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domingo, 27 de abril de 2008

An Introduction To Home Recording



It soothes you on a hot, bothered day and mellows you out when you need to relax. Its your best friend when the world seems to be against you and rises to the occasion when you need it--it's music and you want a part of it. Whether you like Rock and Roll, Hard Rock, Alternative, Jazz, R & B, Hip Hop or whatever, it moves and inspires. In fact, you've probably learned and practiced some awesome rips on your recently purchased electric guitar and you're ready to move onto the next step which is writing and, more specifically, home recording.

Becoming An Artist

Becoming a musician is, as you know, an honor. Many men and women have sacrificed having a normal life in the name of music, especially modern music. Becoming a musician can mean becoming a part of history. After all, mastering an art is very enriching to a life. Therefore, besides education yourself and practicing to keep your art alive, you must really ask yourself if you have the patience, drive and dedication that it takes to become an independent musician and home recording artist. Once you can honestly say that you are ready for the frustrations, the let downs and the rewards of home recording, you can move onto the first step.

Your Studio

The most obvious part of starting your own home recording studio, especially when you're a beginner on the subject, is an empty room. Creating your own private work space is incredibly important to basic creative flow, regardless of how messy or clean you keep it.

Once you have your empty space, insulate it with soundproofing batting which is available online through a good google search. If you're on a budget, make do with inexpensive polyester batting from the craft store and some store brand bed comforters. You can get away with using a staple or nail gun to tack them to the walls.

Lastly, bring your equipment in. Set it up as if you were going to record. You might even get a little amped up and take advantage of your new set up. Or you might be wondering where to go after you've plugged your guitar into your amp. This leads to the next step.


Your studio needs a brain before it can begin playing back. That means a computer and internet access. Choosing a computer for your recording need, however, is tricky. It requires a lot of research and reading a book or two.

The burning question of whether to buy a Mac or PC is not easily answered. In my opinion, a Mac is industry standard at this time but a PC is best for a beginner. The programs involved with a PC are much more user-friendly and inexpensive. Be sure, however, that when you choose your PC, it has an Intel Chip. They're good at buttering your computer up for use of popular recording and musical software. My personal suggestion is a Dell. They come with decent programs and they have a great tech department.

When it comes down to your internet programs, your most reliable selection is Sony's Acid or Vegas, Reaper, Steinberg's Cubasis, or Cakewalk. Of these beginners should use Reaper. It's free, easy and powerful and is music creation capable.

Now your sound room/studio is together and you've hooked up your computer, internet access and installed your music creating program of choice. Now you must begin your research for the rest of your equipment list.

The trimmings, as I call them, would be more obvious equipment like your AC Adapters, cables, mic and mic stand. While most of your trimmings need no serious attention, your microphone does. Get the AKG d790 for banging and screaming. If you have a more sensitive sound, I suggest the EV/BLUE Cardinal. Of course, if you can afford it, the Blue Bluebird is an awesome microphone.

As for your boom speakers and keyboard, each should be chosen with personal judgement. There are a lot of manufacturers out there but it's usually best to stick with the major brands. They have great history and a passion for music that's been passed through generations. This would include Kenwood, Yamaha, Cassio, Behringer and so on.

If you're looking for a great amp and you're on a budget, find a pre-owned Marshall online or hit your local retailer when they're on sale.

Mixers are what perform the much needed task of taking multiple audio tracks and combining them into one stereo or mono track. They are necessary to every recording job and should be added to your growing studio equipment stash.
The standard mixers you will find in any recording studio or perhaps on stage at a concert, have multiple mic preamps, a 2 to 4 band EQ per channel, 1 to 4 effect loops per channel, and a slider for each channel to adjust the channel's level. For a beginner, I would suggest an analog mixer. Do some research to find out which analog will be compatible with the rest of your gear. If you need expert advice, hit the Guitar Center or check out Soundetta.com

When purchasing a recorder, be sure to pick something that has enough inputs to create a decent recording for your project because you will be unable to edit later, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Low end recorders also have very small LCD screens, and limited onboard effects, which usually isn't a problem for garage band set ups so long as you find something that has a compressor, limiter, EQ and reverb.

In Closing

Now that most of what you need is laid before you, find some help in setting it up if you don't have the know how. Research and reading will only go so far, so make some friends in the industry by creating a blog, becoming part of one or checking the postings at your local college. Often time in the world of recording you will find that absorbing information from watching others is a great key to understanding.

Revel in the many rewards that your gig will bring you. Rock on.

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