Jr. High School Man

June 1, 2011 11:21 AM

I recorded two albums with my band The Tower of Dudes. One of the albums was recorded in my apartment with a minimal amount of equipment. The other album was recorded in a studio with a lot of good equipment. I have my own feelings about the two different recording experiences, but I am curious about your thoughts:

a) Can you tell which of the two songs uploaded were professional recorded?
b) Which sounds better to you?
c) what are your thoughts on home recording vs. studio recording?
d) Is the studio worth it?

Here are the two videos that go along with these songs (if you are the kind of person that likes to watch their music):


Jr. High School Man: www.youtube.com/watch?v=seWzk93wAB8
Hibernation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZHS7wgQ-eY

posted by Johnny Feelings (7 comments total)

Oops... I can't upload the second song until tomorrow. You can just compare the video files if you like.
posted by Johnny Feelings at 11:44 AM on June 1, 2011


a) Hibernation was professionally recorded (did I guess right?)
b) Hibernation sounds better.
c) Home recording is fine for everything but vocals, mixing, and mastering. Vocals need expensive preamps and stuff that most people don't have in their homes, and mixing and mastering need expensive speakers, plug-ins, outboard gear, and great rooms.
d) Whether professional studios are worth it depends entirely on how much you have to pay for the professional studio. Professional studio recordings are worth exactly nothing if you don't get the recording mixed and mastered well. Getting a home recording that is done right mixed and mastered well is better than doing a professional studio recording without the great mixing and mastering.
posted by The World Famous at 6:59 PM on June 2, 2011


I don't agree completely with The World Famous. I don't think you can master effectively at home but there is no reason you can't record vocals and mix well at home. You do need some decent hardware but it does not need to be exotic. The ability of the person who is recording and mixing is massively more important than the gear they use. That, of course, may be what you end up paying for in a studio -- the skills required to record and mix effectively at home take a lot of time to develop and you cannot expect to get professional sounding results without a LOT of woodshedding.
posted by unSane at 6:48 PM on June 3, 2011


(I have gotten horrible sounding results in a studio several times)
posted by unSane at 6:48 PM on June 3, 2011


(Once you have the tracks recorded almost everything else can be done with plugins. Of course the good ones are expensive...)
posted by unSane at 6:49 PM on June 3, 2011


I agree with unSane to a point. I've had good luck a few times recording vocals at home, but it has always depended on what sort of sound I was going for. For really gorgeous, lush female vocals on dance music, for example, the necessary gear is really prohibitively expensive. And, as unSane says, the fact that you're in a studio does not in any way guarantee that the results will be any good.
posted by The World Famous at 6:55 PM on June 3, 2011


c) Vocals need expensive preamps and stuff that most people don't have in their homes, and mixing and mastering need expensive speakers, plug-ins, outboard gear, and great rooms.

That's not really true. Vocals need someone who knows what they're doing to record them, because we have a narrower range of what sounds "right". guitars and drums have been made to sound almost every conceivable way, so we're used to tinny guitars, distorted guitars, ticky little kicks with no bass, kicks that are all bass, or whatever.

Spending money makes it easier to get good sounds, but is not a prerequisite. Lots of practice with the same setup will also improve your results.

That, of course, may be what you end up paying for in a studio -- the skills required to record and mix effectively at home take a lot of time to develop

exactly.
posted by dubold at 3:58 AM on June 9, 2011


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