Friday, May 18, 2007

Recording a song

I received the following question from Michael -- what kind of recording system do you use to record your song for a day? Are you using a PA system and then recording to what? And how do you post it using quicktime?

My response was:

I started with an old cassette recorder and even used my camcorder when in a pinch. Now I have an 8 track digital recorder, Zoom MRS-802B. The system with accessories costs about $1000. This includes a condenser mike, 2 headphones, speakers, etc. From that I burn to a CD. I then use my computer and a FreeWare Program, FreeRip, to convert my audio track to MP3. From there I load it to my website. If you don't have a website, MySpace allows you to post up to 3 songs free.

If I did it again, I would check out ProTools which runs off the computer. If anyone has a suggestion, add a comment.

I'd also suggest finding an easy to use system, rather than the most advanced, unless you are a techie. Each system has a large learning curve! I use only about 5% of the functionality of my recording system.

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At 11:59 AM, Blogger Tony said...

Hey Jeff, stay away from Pro Tools it's absolutely not needed for the home recorder. It's too complex and too much of a system drain.

For free or low price you can get great products like Kristal, Reaper or nTracks. For a little more you can get Acid, Sonar, Cubase, all much easier to use.

Recording and mixing on the PC was so much easier for me, it's a visual thing.


At 8:40 PM, Anonymous Rob Roper said...

There's different levels here. At the lowest level, songwriters need something quick and easy to just record ideas--musical and lyrical. That used to be a cassette recorder, but now you can buy a microphone for an ipod for $40. If you want to splurge, for $300-400 you can get a field recorder--the kind people take to concerts to record the shows. You want something that you can learn how to use in 15 minutes.

Now for recording your songs once they're done, that's another matter. Now you're talking home studio. It's a black hole, timewise and financially (I know). There's a big learning curve, not just for the product you buy, but also to gain the general knowledge about recording, independent of the equipment--microphone placement, the proper use of compression, EQ, and much more. If you have an interest in this, then go for it. I personally find it interesting (although frustrating at times). But if you would rather spend your time creating songs, then find a friend with a home studio, or use a professional local studio and just pay them to record your songs.


At 12:32 PM, Blogger sg said...

I use ProTools, but for song ideas I've been using a widely used Freeware program called Audacity that can record multiple tracks. I've even made nice little demos using it.

You can find it here:

Reaper looks really cool, but complicated on the line of ProTools. It looks like it does a lot of the ProTools type things...

At 11:05 AM, Blogger . said...

I user Acid or sound forge for making my demos and it seems to do the trick. I have a Fostex 8 track but the thing is so damn confusing to use even with the handbook. I used to have a Tascam 4 track cassette but it always left too much tape noise. Great site by the way........

Bill Cannon


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