#1
..who has essentially zero funds however I believe to work with what we have until we get better- although that does suck sometimes.

On a lighter note, I have audacity, an asus laptop, and a blue yeti mic. How can I mix my vocals in audacity to at least have it sound a bit better? I have no interface or anything like that?

Please help, I can post what I've got so far.
#2
What is the best way I can get a semi-okay quality outcome (talent is always talent of course) sound wise with just those three things or is there something else I can download?
#4
As long as you're using Audacity I wouldn't worry about mastering. People will probably tell you not to even bother using Audacity but if it's the best you can do for the time being, doing something is better than doing nothing. I don't use it any more but I got really good at Audacity which ended up leading to bigger things. My advice would be not to worry about quality frankly. Do the best you can with what you have. Work on recording tracks and getting them how you want. Experiment with double tracking instruments, panning, levels of each track. Also work on keeping your projects neat and organized. There arent a lot of software things that will carry over if you ever move into a DAW from audacity, so really just focus on developing a good process now. If you're organized you can export each track of your song as a loss-less file and re-mix it in a DAW if you still want to.

I'm not sharing these to self-promote, as this work is outdated for me. It's simply an example of things I've done in audacity because I've gotten a lot of feedback on them from people surprised at what is actually possible with it.


This one I made in completely in audacity ...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5231FLtviA

...then because I was organized later turned it into this in cubase
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6kl6YS17hU


This is an instrumental example of a lot of synth layering and that good stuff.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8FysjXXGAc

Here's an even older example of how even with low quality equipment you can get some really cool results just by doing a lot of experimenting
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3str6gffcWE

I'd be happy to help further if you have any more specific questions
#5
I found a program in Linux Mint's repos called Ardour that you might try. I haven't gotten around to checking it out, but it may be worth a shot. http://ardour.org/
#6
A one sentence answer to the mixing vs mastering question might say mixing is about making a song sound as good as it possibly can, balancing all of the elements to a pleasing sum which can then be sent to the mastering process which often times will further polish it to fit into a bigger picture (such as an album)
#7
I would recommend downloading the REAPER trial. The trial, whilst only 60 days (IIRC) will not actually expire, there's just a 5 second nag screen on start up. REAPER is a far superior DAW to Audacity, on par with other professional options like Logic, Pro Tools, Cubase, etc. Use the REAPER trial until you decide if you want to take this seriously, and can afford it (REAPER is also cheap as hell).

REAPER comes with some good versatile plugins, I would also recommend downloading the Kjaerhus Classic set for some decent sounding effects (Phaser, Chorus, etc.) and the Variety Of Sound plugins which have a bit more character to them. Between those 3 sets of plugins you should have pretty much everything you'll ever need for mixing, and even for mastering there's only a few others I use (the Antress Modern pack, and VladgSound's Molot and Limiter No. 6).

Mixing is to do with the individual tracks, vocals(lead, backings), guitar (Left, Right, Solo, etc.), bass (DI, Grit), Drums (however many individual drum tracks you have). I find that in mixing I usually have 20+ tracks including folders to group my tracks together. The aim here is to get each instrument sounding its best and blended well with everything else.
Mastering is to do with the track as a whole. Typical mastering may only have one track (the rendered mix), but it's not uncommon to have rendered stems of each instrument in the mix (i.e. 1 vocal track, 1 guitar track, 1 bass track, 1 drum track) to give a little flexibility. In mastering you want to make the entire track 'pop', and bring it up to appropriate listening level. Ideally mastering is not done by the same person as mixing, but many home engineers do both (this doesn't usually produce as good a result as having different people do it).

What instruments are you wanting to record? You should be fine for vocals with the blue yeti, but other instruments may be a different story.
#8
Audacity is the easiest,reaper is supposed to be better but it's a little more confusing,if u have an iPhone or iPad invest in a line 6 mobile in,u can record into garageband and get decent quality too
#9
From my blog:

http://greenroommusicblog.blogspot.ca/2012/10/a-non-technical-article-on-mixing.html

Quote by blog
Part 5: Mastering

Mastering has become one of the most misused words in audio. Back in the day, when songs were cut to vinyl, the music would first be recorded to a tape machine, and then that recording would need to be transferred to a wax cylinder, from which the vinyl records would be manufactured. Mastering was the process of going from the tape to the “master” which was the wax cylinder. In order to do this properly, a few things became part of the process:

- ordering the songs - There are lots of things to think about in determining the best order for your LP.
- getting a consistent tone from one song to the next. This is done with EQ.
- tops and tails - Beginnings and endings are edited and faded out so that they flow naturally and sound “right.”
- compression - It was often found that the cutting needle in the wax cylinder was literally bounced out of the wax, thereby ruining the cutting process, whenever sudden transients (say, a sudden snare pop, or a cymbal crash, or an extra hard jab on the bass) occurred. In order to tame these so that the cutter wouldn’t jump out, they used compression.

Nowadays, the word “mastering” is often used as a generic term for compressing the daylights out of a track to make it as loud as other loud-as-bombs commercial recordings. Whatever floats your boat, or suits your purposes, I suppose. We’ll save the “volume wars” discussion for another time, but in short, if you listen to an album from the 1970’s and an album from the 2000’s, you’ll find that the modern record is very, very loud (for many people and purposes, there is a rough equation that suggests “louder=better” compared to the classic album. You’ll also find that the classic one has MUCH more dynamic range. Why? Compression.


As far as why to bounce to a single stereo track, the answer should now be clear. "Mastering" is not a process that is traditionally done to a single song. In order to get a consistency of EQ and such between a variety of songs (even, say, a 3-song EP), you need to be able to hear them basically side by side.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#10
I use audacity to record my vocals then I add effects to them in Adobe Audition if needed. One thing to watch out for is dont hold the mic to close, you want to avoid clipping (reaching the "ceiling" so to speak, in volume) as that will cause an annoying crackle. Another thing I used to do to give a little bit of extra presense to vocals is add a slight reverb to the vocal track. But I really mean slight, only add a fraction of reverb so that you dont quite get the echo effect but you kindof get the sound of being in a large hall.

Aside from that I would look into a DAW. I used to use FLStudio but I have found Reason much easier to use once you get the hang of it, and it feels more flexible for my purposes.

You can then take the wavs of your vocals and import them in Reason and arrange them how you like.
#11
Quote by Ameliorator
I use audacity to record my vocals then I add effects to them in Adobe Audition if needed. One thing to watch out for is dont hold the mic to close, you want to avoid clipping (reaching the "ceiling" so to speak, in volume) as that will cause an annoying crackle. Another thing I used to do to give a little bit of extra presense to vocals is add a slight reverb to the vocal track. But I really mean slight, only add a fraction of reverb so that you dont quite get the echo effect but you kindof get the sound of being in a large hall.

Aside from that I would look into a DAW. I used to use FLStudio but I have found Reason much easier to use once you get the hang of it, and it feels more flexible for my purposes.

You can then take the wavs of your vocals and import them in Reason and arrange them how you like.


Adobe audition has some fantastic effects, I use it in combination with FL studio to make my music.

To make your vocals sounds better give them a slight EQ boost at 7k.