Home Recording Studio for the Average Musician

There’s a lot or “how to record music” videos out there – tips, tricks, and tutorials …. made by pros. Made by people who do this stuff full-time, and who use great equipment, pricey microphones, etc.

But there’s not a lot out there for the “average musician” – people like me who have non-music jobs … but also like to record a song in his or her spare time.

So … I thought I would make some! These videos will show off the tools I use to make music, and how I do it.

Hopefully you watch, learn, and share what you know, too!

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Posted in Recording

Making Drums Quieter

37342635_261192097996694_3409040565038219264_nI’ve been following some worship team groups on Facebook (look for Worship Leaders + in Facebook Groups!).

There was a question about getting the drums quieter so the church could take their plexiglass drum shield down.

I’m definitely a HUGE fan of removing those silly drum shields! Here’s how I responded:

Here are some suggestions for helping to quiet down the drums:

  1. Telling the drummer to play quieter, and really working with him/her on that in practices. That’s the first step!
  2. Thinner sticks. 7A, 5A sticks instead of beefier ones. Or Rods if you want more of an acoustic sound.
  3. Turn their monitor down. Assuming they have a monitor/click, turn it down. They’ll have to play quieter in order to follow along.
  4. Cymbal placement: long shot but worth mentioning. Move cymbals down, and closer to the drummer rather than higher up and farther away. Much easier to control arm movements (and therefore volume issues) that way.
  5. Have the drummer listen when another drummer is playing. I had a drummer who was having a hard time playing quiet. He helped run sound one day when another drummer was playing. He actually turned to me and said “ah – now I get it.” Because he was able to hear the drums in context, out in the room. Might work!

And yes – thinner cymbals will help (but you can always hit them harder). Different snare drums might work (but you can tune them to really cut through the mix, wail on them, etc). Different heads might help a bit.

But it really does start with the drummer.

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Posted in Drums, Playing Live, Worship

Tips for Consistent Songwriting

6056213346_9729bbb4ff_nI just saw two articles talking about songwriting, and I thought they had some really good tips.

The two articles are:

Some of the tips that I liked include:

  • Write to a prompt. Choose a one word prompt, and write a song around that prompt.
  • Finish the song. Even if it’s bad. Apparently some people use a content creation calendar, set goals (i.e., write a chorus today), and stick to it. Wow.
  • Write the skeleton first, then fill in the blanks.
  • Write for a predetermined amount of time. Set a timer, say for 1 hour, and write.
  • Write something every day – even if it’s just a title, or a few possible lines of a verse.

I’ve been … meaning to get back to songwriting … (translation: procrastinating) and reading these two articles really gave me a bit of a kick in the pants. I finished one song this year – I wonder if I can finish writing and recording two more?

We will see!

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Posted in Song writing

New Song – If I Stay!

I have a new song up on Soundcloud called If I Stay. Please take a listen, favorite it, share it, etc!

This song is sorta special to me. Why? Because I took a very different approach to writing it, and it worked.

What did I do different this time? I just … sat down and wrote the song. Took me 45 minutes or so. From start to finish. With no ideas about lyrics, chords, or melody lines at all. And I was successful – weird!

Why did I do it that way? I got the idea from Joe Gilder over at Home Studio Corner. I’ve been enjoying his YouTube content lately. He has a couple of videos where he writes a song from scratch (one of them is embedded below) and shows his process:

Cool huh? So I thought – I think I’ll try that (without making a video of my process). And what the heck – it worked!

This was a very new writing process for me. I usually wait until I have some words, or a hook, or a riff, or something, and the song is nagging at me to “write it already.” Then I end up doing a bit of editing, to make all the different ideas match up. It’s a bit tedious, but it’s worked for me over the years.

But this time? I just sat down with my guitar and my iPad, and started writing. And a song came out. Sweet! Is it my best song ever? Beats me. It does happen to be my first acceptable love song, so there’s that.

It’s also the best mix I’ve done to date. Watching all these YouTubers is slowly paying off that way. I’m picking up some good recording and mixing tips.

So anyway – my point?

  • Listen to my song and share it if you like it. Share it if you hate it, for that matter 🙂
  • Change up your writing process, if you haven’t in awhile. Try something new and different. It just might work.
  • Take some time to find people who are already sharing stuff – on YouTube, in a blog, etc. Watch read, listen, and learn.

Thanks for reading!

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Posted in Song writing

Recording my Drums

I recently recorded my drums, and like how the recording came out.

Well – at least how the drums sound! Watch the video, crank up the volume, and enjoy the awesome tone of my drums.

I know I did!

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Posted in Drums, Recording, Uncategorized
David Lee King

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