How long has your song been sitting in the closet? Do you remember the commercial of the doting mother who took pictures of her children, but the film remained in her camera undeveloped? How can anyone enjoy or appreciate your song if it hasn’t gone through the recording process?
There are many things to consider when your song hits this stage. Is the song ready to record? Does it need a rewrite? What is the price to record? What is the availability of a studio in your town, or do you have to travel to another? Should you sing on your song? Should you use a home studio or professional studio? Should you produce it yourself or hire a producer? Play your own instruments? Utilize background vocals? etc.
There are so many questions to be asked and answered. Let’s highlight a few.
Home Recording vs Professional Studio
It’s no secret that it has become much less expensive to record at home. Equipment is available all over the Internet, from entry to expert levels. There are, though, many factors that go into capturing optimal vocal and instrumental sounds. Just having the equipment in hand does not guarantee a great sound. We could write entire articles about techniques and nuance.
On the flip side, there is also nothing wrong with having G.A.S. (gear acquisition syndrome) and recording yourself, taking the time to learn through trial and error. It will enable you to truly understand the process from the inside out. Then, if you decide to take the professional studio route, it will give you a leg-up when speaking into the production of your song.
Self Produced vs. Hired Producer
A songwriter knows their song. They have been there since conception, and this lends a familiarity on the production side. Self-production can give strength to a song that may not be possible without that “marriage”.
What a producer brings to the mix, though, are fresh ears and new ideas. Having a producer opens creative possibilities. They may be able to add that special something to your song that takes it from good to great.
Studio Musicians vs. Self-Musician
If you know and have been told that you have that IT factor as a vocalist and musician, then by all means, sing/play away on your song recording.
A songwriter who recognizes that he lacks the ‘chops’ and vocal talent to portray his song to the public in the best light, and elects to hire someone else to do so, is a songwriter with humble wisdom. The same is to be said of the musician that realizes he may need some ‘help’ on the instrument level. If you are not sure, ask! After all, the idea is to record a song that the audience wants to hit ‘play’ on over and over again!
It is our hope that you realize that having a song finally out of your head and into physical and/or digital format is truly just the beginning. Promotion and marketing come next. You’ve heard the saying, “If a tree falls in the woods and nobody hears it, does it still make a sound?” The same goes for your recorded song. “If you have a song recorded and do not promote it, will people still hear it?” Don’t be one of those people that are addicted to production and allergic to promotion.
If you are going to record that song with the talent God gave to you, do it with fervor and conviction to the fullest of your capability from beginning to end. The world can’t wait to hear it!