If you’re passionate about playing music, whether it’s your own or someone else's, it’s only natural that you’ll want to record yourself and get another perspective on how you’re playing. Recording your own music is a lot of fun and it’s something that every musician must do - it enables you to experiment and improve your skills considerably, as well as being able to mix and add new instruments and sounds into your music.
For those that are just starting out and need some advice on the best and more convenient recording devices, the team at Guitar Paradise have got you covered. Check out our shortlist below and as always if you have any further questions don’t hesitate to give us a call!
1. Your Phone/Laptop
Technology is at a point now where you can get a decent sound quality by using computers and smartphones. In fact, chances are the hardware you’ve got currently will get the job done. Mac computers are a favorite with musicians the world over and if you’re just starting out and aren’t ready to invest a huge amount of money into recording straight away, we’d probably recommend investing in a MacBook.
Recording this way couldn’t be easier, although without additional software you’re mixing options will be limited - you’re looking at a simple recording of what you’re playing and little ability to do much else.
2. Mixing Software
More than likely you’ve got the hardware and you can get a basic, listenable recording from your computer - but the next step is investing in special software designed to handle various tracks of recorded audio at once. There are some inexpensive options including Apple’s Logic Pro and Audacity, which is actually free.
These programs will enable you to record and then take these recordings and stack them on top of each other to create a single audio track.
3. Audio Interface
As has been mentioned, computers can take care of the actual recording part of the process. Basically every computer that’s on the market today comes with what is needed to record and you’ll usually have a mic and line input. But the quality of sound is quite low and if you’re serious about recording your performances and your music, an audio interface allows you to do so.
The majority of instruments can be plugged straight into the audio interface, which ensures the best sound quality. However, if you’re relying on a computer to record vocals, you’ll more than likely notice a mix-match in the quality of the sound and background noise is sure to be a factor. Once you have some experience recording and want to take that next step with your equipment, a microphone is the best way to go.
A microphone is designed to give you a better sound quality for all vocals and acoustic instruments too. Different branded mics are appropriate for different purposes, however if you’re after a good all around vocal microphone for signing - the SM57 Instrument Microphone is the pick of the bunch.
At this point, it’s a good idea to consider a dependable pair of studio headphones to make sure you’re getting the most out of your recording sessions and can pick up on the strengths and weaknesses of your mixes.
It will take some getting used to, but your ear will start to get a sense of which audio tracks needs to be higher or lower and what needs to be added. Headphones enable you to do this. Keep in mind that they vary greatly in price - for an expensive pair you’re looking at thousands of dollars. But to start off, you can get the job done with headphones that cost less than $100. The Samson RH600 models are a good choice.