Fin Henderson epitomises the DIY culture that Salute Music Makers is all about. From his bedroom in East Yorkshire, this songwriter and 2017 Salute Music Maker Winner, has honed his sound, dedicating himself to a career that brings many risks and challenges which this year sees him come out on top. Fin and SALUTE are now a part of the DIY musicians’ revolution – an organic, grassroots movement.

Here we step back a little to look at how it all began with his bedroom studio setup.
  • SALUTE: In terms of setting up your bedroom studio were there any DIY/Bedroom artists that you saw come out and made you think that you could potentially do that too?
Absolutely! 100%. I started trying to set the whole thing up when my main entertainment source was Youtube when I was around 13-14. I spent up to hours a day watching various musicians release what they had put together in their home studios. Especially when even more blog type Youtubers like Charlieissocoollike started making music, it made me realise it must be possible to at least get started. Then once I had got things going it was clear at each stage what would be amazing to push things forward, so I would often have a list of what would be the next thing to aim towards. It was a great hobby for sure.
  • SALUTE: What equipment do you use to record at home Fin?

I do 90% of my own recording at home, in my bedroom. Although, saying that, my tracks for Salute were done at a mates’ studio in Harringgate. Most of the time though it’s me in my room.

It’s all very DIY, which is great because I can work for whatever hours, but because I am not that trained in production the end result isn’t always what I want. It’s great for getting concepts and songs to a point where I can share them with people and I’m really looking forward to taking things to the next level after my success with Salute.

  • SALUTE: Without the formal training do you use a lot of online tutorials?

In terms of how I picked up my current skills, the basics were taught to me at school on an old version of Cubase. I invested in a more recent upgrade of the software and have learned through a lot of trial and error basically. I remember trying to set up one night but figuring it all out as a 14 or 15 year old was really frustrating sometimes but that’s how I learned my way around it.

  • SALUTE: What is on your wishlist for new software/hardware for your home setup?
Oh gosh. I’m pretty happy to be honest. My biggest limitation currently is definitely my own knowledge and ability. There are, however, a couple of things that come to mind. A proper mixing desk and a bass guitar would definitely make huge steps. I always work with a vocal microphone too so it would be great to have some microphones for cello and guitar.
Software wise, some great drum samples would be amazing. I don’t have a kit in my room so that would also make a huge change too I suppose! But I am super grateful for what I have that’s for sure.
  • SALUTE: Do you use a lot of hardware?

Hardware wise I don’t have a lot at the moment. Sure I have my trusty Cubase software so at the moment I use an M-Audio audio card for my microphone and record the keyboard into Cubase. I use a Lewitt microphone and I really like that. It’s a good little set up where I can have days where I put things together and put classical bits together that don’t have to be amazingly produced. Overall it’s a great little experimentation hub.

It’s good to have a consistent sound but sometimes I find it hard to reign in my imagination.

One of the problems with trying to move forward in music is that I like so many types of music that there is no ‘sound’. I enjoy experimenting with music and drawing on different influences. I like being able to create something that doesn’t have to fit the mould and I can work my sound into new compositions. Being able to pick something up and make it work musically is what it’s about.