Basic Home Recording I

Jim Goodman

Part 1 – Beginning with the end in mind

Not knowing the world of recording one can easily become overwhelmed by all of the information available on home recording. Not knowing the terminology or technologies available and their related pros and cons can even make a relatively informed person’s head swim. Then throw on top of it comments from well-intentioned folks who every one of them seems to think their setup is the best and tell you so. The complexities really can be made simple if you take all of the bells, whistles and fluff out of the discussion, which is my goal here.

It is always important to begin with the end in mind. It sets reasonable expectations, it will keep you from becoming frustrated with the whole process by helping you make the right decisions on education, equipment purchases and when you need to get help.

To begin we will ask the fundamental questions: What do you want to record and why?

And do you have the experience and equipment to do it?

If the goal is to do a CD you want to sell commercially then you will need to have the professional experience and the gear to do that, and face it if you had that kind of experience you wouldn’t be reading this for anything but to admit you have too much time on your hands. And if you are starting from scratch it will be cheaper and less painful to book a project studio in your town. That is until you acquire all that you will need in education, experience and equipment, which is outside the scope of this series.

Yet others only want to have a sketchpad for ideas, where they can experiment with how a song sounds back or with different instruments and this anyone really can do with just a basic understanding of recording and simple knowledge of technologies and really very little gear.

Realistically most folks really want to have a good representation of their music for demo or for sale at concerts, at church or to be a pre-production prior to entering a studio, which you can do with moderate experience and some gear.

For this series we are beginning with this end in mind, making a good representation of our music (aka demo) beginning with no experience and no gear. So now we pursue getting there.

In the next installment will cover the recording platforms, stand-alone and pc daws. Don’t know those terms? You will.