Want to record demos at home

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by legofarley, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. legofarley

    legofarley Member

    Jan 21, 2011
    Olympia, WA
    I am a musician and have been writing music for years, now i want to record my own demos. I have envisioned using either a computer or a small external recording device (4 track/ 8 track). All I want to do is create demo mp3's that sound good and can be posted to the web.

    Any advice to offer? I need some help with computer programs or recording devices, mics, headphones, mic/guitar to computer connections, everything/anything else.
  2. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2010
    Standing right behind you!
    Windows 7, 64-bit Pro or Ultimate with loads of RAM. At least two hard drives, one for C: and one for audio. Get a stand-alone A/D converter that also comes with software (Cubase LE4 springs to mind).

    If you use your own regular speakers, make sure they are in good shape and you are FAMILIAR with them.

    Get a dynamic and a condenser mic. They each sound different.

    Build some acoustic treatment for the room or it just won't work.

    Others will chime in with specifics soon. Stay tuned!
  3. DenoM

    DenoM Active Member

    Jan 22, 2011
    i just started doing the same just with acoustic and vocals, and wanted more instruments,
    I was put on to Studio Pro Tracks - Home by sorefingers.
  4. TimOBrien

    TimOBrien Active Member

    Jan 19, 2003
    My obligatory standard reply-for-newbies that I keep in Wordpad so this is just a paste (I don't want to re-type this all the time):

    First off, immediately get a good beginner recording book (spend $20 before spending hundred$/thousand$) that shows you what you need to get started and how to hook everything up in your studio:
    Home Recording for Musicians by Jeff Strong - $15
    Amazon.com: Home Recording For Musicians For Dummies (9780470385425): Jeff Strong: Books
    (Wish I'd had that when I started; would have saved me lots of money and time and grief)
    You can also pick up this book in most any Borders or Barnes&Noble in the Music Books section!

    Another good one is: Recording Guitar and Bass by Huw Price
    Amazon.com: Recording Guitar and Bass: Getting a Great Sound Every Time You Record (Book) (9780879307301): Huw Price: Books
    (I got my copy at a place called Half-Price Books for $6!!)

    And you can get a FREE subscription to TapeOp magazine at Tape Op Magazine

    Barnes&Noble or Borders are great places to start --- they have recording books and you can go get a snack or coffee and read them for FREE! Don't pass by a good recording book --- this is a VERY technical hobby and you REALLY want to start a reference library!!!

    Good Newbie guides that also explains all the basics and have good tips:
    Tweak's Guide to the Home and Project Studio
    Free beginner PDFs | Computer Music Magazine | MusicRadar.com
    The #1 online community for musicians | Harmony Central
    Tips & Techniques - Gearslutz.com

    21 Ways To Assemble a Recording Rig: How to Configure a Recording Studio Rig

    Also Good Info: Directory - The Project Studio Handbook - Digital Audio, Compression, Mixing, Monitoring, Microphones

    Other recording books: Music Books Plus - Home Recording

    Still using a built-in soundcard?? Unfortunately, those are made with less than $1 worth of chips for beeps, boops and light gaming (not to mention cheapness for the manufacturer) and NOT quality music production. Even the cheapest $50 usb asio card will be a huge improvement.
    #1 Rule of Recording: You MUST replace the built-in soundcard.
    Here's a good guide and user-tested suggestions that work: The Best Audio Interfaces for your Home Studio by TweakHeadz Lab
    (you'll want to bookmark and read through all of Tweak's Guide while you're there...)
    Another good article: Choosing an audio interface - Choosing An Audio Interface

    Plenty of software around to record for FREE to start out on:

    Sony ACID Express (free 10-track sequencer): ACIDplanet.com: Free Downloads: ACID Xpress
    Audacity: Audacity: Free Audio Editor and Recorder (multi-track with VST support)
    Wavosaur: Wavosaur free audio editor with VST and ASIO support (a stereo audio file editor with VST support)\
    Kristal: KRISTAL Audio Engine
    Other freebies and shareware: Music Software - Computer Music Resources - Shareware Music Machine

    Another great option is REAPER at REAPER | Audio Production Without Limits (It's $50 but runs for free until you get guilty enough to pay for it...)
    I use Reaper and highly reccomend it...

    Music Notation and MIDI recording: Melody Assistant ($25) and Harmony Assistant ($80) have the power of $600 notation packages - Myriad: Music Notation Software and much more... / Myriad : logiciels de musique, et bien plus...
    Demo you can try on the website.

    And you can go out to any Barnes&Noble or Borders and pick up "Computer Music" magazine - they have a full FREE studio suite in every issue's DVD, including sequencers, plugins and tons of audio samples. (November 2006 they gave away a full copy of SamplitudeV8SE worth $150, November 2007-on the racks Dec in the US- they gave away SamplitudeV9SE and July 2009 issue they put out Samplitude10SE, November 2010 SamplitudeSilver. FREE. It pays to watch 'em for giveaways...)

    'Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he'll eat forever...'
  5. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    Nov 30, 2008
    Lake Ki-Chi-Saga, Minnesota USA
    Wow Tim, great post!

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