Budget Recording Inspiration: 4 Ways To Practice Your Sound

When you’re starting off as a recording artist, one of the first challenges can be figuring out how to record on a budget and still attain something approaching professional sound quality. This comes down to things like finding the right equipment, choosing your software, and a lot of trial and error. Within that trial and error though, you’ll need plenty of ideas and inspiration as to what you’re actually going to record.

It’s important to distinguish that the point here isn’t finding inspiration for the eventual sound you want to land on, or discovering what kind of artist you want to be. Rather, it’s about landing on some types of music that you can easily practice at a high volume, such that you get ample experience creating and tweaking recordings.

These are a few ideas along these lines.

1. Mobile Games
It’s not something you necessarily notice until you’re consciously thinking about it, but mobile games today achieve much of their success through audio and visual elements. While these games have gotten a great deal bigger and more interesting, they ultimately can’t compete with the size and scope of console or PC alternatives – which is why it can be the little things that make them stand out. As part of this general idea, it’s often the soundtracks – simple, sometimes somewhat whimsical, but affecting and addictive – that set a game apart. We’d recommend playing some mobile games with interesting soundtracks, then playing them without sound and composing your own. There’s a virtually endless selection of these games, so this is a good way to get some easy recording practice without worrying too much about your actual artistry.

2. Casino Games

Casino games work in much the same way that mobile games do in this regard, which is just to say that the little things like visual quirks, music, and sound effects can sometimes make more of an impression than actual gameplay. You may not be as familiar with these games, particularly if you’re in the U.S. where they’re widely prohibited. However, with New Jersey’s bonus-infused game offerings setting the tone, and some sites offering free casino gaming demos online as well, these games are accessible in various ways. You should be perfectly able to try them out, get a feel for how soundtracks benefit them, and then design and record your own alternatives. Again, it’s a nice vehicle through which to try a lot of different things and get used to the actual recording process without worrying about your own musical catalogue.

3. Movie Montages
Needless to say, movies can also be great and limitless sources for interesting music and soundtracks. Scoring entire films on your own just for recording practice is a bit much to ask (though it could be a fun exercise). Instead, we’d recommend looking through some famous scenes or some of the best montages so that you can focus on recording music for quick sequences. A scene like a montage is largely built on music, and getting to know such a scene, muting it, and attempting to replicate the same feelings and excitement with your own recording can be an excellent challenge.

4. Soundcloud Mixes
Lastly, you can also explore various concepts that amount to more direct imitation and practice. For instance, go through and find some of the latest Soundcloud mixes, or just some of your favorites, get to know them well, and attempt to make recordings that match them, or at least sound similar. This is much easier said than done, but it’s good practice – not just for recording in general, but for attempting to make specific things work that you may not have experience with. Naturally you’ll have to keep these kinds of recordings strictly to yourself (as in, you won’t be able to sell them), but it can still be something fun and productive to try.