So I've just recently been planning to begin recording music on my computer...
But I have no idea how to get started...

Any help?

What programs do I need? Equipment?

I don't really have any money so I can't really buy a ton of stuff...

If anyone could give tips, it would be greatly appreciated.
Man, All I've been using for my recording is a Digitech RP255, Garageband software, a Yamaha keyboard, and a Jackson DK2M. Thats all fine, but I would recommend either recording real drums, if possible, or get one of those drum software things.
I am a Stephenist
ya i can add other stuff with a keyboard, and i mix it all with Acid Pro. but ya definitely get drum software. i use the GP5 drums..... :S
just get a reality tv show and then u can make millions being a **** up

MTV Sucks

Quote by hazzmatazz
You think you need help and you don't watch it everyday?

Oh man I'm well and truely on the point of no return then

download Audacity. its free and simple to use

Ibanez RG350DX
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Esteban Acoustic/Electric Steel String
60's model Univox Electric 12-String
Dunlop Crybaby Classic
Dunlop MXR Wylde Overdrive
Esteban G-10 Amp
Dean Markley K-50 Amp
My recommended setup:

Audacity (or REAPER, though in my opinion Audacity is much more intuitive) - Free, unless you use REAPER, in which case you're supposed to pay, though I don't, because I only use it to run VSTi and nothing else.
Behringer Xenyx 802 (or anything above--the 502 isn't quite as featured) - Anywhere from forty to a hundred, I think, depending on the model.
Behringer UCA202 USB Interface - Thirty bucks

Theoretically, that's all you need, plus cables. You'll need RCA cables to connect the USB interface and 1/4 cables to connect instruments/effects.

I also recommend getting a good microphone, though, to mic your amp and acoustic guitar, as well as any other sounds you need miced. Shure is the standard, though Electro-Voice makes some nice ones. You don't need condenser--go dynamic. Don't skimp, either--expect to spend $40 - $150 on a good one. If you want the higher end, try the Electro-Voice Raven.

Really, though, for easy good sound, a Digitech RP series multi-effects pedal connected to your mixer (Or even not! I hear some of them have direct USB plugins these days!) rocks. The RP90 is pretty reasonably priced at a hundred bucks--less if you're a smart shopper-- and has some great sounds if you play around with it here and there. My latest cover, the Davy Jones one in my profile, used it, though that cover was more of an experiment than an effort to get true tone out of the pedal. I'm working on an original that will hopefully show it off a bit more.

And if you have those things and get them working, it really just takes some trial-and-error to record.
If you want to hear what I've managed with this setup, you can listen to some songs in my profile--

(He's a) Pirate Rock was done with a Nady StarPower mic, together with the mixing board and interface. Just so you know, that mic cost me ten bucks

The Star Spangled Banner was done with my Boss MT-2 distortion pedal and my EV Raven mic, plus the board and interface.

Carol of the Bells... one of my earlier recordings. You may sound like that until you learn the ropes.

Happy Birthday! - First recording ever. Know what I did? With typical recording newbie logic, I bought an adaptor for my 1/4 guitar cable, plugged it into the mic jack of my computer, ran it through my 15 dollar FAB distortion pedal, and fumbled away. I still can't believe it turned out that okay Anyway, don't fall into the whole adaptor trap. A lot of newbies do, and you really can't do anything decent with it.

And Davy Jones, of course--done with a customised setting on the RP90 pedal, run through stereo lines out to my mixer, which ran into my computer through the interface. That and a bunch of VSTi's--you'll want to check those out later; hard to figure out at first, but fun as heck once you get used to them.

Have a blast! And prepare for some sleepless nights, too...
Last edited by Wynterbite at Jul 16, 2009,
Er, by intuitive I meant easy to use. As in, you can pretty much figure out which buttons to push on the first try? I record with Audacity because it's simple. To add MiDI and VSTi and what-have-you, I use REAPER. I never said Audacity had everything, just that it was easy to get the hang of.
Well, I wouldn't feel real honest about using the program as my main recorder without paying for it, and because my budget doesn't expand when I yell at it (Don't think I haven't tried!) I stick with Audacity. I admire the guys who developed REAPER for their trust in human nature, really. It's awesome of them to let guys like me have access to a great program where you can put VSTs and MiDI into your recordings, and even though the whole downloads-don't-reduce-from-the-physical-whole argument is logical, I'm such an idealist sucker at heart One of these days I might manage to bawl my wallet into producing some extra cash, and then I'll buy REAPER and make a switch.

Edit: Thread hijack in progress--this happens to me a lot. I'm such a hijacker I have to be checked for bombs before entering forums
Last edited by Wynterbite at Jul 16, 2009,
Really? My English exchange rate is all messed up. I keep thinking 2-3 dollars on the pound... meaning it's quite a bit cheaper than I thought it was! Still, until I have the disposable income, I have to stick with what works for free.
Does Reaper work as a standalone program now? I remember about 5 years ago it only really had tracking function, so you used to have to use it in conjunction with audacity for editing purposes.
It's a complete stand-alone, yep. You can record and edit and do pretty much everything with it.