A question often asked by upcoming songwriters is how do I record my songs? My answer is straight away! With a marked proviso - use whatever facilities you have but use it as a songwriter. Start with your phone. Why? Because you probably have it with you all the time, it will have a large enough memory to you can easily capture all your chords progressions, notes, snatches of melodies, dumb ideas and good ones, and then you can download those audio files direct into your DAW (digital audio workstation) and start drafting. You can build on your ideas rather than 'iterating the life out of them'
Here are some the things I use: my iphone ( trademe special!), my backpack studio (laptop, headphones, interface, mic) and my project studio. Yes, everyone's got different specs and you can lose yourself down a tunnel of gear at the start, but the point is, start somewhere, start capturing. Think of your studio conceptually, as you would a pen and notebook.
Hit songwriter Ester Dean (Rihanna, Nikki Minaj, Selena Gomz) says this:
'Get a mobile studio so you can record from anywhere. There are three places I record songs: I have an office recording studio, a smaller home studio, and my "backpack studio," which is basically just my laptop, microphone, and headphone set. I can put together a song whenever, wherever. When I was on set for Pitch Perfect, I was still recording songs this way and sending out audition tapes to do voiceovers on films like Ice Age.'
Our own Dinah Lee at 74, not out, says this:
'I have all the latest technology. It's incredible how easy it is now compared to back then. You've got to keep up with it, be in the race. ...with my music I do it all myself from start to finish.' ( recording, mixing, mastering, artwork creation, uploading)
The basics are :
1. A computer - laptop/desktop, with enough brain (RAM) to operate the....
2. Software ( Digital audio workstation - for recording/editing and mixing, even mastering)
3. An audio interface - to translate vocals and real instruments from analogue sound to digital information the computer can manipulate.
4. A microphone - yep, start with one!
5. Monitors - headphones or speakers.
Not too tricky really - it's easier and now cheaper than you think, but the point is to start with what you have. And I bet you have a phone and a heart!
Talk more soon
ps bookings are trucking along well for Akaroa Songwriters Clinic QueensBirthday Weekend. Come along - I'm bringing my backpack studio! Check out the view from the venue.
Hi, I'm Charlotte Yates and I can help you get better at writing songs.