What I need to record quality music at home?

Alright, so I'm fifteen and I really want to do things with my music. I'm kind of in and out of a band but I feel like no one is committed and even then, people don't think about music the way I do. Anyways, I can play all the instruments and everything and basically, I came to the decision to record a demo on my own at home so that I would be able to record all the parts myself. What recording software should I buy/download to record? Everyone suggest Dubturbo to me, but it ended up being mostly for making beats and was a huge mistake for my acoustic-sounding recordings. So just to make it clear now--I do NOT want something that will record music by using "instruments" in the software such as pre-installed virtual drum kits and keyboards and what not. I used to use Audacity, but the sound just isn't clean and I'd rather not have to customize what kind of echo and compression I want perfectly every time I use it. Also, what's a good microphone to record into the computer? I'm turning sixteen and this is the only thing I want, so price isn't much of an issue. And they just sell chords that go directly from the guitar to the computer, right?

Sorry if I sound so ignorant, I just really haven't done much in music on the technical side of things! Thank you!


@AVDADDY LOL yes I know what a chord to play on the guitar is, I meant a sound cord that one would use to plug your guitar into an electronic system (in my case, a laptop)

3 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I do high quality recording and mastering of music. There are many different levels of quality recording hardware and or software that will determine how good a recording you ultimately are happy with. As the equipment and or software gets better so will your technical knowledge need to be to use it properly. So it depends on how much time you want to spend to learn how to use the recording equipment and or software. There are however some pretty decent basic recording system that can give you pretty decent recordings if you choose carefully.

    Most home recordings these days are using computer based music recording system, which is easier to use and edit your music. Analog recording can still provide the best sounding recordings but is very costly and not easy to edit, generally for only for the professional recording engineer.

    First thing to determine for a digital and computer based system is the type of operating system you want to use. Mac based systems give you several levels of systems to choose from and techical knowledge needed to use them. From a music server based system utilizing Pro tools, which is very expensive and has a huge learning curve to use it, to Garage band which is a simple recording computer software.

    A really nice little mac based recording setup is using the Apogee Duet which is pretty high quality interface and software tool which can be purchased separately or as a package with microphone and even monitors if you want. For the money is hard to beat, its pretty easy to use and gives you pretty high quality recordings. Its also small and portable if you want to do remote recordings.

    Apogee makes some exceptional sounding digital to analog and analog to digital converters so they sound exceptional.

    The sample rate you record at makes a huge difference as well so I would highly recommend recording at the highest bit rate you can and then downsample it to what ever format you want to play it back at. The Apogee Duet will allow you to record at 192khz 24 bit which highly recommended to get the best sounding recordings. The quality and choice of microphones is also critical. This is where you can spend some pretty big money if you really want some good recordings. Depending on how good a recording you want and the sound your after will determine the quality of microphones and type of microphones you need. One of the best all in one microphones is the Neumann u87. Its an exceptional sounding microphone and you can use it for pretty much everything. Otherwise there are some microphones that are good at vocals, (ribbon microphones for example) and other microphones for drums, horns, pianos etc.

    I am a big Nuemann microphone fan, as well as the microphones from Manley Labs who makes some of the very best recording microphones and microphone preamplifers. Very expensive.

    One big learning curve is to learn how to setup microphones properly when recording different instruments. I would suggest learning a bit about how to setup microphones to get the best sound and the sound you prefer. I am a big fan of using two microphones one for each channel left and right spaced about 8 away and apart from each other from the instrument your wanting to record. This will give you a nice open very natural recording of most instruments. You can even just play with microphone placement yourself and find the sound you prefer.

    So if you have a mac based system look into the Duet, simple, sounds good, and is even very portable to allow you to do remote recordings.

    PC based systems: There are many but Sony Sound Forge 10 is a nice flexible (although moderately complex music recording software) That I use for both recording and mastering.

    Then all you need is ether good headphones (quality headphones is important) or monitors. Headphones are practical if your in an environment where you cant always have music playing and disturbing people. Really good headphones I would highly recommend( as I use them) are the Sennheiser HD650's. Good for both music recording and mastering. They give you a good honest representation of the recording. If you can use monitors then you want to choose carefully there are many colored sounding monitors which do not give you good honest representation of the recording. Budget powered monitors Tannoy 501A, Adams are nice too but more expensive. And it even gets better from there.


    recording and mastering engineer. high end audio video specialist

  • Lance
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    The weakest link in your system is going to be the sound card in your computer, I would recommend getting a quality sound card installed first or using an external recorder, a better mike is only going to record as good as what the sound card in the computer is capable of, the least expensive method would probably be to get a Tascam portable recorder, these have good mikes can record from 4 to 8 tracks and will keep your production in the digital domain....a good sound card for your computer will probably cost more....also a Tascam recorder like the DP 008 will handel a better microphone than a computer sound card can.....You could also get an external box that records in the computer with a ubs connection this keeps the sound in the digital domaine but this also is probably going to cost you as much as a portable digital recorder plus mike....

  • 9 years ago

    A chord is three or more notes played at the same time.

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