It’s a new year, but I’m going to revisit a topic from last year… any year for that matter.
Can you record Broadcast Quality Music if you have a limited home studio? Yes, but it depends what you’re recording. If you’re trying to do big, lush Orchestral tracks, you’re going to need outstanding virtual instruments or samples and lots of tracks.
If however, you want to start out with some simple ideas that can and very well should get some Film and TV placements, you’ll be surprised by how little recording gear and instrumentation you can get by with.
Imagine a chase scene in a Dukes of Hazard type show. Can’t you just hear a Jew’s harp melody and a washboard percussion track? How hard would that be to record? Just about any microphone would work fine, but I’d recommend a Shure 57. Everybody has one, they’re pretty cheap and they handle a lot of level, which I’m sure you’ll get from that washboard!
Bang out a simple “Hillbilly” melody and rhythm, lay down two minutes and give it a buttoned ending, and bammo, you’re good to go! Make sure you’ve got nice, healthy levels while recording and get a good blend while mixing and you may have just created a contender for a Production Music Library and eventual placement in a TV show or movie.
Want to try another? How about a scene in biker flick? Imagine a hot, dusty scene outside of a biker bar in Noweheresville, Nevada. The head of the biker gang just came out the front door, only to notice his 1964 Harley had been knocked over and is on its side, spilling gas.
I’d go for a haunting slide guitar part combined with a distorted harmonica to add some tension.
Want to hear a great example of exactly this type of track? Here’s one done by TAXI member Jeff Greenleaf. It recently got a TV placement in MTV’s Nitro Circus. Here’s his forum post about the placement and a link to the track.
Harmonica on Nitro Circus
I just heard 2 of my harmonica/slide guitar songs on MTV’s Nitro Circus episode 9 (season finale)!
They played both songs in entirety, which was very cool.
I’ll attach the songs and if you want to watch the episode it’s in beginning of part 2 (from 5:27-6:14 and then 6:40-7:10).
And then there is this little beauty! TAXI member Bob Mete had a solo piano track (that he wrote thirty-five years ago!) licensed by a major fragrance company for an entire year on a worldwide basis. The licensing fee alone on this was $15,000. Go Bob!
Yes, the licensing fee was $15,000 for a solo piano piece! Can you record a solo piano piece and make it sound good in your home studio? Read Bob’s story here.
I hope I’ve inspired you to get off your tush and start listening to more TV to see how many simple tracks are used every day. They’ve got to come from somebody, and that somebody might as well be you!