If you are getting started with audio production and don’t know exactly what you are doing then this is for you! When I began writing and wanting to record my music I didn’t know exactly what I needed and where to get it. These are five online resources I stumbled on and that I so wished I knew existed when I started my journey onto the music world.
Maybe you’ve already ventured into making some home recordings of your own and probably you’ve even used free recording software like Audacity. That is fine to make some crude recordings, but if you really want to make things with more than just an acoustic guitar and piano and actually mix music, the first step is to get a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). This is when things start to get scary because most DAWs are so super expensive. Do you really need to spend 300USD or more in order to start mixing?
This is when I tell you the good news that Reaper exists! It’s super easy to install, you can download it for free and although they don’t block your program after so many days of using it with a free licence, and you can technically use it forever for free, you can purchase their license for just 60USD. It’s great software, and it can satisfy all of your recording and mixing needs.
Now, when you get Reaper, you have no idea of how to work it. So you get the manual, and read it. Soon enough you realise how to record tracks and that you can use this thing called plugins, which are basically little programs that your DAW, or main program can open. But you don’t have the slightest idea of what an EQ is for, or what the heck is a compressor. So what do you do? You learn from Graham from Recording Revolution. He is such a great teacher, and if you watch all his videos, you’ll actually then know what you are doing! In his website he sells courses and books, but I’ve actually only watched the videos he has on youtube.
If you’re thinking of what to buy you can watch the Getting Started in the Home Studio series, and I love the Five Minutes for a Better Mix , Mixing a Song From Scratch and The One Hour Mix . You watch those, and you’ll know how to mix, and it’s all for free!
Now that you know how to mix, and that you’ve realised that everyone uses plugins other than those that come together with your DAW, and that there are virtual instruments which you can use to make music, you start checking how much they cost. It’s insane. Hundreds if not thousands of dollars. This is where free plugins come in.
If you’re looking for the best free plugins and instruments, this blog is absolutely genious! They sort out the best free plugins that exist out there and group them up. So you can check their list of the best free EQs, the best free Compressors, Limiters, Reverbs, etc… Check their full list here.
Aditionally every year they release a list with their top plugins and you always find great stuff in their list. Check them out.
4. Save Big on Discounts
Now that you have a DAW, you know how to mix, and you have lots and lots of awesome free plugins, you start wondering if purchased plugins are that much better than the ones you got for free. The answer is that, although there are many free plugins which are really really good, there are also purchasable plugins that have no freebie equivalent, and that you really have to purchase so that you can use them.
But before you actually spend big bucks buying stuff, remember that not always the prices you see on the companies website is the actual best price! Check websites that make promotions like Rekkerd, VST Buzz and Audio Plugin Deals
And even when companies make promotions, go check other websites such as Plugin Boutique and Plugin Discounts because they can make it even cheaper! And waiting for Black Friday and Cyber Monday is always worth it!
5. Monthly Subscriptions
Even if you get some awesome discounts, and buy some things here and there, there is always stuff that you won’t ever have in your computer you know. It’s just too expensive to have it all! But here are the good news! A new trend is starting to form in the market and some companies offer you a monthly subscription that you can cancel at anytime. My favorite one is Eastwest, for instruments, and I have yet to try Slate for plugins. But the idea is that for 50USD you can have 25.000USD worth of the best instruments and best plugins that exist in your computer and make a super awesome sounding mix!
It’s not just a dream! You can make top sounding music in your computer! Any other websites and resources you guys have found out about that have helped you? Leave a comment below!