Of course, one of the toughest things about being an independent\struggling musician is getting enough equipment together to be taken seriously at all. Even garage bands don’t want to sound like they’re recording in the garage! You need to make your demos and indie tracks as polished as possible, to reach the broadest audience.
So to go along with our usual blogs full of recording tips, we wanted to talk a bit about what equipment you really need to put a little extra money into, if you can. This isn’t an “essentials for life” sort of article, these are the products you’d probably want to look to upgrade first.
Recording Tips: Equipment You Should Upgrade To Get a Professional Sound!
Just as a side note, we’re talking about equipment for the whole band here, not for individual players.
(Fighting over who gets to buy themselves new toys is your business.)
–Mics: When in doubt, whether you’re talking about equipment for recording at home or for jamming live, a better microphone is rarely a poor investment. Just keep in mind the quality of the equipment you’ll be patching into! If no one is going to hear your mic’s quality, it may not be worth the extra money.
–Multitrack recorder: We’re talking all about presentation with these recording tips, and that’s what your multitrack recorder and\or mixer are all about. Get better ones. Learn to make use of them. Only the grungiest of the grunge bands need to make do with 8 tracks these days; move up to a recorder that supports 24 or 32. Start thinking about better built-in effects options.
–Headphones: OK, look, you need good cans to make good mixes – but be smart about it, please! It’s very easy to waste money on mediocre, overpriced headphones that happen to have a fancy brand name or rapper attached to them. Do your research first, and look for the ones that will fit best with the equipment you’re putting together. But stay away from the trendy ones, they’re just not worth it.
–Interface: Keeping focused on the sound, your Interface is the last major barrier between your music and a clean recording on your laptop. After this point, it’s a software problem. It may look like a good place to skimp and get something cheap, but honestly: spend a little extra money and ensure your music goes into your PC as cleanly as possible.
–A Good Warranty: There are benefits to buying from larger stores, and a good warranty is one of them. Try to make major purchases from stores that offer multi-year warranties. Giving the hardships of the road, it’s another area that looks like it’s easy to skimp on, but isn’t. You might even consider looking into insurance on your equipment, especially if you’re on the road enough that getting a replacement quickly would be a top priority!
…And One You Can Skimp On
–Software: Seriously, at an indie level, there is very little need to look beyond the realm of free software for your recording tips and mixing needs. That’s not to say you might not want ProTools one day, but you don’t need them right now. Free software will do everything you need.
Making your music sound as good as possible is one of your top priorities! Buy the right equipment that will give your recordings the best sound you can get!