Have you considered recording your music for the first time?
Have you procrastinated about it?
I won't even call you out. I'm just gonna say this;
if you have deep concern about undertaking a recording project, good for you.
It's really an immense amount of work and commitment.
You will be leasing your brain out for a matter of months, and the artistic, emotional and physical fortitude required is unlike anything I've ever experienced.
Having begun the adventure, I am over half way through recording my actual vocal (heaven help us!) and acoustic guitar tracks.
I have learned a few things that I would like to share, hoping these things will help someone, anyone.
1. Don't try to record it yourself unless you're on the 6 year plan. (Or already a pro, in which case, you're not reading this.)
Being an artist and/or writer is NOT THE SAME THING as being a recording engineer and producer.
It's a different art and craft, it is more information than you care to "pick up along the way" (f you are serious about your project.)
(Not to mention the equipment involved. And learning to use it. And. And...)
I'm not saying it's impossible, just saying I recommend sinking the cash into the product, not a subsidiary of You, the artist; a secondary endeavor.
2. Pick a producer/engineer you love. You will be spending time together. Listen to their work, ask questions.
Believe in and trust them.
3. Don't go in unless you trust your music. You have to trust through this whole process.
4. The harder you work, the better your results. No, you don't have to be a pro to do this, but if you work really hard on your timing, and take those voice lessons you've been considering, and really refine and know your lyrics, etc., you will have an easier time with the rest of the process. Hey, don't bother practicing without a metronome anymore. You probably need it. As a first timer, nothing has gone "as expected", and that is good, because I didn't know what to expect. So...
5. Have very high expectations. Have very low expectations. You want the best you can create. You want to know that you have a lot to learn and that things will likely not go as planned; on schedule, for example. But keep the high expectations in the forefront of your mind as you work through the lows. They're a team.
6. Be humble. If you don't think anyone else's opinion is correct, why hire them? (See 2.)
Is it possible to believe that the world needs what you have, and not be arrogant? Of course. It's not arrogant to know that you are uniquely gifted to create your vision. I believe the more thankfulness, joy and love you bathe your work in, the more your work will refect that energy. Be kind to all and grateful for you gifts and opportunities.
7. Do not be afraid... You are the only and best advocate your music has. Brandish you sword against all FEAR that would seek to destroy your work:
a. Of failure (you've got 2. and 3., right?)
b. Of finances (3. should make you want to do whatever it takes to create these songs.
c. Of the opinions of others. If you really trust your music, you have already surrounded yourself with at least a small group of knowledgable folks who really dig what you do. This is proof that your music matters, and nobody else has to like it, or approve of, your endeavor, not even your mom. Period.
d. (Here's my BIGGIE.) Don't be afraid of the power you have, as an artist. It's ok to shine, it's ok to be good, it's ok, it's ok. Doesn't matter what infantile 13 year olds said about you in middle school, or what jealous relatives who let their dreams be beaten out of them say, or label you. When I was in middle school, I sang a John Denver cover for some elementary students. I made a little boy cry. (Emotionally, not because I sucked.) I became afraid of that power. I learned to sing inside my head, for my enjoyment, and have had to relearn how to sing OUT LOUD. Deal with your stuff. Move on and be the artist you are meant to be. NOW.
e. Of what you don't know. You WILL LEARN A LOT through the process. You will learn terminology, how to stare down a microphone, how to wear headphones and how to keep them quiet, you will learn how to count. You will learn what recording process and style works where you are at as an artist. Everyone involved benefits from you making a great product, so they want you to do good. You will learn, and you will know your music like never before when you are done. Believe you will learn, and do it.
You have given yourself permission and considered the cost, which is no small thing. But then, most big things are made out of lots and lots and lots of small things. Reading this may have been your first small thing.
Now, get in there so your music can get out here.
We are waiting.