I have no where to start. I don't know what to buy to record, what programs to use, the gear, or anything. I have a band with me and 3 other people and we want to start recording but we have no idea what to buy. Can someone give me some information on the process of recording and what to buy? Also, when you're recording, and another track is going over it, how do you make sure your both in the same timing?? The tempos could be slightly off.?
Use a click track to fix the tempo problem.
If you're a hot chick you've probably got a good chance with the lead singer or guitar player, If you're a little bit overweight, you should probably go for the drummer. If you're a dude, go for the bass player
generally you need some microphones, of which there are 2 main types (dynamic and condenser). Dynamic mics are usually used for live performance or recording things with a high output level. They generally pick up only a few inches to a foot in front of them. Condenser mics pick up more detail, and have a much larger pick up area. They are suited to things like recording vocals and drum overheads, as they have much more clarity and definition than dynamic mics, but are more easily damaged by high output levels.

From your mic, you'll usually run into a USB or firewire interface. USB interfaces tend to record everything plugged into them as a single track, which makes mixing incredibly hard, unless you multirack (record one thing/mic at a time). Firewire interfaces usually record each input as a seperate track, which means you can record several things simultaneousley, and mix each track individually.

The most commonly used recording programmes are Pro-tools (PC/Mac), Cubase (PC/Mac) and Logic (Mac), but many others exist. If you are just starting out, I would recommend Reaper for the PC, as it's free and has many features such as effects and that kind of thing.

Also, about keeping in time, most recording programs include a metronome function, which you can set to a tempo and record each thing to, so you keep in time.
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Software: Start with Audacity. It's multi-track recording with post production effects (you record fairly flat and add effects to taste afterwards) As it can record anything that goes through the soundcard, you can use midi tracks for the basic drum/bass and take them out after if you like. Also there is a nice FAQ on this site so lots of help available.
Hardware: I use a Behringer mixer with effects as voice sounds better than with pure flat sound. It also gives me (guitar) stuff I don't use otherwise (not gigging) like delay and phasing. You absolutely have to mic record guitar, as direct sounds terrible. Some sort of compression is a must to help keep the peaks down.
Recording is a whole different discipline so take a bit of time to get used to the techniques. The joy is that you can always wipe a track you don't like and re-do it.
Have fun.
A good idea for you would be to read the stickies at the top of the forum, and look at www.tweakheadz.com. There's tons of basic information that would take me a while to explain, but which is already laid out there.

Then, you can ask specific questions about what gear and software to buy in this thread.
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