Here’s an excellent post from the home-recording site, Hometracked, on how to avoid that ‘amateur sound’ when recording music:

10 Hallmarks of Amateur Recordings

Anyone who’s tried recording music themselves will know the frustration – you spend hours working away and getting your mix right, and then come back to it the next day or next week and it just sounds… unprofessional. Even worse if somebody else comments on it!

It can be very difficult to put your finger on what exactly is holding you back – is it the equipment? Something about the way you’re mixing? The performances you recorded? You can hear that something’s not right, but what is it?

Well, wonder no more – Des over at Hometracked has put together this excellent list of common problems which can contribute to that ‘amateur’ sound. They won’t all be relevant to every track you struggle with, but I guarantee that some will make you say “Ah! That’s what it was!”

An excellent set of tips for those just getting started in home recording, and a handy reference checklist for when you’re working on a track. As time goes on, you can train your ears to listen out specifically for these problems, until they jump out at you on first listen. At this point, you can be confident you’ll never turn out a track which suffers from these amateurish indicators again!