From Lil Wayne recording verses in hotel rooms, to Benny Blanco and Ed Sheeran writing Justin Bieber’s hit record “Love Yourself” in a cramped tour bus, creating quality music is becoming easier than ever. As recording technology and equipment becomes increasingly affordable and available, more artists are recording on their own. Kids are now making hit songs out of the comfort of their own bedrooms, with free DAW’s and vocal presets. Take Cl4pers for example; a 14 year old internet sensation who’s song “Want Me” took the internet by storm in 2020 after recording the song on his phone into the free application Bandlab.
Aaron Hunter works in the A&R department at UnitedMasters, a music distributor that allows artists to share their music to platforms while still encouraging independence. He recently signed Cl4pers and had something to say about recording in today’s era. “Way back in the day, you needed a record label just to be able to record your music and put it on platforms,” Hunter says. “It was expensive as shit too. With everything being digital, everyone can record music with a $200 interface, a $100 dollar mic. It’s as easy as downloading a free vocal preset for Logic Pro X or whatever DAW you use. The barrier to entry is way lower than it was before”. This low “barrier to entry” perfectly embodies the new path the music industry is on. Artists such as JuiceWrld, Lil Yacthy, Khelani, and Lil Tecca all started by recording at home and posting on Soundcloud.
Today, the creative opportunities for recording are endless. Unfamiliarity with not knowing what reverb to use, where to pan backing vocals, and the use of certain vocal production techniques are becoming less of an issue with the growth of vocal presets and templates.There’s no excuse to not be recording music, So here’s a budgeted, basic list of recording gear you may need to become the next star:
Audio Interface: Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen USB - $119.99
Microphone: Behringer C-1 Large-diaphragm Condenser Mic - $49.00
XLR Cable: Behringer GMC150 Microphone Cable - $10.99
DAW: Garage Band, Audacity, AcidProXpress Recording
Vocal Preset - FREE PRESET
That’s it. Yes, that’s all you need. If you think you need an expensive DAW for recording vocals and instruments, take a look at Steve Lacey, who produced Kendrick Lamar's “Damn” and “Ego Death” all in GarageBand. Other songs such as Rihanna’s “Umbrella” and T-Pain’s “Rappa Ternt Sanga” were also recorded in GarageBand. Finally, Cl4pers recorded his hit song “Want Me” on his phone using the free app Bandlab. Recording has never been more available, with cheap gear and vocal presets for any DAW. It shows through underground artists emerging daily. So don’t hesitate to start, you never know where it could lead.