Recording at home

by Ben Price
(Spring, TX)

Recording at home doesn't require nearly as much as you'd expect. All I have is a microphone, a 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch (female to male) cord plug-in adapter, and my guitar. The rest is all about your programs. Sony Sound Forge (I use 7) is perfect for quickly recording .wav/.mp3 files along with editing volume, equalization, and compression levels. It helps a lot to buy an interface (a microphone/guitar plug-in box) for cleaner, more studio-sounding quality, but it's not necessary. Acid Pro (I use 5) is good for layering .wav/.mp3 files and cutting them into pieces for rearrangement or shortening unwanted parts for song placement. There are a number of programs such as Guitar Rig, Cool Edit Pro, and so on that allow you to add effects to your tracks for a cooler sound. Guitar Rig must be used as a "plug-in" or tool per se through another compatible program such as Nero Wave Editor. Here is my routine:

Sound Forge 7.0 - Record vocal/guitar track directly into computer.
Cool Edit Pro 2.0 - Add effects to vocal tracks (flange, echo...)
Guitar Rig 4.0 - Add effects to guitar tracks (distortion, echo...)
Acid Pro 5.0 - Layer audio files with drum/bass samples to compose.
Sound Forge 7.0 - Render song as .mp3 in Acid and compress in SF


The navigation in these programs takes only a small tutorial to understand. There is a lot of terminology but it's all just big words. I don't even use a lot of tools, just a couple hotkeys for trimming the .wav/.mp3s down to the parts I want in the song and making sure the volume levels are all even so the guitar isn't blaring over the rest of the instruments.

I learned all this without a class or teacher of any kind. So can you :)

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