A lot of people ask me how they can get started in recording, and whether or not they need to go to school for it. Thankfully the recording field isn’t one that requires college level education, and can easily be self taught on your own time. I started recording back in 1998 when I received a four track recorder from my parents on X-Mas. As strange as this is going to sound, the internet wasn’t readily available as it is today, and you had to rely on more traditional methods of finding information. Things have changed since then, and its much easier to find what your looking for on the net. So where do you start? Here are a couple sites that will get you well on your way, and answer all the questions that may arise in your recording journey.
Hosted by the charismatic mixing genius Dave Pensado, this online show is one of the most valuable resources you can find today on recording. Dave has mixed numerous top hit records, and has a unique way of translating his techniques and tips to the rest of the world. Each episode features a segment called “Into the Lair” where Dave goes one on one with his audience, and shares his latest tips and tricks. The rest of the show is spent interviewing all the top names in the recording industry. The great thing about Pensado’s Place is that you can’t find this stuff in any school or text book. The show has a personal touch that makes it unique, and continues to inspire not only beginners, but industry leading recording engineers as well.
Not only does it have an amazing name, but its also an enormous resource for every level of recording geeks from beginner to advanced professionals. The format is set within a large open forum where users post questions, comments, and various secrets that open up a progressive dialogue between other fans in the same field. Its a very unique community that will always lend its hand to help out with any question you may have towards recording. You can literally browse the forum for days, and continue to find hordes of unique content.
Unfortunately you can’t just rely on video and text to get started in recording. You need gear! Musician’s Friend is a great starting point to look for what to buy. One of the greatest assets of the site is the user ratings and comments on all the products they offer. This proves helpful when you can’t seem to make a decision on your own. Another great aspect of the site is their ability to offer products that can fit any size budget, from small to large. Even if you aren’t going to purchase anything right away, take a look around and get a feel for what other people are using. They even have a trade in program where you can swap your old gear for new gear. Just make sure you have a strong discipline on your finances, as its frighteningly easy to overspend here.
So there you have it! Three great starting points for anyone launching an interest in recording. The best advice I can give people starting out is to make sure you screw up a lot. When you are forced to figure out how to solve problems, you absorb more information on what not to do. Eventually this will help shape your workflow to be more productive and beneficial towards your skills. There is never one solid rule to follow when it comes to creativity, its completely up to you. Never let intimidation control your creativity, and always pursue new methods that suit your own process. As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to share them below!