Greetings newly minted audio engineer! Here are many tips to make you sound as professional as possible!
First off, you need a DAW. (Digital Audio Workstation) Some of my recommendations include Windows Media Player, Audacity, and Window’s classic Sound Recorder.
Mac or PC? This battle should end right now. I find that producing works best on Windows XP.
You need a room with great acoustics. I would suggest renting out your local cathedral rather than adding a tedious reverb plugin.
Make sure you go out and buy the most expensive gear before you know how to use any of it!
General mixing tips
Mix as loud as possible! It’s okay to clip! Mixing at over 90db is preferable since your ears naturally start compressing for self-protection at this level so you don’t have to add any!
Record everything as close to the microphone as possible. 1-3 inches would work best.
Slow computer and can’t afford an Apple PowerBook? Many audio professionals believe you should record at a 96 kHz sample rate and use as many plugins as possible to make sure you hear every detail and overloading your CPU makes it run faster.
Can’t hear the singing? Make room for the vocals by panning the drums hard left and the rest of the instruments hard right.
Need effects? Record everything at a 1024 buffer size to make sure you have a delay so you don’t have to add it later.
Need more bass? Boost the EQ from 100Hz and below to add bass to things that are lacking it. When dropping the bass make sure it goes below 20 Hz so you can really hear and feel it.
Use auto tune on all the instruments as well as the vocals so everything blends nicely.
Mixes too quiet? Turn up the master fader!
Never use a reference track; it will only hurt your self-esteem and confidence and make you question your motives.