Contest entry: song recorded at home for this class | Skillshare Projects



Contest entry: song recorded at home for this class

Hey Young Guru, 

This course was really helpful and I took away a lot of lessons, which I used to record one of my songs. I talk about how I applied the principles about sound you taught below. 

I recorded this song in my bedroom for this class. I wrote the song and recorded everything in my bedroom except the bass and drums, which were done by my bandmate Finn Hamilton. 

You can hear the song here:

Still a few things to fix but I'll share my progress now and some things I learned from you that helped capture a decent sounding song in my bedroom.

Before taking the class 

The biggest lesson I learned from the class was paying more attention to the space I was recording vocals. Guitar is pretty easy to record. I use a SM57 into my Neve 1078 preamp and Ediorol UA-25. It mostly sounds good anywhere in the house. 

But vocals and acoustic guitar are tough. 

  • I was trying to record in the hall, my living room, and even the bathroom 
  • Everything sounded too thin or boomy with my cheap mic 
  • I wasn't happy with the vocals as it didn't have that "close" feel of a condesor mic 
  • Tons of background hum and noise from elevators, doors closing, and electrical hum of my building which made everything sound muddy 

What I changed from taking your class 

Here's what I applied to fix these problems based on the lessons in your class. 

Improvement #1: audit your recording space 

One of the best tips you gave was first doing an audit of your space. Where is external noise coming from? 

In my condo, it's the front of the house where I get elevator noise, doors closing, and people taking. 

Before taking your course, I actually tried recording vocals right by the door as it has a high ceiling. The neighboors complained! And it sounded like garbage. 

The fix: a $20 door mat. 


This really reduced the outside hallway noise. It works like a charm! 

Improvement #2: find the best space in your house 

You also talked about finding the best space in your house. For me, this was getting away from that front door. It's the loudest part of my condo 

My condo's bedroom faces a quiet alleyway. Before taking the course, I went for the highest ceilings. But you taught me to dampen the sound. So I traded the high ceilings of my front hall for my bedroom corner as there is less noise and it's easier to dampen the sound. 


Improvement #3: record against a wall!!!! 

I used to record in the middle of the room. But in one lesson, you talked about reducing reflections by recording with your back against a wall. This makes a huge difference. 

As you can see in the above picture, I recorded acoustic guitar and vocals with my back against that dresser and against the wall. 


The "sound pads" hanging are actually $10 sleeping maps from Wal-Mart. They work alright. I have a couch cushion, blankets, and a rug and yoga mat on the ground to deaden the sound. 

I also used a couch cushion to "break up" the space in the room, as you explained a square room is the worst for reflecting sound waves. 

Improvement #4: the reflection shield 

I was on the fence for reflection shields. But when you did the demo in the class of you speaking with and without one, I went to Amazon and bought one. I bought the SE Electronics Reflection filter. 

This makes a noticable improvement, especially when you want that thick closer sound from a condensor. Especially for singing close to the mic. I really am a believer now for this piece of gear. 

The condensor mic I have is inexpensive but works good. It's a $200 Audio-Technica AT2035. I used it on vocals and acoustic guitar for this track. I also used a pop shield as I found they are super useful, to prevent pops and clicks in vocals. 


Improvement #4: electricity hum  

You made a side comment that electricity sources can affect the quality of the recording. I had never heard that. But it made total sense. 

You know what drives me nuts? The sound of my fridge humming in my condensor mic. 

So thanks to you, I shut down the breaker for the fridge for each session!!!! So much better. I ruined some milk, but gained a clearer sound. 

Now, my signal is cleaner going in and I don't have to EQ the white noise away.

Improvement #4: looking for more ways to improve my home enviroment 

Before the class, I kept on looking for more gear to improve my sound. But the audio treatments and breaking up the room space really counts. 

thanks man!!!! 

Here's the song again (please suggest any fixes or anything to improve!)

Gear used: 

Lyrics and music was written by me. Guitar, vocals, mixing done in my bedroom. Bass and drum loop created by Finn Hamilton.

  • I use a Fender Deluxe amp and SM57 to record the electric guitar.
  • Acoustic guitar and voice recorded with a Audio-Technica AT2035
  • I have a Neve1078 pre amp and Edirol UA-25 interface 
  • Old Macbook (2009) used with Logic Express as my DAW 
  • SE Electronics and Pop filter used for vocals 


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