For indie bands, the high-tech products such as ProTools and Apple’s Garageband have become the staples with computers. The generation of young musicians have brought a revolutionary way of recording albums through home studios. This has become the new norm for most indie bands across the globe.
Through home-recording process, past releases have been available now. Such home recordings have made breakthrough yet haven’t been recognized by many. Classics such as Bon Iver’s “For Emma, Forever Ago and Bruce Springsteen’s “Nebraska” serve as perfect example for these. In some cases, songwriters proposed to have the albums rerecord but the original feeling was already lost on bigger productions.
The top 5 albums recorded in home studios are the following:
- Bee Thousand – Guided by Voices. Popular for their DIY recording ventures and creativity, Guided by Voices has always been known as a band of skills and talent. But the Bee Thousand perceives the band’s commitment at its lowest. From their guitars that are cutting in-out of the blend on Hardcore UFO’s to the raucous, out-of-tune bass on Queen of Cans and Jars, Bee Thousand takes tacky, cheap kind of recording.
- Basement Tapes – Bob Dylan and the Band. The band’s Music from Big Pink brought misconception on recording it at home, but offered lively and warm recordings that give plethora of insight on the band’s creative process.
- For Emma, Forever Ago – Bon Iver. In the internet, Justin Vernon’s Cabin Myth has been warped in various ways that made him roll his eyes during interviews. Vernon did a great story out of his famous cabin but the lo-fi tunes of Emma did great in impact to the audience.
- Exile on Main St. – The Rolling Stones. This masterpiece was recorded on Keith Richard’s apartment in south France but widely witnessed as a great piece. It is believed that the recording process done was actually guided by Richard’s jagged working schedule that was predictably offset by drugs, alcohol, and women. But the sound son the album and its tune were amazingly great.
- Nebraska – Bruce Springsteen. Beautiful, frightening, and sparse, Nebraska perceives the Boss with some darkest subjects. Bruce Springsteen had recorded this album on Tascam Portastudio along with 2 sm-57 Shure microphones. His mix engineer and long-time recording has been creative enough that even it was made with cheap instruments, the album went surprisingly perfect.
Today and even before, the advancement of technology has simply brought great transformation and opportunities for both Indies and established bands around the world. It only needs great talent as well as passion in order to produce one of a kind, lingering album that can stand the test of time. Although it is often misunderstood that home studios lack quality, with proper equipment and knowledge, the creative process has been enough to prove that home studios can bring the same quality as those in fully-equipped studios.
The thing is, talent can never be hindered by the kind of studio therein. As long as there is time and talent as well as perseverance, it is not impossible to produce and album especially for the newbies.