I've decided recently that I want to take a course in music production,
there's a local music college that offers a special 8 month course for home producing.
I went for a meeting with one of the teachers there for getting more information and impression and the guy says that with the right rig and knowledge(which they will supply)
and alot of experience I could really produce an album that will stand on it's own against any other professional production.
I'm not fantasizing on becoming steven wilson after 8 months, but do you guys really believe that with the right knowledge and tools and further experience that I'll get in the future it's possible to achieve this level of producing without stepping out of your room?
The biggest challenges?
- Room Treatment. Not only for recording - the quality of your live room is either the biggest or second biggest determinant behind kit tuning, depending on who you ask, for recording drums, and is pretty big for vocals and acoustic instruments as well - but also for mixing. Even average monitors with appropriate bass trapping and room treatment will yield excellent results, whereas top dollar monitors in a poor room will still be inaccurate.
- Quality of Preamps and AD/DA Conversion Good pres cost money, plain and simple. Matt Crooks's (probably the most experienced engineer on this board, unless I'm forgetting someone) advice to me (which I ignored, I'm afraid) was that given the choice I was probably better off spending my money on a REALLY choice 2-channel interface and just tracking drums at a local pro studio, rather than spending an equivalent amount of money on something decent that would give me 8 or more tracks at a time. The quality of your preamps (and, just as importantly, knowing how they behave and where their sweet spot is - I'd tell you how to know this, except fucked if I know. ) and how cleanly the analog signal gets converted into digital is absolutely HUGE for making a really killer recording.
- Your Ear. Yeah, it's tough to admit, but part of making a great album is being able to hear what makes an album great, and if your ear isn't really that great, then it's like trying to paint with poor motor control, or something. I don't know if it's one of these "you're either born with it or you're not," things, or if it can be developed, but it's crucial.
- Your Neighbors. Because some people don't like hearing a wide-open half stack right upstairs.
My personal thoughts are that it's possible to produce and record a GOOD sounding album in your own home, and it's something I'll certainly be testing as I start work on mine. However, it takes a ton of experience (the pros have been doing this hours a day for their entire lives), a lot of patience, a fair amount of money, and probably a bit of luck.
That said, you mention 8 months... Is that about when you want to record, 8 months from now? If so, and if you have no recording experience, I'm going to say you're probably better going to a studio. Even if all you were doing was recording and mixing 10 hours a day, 8 months is just not very much time to get up to speed, and the number of things you'd have to learn are incredibly diverse. It'd be like picking up a driver and hoping in 8 months time to be able to make it to the Masters. So, really, the ultimate question is this - do you want to have a pro-sounding album in 8 months, or do you want to learn how to record and mix an album, even knowing it'll take years and years to get to that caliber, if you're lucky?