Home Recording on a Budget

I am in the process of recording my debut solo EP. I liked working with my brother on our Christian band TACKAPBAND, but he doesn't really have time. His job is too demanding. And so I have decided to branch out and record my own EP at home and I'm using a different approach than I've used in the past. Our 3 song TACKAPBAND EP cost about $1800 to record, mix, master and produce. I won't tell you how much we "made" on it, but it was WELL under $1800. This time I'm spending very, very little. I hope to have the EP finished before Christmas of 2014, not because it will have any Christmas songs on it (hey not a bad idea tho...), but rather Christmas time was just an arbitrary constraint I put on myself. It's a goal I think I can achieve. Anyway it will be a 4-5 song EP, 1 or 2 of which will be instrumentals and three praise/worship songs. I'm going to provide the songs free for download to churches and music ministers/praise bands, with words and chord charts, etc to help them perform it completely for free if they so desire. But the point of this blog post is how I am going about recording this very inexpensively. The big cost is that I'm using my Samsung Galaxy s5, which is...not cheap. But the software works on other, older, cheaper android devices like the Galaxy s3 and s4, the Note 2 and 3, etc. any device that runs Android OS 2.2 or higher. 1st I bought this $6 device on Amazon
It's a guitar-to-USB interface, but it works with microphones as well. I also purchased a micro USB cable for $2. I already had microphones (my main microphone was purchased for $5 in a TJ Maxx clearance bin!), headphones, guitar cables, an acoustic guitar, a bass guitar, a drum machine (used/cheap on ebay!), an electric guitar, etc. The Software I use is Audio Evolution for Android, which I found in the Google Play app store for $7.99. I had to purchase the in-app $6.88 charge to use the USB function. The interface, cable, app and in-app USB purchase totaled just under $25. I don't really count my Samsung Galaxy s5, guitars, amps, guitar cables, drum machine, microphones, etc as part of the cost of this project because I already had all of those. After a few days of recording demos and scratch tracks to learn how to use the software, I began recording in earnest last night on the 1st song of the EP, "This Grace". After the song is written and mapped out (verse 1, chorus, verse 2, chorus, bridge, etc etc) my 1st task is to record the drums. I have an old Alesis SR-16 which I use for this. I play thru the song with guitar, and record the drums using the pedal function of the drum machine to add appropriate fills and changes in drum patterns. After the drum track is down, I play the acoustic guitar part on track 2, add an electric guitar on track 3, bass on track 4, and so on. Later I go in and change the sounds, adding compression, chorus, reverb, etc to the existing tracks as well as change the levels and do some "mixing". When the backing tracks are mostly finished I start adding in the vocal parts one at a time. It takes hours but is pretty much my favorite thing to do so it doesn't feel like work to me. It's hard to find time to do it with 2 kids still at home and a wife getting her double masters haha but I'm making progress. Pray for me! Here's my project website: michaelprincemusic.weebly.com As I get tracks up I'll post them to SoundCloud and have them available though my site and will also link them here.


  1. Well life got in the way and I haven't made a ton of progress since Oct. The family trip to Disney World was exhausting (but awesome!), and my wife ramped up her courseload to finish her double masters in May instead of Aug as was previously planned, so we've been busy. Over the weekend I wrote a really, really good song that I want to include on the EP, so that's going to slow things down further. To boot I still am not *thrilled* with any sound I get out of my mic and vocal processing so I'm still working on that as well. But I haven't given up! Still planning on putting out an EP! Stay tuned


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