Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Building your own computer - based home recording studio (part 1).

Lately I have been getting a number of requests from people wanting to do their own home recording.
Over the next few weeks I'm going to venture into the recording side of things and explain in a non technical way how to create your own studio.

With the arrival of the digital age, and the personal computer, home recording has stepped out of the noisy scratchy tape and LP zone and has also become more affordable and easier to do than ever before.
You can now record, mix and edit an entire album without stepping into a commercial studio.
You can even do your own artwork and burn your masterpiece to CD and get professional results provided you take the time to learn some basic skills.

The heart of your studio - your computer.

Ok, so what gear do you actually need to launch your recording career?
Obviously at the heart of your system you are going to need a computer with a reasonable amount of processing power and ram.
This will determine how many tracks you can record and play back on each song you create (ie each instrument, bass, guitar, vocals, drums etc will occupy a track and layer together to form your complete song).Plus on top of this you'll probably be adding some effects.
All this will require your computer to to do multiple calculations in order to add and read information you are laying down on your hard drive.

Most computers available nowadays are able to cope with this although I would recommend getting more than the usual 256 megabytes of ram - 512 or more.
You also have 2 types of computer "platforms" or operating systems to choose from.
Windows or Macintosh(Apple)
I personally have used both for recording although my Old G4 Mac has proven itself to be far more reliable than any Windows machine I have used (yes I do own a Windows machine)so I'll blatantly blurt out get a Mac.
Most music / video/ graphic design people prefer Macs and I tend to agree based on several years of experience.

In my next post I'll talk about recording software and the related input devices you need (and what they do).

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