However, if you're anything
like me, the soundcard is far too much work. With the
possibility of a new sound card installation, finding
the right connectors, and knowing what you already have,
it can get complicated. While soundcards are the most
inexpensive, the next option is only slightly more and
makes life far easier. Using an interface is what I like
to call " plug and chug home recording."
An interface is essentially a box that plugs into your
computer via a firewire connection or one USB slot. It
contains everything you need to plug in your mics,
guitars, midi, and monitors. Here is an example of a
standard all inclusive interface:
... As a
huge bonus, many of the companies that make these
interfaces partner with software companies to make
bundles. This means that you kill two birds with one
stone because you get your software and interface at the
same time. In the long run, this can actually become
more affordable then the sound card option due to the
bonus software that comes with the interface. If you
were to buy the software separately, you would end up
paying roughly the same amount minus the great
interface. In the end it comes down to personal taste.
- There are two categories that mics fall into, dynamic
and condenser. Dynamic mics are great for high sound
levels such as guitar amps, wind/brass instruments, loud
vocals, snare drums, and kick drums. They are the
perfect mics to start out on since they are relatively
inexpensive and are extremely versatile.
mics are far more sensitive and are great for acoustic
instruments, cymbals, and vocals. While you can get
condenser mics for live performance, a large diaphragm
condenser mic is perfect for home recording vocals.
Unfortunately, condenser microphones can cost upwards of
$400 and unless you have the money, aren't practical to
start off with.
can get a good quality dynamic mic for roughly $100.
They are worth every penny. I strongly suggest investing
in a Shure SM57. It's probably one of the most famous
dynamic mics in the world. It offers superb sound
quality and can be used for amps, wind/brass, and
vocals. It is the perfect mic to start with.
left you can see a Sure SM57 in action on a guitar amp.
It replicates the sound perfectly which is nice when you
are trying to get a pure tone.
mics are a great addition to any home studio. The reason
we don't use them for guitar amps or saxophones often is
due to the fact that they crack the signal because they
are so sensitive.
soon find out that you have hundred of options available
to you in the world of microphones. While I could write
for weeks on the subject, I'll leave you with one more
important detail. You can choose from directional and
unidirectional mics. Directional will only pick up noise
from what it's pointed at while unidirectional allows
other sounds to enter the mic. Both have their pros and
cons. Generally, you won't have too many problems with
an unidirectional mic.
Software - There are many types of software
available that will help you to record via computer.
Some of the most popular brands include Cubase, Sonar,
Cakewalk, Sony Sound Forge, Apple Logic, and many more.
The options are limitless.
the above software ranges from $200-$400. However, you
can get other versions of the above software with an
interface if you shop around. That will save you a tonne
have a steep learning curve. My best advice to you is
read the manual. The manuals are designed to build you
from the ground up and are extremely useful when you get
software package is similar in the sense that they all
have many of the same features that you would find in a
professional studio. You can achieve excellent results
with all of the above programs.
- MIDI is an acroymn for Musical Instrument
Digital Interface. It hooks up to your
keyboard and send a signal with vital information to
your computer software. It is not an audio signal,
rather a device that sends data back and forth from your
keyboard to your computer. It tells your computer what
note you are hitting, when you hit it, how hard you are
hitting it, when you let that note go and moved to
another note, and when you changed a program.
all of that information enter your computer, it is
processed. All MIDI data is completely transformable.
This means that you can make those notes sound like a
piano, violin, or even an orchestra! Once you assign the
sound you want for the data, it is played back and
recorded into a track. Now you can add more tracks of
midi and create your own band from your keyboard.
takes practice, MIDI is an extremely useful tool for
anyone who has a passion for music. You can arrange
musical masterpieces for orchestras or find that unique
sound to add to your song. If you would like more,
click here for the most comprehensive guide to MIDI
that I have found on the net. Enjoy!
don't have a computer, or prefer to keep it simple,
there are still plenty of options available to you.
Depending on your budget, you can get a four track tape
recorder with mixing capabilities and great quality for
as little as $100. For those who want more options, you
can get upper level consoles that make CDs. They tend to
range between $600-2000.
not have as many options with the four track tape
recorder but they get the job done. They have the
ability to record mics, guitars, vocals, and much more.
They are a great alternative and recent developments in
technology allows companies to deliver professional
level equipment to the average consumer.
great aspect of these units is their portability. You
can travel anywhere and record wherever you want. Try
taking your desktop or a laptop with the rest of gear
somewhere remote. It's not easy.
mind that these consoles are not the kind your
grandmother used. They are made specifically for home
recording and are dependable. The only downside is that
you cannot upgrade the technology without buying all new
equipment, unlike software which is easy and relatively
cheap to upgrade.
would like to browse through your options, I highly
click here. Perhaps you'll find the perfect tool to
start your own home studio!
Fitting the part.
have the gear, you need the room for it. Ideally,
everything should be able to fit into a small office or
bedroom. The quieter the location, the easier it is for
you to get better recordings. As odd as this sounds, the
deader the room acoustically, the better you are. Some
musicians think the more echo and the bigger the room
the better. This simply isn't the case for recording,
only live performance.
recording at home you want to add all the effects with
your software and have no outside interference. With all
of that said, here are some pictures of my recording
studio located in my office. Everything recorded for our
Guitar Tips newsletter is recorded via this system.