Welcome to Home Studio Magic. My name is Keiran and I started this website as an online journal to help me share what I’m learning in my own home music studio.
I have been writing songs for a number of years and I initially became interested in recording technology since I needed to make demo recordings of the songs I was writing.
In the past it was possible to produce a very basic, and often quite rough, recording of songs for publishers, producers and artists but times have definitely changed.
I started off just recording myself singing my songs, with basic guitar backing, into a cassette recorder before moving on to four track cassette recordings, basic computer audio recording, and now sophisticated digital audio workstation (DAW) software.
The equipment needed to produce a very high quality demo recording is now within the financial reach of many more people. This means that publishers, producers and artists have come to expect professional-sounding demo recordings, and won’t accept anything less.
The first time I sent demo recordings of some of my songs to a music publisher back in the 1980s the recordings were really bad. I had played a recording of my guitar backing track on one portable stereo cassette recorder (a ghetto blaster, boom box type of thing) while I sang and recorded my singing and the guitar being played back on another one.
The publisher I sent these awful demo recordings to was EMI Music Publishing in London. Incredibly, they took the time to listen to my recordings and write me a nice rejection letter.
Nowadays publishers won’t even listen to unsolicited material, and they definitely won’t listen to a low quality demo recording even if they do agree to listen to your songs. Something you hear a lot is that songwriters and composers also need to be producers too.
The songs I sent to EMI all those years ago weren’t very good at all, so I’m not sure a high-quality demo recording would have helped very much.
There’s a lot for songwriters and musicians to learn about recording and music production these days. Even a stripped-back demo recording with just voice and guitar or piano needs to be very high quality for it to be taken seriously.
Technology has also made it much easier to release your music yourself. Music publishers and producers often want to know what people think of your music before they will think about becoming involved with you.
This means that releasing your own recordings on platforms like Soundcloud, YouTube or Spotify can be a good way to get started and show the professionals what you can do. This can also put you in a stronger position when it comes to negotiating a deal with them.
There’s no need to spend a fortune on equipment (although many of us do) but we should try to learn about how audio production works. With Home Studio Magic I’m hoping to keep track of what I’m learning and hopefully share some information that others will find helpful.