A keyboard in front of a laptop in a home studio

Quality Home Recordings In The Mainstream

I love quality home recordings and  I’m a big fan of great records.  I’m an even bigger fan of great records that were done in less than perfect conditions.


Because I can relate and it’s hopeful to an up and coming engineer/producer.

I’ve had bands send me home recordings that blew my mind and bands that have sent me recordings done in multimillion-dollar facilities that were nothing short of robbery.

Years ago, I read an article from Graham Cochrane on how many famous artists have done incredible records in home studio settings and opted out of large facilities.  I was so inspired.

Why Quality Home Recordings?

I believe there are multiple reasons to do a home recording.  Number one may be budget (especially in this modern broken music industry).  Other reasons may be comfort, inspiration, and freedom to record in your underwear.

Here are a few artists that have done great recordings in home setups.

Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys - Quality Home Recordings - www.digitalrecordingschool.com

This girl is on fire…

Okay, that was a bad joke.

Alicia records in some of the greatest studios in the world!  She has the budget to travel and work out of multiple cities and to choose whatever gear she thinks will help get the job done.

But Alicia was so busy touring that when it came time to cut vocals for some of her tracks, her engineer would record her in her hotel rooms on tour. 

Imagine the vocal stamina she has to be able to do that!


Red Hot Chili Peppers “Blood Sugar Sex Magik”

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Quality Home Recordings - www.digitalrecordingschool.com

It’s no doubt that the Red Hot Chilli Peppers have a unique sound that is a staple to our modern age.  With so many chart-topping hits, a bass player that never ceases to amaze me, and Will Ferrell as their drummer (seriously, it’s his twin),

its no wonder why this band sells out arenas.

Their producer, one of my personal favorites, Rick Rubin offered for the band to move from a studio setting to an old abandoned mansion in California.

Rick has a very cool technique where he tends to make bands uncomfortable and take them back to their roots or into a new place.  

The album went on to be a Grammy Award-winning record and made the band a household name in 1991.

Foo Fighters “There Is Nothing Left To Lose”

Foo Fighters - Quality Home Recordings - www.digitalrecordingschool.com

In spite of my feelings about Sound City, Dave Grohl is a bad ass in rock and roll.  There is no doubt about that.

The Foo Fighters have won countless Grammy awards, consistently sell out venues, and he even played with a cast when he broke his leg.

In 1999 the Foo Fighters recorded “There Is Nothing Left To Lose” in Dave’s basement.

“Dave, turn down that racket!”

“It’s my last take, Mom.  Leave us alone!”

Gotye Somebody That I Used To Know

Gotye - Quality Home Recordings - www.digitalrecordingschool.com

I remember years ago my roommate coming home and telling me “you have to check out this new artist that just put a music video up on YouTube.”

At the time Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To Know was just released and barely had 5,000 views.

I am a big fan of Gotye’s story!  Unlike these other artists above, Gotye didn’t have any Grammy Awards or even a sustainable audience at this point.  He is someone we can all relate to.

I thought the music video was nothing short of symbolic art with a stroke of brilliance.

The song became one of the best-selling songs of the year and it was written and recorded in his parents’ barn.

One of the coolest things that he did was create multi-samples of organic instruments to use on a midi controller which you can check out in the video below.  Cool creative stuff!  Using what?  Hand me down instruments, a $100 organ, a laptop with Pro Tools, and a cheap midi controller.

And he won a Grammy.

This artist without a record label was on mainstream radio overnight doing countless interviews on television, performances at award shows, and touring the world.  Now that’s a quality home recording!

Can You Do It?

These people prove that you can make Grammy Award winning quality home recordings in the comfort of a home studio.  So here is what I want you to do.  Go make music, stop blaming your gear, and start learning how to make quality home recordings with your current setup.  

I’m here to help and can’t wait to hear what you come up with next!

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