4 Open up your recording software or DAW
Record Electronic Drums Using an Audio Interface
In case your drums are not equipped with a MIDI module, you can opt for anaudio interface. This method is generally more expensive but it also yieldsbetter results. Most drum kits feature audio outputs that you can use torecord live performances.Generally, an audio interface transmits the output from your kit to a digitalsignal which your computer then reads. The computer easily records the signalswith this method. Furthermore, they use a USB connection to connect to yourcomputer. They are also quite easy to install.We recommend that you only buy an interface that is compatible with yourcomputer system.
4. Recording Software aka DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)
The third thing you will need is some recording software aka a DAW. DAWsoftware is what actually records your vocals and stores them on the computer.Using this program you can edit and add effects to your vocals.Some of the most popular DAW Softwares included:Pro Tools Mac & PC Pro Tools | First (The free version of Pro Tools)Logic Pro X MacGarageBand (free) MacAbleton Live Mac & PCReaper (free for the first 60 days) Mac & PCCubase Mac & PCIf you’re interested in finding some other free DAW software then take a lookat this other article we wrote: Top 10 Best Free DAW Software* * *
Reaper Recording Software – or DAWThe above equipment will work in any music making software. In the step-by-step video we used Reaper. But any DAW or recording software like Audacity orGarageband will do the job.
4) Open up your recording software or DAW
There are a variety of options available for you when it comes to recordingsoftware.Some of these are free such as Reaper or Audacity. Some come at a cost such asAbleton and FL studio.When starting out there is no need to buy an expensive piece of softwarestraight away. But it is something you will probably want to look into at somepoint.If you are using Ableton make sure the audio interface is selected as theinput device.Ensure that the correct channel from the audio interface is selected on thetrack you want to record. Arm the audio track (not a midi track) and thenrecord away.The above is obviously very basic. I just want to show you the simplest way torecord your synthesizer at this stage.
Audio Interface (If you buy an analog microphone)
Tascam US-2×2 USB Audio Interface – via Amazon.comAn audio interface connects microphones to computers.If you buy a USB microphone, you don’t need an audio interface, since you canplug into your computer directly.But an analog microphone has XLR connectors, which can’t be plugged indirectly. Instead, you plug them into an audio interface, which can then sendthe audio data to your computer.Audio interfaces can cost anything from $100 to the $1,000 range. Forpodcasters, the low-end interfaces will be more than sufficient in most cases.Here are a few popular recommendations. 1. Tascam US-2×2 USB Audio Interface: This is a budget audio interface with 2 XLR input slots. It’s compatible with both Mac OSX and Windows. It’s also designed to be simple to use, which is why it’s great for most podcasters. 2. Mackie Onyx Producer 2-2 2×2 USB Audio Interface With MIDI: This is another budget audio interface in the same price range, also with 2 XLR input slots. There’s no huge difference from the Tascam audio interface, it’s just another solid alternative.There are audio interfaces that produce higher sound quality and accept moreinputs, but they’re more aimed at musicians than podcasters. Unless you have aunique podcasting setup, either of the above 2 audio interfaces is simpleoptions that will do a great job.
Using An External Microphone With A Digital Audio Workstation
If you’re connecting a microphone to a computer to record audio, chances areyou’ll be working with a digital audio workstation.Digital audio workstations (DAWs) are software programs designed to record andmix audio.DAWs have the ability to select audio input devices independently from thecomputer’s main audio input device. This makes for flexible routing butsometimes leads to user confusion.For example, the operating system could be sourcing its audio input from theconnected audio interface while the DAW is sourcing from the computer’sinternal microphone.Selecting the audio input device in a DAW is similar to choosing the audioinput device of the computer. Once the proper drivers are installed, we canchoose a microphone or audio interface as our audio input.Let’s look at some common DAWs and their specific paths to audio inputrouting: * -> Setup * -> Playback Engine
4. Record the sound of your amp with a microphone
What you’ll need * Guitar/Bass * Amp * 1 – A microphone + XLR lead + audio interface with mic input OR 2 – USB Microphone. The Shure SM57 is an industry standard instrument mic, perfect for guitar cabs * Recording SoftwareThis is the old standby approach, because you get to record the actual soundyou’re used to hearing from your amp. And if you love that sound, then thismight just be the best way to record your guitar. To get the best sound, placemic between 2 and 12 inches away from the cabinet, with mic pointing at thecentre of one of the amp speakers.
1: Record with a large-diaphragm condenser microphone and audio interface
What you’ll need:A large-diaphragm condenser mic is a great way to capture the depth of aguitar’s tone. You can position the mic in a number of ways. Each positionaccents certain aspects of the instrument’s sound. You will have to experimentquite a bit to figure out exactly where to put the mic to get the sound youwant.Start by placing the mic about 3 feet away from the instrument and point itdirectly at the sound hole. At this distance you will capture the rich soundfrom the sound hole, and the attack of the strings. However, you may find thatyou get some ‘booming’ and so subtly adjust the mic so it points slightly moretoward the neck.Also remember the room plays a role in the sound you end up recording. So onceyou have become familiar with your new recording equipment, consider whetheryou need to think about acoustic treatment.
4. (A good budget option) record your guitar with a USB microphone
What you’ll need:If you are on a tight budget, then purchasing an audio interface, microphone,cables etc might be too much. In which case you could purchase a good qualityUSB microphone. The beauty of this is that you do not need any otherequipment, it’s all built into the microphone.So no need for an audio interface etc. The advantage of this is the price, andyou should get a decent recording. The disadvantage is it is not quite soversatile. However, a USB mic is a useful bit of kit to own, even if you go onpurchase an interface and XLR mic in future.
USB Audio Interfaces For Recording Guitar
Although the computer guitar cable is a simple and cheap solution, there are awhole range of dedicated devices which will offer massive improvements inquality. For the guitarist with a slightly bigger budget seeking a higherquality solution, there are a tremendous range of USB devices which have beenspecifically designed from the ground up to with your recording needs in mind.All of these eliminate the need to use your existing sound card for recordingand provide a dedicated external solution with all the hardware and softwareyou need to record your guitar. We are big fans of these dedicated devices,they are easy to use and install, have special inputs for guitar, usually comewith a great software package and will massively improve the quality of yourrecordings.If you need more information before reading on then we have a whole articlethat explains exactly what an audio interface is for complete beginners.If you are right at the budget end, and just looking for a simple connection,then you can buy guitar-USB linking cables which will easily and cheaplyenable you to connect your guitar (electric or electro-acoustic) directly toyour computer. You’ll then be able to record, add effects etc and you will getmuch better results than just going straight to the generic line-in on yourcomputer.However, many guitarists also want to be able to record vocals, so prefer tolook for a device which will successfully record both guitar and mic.Fortunately there are plenty of dedicated interfaces available especiallydesigned for guitar and microphone to USB recording and there is something tosuit every budget.All the USB audio interfaces that have guitar and mic input can be used torecord guitar alongside a dynamic vocal mic. (Look for devices which also haveon-board phantom power if you want to use a condenser mic too or instead – seebelow). These all-in-one devices offer great value because you need verylittle additional equipment to get started – just the device, a guitar cable,a decent microphone and then a pair of headphones or powered speakers andyou’re away. The idea is they are all the computer hardware a guitarist needsto record guitar and vocals and most come with software too.If you want to build a small guitar recording studio around a studio condensermic, you’ll need to spend a bit more and be sure to purchase a device withphantom power. The condenser mic will also cost more than a dynamic mic. Forstudio recording, if you can stretch your budget this far you will get a goodresult .Don’t forget, these USB Audio interfaces bypass your built-in sound card togive a great result, but you will need to listen to them through headphones orpowered speakers (monitors) , as the sound will no longer come out of yourexisting computer speakers. Newbies often plug them in, start recording, thencontact us because they can’t hear anything! The added benefit of buying oneof these USB audio interfaces for recording your guitar and/or vocals is youcan also set it up as your default audio output device (or sound card) so itgives your whole audio set-up on your computer a complete upgrade. Great forYouTube video and general music playback
Using a Microphone to Record Your Guitar
Another option is to use a microphone to record the output of your amp (in thecase of electric guitarists), or your acoustic guitar. A dynamic microphone isusually the first choice if you want to record your amp. Although choice ofmic does depend on the sound you want to get. For real ease, choose a USB micthen you don’t have to worry about any other equipment.Our pick is the Audio-Technica AT2020USB+. The Audio-Technica ATR2100-USBCardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone is also particularly good choice becauseyou can use it either as a USB or a standard mic with XLR output, and you canmonitor what you’re doing with the headphones it comes with.Any of the devices we have already looked at that take a microphone as wellwill be just as good for this recording scenario. If you want to record youracoustic guitar then you should buy a condenser mic and an audio interfacewith phantom power. Or consider a USB condenser mic such as the ever popularand newly improved Samson C01U Pro Studio Condenser USB Microphone.More information about recording using a microphone can be found in our sisterarticle on connecting a microphone to your computer.
USB Microphone vs. Audio Interface
The audio interface is available in different sizes and shapes to connect toyour computer via FireWire or USB. They contain an incorporated microphonepreamps to amplify the signal of your mic to the level of the line. Thisinterface is quite simple to use in order to record a good sound. You canimprove the results of recording by mixing sounds and give different effects.You can use any laptop, computer or tablet for basic recordings because thesedevices has built-in sound cards. A good quality microphone is required toimprove the quality of sound and for professional recordings.On the other hand, USB microphones are designed for plug-and-play use. Theyhave an analog-to-digital converter and internal preamp to amplify your voiceand convert it into a digital stream. It is suitable for podcasters and iPadusers to share all your domestic productions on YouTube or other onlinechannels. A USB microphone can reduce the need for any extra hardware betweenyour computer and microphone. It can capture a good range of human voices withtimbres, tones, flaws, quirks, and pitches. It enables you to upload your workwithout any fine-tuning.An audio interface and the sound card often do the same job because you haveto process the sound recorded by your tablet, Mac, PC, and laptop. The audiointerface is just like an exterior sound card and it is perfect for tabletsand laptops. With the help of audio interface, you can give a professionaltouch to your videos. This onboard sound card offers easy access to the inputoptions. For instance, the XLR mic input can be used for the ¼ guitar jackinput. The audio interfaces enable you to feature amazing quality sound andhigh-quality audio. You will need a MIDI to connect your keyboard controller.
USB Microphone vs. Audio Interface: Which one is the best?
Most of the audio interface is regarded similar to USB soundcards. To connectyour device, you will need a USB adapter or port. The USB interfaces arestandard, and you can easily find them depending on your budget andrequirements. USB microphones with some additional features are regarded asUSB soundcards. You will need USB cards to connect your audio interface toyour computer. The selection of your audio interface will depend on yourrecording situation. Both devices have their features and facilities. A newbiecan use a USB microphone because there is no need to worry about mixingtechnical aspects of the sounds. * A songwriter/singer and guitar player may find it easy to use an audio interface with two outputs and two mics. This system enables them to record on guitar and vocals. For a podcaster, one microphone is enough. * A band will require extra input because they want to record their instruments on different tracks. They can record with a mixer, but the individual editing of each singer and player will not be possible. * A computer DJ and laptop user will need an audio interface with two stereos or 4 mono outputs. The DJ can choose a software to configure all settings. For instance, the DJ can mix through headphones and main mix via speakers.