We have no musical education. We paid for our studio equipment by saving money while working jobs and financed the release of the album ourselves. We used a budget microphone, and sequenced the tracks on nearly ten year old software, using a workstation pc which is prehistoric in comparison to the processing power of today’s units.
We did not use other studios, and most of the vocals were recorded with background noise, completely un isolated, in acoustically poor bedrooms through entry level monitor speakers.
If you are an aspiring artist, do not let the music industry convince you that you need to invest thousands of pounds before you make a track. The business perpetuates itself by feeding off creative insecurities and providing material answers. A Neumann microphone will not make a bad vocalist sound good, in fact it will amplify their faults profoundly.
£2,000 monitor speakers will make badly mixed music sound worse, and a beautifully made guitar will not bring soul to your playing. The magic comes from the formula that you use to convert the feeling in your heart into sound, and that requires very little, the rest is literally decoration.
The Internet has brought and exciting new dynamic to the way that music is distributed. If you can initially forget about your work supporting you financially, then a huge amount of distribution can be done from your home computer.
Every artist feels a natural angst as to how his or her work will be received. It is important to not let this develop and begin to hold you back, as it can begin to change you creatively and ultimately detract from your potential as an artist. Just be confident and let people hear your work.
All you need is a fairly good PC (Pentium 4 with 2gb RAM will do) a simple soundcard (around £100) a small mixer, microphone (condenser if you can get it) and some sequencing and fx software. A HIFI amp and speakers will do fine initially. There is no reason why, with the right expertise and a good ear, you can’t release music from a home studio bought for less than £1000.
There is a thriving second hand market for audio equipment and software. You can pick up the basic essentials for even less than above if you keep looking out for good deals.
Once you have learned your software and equipment gather up some sounds and start experimenting. You will naturally begin to develop a workflow and a sound will eventually begin to form. Study the genre, if any that you want to produce or write vocals for. What gives it the energy that you love? What defines it as a genre? What could you add to help it progress? Develop a niche that feels right and pursue your development.
One perfect example of not relying on equipment is Dubstep, where many of the most well renowned producers have opted to stay with the simple apparatus that they started with, actively avoiding using more expensive equipment provided by their labels.
Once you feel confident and you want others to hear your work, get onto major music sites like MySpace, submit tracks on forums, and put some money together for copies on CD. Keep focused and see what happens. Success is a process, not an event!