Do it the DIY way – The ‘making’ stage

Written by Kristian Floate

Establishing a name for yourself as an artist is an ongoing process that requires painful amounts of work, and while social media is a great place to begin, it's obvious that rehearsing, recording and the mastering of your music is where things really kick off. Being able to reflect on the time and money that you’ve spent on your music through watching your streaming counts grow, watching fans reshare and praise your music and feeling the satisfaction of simply having ‘something to show for it’ is one of the most rewarding things as a musician. While we know this is where things start to get expensive, it really shouldn’t cost an arm or a leg! So whether you’re looking for a quick release in the form of a roughly mixed demo, or a professionally mastered recording ready for mainstream audiences, here are some tips for where to look and how to approach the ‘making’ process.

Perfecting the song

Before even considering stepping inside the recording studio, a mutual agreement must be made to ensure everyone has their parts polished to ultimate precision. While it’s natural to have minor imperfections in the final track, this is the version that will set the example of what listeners should expect when seeing you perform live. The rehearsal process is a long and tedious one at times, but being able to confidently reproduce the track in the recording studio will ultimately save you time, and most importantly money – especially when you have a producer waiting for you to record the perfect take! During this time, capturing the track using something as simple as your smartphone can help you practice independently, iron out the creases and make sure you’re ready for the recording stage.

Pre-recording preparation

If you’ve decided to opt for a recording studio, make sure you establish a friendly relationship with your producer! Send them a demo and discuss your creative ideas so they can share your vision for the final recording. You’re likely to be assigned a producer who specialises in your type of music, so they’re the perfect person to turn to for support during the recording process. People like South Lanes Co-founder Meg Carnie is an expert at artist development and offers 1-2-1 artist development zoom calls for as little as £25. She can ‘help develop strategy, improve implementation of DIY methods including social media and help schedule release plans to boost your presence as an artist’, an invaluable tool to accelerate you as an independent musician. So, regardless of how prepared you are to record, make sure your producer has enough resources and information so you can simply turn up and get stuck in! This can be as simple as the video on your smartphone from an old rehearsal, or a rough demo – just to give a taster of what you’re looking for in the track.

The recording process

When you step foot in the studio, there's unspoken etiquette that you should follow to ensure your session is as smooth as possible! Arrive promptly, set clear goals and know exactly what you’re looking to achieve from the session. As the recording takes shape, understand the need for potential re-takes and changes – patience is truly a virtue here! Make sure to avoid distracting the producer, but DO vocalise any suggestions - it’s your song after all! The recording process is an exciting one, as it’s the gateway to a polished Spotify-worthy track, but to reach the distribution stage, graft and hard work are essential during the recording process.

Rankd’s top picks for BRIGHTON:

Brighton Electric - 43-45 Coombe Terrace, Lewes Road, Brighton BN2 4AD
15 rehearsal studios + 2 recording studios
BOOK: Booking System - Brighton Electric | Skedda
Tips: Booking during off-peak times can save you money! Look for midweek term time slots in the middle of the day, as weekend/evening slots will cost you more! Splitting this cost amongst your band will also delegate costs and make sure you’re getting the most for your money.

Days Of Week Hours
Friday 09:00 - 00:00
Saturday 10:00 - 22:30
Sunday 10:00 - 22:30
Monday 09:00 - 00:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 00:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 00:00
Thursday 09:00 - 00:00

Small Pond - 27 Castle Street, Brighton BN1 2HD
8 rehearsal studios + recording studio
BOOK: Booking System - Small Pond | Skedda
Tips: Looking to set up your own event? Small pond offers kit hire for your next gig without breaking the bank! Small Pond are ‘community hub for bands, artists, and creatives in Brighton, somewhere that fostered creativity and connected like-minded people together’, so look out for opportunities to connect and collaborate with likeminded musicians.

Days Of Week Hours
Friday 10:00 - 22:00
Saturday 10:00 - 22:00
Sunday 10:00 - 22:00
Monday 10:00 - 00:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 00:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 00:00
Thursday 10:00 - 00:00

South Lane - 15-17 Middle Street, Brighton BN11AL
Recording + rehearsal studios
BOOK: Schedule Appointment with South Lanes Studios (
Tips: South Lane studios offers a full single recording deal, with artist development and pre-production consultation included! More information can be found here. You can also perform live through submitting your interest here.

Days Of Week Hours
Friday 09:00 - 22:00
Saturday 12:00 - 22:00
Sunday 12:00 - 22:00
Monday 09:00 - 23:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 23:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 23:00
Thursday 09:00 - 23:00

Now, these may be slightly on the expensive side – but there’s also a great selection of community-led facilities that are even more affordable! One of which is The Rose Hill – ‘Run by artists and musicians, The Rose Hill is an independent venue, recording studio, label, creative hub and co-working space’, so why not get in touch and see how you can work with them? Boasting two studios and a live room alongside the possibility to hold your own event, this musically driven community hub is a great place to immerse yourself with industry-standard equipment within the City.

So with a little insight into social media tips and tricks as outlined in our previous article, combined with a few suggestions for the ‘making’ stage – we hope this will show that doing things the ‘DIY’ way isn’t as restrictive as it may initially seem! The amount of facilities available in Brighton and beyond are endless, so begin your search and start accelerating your music career to the next level! In our next article, we’ll start looking into how you can distribute your music across streaming platforms in a way that bypasses the need for a label, while keeping the costs low. The creative process doesn’t end once you’ve left the studio, so ensuring your tracks are delivered to audiences in the most effective way is essential to the success and longevity of your music.