Recording Guitar/Bass/Vocals (and Adding Effects) the Quick and Easy Way


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ByTheWay413
03-19-2007, 04:58 PM
Introduction

If you're like me and have little money to spare, don't worry; you can still record quality audio! It won't, of course, be the same quality that you hear on most professional recordings, but it will be good nonetheless. Let's get started!


Requirements

The only thing that I assume you have is a 1/4" to 1/8" guitar cable, which are obtainable for about five to ten dollars. Other than that, you can get everything you need for recording from this article!


Audacity

A great free program for audio recording is Audacity. I use it not only for its great recording abilities, but also for its support of VST plugins (I'll talk more about these later in the article). You can obtain the latest release of Audacity here (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/).


VST Enabler

Now that you have Audacity, you must download the VST Enabler to use the VST plugins that I talked briefly about earlier. You can get that here (http://www.audacityteam.org/vst/). Now install it (it's an easy installation). Make sure that you select the right directory, so that it installs in the same place as all of your other Audacity files!


VST Plugins

VST plugins are modules that can extend the functionality of audio editors, in this case taking the form of audio effects such as distortion and delay. A great directory for free VST plugins can be found here (http://www.audiomastermind.com/browse-free_vst_plugins-5886988-1.html). Once you've downloaded the ones that you want, you must place the .DLL files in the "Plug-Ins" folder inside the Audacity directory. NOTE: Not all VST plugins work properly with Audacity.


Recording

Now for the fun part. First, plug your guitar into the line-in jack of your computer. Next, open up Audacity. If Audacity is already opened, you must restart it so that the changes (installation of the VST plugins) can take place. Now, change the input (next to the volume bars) to Line In, because that's where your guitar is plugged into. The default project rate (bottom left corner), 44100 Hz, is the same rate that is used for audio CDs, and therefore should work nicely. To begin recording, just press record button (red circle) and play/sing! To stop recording, just press the stop button.


Afterwards

Now that you have finished recording, play back what you have recorded. If you messed up, just exit (press the X at the top left of the track) and try again. However, if you are 100% happy with what you've recorded, it's time to apply effects (if you choose to).


Applying Effects (optional)

To do this, simply make sure that the full track (Ctrl+A) or just a segment of the track (click and drag on the track) is selected. After selecting, simply click "Effect" on the top toolbar and choose your desired effect from the list. Experiment with the settings until you find something that you like, clicking "Preview" after you try a new one to make sure you like it. After you apply effects, you can export your project as a .MP3, .WAV, or .OGG file!


Ending

In closing, I hope that you enjoyed my article and that it helped you in some way. I hope to make more contributions to the UG community in the future!

markhoppusfan
03-23-2007, 06:10 PM
yep! thx

doomnight
03-23-2007, 06:15 PM
Hey mate can you tell me where to save VST enabler to?

I can't see my audacity in program files O.o

marmoseti
03-24-2007, 05:48 PM
Good article, I've been using audacity for ages and I didn't know it supported VST plugins :o

Other than that,

The default project rate (bottom left corner), 44100 Hz, is the same rate that is used for audio CDs, and therefore should work nicely.

is unnecessary in my opinion, as it isn't essential and might just confuse people. Good article though :)