recording. Send them the instrumental before hand so they can familiarize themselves with the track. They most likely won’t need the lyrics, but any sort of vocal recording you can put together in advance will certainly be helpful.
From here, the vocal coach will be able to determine which “voice” you need to certain lyrics in, whether it’s in your chest or falsetto range. Most importantly, they will also be able to determine if you are straining your voice anywhere, which will really help improve the recording quality. Finally, they will be able to contribute ideas for harmonies and melodies that you hadn’t even considered! I hope this has provided some ideas and some inspiration on how and why you should put pen to paper, and lay down that song idea you’ve always wanted to. Get cracking and let us know in the comments if you have any questions!