It is amazing how the music recording industry has evolved from a mechanical device invented by Thomas Edison in the 1877 into the sophisticated system it is now. With the help of the technology used in the music recording industry, music is appreciated, performed and enjoyed globally at a surprisingly different level.
- Recording vocals. It sounds simple. If you try to imagine John Mayer recording his song, it would be like he is just standing in front of a microphone singing his piece. You do not see who else is working with him. In vocal recording, there are actually a couple of people who will help the singer in his performance. One will help with the production of the sound and the other with the song performance. Vocal recording also requires techniques managed by engineers who utilize artistic methods to capture the singer's voice. In some cases, studio trickery is even applied to get the desired output. Using pitch control, pitch correction software and an audio sequencer. You may even know some popular music artists whose voices clearly sound like they are technically manipulated.
- Music mixing&multitrack recording. This is the stage where the recorded voice and other sounds are combined into one or more channels. Using a mixing console, also called a soundboard or what is referred to as ‘Out of the box', the sounds are being tweaked or manipulated to get the desired effect. This is the instrument preferred by most engineers. Personal computers may also be used for completing this process with the help of music mixing software programs such as Logic or Pro Tools. Music mixing using the computer is referred to as ‘In the box'. It may sound very technical, but it is still very much an artistic process to create the sound and perfect mix that will appeal to the listening public. After mixing comes the multitrack recording stage where multiple sound sources are separately recorded in order to manipulate the sounds individually.
- Music mastering. This is the post-production stage of recording. After achieving the perfect mix, the mastering engineer will polish every sound detail and the volume in this phase. The recording sound is transferred to the ‘master', a data storage device. From this device all copies of the output will be produced.
Music recording has certainly been revolutionized, such that it is now possible to record even in the comfort of your home. With the right tools, particularly the computer and software programs, you can record your own music minus the mixing and mastering engineers. You can be your own singer, mix engineer and mastering engineer. If you do not have the tools yet, you can browse through the web for several music recording resources where you can find software programs that you can setup for your own music production. Some programs are free, others you will need to purchase. Everything you need for sound recording is available online. Your home can definitely be your studio. You will be amazed to realize that the technology used in the music recording industry is right before you.