Topic: Recording basics?

I'd like to start recording some stuff to my computer.  What do I need to do this inexpensively where I can still get a decent sound? Any recommendations for software?

"A steering wheel don't mean you can drive, a warm body don't mean I'm alive"
Switchfoot

Re: Recording basics?

Howdy 06sc500,

  Well the Free and Easy-To-Use software of choice would be Audacity!  The new version has a whole slew of neat effects to add to your tracks and has a user friendly interface.  Usually by the time you have recorded your first couple of tracks you will have a good handle on it.  Also there is a series of short tutorials courtesy of Russell here in this section.

Take Care;  Doug

"what is this quintessence of dust?"  - Shakespeare

Re: Recording basics?

Hi 06sc500,

You will need software to record and mix with. Audacity have a very good, and free, one which is simple to use. http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ to down load it. Russ also has put several tutorials to help you get to grips with it: http://www.mediafire.com/russellharding

If your guitar has an electric pick up you will need a lead to connect it to your PC and an adaptor to reduce the jack plug size.

You will need a microphone for your vocals (and guitar if it has no electrics). It is advisable to get the best you can afford as with a mic the better the quality the better the audio.

When recording it is always best to record the music first. You can record one or more tracks of guitar, pan and balance before adding the vocals, again you can add extra vocal tracks for harmonies, ooh and aahs before making a final mix and saving as an mp3 for upload.

There are several posts in this section with more detailed help on recording too. Her is one I put up a little while ago: http://www.chordie.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=9253

That is it in brief for more help see the tutorials and ask questions here.

Roger

Re: Recording basics?

If I download that Audacity program, can I plug my electric into the computer and record? If I want to do acoustic stuff or vocals what kind of mic should I get? Sorry, I have no experience in recording.

"A steering wheel don't mean you can drive, a warm body don't mean I'm alive"
Switchfoot

5 (edited by KAP54 2008-09-24 21:26:29)

Re: Recording basics?

Hi 06sc500
I also have been using Audacity for recording the last month. smile It's free and real easy to use although you may find that you will have some tweeking to do on your harddrive.Check out Russ's toots on Audacity as they are extremely helpful. :)I am no pro but I have an electric/acoustic and I plug straight into the mic jack on my harddrive and record no problem.You draw your power from the harddrive. I also plug my keyboard into the same mic jack and have no problem.I will have to buy a special patchcord for this so I don't have to keep switching. $40 bucks in time. LoL
As for a mic I invested $45 and bought a NexTech so I could get good quality,I think.It works good enough for me and am not having any problems.
Excellent link from Roger also. smile for advise
If you go with Audacity than make sure you download the LAME file found at the Audacity download site...this way you can export your tunes to other sites like MySpace.
If you plan on joining MySpace to post your songs then I suggest that you take the time to make sure you sign as an artist and NOT a regular member.To post music you have to sign as an artist.Myspace can be a confusing site to get set up in so take your time as you will have a 24-48 hour wait if you have to resign up due to an error.
I'm guessing I'm greener at this than you and I managed to find my way there with the help of my Chordie friends...No such thing as a stupid question
Hope this helps and am looking forwards to hearing your tunes. smile

Kap54

Just Keepin on Keepin on
Martin DC15E
Cort MR710F
Squire Strat (Chinese)

Re: Recording basics?

06sc5oo yes you can plug your guitar into your computer but you will need an adapter plug, it has a female on one end that you plug your guitar into and a 1/8 inch mono plug on the other end that plugs into the microphone input on the back of your computer I would suggest downloading the first three tutorials on audacity from my mediafire link at the bottom just go to the audacity folder on mediafire and click on the "audacity" folder it will open up and reveal all the tutorials they are all wmv format so they should be viewable with your media player you can buy the adapter at radio shack for less then $5.00 just plug your guitar chord into the female end and plug the small mono plug into your mic input on the back of your pc as far as vocals you can use the same adapter if the microphone chord has a guitar plug !/4 inch(regular ol guitar chord end) the quality of your vocals will depend on your voice for one but the better the microphone the better the results so it really comes down to how much you have to spend but if you go to a music store you may ask if they have any used sure sm58 mic's if not ask if there is a mic that is comparable at a lower price, you never know you might get a bargain but if any members who read this post can point the way to a decent mic that is inexpensive please chime in russell smile

"Growing old is not for sissies"

Re: Recording basics?

Ok, so I have the program now, but I have no idea what I'm doing.  How do even start going about recording stuff on here?

"A steering wheel don't mean you can drive, a warm body don't mean I'm alive"
Switchfoot

Re: Recording basics?

Did you download the tutorials? ok the first thing you will have to do is open the audacity program next you will have to click "edit" and scroll down to preferences and click that on and make sure the box that says "play other tracks while recording new ones is checked and click "ok" now on the right of the audacity screen there is a a picture of a small microphone and next to it is a arrow pointing down click on this arrow and a dropdown screen will appear click on "monitor input" and turn your volume on your guitar up and if you don't see any red meters moving after you play a chord click on the little microphone you should get some meter movement this tells you there is a signal comming in so all you have to do is put on your headset and click "record" the little red button in the row of buttons and start playing your will see a wave form,that is your guitar so record what you want and click the "stop" button and then click the 1st button "skip to start (thats rewind) and press the one next to it the "play"and you should hear what you recorded,to add a new track all you have to do is click record and it will play the track you recorded while recording a new one after you have recorded all the tracks you will have to pan them that control is on the left with the track volume for each track just move them so the vocals are in the center and the guitars are left and right and when your finished click "file" and select "export as a mp3" a screen will come up and ask you for the name and thats all you have to enter click ok and wait the audacity program will send a mp3 file to your "my documents" or just "documents" and if your not satisfied you can do a "quick mix" from the edit screen but before you get into the effects or editing make sure you have a mp3 sent to your files and it will ask you do you want to "save" this project in your satisfied with the results say no if not you can always remix or re record and if you run into any snags give a holler russell smile

06sc500 wrote:

Ok, so I have the program now, but I have no idea what I'm doing.  How do even start going about recording stuff on here?

"Growing old is not for sissies"

Re: Recording basics?

Russell_Harding wrote:

Did you download the tutorials? ok the first thing you will have to do is open the audacity program next you will have to click "edit" and scroll down to preferences and click that on and make sure the box that says "play other tracks while recording new ones is checked and click "ok" now on the right of the audacity screen there is a a picture of a small microphone and next to it is a arrow pointing down click on this arrow and a dropdown screen will appear click on "monitor input" and turn your volume on your guitar up and if you don't see any red meters moving after you play a chord click on the little microphone you should get some meter movement this tells you there is a signal comming in so all you have to do is put on your headset and click "record" the little red button in the row of buttons and start playing your will see a wave form,that is your guitar so record what you want and click the "stop" button and then click the 1st button "skip to start (thats rewind) and press the one next to it the "play"and you should hear what you recorded,to add a new track all you have to do is click record and it will play the track you recorded while recording a new one after you have recorded all the tracks you will have to pan them that control is on the left with the track volume for each track just move them so the vocals are in the center and the guitars are left and right and when your finished click "file" and select "export as a mp3" a screen will come up and ask you for the name and thats all you have to enter click ok and wait the audacity program will send a mp3 file to your "my documents" or just "documents" and if your not satisfied you can do a "quick mix" from the edit screen but before you get into the effects or editing make sure you have a mp3 sent to your files and it will ask you do you want to "save" this project in your satisfied with the results say no if not you can always remix or re record and if you run into any snags give a holler russell smile

06sc500 wrote:

Ok, so I have the program now, but I have no idea what I'm doing.  How do even start going about recording stuff on here?

Hey, thanks, I watched the first tutorial, that's all I need for now.  I figured it out, and recorded some stuff, but how do I get overdrive/distortion as an effect on there?

"A steering wheel don't mean you can drive, a warm body don't mean I'm alive"
Switchfoot

10 (edited by riddler 2008-09-24 23:07:43)

Re: Recording basics?

If you need extra effects you have to download the Audacity VST Enabler http://www.audacityteam.org/vst/

A list of VST plugins are available here http://audacityteam.org/wiki/index.php? … T_Plug-ins

Read your instructions on installation  and using these....Ive used VST effects in reaper and adobe before but not audacity....and each program will have a little different way of installing them...good luck

VST plug-ins need to be placed directly in Audacity's Plug-Ins folder in order for them to show up in the Effect menu. The next time you open Audacity, the Plug-ins will be in your Effects menu. Synth plugins and others that generate signal rather than processing it will appear in the generate menu, and signal analysis plug-ins in the Analyse menu

Re: Recording basics?

I tried that...of course I don't have a clue what I'm doing.  How do I get these things onto my effects menu? All I want is to be able to get distortion as an effect.

"A steering wheel don't mean you can drive, a warm body don't mean I'm alive"
Switchfoot

Re: Recording basics?

go into your audacity folder....click my computer>program files>audacity>plugins....copy and paste  your vst effect in the plugin folder...then when you go open up audacity again it should be listed in the effects...

Re: Recording basics?

Randy will he have to restart for the plugin to take effect or will it just work the first time?

"Growing old is not for sissies"

Re: Recording basics?

I'm sorry guys for being so helpless and dumb but I have no idea how to do any of this stuff!

"A steering wheel don't mean you can drive, a warm body don't mean I'm alive"
Switchfoot

Re: Recording basics?

yeah he will need to close out audacity then open it back up....if it is already running....ill try 1 out myself and see how it goes...im just going by the website instructions right now..

and 06sc500...its no problem...we will help ya all we can....

16 (edited by riddler 2008-09-25 01:24:09)

Re: Recording basics?

I was able to download vst effects from here http://sourceforge.net/project/download … 0.4.15.exe and get them to work...
after download....when you install it....save it to your desktop and it will create a plugins folder there with all the vst effects(about 90 of them)....open that folders and copy and paste all the files from there into your audacity plugins folder....open up audacity and they should be under your effects list then...

Re: Recording basics?

Thanks Randy I was thinking about giveing it a whirl myself smile

riddler wrote:

I was able to download vst effects from here http://sourceforge.net/project/download … 0.4.15.exe and get them to work...
after download....when you install it....save it to your desktop and it will create a plugins folder there with all the vst effects(about 90 of them)....open that folders and copy and paste all the files from there into your audacity plugins folder....open up audacity and they should be under your effects list then...

"Growing old is not for sissies"

Re: Recording basics?

Hey thanks a bunch guys I got it to work smile

"A steering wheel don't mean you can drive, a warm body don't mean I'm alive"
Switchfoot

Re: Recording basics?

thats good to hear 06 Randy will have to take most of the bows for pointing you in the rignt direction with the pluggins i just downloaded them to and installed them in both of my audacity programs and if your wondering why I have two its because some requests for help with adding tracks are either with the new 1.3.5 version of audacity or the old and strangly enough one wont work on the other hense the two audacity programs, and if your inclined add your name to one of the sections for the instruments you can play and help someone else with there songs if they request it (thats why the mediafire link is there) we are uploading and downloading tracks to be worked on or sending the results of what we added tracks to if you get a chance read the "Idea 2 posts" and you'll see what this is all about. You can always get a myspace account as an "artist" that way you can upload your songs to a player and we can all give a listen if you need any help setting it up or with the design for your profile page let me know and good luck with your recordings smile

"Growing old is not for sissies"

20 (edited by riddler 2008-09-27 22:53:52)

Re: Recording basics?

I have some of these effects im using in adobe audition...not sure if they work in audacity but here they are if you want to try  http://www.freevstfx.com/

ps...the vst effects will probably only be sliders instead of the graphic pic you see here...if i remember correctly that is what i read in audacitys site...

Re: Recording basics?

I'm just curious as to why overdrive and distortion don't sound like, well, overdrive and distortion on Audacity.  It seems all I can get is a clean sound, with stuff like reverb, delay, phaser, etc.  Anyone else notice this?

"A steering wheel don't mean you can drive, a warm body don't mean I'm alive"
Switchfoot

Re: Recording basics?

yes i tried useing some of the new pluggins the distortion didnt really distort at all so I dont know I use the effects in my digital recorder and just forget the effects with the ecception of a few like equalization and a few more but overall the audacity program works well enough in conjunction with my 8 track smile

"Growing old is not for sissies"

Re: Recording basics?

I think the program will be better for recording acoustic and vocals.  Is it at all possible to run my guitar through my amp first then the computer?

"A steering wheel don't mean you can drive, a warm body don't mean I'm alive"
Switchfoot

Re: Recording basics?

06 Unless you have a line out on your amp you will have to mic it, if you have a line out just put the 1/8 inch adapter on the chord leading from your line out and plug it into your sound card if not place a microphone in front of the speaker and adjust your send volume (you can monitor this on audacity) and make sure the dark red meter bars are not constantly peaked to the right as this would indicate a distorted signal smile

"Growing old is not for sissies"

Re: Recording basics?

So, on the back of that - If I run my usual circuit and use my amps line-out into the 1/8 inch jack for the pc - would it actually record the distortion or not?