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How to Record Music on Your Computer, Part 1 – Hardware

Modern PC processing power means that any emerging musician can record his own home sound, professional standards, and a limited budget. As for the genre you have accessed, you can start your own music with modest time and investment. In this first article, I will give you guidance through the hardware needed to boot.

Wired for sound

All PCs are equipped with some kind of sound card. Typically, this is a chipset embedded in the motherboard, which controls both the sound of your computer and the sounds you transmit, for example. If you have already used the computer's microphone input for communication.

However, if you take seriously your use as a voice device, this standard internal sound card is illegally associated with the task. Take a look at the back of your computer or maybe on a laptop that may be at the front. You should see some inputs, typically for accepting a microphone input, for a serial input (for accepting an external signal such as a guitar) and a line for a computer output such as an external amplifier and a speaker.

So, for example, if you are a guitar player, you can simply connect directly to the Line In socket and start recording, do not you? There is certainly nothing to prevent you from doing this unless you are likely to be disappointed with the resulting sound quality. Additionally, if you start recording with the dedicated audio software (described in the following article), there are larger (19459005) delay issues. The delay is the delay between the input and output of the computer, e.g. The notes on the guitar, the processing of the computer, and the listening time of the output. Using the standard PC sound card this delay time is likely to be so large that the recording software becomes redundant.

You need a sound card or interface intended for music recording. Fortunately, not only is the choice in this field, but the technology of such units has been so advanced that in most cases even the budget budget will be up to date, especially when a musician is working on solo. The interface of these units usually offers dedicated audio inputs and outputs for voice recording, such as microphone inputs (XLR inputs) and inch inch inputs – the type of cable, new guitar player.

Another good news is that many modern units are independent. Your computer is connected via USB or Firewire (the latter is more common for Mac users) after the software and drivers are installed and will soon be ready to record music.

A good interface for getting started is between $ 50 and $ 150 ($ 80-240). For some specific considerations, the Tascam US-200 and Yamaha Audiogram 3 M-Audio Fast Track USB V2 Alesis IO / 2 Express, .

Monitoring the situation

To get good quality recording, you must also make sure that the received output is as clear as possible on your computer. For this, a good number of loudspeakers, more specifically studio monitors are required . These loudspeakers pay particular attention to the user's close proximity (as opposed to conventional high-fidelity loudspeakers in the room) and monitor . They allow you to pick up any deficiencies in the recording and remediation of them. This will especially be important if you ever mixed your own music (see the next article).

To avoid unnecessary difficulties, especially when you're on the go, you should probably consider an active monitor. These are monitors that have their own built-in amplifier, so there is no need to buy a separate drive than the passive monitors.

How much money to spend on a pair? Provided you take the recording seriously, I have to say that this is one area where too much public awareness can prove to be a fake economy, so it is simply the best party to give it. Nevertheless, the goods can form spirally into four shapes and beyond, which is obviously completely unrealistic, especially if it is just beginning.

For many years, I recommend a brand and model for the Tannoy Reveal series. They are active, and in a recent incarnation of a couple the price 501a, is about 250 pounds (about 400 USD). There are other models of similar price categories, such as Mackie MR 5, Yamaha HS 50M Active, and M-Audio BX 8A active .


A good headset is also required. These must have a closed-end version as this minimizes the headset's sound – When using a microphone (see below), make sure that the microphone just hangs up and not the outside sound from the headphones from the played track.

A decent set does not come often very cheap, but for example, AKG for example, produces some in the range of 20-50 pounds (30-80 dollars) enough to go.


You can record any type of music, investing in a good microphone is a good idea. The most obvious is the vocal recording, but a single versatile microphone can be used to record all types of acoustic instruments such as guitar, brass instrument and hand drum. You can also use it to capture authentic sound on the guitar amplifier, simply placed in front of the amplifier and running on the input of the audio interface.

The most commonly used microphone types are 19459005 capacitors and dynamic . Condenser microphones are more common in the studio because they usually have high-quality sound recording perfect for recording. Dynamic microphones are more common in the living environment as capacitors can accept much larger quantities without feedback. Unlike the capacitors, you do not need to power.

If all you're dealing with now is home studio art, then I recommend a good condenser microphone. AKG Perception 170, and SE Electronics SE-1a These are all 50 to 150 pounds (around 80 to 240 USD) are in price range and versatile for most applications. This means that at this stage do not try dynamic microphones. One particularly, the daily price is around 110 pounds (around 180 USD), one of the most important pieces of the studio and the stage for decades and worth considering.

Keys to Success

If you are a keyboard controller, you already have a USB keyboard, if you have purchased it relatively recently. If you need to consider inserting a control keypad it opens up many kinds of music.

Control keypads do not contain any own sounds but can send signals that are played by digital broadcasts and then appear on your computer as a sound source. This data is known as MIDI which is sent via USB on modern control keyboards.

If it's a little technical, do not worry. Basically, a control keypad provides you with a whole line of computer-generated tones in contrast to your keyboard. It can be a synthesizer, a sampler, a drum module, or just anything you can imagine. Even if you are not a keyboard player, you may have some advantages over one's own ownership, as it allows you to activate sound sources more easily and intuitively.

Controlled keyboards are produced by the number of manufacturers, ranging from brand names Korg, Roland and to Yamaha to brand name controllers exclusively, such as M-Audio, Behringer and CME Which model you are doing very well depends on your ability. There is no point in investing 500 in the controller if you are likely to need to select the weird drum minus. If that is the case, there are plenty of mini controls in the console below 100 pounds, which is just fine.


This is about basic hardware. After reading all of them and getting all the equipment you need, you may be a little scared. But let's put it in the context. By saving about £ 500 you will essentially buy your own studio yourself. This is about what you expect for a few days in a professional studio. While certainly a little learning curve – there will be no masterpiece and engineer overnight – if you can confidently capture and mix your own music for a reliably small investment, it really is not a brain.

The following article covers the software you will need, and the good news here will cost you a lot of things!

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