written by
Lucas Zoik

How I Write and Record Music from scratch - Making a song

Videos Articles 2 min read

Making a song is complex, but not as hard as you may think. Here's how I write and record music

How to make a full song from scratch? That's a question that can really bring hesitation for beginning music artists.

In this quick video, I'll showcase what are the steps I take, from writing to finishing it up.

I recorded the song "Square Dance", using a dawless setup.

The tracks were recorded with an Alesis HD 24xr recorder, using the Ramsa wrs 4424 preamps and equalizers.

1. Write the song

Improvise upon chords and notes until you get something cool.

It's important to document what you're doing

CLICK TRACK: starting the mood and rhythm of your song

If you start knowing the percussion and beat patterns right away, everything gets easier at the end.

For that you can use apps that can create customized drum patterns for you

Sometimes I use "Loopz" for android - https://bit.ly/2R0nAAU

But I mostly record my click tracks from a Casio ctk-2400 keyboard

2. Record the song draft

I press record and perform the demo using a condenser mic. (Audix CX-111)
I usually only record a rhythm-style acoustic guitar.

This draft will be the guide for the full song to come alive.

3. Record the bare bones

I usually record the drums and bass on a live session

For achieving a lively and vibey song, I always prefer recording the bare bones of the song on a live session.

Recording Square Dance: Me on bass, and my friend Amadeu Alamo on Drums.

There’s no problem in recording a song all alone. (I do it sometimes). But there’s a whole another level of magic that happens when recording with other musicians.

4. Recording the overdubs

Filling the song with the remaining tracks

Here’s what I do afterward: I usually record lead guitars, keyboards, percussion, and vocals (after recording the barebones).

This way I can have more control to make thoughtful decisions over the final arrangement.

5. Mixing and Mastering:

Make sure the balances are sounding nice

My Dawless setup: A happy owner of a RAMSA wrs 4424 and an Alesis HD24XR

Mixing is not easy, but It should be simple. It’s definitely useful to know the basics about Balances, EQ, and Compression. You can go a long way just by knowing these three concepts.

Don’t expect to mix your own music on the first run. I highly recommend you sending it to a professional Mixing Engineer. (You’ll thank me later).

I particularly mix my own songs. But it took me a while to get it sounding right. (I still don’t get it sometimes).

For that matter, I highly recommend that you listen to the UBK Happy funtime hour.
All things mixing and mastering I learned s from listening to them.

UBK Happy Funtime Hour Podcast:

End result: Finished song
Square Dance - http://bit.ly/squaredancefsc2020

Complete video

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