I'm working on a song for my sister.
Got most of the lyrics, although they need a little tweaking.
I've got a Tascam Portastudio DP-02CF
Its served me well in the past so I will be using that.
I'll probably be going acoustic, maybe using my strat subtly into an AC30 for a little color.

The issue is I want to have my nieces (I'm 56, they are in their late 20's early 30's) involved doing harmony and some background vocals.
Therein lies the problem.
I'm in Nevada.
One niece is in Utah, the other in Germany (her husband is USAF).
I don't know yet what, if any type of recording equipment either of them have access too.
I'm kind of guessing that maybe the one in Germany via the base may have some access to some things.
Don't some military bases have that sort of thing for the airmen/soldiers/staff/etc. there?

Money as far as buying some equipment for this one thing for them (I'm pretty much broke so they would have to buy stuff) is probably out of the question, except for maybe something cheap, which maybe I can EQ/clean up their parts to help out if thats the case.

I've thought of Skype, but my only experience with that is hearing it on Daniel Tosh's show and there tends to be a lot of sound cutting out.

Anyone have ANY ideas on how I can accomplish?

Just a thought, a lot of people these days have headsets or other basic voice capturing equipment for stuff like gaming and vloggin, and I wouldn't be surprised to find some people their age, their friends preferably, who have gear like this. Of course, you're not supposed to use them for recording music, but if they really can't get access to better gear it's better than nothing, gear like that is supposed to capture your voice after all, and they're definitely less noisy and dirty than built-in laptop mics or something. From the top of my head, I can think of three close friends of mine who use stuff like that, and while the equipment isn't perfect you could probably muster up some passable vocal takes with them. Might not be what you're looking for, but it could be worth a shot.

To clarify, I'm talking about things like headsets, USB mics, cheaper portable recorders, stuff like that. Everyone and their grandma is a youtuber these days, so it's a good bet they could find people who own stuff like that.
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Last edited by Kevätuhri at Jan 27, 2016,
I'll check with my nieces and see what they have available.
And hell, for all I know, they might even have some friends that have the proper gear.
I have done this with several people but on a larger scale so maybe my explanation will be useful to get you going. I recorded the basic track (drums, guitar, keyboards) of a song on individual tracks on my Tascam 2488. I made a mono mix and saved it to my computer as a .wav file. Now in my case the two other contributors had small recording setups. One guy was in Las Vegas and I wanted him to add a bass guitar and another friend lives in South Carolina and I wanted him to sing the lead vocal (He has a Tascam DP-02 so exporting was easy for him). I put the mp3 on my Dropbox account. They used their own recorders and imported my Mp3. When they finished their tracks I had them upload it my Dropbox account as .wav files. It was then an easy thing to import the tracks from my computer back to the Tascam 2488 and did the mix. It was a fun experiment and worked well. As I said, in my case I was doing it with musicians who I knew well (former band members) and I knew they already had some decent recording gear.

Here are some tips that might help.

1. Make sure you have a good strong count off on the initial track. This will be important when you need to align the tracks that you get back.

2. Make sure none of the people doing this try to add any type of effect (reverb, compression, delay etc.). Leave that for you to add on the final mix. Once it's on the recording you won't be able to remove it. Tell them to leave it raw.

3. If the other people you want to do this with don't have recording equipment there are a few decent free recording software programs on line that could be helpful. Audacity is an easy one to understand.

4. While it's not a great idea as a last resort use Skype. It won't sound very good but you could do it.

Let us know how it works out.
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Last edited by Rickholly74 at Jan 27, 2016,
They are just going to be doing backup vocals and vocal harmonies.
I'm doing all the musical instrument stuff.
Which will likely just be an acoustic guitar and maybe my strat with a few little flourishes here and there, nothing fancy.

I don't have an acoustic, but I stopped in one of the local music stores and the owner said he would rent me one for a month for $20
Although he hasn't figured out which one yet and had a few customers in there and I was in a rush so I didn't really get much of a chance to see what he had in stock.

He also asked me if I would be willing to just do a trade for my EPI LP for one straight across.
That LP is my #2 so I said no.
But I offered it up as hostage, in lieu of any deposit fee, which I probably didn't even really need to to with him since I have done repair work for him in the past.

But, I don't play my Gibson Explorer very much and was thinking about a trade there if he has anything I think would be worth it.
Even if I get the short end of the stick, I don't mind as long as I like what I get.

He did have a Martin there, dunno what model but it was obviously a low end one because it was like like $399 or $499.
I've done some scratch stuff via PC built the built in mics and Audacity for idea sketching and it is not horrible, some of it quite passable. Usually it is the quality of my singing that doesn't make it through not the mic quality

All you need is a laptop and Audacity. You send them the project file in Audacity, which packs multitrack files in their own format, then they can record to that. The setup looks like this, so they only need to put on headphones and record into the PC microphone:

If they don't have a PC they can do it via something like Songtree on their phones which has app that runs off of Android and iPhone.

Another way to do it would be to cut a take to anything - video cam, phone, dictation thing (like the Olympus, etc.) while listening to your source audio on headphones. They'll need to sync somehow so maybe doing a 4 count where they'll have to clap their hands along to in the beginning, say you have 4 count recorded, they'll have to clap to that then wait till their vocals come in without stopping the recording, that way the timing is set in the beginning and you can align it to that.

There are also some online recording collaboration sites that come in with their own software, some of which runs into browsers and is usually one click record type of thing. I am not sure exactly which are the successful ones but you can do a search and try a few.
I found this one which runs off of "Silverlight" (Microsoft Flash copycat browser plugin), so maybe give that one a shot. If all have PCs that should be fine.

Army HQs usually have high security settings so maybe the low tch solution will work best, although from what I remember when my brother was in the service, they had a few play computers separate from the work area that they let them goof on.
Well, what I want them to do is basically do the "ohhh, ahhh, oooh, ahhh" type of thing during some of the verses and then harmonizer with me during the chorus.
Thats what I would prefer, but I'm not gonna make it a hard and fast rule.

I'm gonna have to look at the Tascam manual to see if I can move a ack backwards or forwards, so I could match it up.

What I plan to do, is basically the whole song, well, mainly the main guitar and my vocals and have them record what they do on another medium or format like just an MP3 file.
I can import them to a track on the Tascam and then hopefully I can sync things up.
I need to have a peak at the manual to see if thats possible.
IIRC, you can also copy something from one track and paste it to part of another track.
You may be right about alignment on DP-02. I have used that recorder but only briefly and I'm not sure it displays the wav files like the Tascam 2488. On the 2488 you can bring up a display of any tracks wav files and time align them but I don't know if the DP-02 has that feature. The manual would have to checked. I agree that Audacity is the most economical alternative and not a bad one at that.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.